Battery domestic violence lawyers defend one of the most commonly-charged crimes filed in Las Vegas courts. Nevada consistently ranks as one of the worst states for the number of incidents of reported abuse. The problem has become so significant that the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department virtually almost always arrests someone when responding to a domestic violence call regardless of the nature of the evidence found at the scene. While this policy arises from the State’s desire to prevent any further escalation of violence, it frequently results in the wrong party being arrested after an overly-quick determination of the facts. Obviously, the responding officers often arrive at an emotionally-charged and chaotic scene where accurately determining culpability is difficult, so it is understandable that incorrect arrests occur. However, incorrect arrests have enormous consequences for the person wrongly arrested for battery domestic violence. A battery domestic violence conviction under Nevada law entails enormous negative consequences. In addition to the requirement of weekly counseling for a minimum of six months, convicted persons face mandatory fines, community service requirements, loss of gun ownership rights, minimum jail sentences, and the prospect of additional time in custody if they do not stay out of trouble or if they fail to complete any of their court-imposed requirements. Battery domestic violence lawyers who practice in Las Vegas understand that these cases frequently present viable claims of self-defense which, because of LVMPD’s de facto policy of always arresting at least one party when responding to a battery domestic violence call, often do not get taken into account properly. Battery domestic violence lawyers who understand the parameters of Nevada self-defense law are best positioned to exonerate their clients and prevent a hasty decision to arrest from turning into a wrongful conviction.
Battery Domestic Violence Related Homicides
Battery domestic violence lawyers understand that many of the homicides that occur in the Las Vegas valley are domestic violence related. Most often, it involves a person killing a spouse or person with whom he or she is in a relationship, after having abused that person over a lengthy period of time. Sometimes, however, cases involve a person killing a person whom they allege abused and terrorized them. While these cases are less frequent than the former type, they still arise fairly often. In these cases, it is critical that battery domestic violence lawyers interview the client as soon as possible to determine the facts surrounding the incident in which the homicide occurred as carefully and meticulously as possible.
In Nevada, the law pertaining to self-defense is relatively straightforward. Essentially, the basics are as follows: A person who has not provoked another or sought a fight has the right to stand his ground, and he does not need to retreat when faced with the threat of deadly force. Actual danger is not necessary to justify a killing in self-defense. A person confronted with the appearance of imminent danger that makes him honestly believe he is about to be killed or suffer great bodily harm may justifiably use deadly force in his defense. Nevada law provides that the killing is justified even if it develops afterward that the killer was mistaken as to the extent of the danger so long as he was reasonable when he exercised deadly force in his defense. Because self-defense is an affirmative defense, procedurally, at trial, the jury will be instructed that if they find evidence of self-defense proven by a preponderance of the evidence (essentially, more likely than not), then the burden shifts to the State, and the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in self-defense.
Asserting Self-Defense at Trial
While these elements may seem fairly simple, they can be quite difficult in application. In the context of a trial, asserting self-defense almost always requires the accused to testify in a very careful and compelling way in order to explain precisely what was going through his or her head, not only at the time of the use of force but also leading up to the killing and after the killing. Having an accused testify is almost always a problematic proposition, but how else can the many battery domestic violence lawyers and other criminal defense practitioners who absolutely need to admit their client’s state of mind into evidence do so? Sometimes there is simply no other way to mount a successful self-defense case other than to put the accused on the stand during the defense case-in-chief. For many defense counsels, this is a horrifying prospect, however, the most skillful defense counsel can present incredibly compelling presentations having prepared their clients and having honed their own trial skills over years of successful trial practice.
Battery Domestic Violence Lawyers at Oronoz & Ericsson
The battery domestic violence lawyers at Oronoz & Ericsson — Jim, Tom, and Rachael — all have significant expertise in defending battery domestic violence cases. While many Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers can claim the distinction of having defended a number of misdemeanor domestic violence cases (the typical type), Jim and Tom can truthfully assert “not guilty” victories in both felony battery domestic violence trials and first-degree murder (domestic violence related) trials. Very few, if any other, defense counsel in Las Vegas have the track record on these types of cases that Oronoz & Ericsson has. We have a verifiable, proven track record of winning domestic violence cases at the highest levels. If you or a loved one needs top-level representation for a domestic violence case of any type, contact us, we can help.