Battery Domestic Violence


This article is not intended as advice for your specific matter.  Rather, it is a general article about Nevada law.  If you have questions about your particular case, please call Mueller, Hinds and Associates, Chtd. immediately at (702) 940-1234.  This information is valid as of July 24, 2017.

What is misdemeanor Battery Domestic Violence in Nevada under NRS 200.485?

In Nevada the crime of battery constituting domestic violence is one of the worst misdemeanor charges a person can face and is leveled against civilians and celebrities alike – Dallas Cowboy Ezekiel ElliotFloyd Mayweather and Chris Brown to name just a few. The charge is the combination of a domestic relationship and an unlawful touching or attempted unlawful touching. A domestic relationship is established between people related by blood, marriage, roommates, those who have a child in common or were in a dating relationship. A “dating relationship” is a frequent, intimate association characterized by the expectation of affectional or sexual involvement as opposed to a casual relationship or association between persons in business or socially.

The unlawful touching is basically technical legal terminology for an offensive touch. Any touch can be offensive depending on the context; a kiss is generally not offensive except when it is because it is unwanted. The Nevada Supreme Court has held that the force used does not need to be violent or even cause bodily pain as long as it was willful and unlawful. Hobbs v. State, 127 Nev. 234 (2011).

The penalties for battery constituting domestic violence are harsh. At a minimum, the person convicted will have to pay for and attend 26 weekly classes on domestic violence, pay a fine and do community service. Worse, under the federal gun laws, that person would lose the right to possess a gun. Finally, if you are are an undocumented immigrant, you will be subject to immediate deportation, i.e., lose your residency or become inadmissible.

There are many defenses to this crime. As with any criminal offense, an experienced criminal defense attorney will attack any and all of the elements to prevent a conviction at trial. Thus, there are two basic attacks – this was not a “battery” or unlawful touch, or there was no domestic relationship. In Nevada, it is a lawful touch if it was in self-defense and if the defense can present evidence of that fact, the State of Nevada would bear the burden of proof to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it was NOT in self-defense. An experience criminal defense attorney could also argue that it was an accident under McDonald v. Sheriff of Carson City, 89 Nev. 326 (1973), and therefore was not a battery despite it being an offensive touch.

Are you or a loved one accused of battery constituting domestic violence? Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend you and beat your case at Mueller Hinds & Associates for a free consultation.