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The State of Nevada places a special emphasis on combating family violence. When the police are called to the scene of a family disturbance, it is mandatory for them to arrest someone, even if the alleged victim recants his or her complaint. To make things worse, the alleged victim has no power to stop the prosecutor from filing charges and pursuing a conviction.

A Little Argument Can Lead to a Big Problem

A Small Pebble Can Create a Large Ripple

It was all so ridiculous. You got into a verbal argument with your spouse. Things got a little out of control and the police were called because your spouse was angry or wanted to diffuse the situation.

Your partner didn't want you to get arrested and certainly, he or she didn't want you to be charged with a crime that could send you to jail or cost you your job.

But the police came into your home and were hostile, rude and unwilling to listen to what actually happened. They arrested you and now you are facing criminal charges for battery domestic violence. The alleged victim wants the charges dropped, but the prosecution will not drop the charges.

What You Should Know

When Nevada police go to a home to intervene in a domestic argument, someone is going to get arrested. Nevada law requires police, absent a strong justification to the contrary, to arrest at least one of the parties involved in a domestic dispute. Their job is to determine who the primary aggressor was and to make an arrest.

Nevada Revised Statute 171.137 states,

A peace officer shall, unless mitigating circumstances exist, arrest a person when he has probable cause to believe that the person to be arrested has, within the preceding 24 hours, committed a battery...

If the peace officer has probable cause to believe that a battery described ... was a mutual battery, he shall attempt to determine which person was the primary physical aggressor ... the peace officer is not required to arrest any other person believed to have committed a battery during the incident.

Once the police have identified the primary aggressor and made an arrest, the prosecutor becomes involved in the case. The prosecutors may feel pressure to file criminal charges and aggressively prosecute a defendant even if they feel the case is trivial. They may have no negative feelings about a defendant but feel compelled to proceed to trial because of office politics or a fear of how it might be perceived by the public if they dropped the charges.

Can't the Victim Stop the Prosecution?

No. The victim has no power over the prosecutor. In fact, the prosecutor has the legal power to compel the testimony of the victim even if the victim does not want to testify. Through the power of a subpoena and the threat of a contempt charge, the prosecution can strong-arm the victim into testifying against you.

How Do I Protect My Rights?

There are a number of steps you can take to protect your rights. First, you have a right to remain silent. Do not speak with the police or the prosecutor. You have to show the officer your ID and you can't resist your arrest, but you do not have to answer questions about what happened or make incriminating statements.

Second, contact an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can explain your charges, help guide you through the process, explain your options, give you a candid assessment of your chances, negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf and, if necessary, aggressively defend your rights at trial.

Contact Attorney George Robinson

If you have been arrested for battery domestic violence in Las Vegas or anywhere throughout Clark County, I encourage you to contact me, George Robinson. I am a Nevada criminal defense lawyer. I have successfully defended many clients against allegations of domestic violence.

To contact my Las Vegas law office, call 702-233-4225 or contact me by e-mail.

George E. Robinson Attorney at Law

Pezzillo Robinson, P.C.
6725 Via Austi Parkway, Suite 290
Las Vegas, Nevada 89119
Phone: 702-233-4225
Fax: 702-233-4252
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George Robinson, the lead attorney in our criminal defense practice, successfully defends clients charged with matters relating to battery domestic violence, dui, dwi, drug crimes, theft, fraud, and property offenses.