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Do Police Need to Make an Arrest in a Domestic Violence Case in NV?


Domestic violence occurs when a person commits a violent crime (e.g. assault, stalking, trespassing, etc.) against a family or household member. Since domestic violence is a serious national concern, the police in Nevada and in all states approach these cases differently compared to other types of crimes. 

In fact, Nevada has a Mandatory Arrest Law (NRS 171.137) when it comes to domestic violence calls. According to this law, an officer must make an arrest if there is probable cause that a person committed domestic battery within the preceding 24 hours. 

The police must also determine who is the primary aggressor in the dispute – even if the altercation was mutual. Once the primary aggressor is arrested, he will be forced to remain in jail for at least 12 hours, which is known as a “cooling-off period.” 

On the other hand, if the police cannot identify a primary aggressor, then all parties involved may end up going to jail. The police may run a background check to see if any person has previous arrests or convictions related to domestic violence. 

Keep in mind, the primary aggressor is not always the person who started the dispute or threw the first punch. If one party inflicts more harm or injury on the other party, he/she could be viewed as the primary aggressor, even if the other party hit him/her first. 

While standard bail for most misdemeanors in Las Vegas is $1,000, a domestic battery charge is triple that amount ($3,000). A second offense can result in a bail of at least $5,000. 

Because many domestic violence disputes end in instant regret, it is not uncommon for one or all parties involved to request the charges to be dropped. Unfortunately, only the state prosecutors have the authority to drop or pursue charges – not the alleged victim. 

If an alleged victim wishes to have the charges dropped against her loved one, an experienced criminal defense attorney can negotiate with the prosecution on their behalf. At The Draskovich Law Group, we understand what it takes to help clients get the most favorable results when they are facing complex and serious criminal charges. 

For more information about our domestic violence defense services, contact our Las Vegas firm at (702) 381-6590 for a free consultation.