Domestic violence is not only one of the most common violent crimes in Las Vegas, it is also one of the single most common causes of arrest throughout the city. In Las Vegas, domestic violence is categorized as a specific type of battery, and battery is defined as any unlawful use of force or violence against another individual. In domestic violence cases, this is typically force or violence between two individuals who are in a relationship or part of a family, and domestic violence charges come with steep penalties.
Typically, unless excessive force or a deadly weapon is used, domestic violence is considered to be a misdemeanor for a first offense. The penalties that come along with a first offense of domestic violence are:
- Mandatory 2 day imprisonment
- Up to a 6 month jail sentence
- 48 hours of community service
- A fine no less than $200 and not exceeding $1,000
- Domestic violence counseling of 1.5 hours per week lasting between 6 and 12 months
If a person accumulates 2 domestic violence convictions within a 7 year time period, the second charge will also be of the misdemeanor level. However, with a second conviction, the penalties incurred will be harsher than what is found with a first offense. The penalties that can be expected with a second conviction are:
- Mandatory 10 day imprisonment
- Up to 6 month jail sentence
- 100 hours of community service
- A fine of at least $500, but not exceeding $1,000
- Weekly domestic violence counseling sessions of 1.5 hour each for 12 months
If an individual has 3 or more domestic violence charges within 7 years, any subsequent offense after the second will then be considered a class C felony. In these cases, probation is no longer an option in lieu of jail time, and if a person is convicted, he or she can expect to face at least 12 months in prison as well as a fine of up to $10,000.
If a domestic violence case involves strangulation, the use of a deadly weapon, or excessive bodily harm, class C felony charges may be faced even if it is a first time offense. Due to the increased danger of harm, these cases are treated particularly seriously and a person can expect to face harsh felony level punishments that reflect the seriousness of the crime.