There are a huge number of factors that come into play when battery domestic violence charges are filed against you. Some of these you are probably not aware of, but they can have far-reaching effects on your life. A defense attorney who has successfully handled many similar cases within Clark County’s unique legal landscape can walk you through each of these important considerations and make sure that your legal trouble results in minimal disruption to your life.
Restraining Orders and Child Custody
If you choose to simply plead guilty to a battery domestic violence accusation in order to avoid a trial and possible higher sentences, you may be surprised by some penalties you did not expect. A court might impose a restraining order against you that could force you to leave your home and stay away from the supposed victim for up to a year. In addition, if you have custody of a child, any future question of your custody rights will be severely affected by a previous conviction of battery domestic violence. A guilty plea for the sake of convenience has the real potential to haunt you later and cause huge difficulties in the area of your family life.
Perhaps you know ahead of time that the testimony of a supposed victim is false and that he or she will probably admit to lying or will fail to show up in court. This situation will not necessarily get your charges dropped. The court knows that there are many reasons for a domestic violence victim to reverse a story and drop charges even when a crime did occur, and prosecution is often allowed to continue to try to prove your guilt even when witnesses deny it. A prosecutor can claim that the witness is afraid of retaliation by your friends; is simply afraid to appear in court; or needs your income to survive and doesn’t want you to end up in jail. Don’t let yourself be blindsided by this unexpected development. A good defense lawyer is prepared for whatever surprises crop up, and knows how to oppose a prosecutor who has no supporting testimony left for his case.
It is true that a conviction under battery domestic violence charges can be “sealed” after a certain waiting period. If you are counting on that option to avoid future consequences, you should know that the waiting period is seven years for a simple misdemeanor conviction and up to fifteen years for a felony conviction. If your lawyer can have your charges reduced to disturbing the peace, the waiting period is only two years.