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Reasons Why Domestic Violence Cases May Not Be Reported

Domestic violence in Nevada is one of the state’s more prevalent legal concerns. In 2016 alone, law enforcement received domestic violence-related emergency calls at least 65,026 times. As recently as last year, the state ranked fourth nationwide in terms of domestic violence-related homicides, with many of the victims being women. Despite the relative downward trend in cases, being part of the top five is still a cause for concern among domestic violence advocates in Nevada.

While the numbers can raise some eyebrows, another problem comes into view: domestic violence cases aren’t as well-reported as they should be. The high number of domestic violence-related homicides is reflective of this; rather than seek help, many of these abused partners choose to endure their predicament, putting them at even more risk until it is too late. 

Let’s look at a few reasons why domestic violence cases may not be reported.

Self-Doubt

Domestic abusers are often described as controlling, imposing their will on their partners and always believing that they are in the right and their partner is always in the wrong. It can be anything as simple as constantly nagging on who is calling them, to physically hurting their partner when they do something that the abuser believes is contrary to what they want. In the worst cases, the abuser outright blames their partner for the abuse they are receiving.

A person that has been in such an abusive relationship for so long may eventually lose confidence in their own judgement. They become more guarded, choosing what they say and do, trying to make sure they please their partner. The brewing self-doubt within the victim can discourage them from seeking help from the authorities.

Cultural Norms

American society has put a lot of importance on a stable and whole family. Despite the growing trend of divorcees, single-parent homes, or childless couples, many of the more traditional inidividuals insist on upholding the model American family, with each member playing their traditional roles. This traditionalist approach may discourage abused spouses from filing a domestic violence complaint against their partners if the abuse becomes abusive or near-lethal.

Cultural norms in many places across the world do not hold many domestic violence abusers culpable of crime, even if what they did may result in irreparable damage on the part of the victim. While this is slowly being rectified and dealt with, there are still countries that believe it is a natural part of their culture. There were at least 13 countries that did not decriminalize domestic violence as late as 2017, a sombre sight in the modern era.

For the Kids

Related to the previous point, many abused partners stay in abusive relationships to keep their family stable. In this case, the reason is not always due to cultural or societal norms that they grew up with. For instance, the abuser may have the more stable source of income; leaving the abuser may mean that the children’s future is no longer assured.

In a more dire case, the abuser may have something against the victim that they can use for blackmail. This not only affects the victim, but the children as well; knowing this, the victim chooses to stay. Most domestic violence victims do not realize that children witnessing the abuse have indirectly become domestic abuse victims as well. Furthermore, staying in an abusive relationship ‘for the kids’ puts the children at a greater risk of receiving direct abuse themselves.

Acts of Passion

It is not unheard of for a long-standing couple to suddenly be involved in domestic issues, only for things to normalize. Yet after a period of time, tempers flare up again, entering into a repetitive cycle where things are calm and smooth-sailing with rare interludes of familial disputes. To some, it may look like the typical ‘trouble-in-paradise’ situation driven by excessive emotions; however, things can head in a different direction if said interludes always involve excessive abuse, and the peaceful periods become noticeably shorter.

Some abused partners believe that the abuse they’re experiencing is only temporary, caused by excess tension between them and their partner. They think that their partner just snapped due to a particularly bad day at work or any other form of emotional distress that has been brewing for a long time, and that they only need a one-time release to let it all go, physical or emotional pain notwithstanding. This misguided belief in acts of passion affects both new couples (who may have only seen their partner’s good side during the dating phase) and long-time spouses (who only find out too late about how abusive their partner can be) and can lead to them staying far too long to be healthy.

Family Affairs

One of the strong beliefs of many traditionalists is that family problems stay with the family and are not an issue for outsiders to handle. As such, domestic violence victims tend to avoid discussing their abuse with other people, even their closest friends. In some extreme cases, even close relatives (like siblings or cousins) are deliberately kept out of the loop, either by the victim or the abuser.

This is one of the worst myths that affect reporting of domestic violence cases. By thinking that such issues need only to be talked about between spouses, a proper solution is not introduced into the conversation and the cycle of hurting continues.

Domestic violence is a serious issue that is best addresssed with prompt reporting and continued cooperation on the part of the victim. The only way for the victim to break free is to seek direct help.

Reviewing Types of Non-Automobile DUI in Las Vegas

To many of us, driving under the influence involves being caught behind the wheel of a car, van, or truck while under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substance. In a busy city like Las Vegas, the common headline would be one intoxicated driver getting stopped at an intersection or another causing a rather heavy gridlock because they crashed their vehicle into a lightpole. Whatever the case, the common idea is that DUI is mostly a road vehicle issue.

Of course, that’s not entirely the case. DUI cases involve more than just your average sedan or family car. There are many cases of DUI that involves other forms of transportation. This is a good time to review some of the types of non-automobile DUI charges that you can face in Las Vegas.

Boat DUI

One of the more common DUI charges in Las Vegas outside of automotive DUI is boating under the influence. The city’s proximity to Lake Mead, one of the largest natural reservoir lakes in this part of the country, means that there will be people who will spend their days off on a fishing or boating trip. As such, there is a high chance that people will bring alcohol or similar intoxicating substances for the ride. However, because the Lake Mead Recreational Area is a tourist spot with many visitors, local park security is keen to keep any causes of accidents at a minimum, especially when it involves leisure and fishing boats.

All-Terrain Vehicles

All-terrain vehicles are unique in that they combine the features of both motorcycles and four-wheeled vehicles in one agile and compact package. While generally used in Nevada’s sand dunes and rough nature trails, they are not entirely prohibited on public roads. This means they also have a chance to induce a DUI-related incident. ATVs can go pretty fast, and combining that speed with alcohol can lead to some quick questioning from local police.

Golf Carts

Las Vegas boasts some of the finest golf links this side of the Valley, with various types of courses covering a wide variety of terrain. Many of these links serve both as exclusive clubs and gated communities, and it is quite common to see patrons and residents zooming around in golf carts. Unfortunately, when the day’s been going a bit too long and there’s a lot of friends around, chances are there will be alcohol involved. Golf cart DUI cases may not be as common or as reported as traditional DUI cases but they still happen from time to time. Do note that recklessly driving a low-speed vehicle can still cause serious injuries to both the impaired driver and anybody he or she happens to hit on the way.

Groundskeeping and Construction Equipment

Speaking of low-speed equipment, it is less common–but still possible–that one can be charged for driving construction equipment or lawn mowers while inebriated. Laws are stringent from preventing the former from happening, but construction drivers may still find the time to slip a sip or two on a break. The latter isn’t quite as common in  Las Vegas, but it has made news in other states. This should serve as a warning next time you find groundskeeping work to be boring. 

Cycling DUI

Under Nevada law, riding a bicycle while intoxicated does not count as a DUI offense because it is not a motorized vehicle; only vehicles powered by an engine count towards a DUI charge. However, drunk cycling still counts as an offense under the count of reckless endangerment. It still has a high chance to escalate to a more serious offense if the injuries caused by the cycling-related accident are severe, so do not underestimate a reckless endangerment charge caused by drunk cycling.

In a somewhat related case, riding a motorized scooter while drunk may get booked for DUI. The scooter has been modified with the addition of an engine (sometimes a petrol-fueled engine, though nowadays electrical power sources are more common) and is now heavy enough to cause severe injuries when driven recklessly. Consult with a Las Vegas legal expert to get more information about this matter.

 

DUI charges encompasses a wider variety of situations and a greater selection of vehicle types than one may be familiar with. Knowing this should help you avoid a severe DUI charge in the future. If you have to deal with a Las Vegas DUI charge, however, don’t forget to get in touch with a veteran defense lawyer in the city to help you out.

The Effects of DUI to Car Insurance Rates in Nevada

dui-car-insurance

Many are unaware that aside from jail times, fines, and attendance to intervention programs, offenders of DUI (Driving under the Influence) could also face the costly consequence of rising car insurance rates in Nevada. Proceed reading below this post to learn more.

The SR-22 car insurance in Nevada

If convicted of Nevada DUI, the DMV or Department of Motor Vehicles in the State will revoke your license and you must wait the set time to pass before you can apply for its reinstatement. One of the key requirements of a reinstatement is an SR-22. This is a document that must be issued by your car insurance company that shows you have enough financial stability to get back on the road.

If without a current car insurance in Nevada, you must immediately get one as there is a holding period of three years where you must keep your car insurance to keep your driver’s license valid.

The rise of car insurance rates

Due to Nevada DUI, car insurance companies will now treat you as a “high-risk driver”, especially if you have been charged of the very offense many times. This brand means more expensive car insurance rates.

In Nevada, the average car insurance rate in Nevada is $1,809.91 per year and if convicted of DUI, there will be a boost of $855, making your average rate $2,756.44 per year. This is only a general rule, though, as depending on the magnitude of your case, the rates you need to pay might increase 50 to 200%.

You must know that there are some car insurance companies in Nevada that might drop your coverage at the time of DUI while some may not accept you if you try to apply for a new one. The ones that will keep your coverage will typically increase the fees for your premium plans as we have previously stated.

The defenses against Nevada DUI

One of the best solutions against rising car insurance rates is not committing Nevada DUI in the first place. A responsible driver gets to expend their driving privileges without the fear of being pulled over and losing their driver’s license in a single driving session. If it is too late to be a responsible driver in the present time then you must use the following defenses so you can be acquitted and actually try to be responsible the next time.

  • Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level did not exceed the limit
  • Inexpertly administered field sobriety tests
  • You were drunk driving out of coercion or duress
  • Certain factors heightened your BAC level

Being convicted of DUI really is full of downsides which is why we recommend having a dependable DUI attorney in Las Vegas to handle your charges. You do not have to take on increased car insurance in Nevada if you are with a competent legal representation!

Is Vehicular Manslaughter Involuntary or Voluntary?

vehicular manslaughter

Killing a person with a vehicle could be a vehicular manslaughter in Nevada. And many believe that because the crime has the word manslaughter on it, it means that it can be either an involuntary or voluntary Nevada manslaughter with many leaning towards involuntary as it holds milder penalties. However, this is not exactly the case. Vehicular manslaughter in Nevada is set apart from these types of manslaughter and it is definitely different from a vehicular homicide. Here is a post that should help you understand better.

 

Is there a difference between vehicular homicide and vehicular manslaughter?

Yes. Vehicular homicide, according to Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) section 484C.130, is committed when the person driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle is:

  • under the influence of liquor which is proven by a 0.08 blood and breath concentration level
  • under the influence of controlled substances
  • already convicted of at least three related offenses
  • the cause of death another person on or off the highways of Nevada

 

Basically, a vehicular homicide is what happens when there are aggravating factors to a vehicular manslaughter in Nevada which is the killing of a person caused by a vehicle collision or something similar.

 

Is vehicular manslaughter in Nevada an involuntary manslaughter?

As stated in NRS 200.040, vehicular manslaughter is not included in either an involuntary or voluntary Nevada manslaughter.

 

This means a defendant could not argue that the vehicular manslaughter was accidental or for this matter, voluntary. Vehicular manslaughter in Nevada is simply the murder of a person caused by negligence. A misdemeanor charge should be imposed on you if found guilty of vehicular manslaughter and this indicates up to six months in jail, fines of $1,000, and a license revocation of at least a year.

 

Typically, deaths caused by vehicles are accidents but they are still the result of a negligent action which is enough to make it a punishable offense. Defend yourself from the consequences of vehicular manslaughter or any type of manslaughter in Nevada with the assistance of a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney!

What is Evidentiary Breath Testing for DUI in Nevada?

As all of the states, Nevada requires evidentiary breath testing for anyone who is arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in all of its territories. But what really is evidentiary breath testing? How does it differ from other breath tests (or chemical tests)? And can you refuse them? Proceed to read the rest of the post for further information.

 

Purpose of evidentiary breath testing

From its name, the results of evidentiary breath testing are used as evidence once the case goes into trial. This is different from a preliminary breath testing which is performed when a person is pulled over, an evidentiary breath testing is usually done once under custody and through procedures that guarantee more accurate results. For the defendants that are also suspected to be high on drugs, they are also required to have an evidentiary blood testing.

 

The results of these tests can be used by the prosecutor to either press the defendant more to the charges or not go ahead with the case. It also is a basis of whether the Department of Motor Vehicles or DMV in Nevada will suspend the driver’s license of the alleged offender or not.

 

Penalties of refusal to evidentiary breath testing

As we have established, an evidentiary breath testing is vital for the legal proceedings to be completed. Total refusal to this is a violation of law. As according to the Implied Consent Law in Nevada which can be seen in the Nevada Revised Statutes or NRS 484C.160, anyone who drives or has a physical control of a vehicle “shall be deemed to have given his or her consent to an evidentiary test of his or her blood, urine, breath or other bodily substance…”.

 

Know that through this Implied Consent Law, a police officer could use force against the alleged offender. However, before this happens, they must warn them of the consequences such as the following penalties:

  • One-year suspension of driver’s license – this is when the defendant has not refused any chemical tests within seven years
  • Three-year suspension of driver’s license – this can be imposed if the driver already had his or her license suspended due to refusal to evidentiary breath testing within seven years

 

Due to inexperience with how DUI cases work and the confusion caused by the arrest, many defendants make the mistake of refusing an evidentiary breath testing. If you are one of them and you believe that you are falsely accused or not guilty of any charges at all then it is best you have a trusted DUI lawyer by your side.

Treatment Programs for DUI Offenders in Nevada

When someone is charged with a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Las Vegas and/or in other parts of Nevada, they do not only get consequences of prison time or fines: a DUI treatment program (or attending a DUI school) is mandated by the court. This is to prevent offenders from doing the same thing again by educating them more about DUI and the threats it could pose both in their and other people’s lives. DUI treatment programs can also vary depending on the frequency of the offense. To learn more, read below.

 

First and second DUI in Nevada

A defendant against DUI can apply for a treatment program even before the sentencing. For a first time defender, one can only be eligible if they had been verified as an alcohol or drug abuser by a physician (for this matter it’s a physician authorized by the law enforcement), they already spent at least 24 hours in jail for the offense, and they have agreed to shoulder the payment for the treatment. This goes as well for a second DUI in Nevada; the only difference is you need to had served at least five days in jail.

 

Take note that these treatment programs take time to complete, usually they are three to six months in length which will surely disrupt your daily routine.

 

Third DUI offense

DUI treatment programs are not available for third DUI offenders due to the fact that the accused is ought to stay for a long time in prison when convicted and because they will attend heftier programs such as a Nevada Victim Impact panel.

 

There are numerous DUI schools in Nevada that criminal justice attorneys can recommend. It is imperative that you be present in all of your classes as not going or not finishing a DUI treatment program can mean another set of charges. Now, completing your designated DUI treatment programs entails reducing of penalties.

 

Penalties for DUI in Nevada is imposed not just to punish offenders but also to remind them about the real dangers of DUI that they forget whenever they start drinking or ingesting drugs.

 

If you ever commit charges of DUI again even after a lengthy DUI treatment program then maybe there really is an inward problem that you need to deal with. However, if you firmly believe that you were falsely accused and you already have learned your ways (thanks to the treatment program), then enlist a DUI lawyer to help solve your case.

The Penalties for a Commercial DUI in Nevada

Even drivers of commercial vehicles can get penalized of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Nevada. This is in line with the State’s zero tolerance policy that guarantees criminal charges for anyone who drives while drunk or under the influence of drugs.

 

Commercial DUI in Nevada is when a driver of certain commercial motor vehicles such as company cars, cargo vans, limousines, or coaches are found guilty of violating DUI grounds. This is strictly prohibited as it could cause greater damage especially if a particular commercial vehicle is carrying groups of people or important resources. If you are currently facing this situation, here are some of the penalties that you would need to expect.

 

First commercial DUI offense

Penalties of a commercial Dui in Nevadaare relatively similar to standard DUI sanctions. The only major differences are suspension of license that could go up to three years (if you are transporting hazardous materials) and that you can be barred from being employed as a commercial driver again.

 

For a first commercial DUI offense in Nevada, the penalties are as follows:

  • Two days to six months in jail
  • Community service that lasts up to 48 hours to 96 hours
  • Fines of $400 to $1,000
  • Attendance of treatment programs and a Nevada impact panel

 

Second commercial DUI offense

When you are finally given the chance to drive again after a commercial DUI in Nevadaand you happened to violate it again within seven years after the first offense, you will be charged with misdemeanor that has penalties of:

  • Jail time of 10 days to six months
  • Fines amounting from $750 to $1,000 in price
  • Treatment programs as found in the first offense
  • Possible installation of interlock ignition device

 

Third commercial DUI offense

Just like any other criminal charges, a third commercial DUI offense is a felony in Nevada, specifically a category B felony. This incurs weighty penalties of imprisonment in a Nevada state prison for one year to six years. Large fines and ignition interlock device installation shall also be enforced.

 

When death occurs in a commercial DUI in Nevada(for an example, a woman dies in a fatal crash of the taxi she was riding because the driver is intoxicated), an automatic category B felony should be imposed regardless of the number of offenses. This type of felony charge consists of 20 years of maximum prison time.

 

Commercial DUI is exceptionally harsh because you are providing service and drinking or taking drugs during driving will subdue the trust given to you. Consult a DUI lawyer now for more of your questions about commercial DUI in Nevada!

Blood Tests in DUI: How Do They Work?

When pulled over for DUI (Driving under the Influence), a police officer can request a blood test to be drawn from you. This is to determine if you really were intoxicated at the time of the arrest and therefore had violated DUI laws in Nevada. To learn more about how blood test works in DUI and how your DUI attorney can help, read this post further.

 

When is a blood test for DUI required?

It is during a suspect drug driving where a police officer will request for you to have a blood testsimply because drugs cannot be detected through breath, rendering Breathalyzers useless. If you are arrested for alcohol, you cannot have the option for either a breath or blood test. Choosing a blood test is costly, not just in time but also in money as you have to shoulder the payment for the particular examination.

 

When can you refuse a blood test?

A blood test is a form of evidentiary testing and rejecting it can be an obstruction to legal proceedings enforced in Nevada. This is the reason why you cannot refuse a blood test unless you are only being indicted by the arresting police officer for alcohol.

Refusal of a blood test in DUI could lead to the suspension of your driver’s license for a year. This is also detrimental to your case as refusal can be used as evidence that you are guilty of hiding something from the arresting police officer.

 

How is blood test conducted?

When the police had decided that you need to have a blood test to prove your intoxication, you will be taken to a licensed testing facility for booking. A licensed physician, a phlebotomist, an emergency medical technician, and a registered nurse are only some of the professionals that can draw blood for you. With the assistance of your DUI attorney, you can request a separate blood test for yourself with results that you can use to counter false positive outcomes in court.  

 

How do you fight charges made by a faulty blood test?

A blood test in DUI is easily contested. Since you have no way of knowing if your blood test is actually handled well or not tapped at all, you can challenge the accuracy of the results by stating that faulty equipment was used during the testing and that it was performed by incompetent or uncertified professionals. Of course, if you are going to use this defense, you need solid proof gathered by you and your DUI attorney.

 

Another defense that you can use is the simplest one: you are not under the influence of drugs at all. And if you were, it was due to involuntary intoxication.

 

Blood testing is a testament to the firmness of Nevada law to convict those who are guilty of DUI. To avoid finding yourself being sentenced as one, you need the help of a DUI attorney during the blood testing and through the trial, if it gets pushed through.

Different Types of Controlled Substance Possession in Nevada

Owning or holding on to what Nevada considers as a controlled substance without proper prescription leads to a drug charge in Nevada. According to the Nevada Revised Statutes, a person who “knowingly or intentionally possesses a controlled substance, unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a prescription or order of a physician…” is guilty of certain punishments according to the type of controlled substance discovered. Read further for more information.

 

Types of substance possession

When arrested for possession of controlled substance, your drug chargeswill be classified into one of these certain nature of offenses:

 

1.  Actual possession of narcotics

This is the most common form of possession: when the substance is actually found on you, usually anywhere on your body, the clothes you are wearing, and the packs that you are carrying.

 

2.  Constructive possession of narcotics

This is when the controlled substance is found in a place that you own or have control over such as a house, a vehicle, and even rented storage areas.

 

3.  Joint possession of narcotics

It is joint possession of narcotics when two people share control of illegal drugs. Note that it does not matter whether you are using or not. The mere fact that you have knowledge that drugs are being stored by your friend on an area that you also own is an offense in Nevada.

 

Possession of drug charges

Like we said, penalties of a drug chargedepend largely on the Schedule of the drugs found on you.

 

Schedules I, II, III, IV

For a first and second offense on these schedules, a person will be imposed of category E felony in Nevada. One to four years in prison and a fine of not more than $5,000 are some of the punishment that category E felony entails. A third offense is a category D felony and apart from the fines that it entails, an additional $20,000 might be added.

 

Schedule V

Similar to the other Schedules, the first and second offense of this schedule is a category E felony while a third offense is also a category D felony but without added fines.

 

Marijuana

Anyone who is discovered of possessing one ounce or less or marijuana is guilty of misdemeanor for first and second offense. Gross misdemeanor for third offense and category E felony for fourth offense.

 

Possessing controlled substance is closely monitored and harshly penalized in Nevada as without doing so, a lot of people can long and ultimately be dependent on drugs. If faced with drug chargesin Nevada, know that you can fight for your freedom especially if the arrest was unlawful and the overall case is fabricated to suit a plaintiff’s accusations. Consult a drug defense lawyer today.

What Items are Considered as Drug Paraphernalia in Nevada?

Without drug paraphernalia, people cannot manufacture, transport, and use the substances themselves. This is the very reason why drug paraphernalia are also outlawed in Nevada.

 

According to Las Vegas and the State’s drug laws, if you are caught with kits and other equipment used to create drugs or to introduce drugs into the body, even with the absence of the drug itself, you can be penalized. Read further to learn the drug paraphernalia definitionand to know what is considered drug paraphernaliain Nevada.

 

Drug paraphernalia definition

An equipment, product, or material is considered as drug paraphernalia when they are used for planting, cultivating, harvesting, packaging, storing, ingesting, injecting, and inhaling drugs among others.

 

The Nevada Revised Statutes 453.554 provided a thorough list of what items can be considered as drug paraphernalia. Below are a few of the items mentioned.

  • Isomerization devices
  • Separation gins
  • Blenders
  • Bowls
  • Containers
  • Spoons
  • Capsules
  • Pipes
  • Bongs

 

Hypodermic syringes, needles, and other instruments used to dispense drugs through subcutaneous, intramuscular or intravenous is not included. This is because the Syringe Access Bill was enacted to help people buy syringes in case of emergency and be out of potential legal obligation.

 

For the full list, you can read the NRS Section here.

 

Despite this, the Nevada court will still look into other factors to see if anything discovered on your person or in your home can be treated as drug paraphernalia or if it is just a plain old item that happens to be within the place of arrest. The factors include:

  • Statements by the owner or anyone found in control of the item
  • Prior convictions
  • The proximity of the object to controlled substances
  • Residue of controlled substances found in the item
  • Other direct or circumstantial evidences

 

Penalties according to drug paraphernalia laws

Like we said, possessing drug paraphernalia even without the existence of drugs can mean an arrest and eventual conviction in Nevada. You will be sentenced with a misdemeanor charge if the items found in your possession are considered as drug paraphernalia which has up to six months in jail and fines of $1,000 as penalties.

 

To curb drugs, the State of Nevada is also vigilant against the tools that are used to administer them. If you are currently battling violation of drug paraphernalia lawsand you believe that the item confiscated from you is far from being one, let your voice be heard through the help of a criminal defense lawyer.