Understanding Domestic Violence Procedures

If you or someone you know has been charged with a domestic violence offense in Las Vegas, there’s a good chance you have a number of questions to ask when it comes to your defense and how the procedure works. Here’s a look at domestic violence defense frequently asked questions.

Equip Yourself with Knowledge

If the police have been called regarding a domestic violence situation in Las Vegas, people often wonder if that means at least one party has to be arrested. Having police come to the scene doesn’t guarantee an arrest, nor does it mean that one has to be made. There are exceptions to the rule though, and in some cases, an arrest has to be made. A police officer must look at the situation and decide if the act has taken place within the last four hours, if the offender is at least 16 years of age, if there is bodily injury on the victim which doesn’t have to be visible, and if that victim is in danger of additional injury. If the officer feels that the answer to these questions is yes, then the offender will be arrested.

Where things can get a bit trickier is in a situation where both parties are guilty of assaulting each other. In this kind of situation, the party who is arrested will be the one who is causing the most harm.

What Is an NCO?

An NCO is “no contact order” and this can be obtained by the victim if they go to court and get one. The court has the ability to issue an NCO if it believes an offense did indeed take place. Sometimes an NCO can be put in place even if it hasn’t been asked for by the victim. This is of course to ensure their safety. If by chance the victim disagrees with the NCO, they will need to go to court and convince the court that one isn’t needed. A local Las Vegas attorney is a good option if this is the route you wish to take.

Keep in mind in some states, such as Washington, the crime is seen as a crime against the state and not actually the individual person. This means charges will be laid no matter what the victim wants.

If an NCO Has Been Given to You

If you have been given an NCO, there’s a good chance your belongings are still in your home, so a “civil standby” is granted. This will only happen once so this is your one chance to get your belongings. A law enforcement officer will be there with you to ensure all goes smoothly. At the same time, you won’t be allowed to contact the victim by phone, text, or by email. Even if the victim is the one initiating the contact, you cannot respond. You can be charged with a violation of the NCO if you do indeed respond or reach out to the victim. It’s best to speak to a local area Las Vegas lawyer should the victim try to contact you.

Sometimes there are kids shared between the victim and the accused, and the NCO may discuss contact with kids, or it may leave them out of. Again, a domestic violence defense lawyer can help guide you through the specifics.

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