Domestic violence is very common in Nevada and one of the most common reasons for arrest in the state. A conviction can land you some serious jail time, fines, probation, and more. They can be a significant upset in your life, especially if things didn’t happen the way they were presented to law enforcement.
If you are facing domestic violence charges, it is possible to have them dropped. Here’s what you need to know.
Can a Victim Drop Domestic Violence Charges?
The short answer is, no, the victim cannot drop the domestic violence charges against you. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be dropped.
The state prosecuting attorney makes the final decision of whether to pursue the charges or drop them. However, the victim is allowed to provide input to the Nevada prosecutor or district attorney letting them know that they do not wish to proceed with the case. They can express their desire for the state to drop the charges and not proceed with the prosecution of the case.
This does not mean that the prosecuting attorney will comply with the victim’s wishes, but it does have an impact on the case, especially if the victim refuses to participate or testify.
Now, this does not mean that you can try to talk the victim into refusing to participate or asking the prosecutor to drop the charges, and it certainly doesn’t mean you can coerce or threaten the victim, but if they arrive at the decision on their own, they certainly can express their wishes to the prosecuting attorney.
How to get Domestic Charges Dropped
The first step in getting domestic charges dropped is to get a good domestic violence attorney. They will be able to help you determine the best route to take depending on the particulars of your case. With that said, there are several strategies that you and your lawyer may choose:
- Present strong evidence to show you are not guilty
- Present strong evidence that the incident was an accident
- Present strong evidence that shows the events did not happen the way the victim says they did
- Present strong evidence that shows you were not there when the incident occurred
- Show how the prosecution’s evidence or case is weak or inconsistent with the charges
- Show how the victim is making a false accusation against you
- Show that the victim’s statements are inconsistent
- Show how the victim is not credible
- Show the court that is it a he-said-she-said situation
- The victim refuses to testify or will not cooperate
- Show how the victim has a vendetta against you (spurned lover, etc.)
- Show that you acted in self-defense
- Go to trial and present your strong defense and win over the jury
- Talk to the state’s attorney and request that they reconsider pursuing domestic violence charges against you
There are many ways that you can construct your defense. Your attorney will work with you to find the most viable strategy that has the best chance of getting your charges dropped. But whatever defense you use, you are going to have to make it very strong. Nevada’s domestic violence laws are very harsh.
Domestic Violence Charge Dismissed With Prejudice
When a domestic violence charge is dismissed with prejudice it means that the state can never bring those charges against the defendant again. In other words, that is the end of that case and it can never be refiled and you no longer have to worry about going to court over it again.
A domestic violence case that is dismissed without prejudice is a different story. It means that there is a possibility that at some point in the future the state may choose to refile the charges and start over with the prosecution.
Most of the time, domestic charges do get dismissed without prejudice, but it is always good to be aware of what can happen if they aren’t.
If Domestic Violence Charges are Dropped are they Still on Your Record?
Even domestic charges that have been dropped may still leave a spot on your record – and this can be a problem when you are looking for a job or trying to rent an apartment. Even though your DV charges are dismissed, the fact that you were charged will likely still appear on your criminal record. But there are legal remedies for that.
Once your DV charges are dropped, you can have your attorney move for an expungement of that record right away. This will effectively remove it from most portions of your record so it doesn’t show up in a criminal record search, namely those that a prospective employer or landlord may see.
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