We receive calls every day from people charged with domestic violence. Most people want to know how to get their charges dropped or dismissed and many people charged with domestic violence in Las Vegas have a lot of misconceptions about their case. These misconceptions can cause a defendant representing himself or herself to be blindsided by a prosecutor, a judge and even the victim if they aren’t aware of all of the pitfalls and procedures.
Making an admission, paying a fine or burying your head in the
sand doesn’t make the criminal case go away. Domestic violence charges and
convictions can carry life long implications that can affect your family, your
finances and even your freedoms. This article addresses the top 5
misconceptions and myths we often hear from prospective clients charged with
Domestic Violence in Nevada.
My spouse/significant other can just dismiss the charge against me
Wrong. Nevada law states that once a charge of domestic violence
has been filed, the only person that can actually dismiss the charge is the
prosecutor. This is true no matter what the alleged victim says and no matter
what attempts the victim may make to have the prosecutor dismiss the charges.
You would hope that the prosecutor will take the victim’s statements into
consideration when determining whether to proceed with prosecuting a charge of domestic
violence, but in the end, it is up to the prosecutor, not the victim, to decide
whether or not to dismiss the case.
I can still carry a gun after a conviction of domestic violence
Wrong. Under federal law, a person is prohibited from carrying a
firearm or ammunition after a conviction for even a misdemeanor domestic violence
charge. Nevada State Law also precludes possession of a firearm after a
conviction of domestic violence.
I can retain joint custody of my children even if I am convicted of domestic violence.
Sort of wrong but also maybe right. Nevada custody laws state
that a perpetrator of domestic violence is presumed to not even be fit for
joint physical custody of children let alone primary physical custody of
children. To establish domestic violence, it must be proven in a custody case
by clear and convincing evidence. While a conviction of domestic violence alone
is not enough to establish the accused is the actual perpetrator of domestic
violence by clear and convincing evidence, family courts will take it into
If the victim doesn’t show up to court my charges will be automatically dismissed
This is not always true. Having the victim’s testimony
will certainly help the prosecution prove their case but it is not necessary in
every case to prove domestic violence. 911 recordings, witness statements and
even the accused’s statements can be used to show domestic violence occurred. Further, if the victim is served with a subpoena he or she must appear at Court or face potential warrants for failing to appear.
I wasn’t read my rights so the case has to be dismissed
We previously did an article about when Miranda warnings are required. Just because you weren’t read your rights doesn’t mean your case will be dismissed. An officer responding to a domestic violence call can ask questions and make observations without reading you your rights. Your Miranda warning is only required if you are placed “in custody.” Just because an officer arrests someone doesn’t immediately require that the Miranda warnings be given. Just because a Miranda warning
wasn’t given immediately doesn’t mean your case will be dismissed.
Led by a former prosecutor having tried hundreds of criminal cases, our attorneys understand that there are two sides to every story. If you or someone you know is charged with domestic violence we can help. Call us today at (702) 433-2889 or fill out our online form for more information.