Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorney Analyzes Suggested Changes by S.B. 163 to Nevada Domestic Violence Laws

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Senate Bill 163, which was proposed to Nevada’s Legislature in February, details a change to existing Nevada law that would limit a 12-hour hold after a domestic battery arrest to apply only in situations where the domestic violence occurred seven days before the arrest. Las Vegas attorney Joel M. Mann considers the effects this proposed bill would have on current domestic violence laws and those affected by domestic violence.

The law as it is today does not consider when the alleged offender committed the battery, no matter how long it has been since the domestic violence occurred, states Joel M. Mann, Las Vegas domestic violence attorney.

Nevada’s 76th Legislature assembled on February 7 to deliberate over which bills would become laws, including a bill whose sponsor, Senator Gustavson, is encouraging a change to domestic violence criminal procedure laws in Nevada.

Nevada State Senate Bill 163 aims to limit a mandatory 12-hour waiting period for certain offenders before they can be released. The bill would change this waiting period to only apply to offenders who allegedly committed an act of domestic violence within the preceding seven days.

According to Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer Joel M. Mann, “S.B. 163 clarifies current criminal procedure law that is vague and ambiguous, which frequently leads to ridiculous results. The point of the 12-hour hold is to let cooler heads prevail, and allow family members, spouses or roommates the opportunity to calm down and seek assistance if necessary.”

As defined in Nevada Revised Statutes § 178.484, the state’s existing law requires a person who has been arrested for a battery that constitutes domestic violence in Nevada to be held in jail for a waiting period of at least 12 hours before they are permitted to be released from custody upon posting bail.

Joel M. Mann, Las Vegas domestic violence attorney states, “The law as it is today does not consider when the alleged offender committed the battery, no matter how long it has been since the domestic violence occurred. The problem is in situations where an arrest is made years after the incident occurred, and the alleged offender is still held for 12 hours - even when there is no indication of any potential harm to the alleged victim.”

Under Nevada’s present law, the cooling off period only applies to persons arrested for domestic violence who have committed an offense considered domestic violence battery. The proposed bill would still only apply to offenders who have been arrested for domestic violence.

Domestic violence battery in Las Vegas and the surrounding areas of Nevada occurs when a person commits any kind of offensive touching against a spouse, former spouse, or another person with whom they have a close, personal relationship by blood, marriage or another domestic type of relationship. Domestic relationships can include current or former spouses, relatives by blood or marriage, persons in a current or former dating relationship, persons currently or formerly living together, co-parents of a child, or parent-child relationships.

“If enacted, S.B. 163 would restore common sense to a Nevada statute where interpretation and enforcement of the law have gotten out of hand,” emphasizes domestic violence lawyer Joel M. Mann.

The bill has most recently been referred to Nevada’s Senate Committee on Judiciary to determine whether the bill should be amended or permitted to be voted into law.

Joel M. Mann, of the Law Office of Joel M. Mann, represents alleged domestic violence offenders accused of domestic violence battery in Las Vegas, and the areas of South Nevada, including Clark County, Henderson, North Las Vegas, Boulder City, Mesquite, Laughlin, Paradise, Spring Valley, Sunrise Manor and Summerlin.

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