win a domestic violence case | domestic violence lawyers las vegas
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WIN A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASE
WIN A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASE
If you are the victim of domestic violence, then you should call the police and report the abuser.
If he or she is charged with a crime, then you should prepare to work closely with the police
during the investigation.
Ultimately, you will need to go into court to testify. By contrast, if you have been charged with
domestic violence, then a successful defense will require the help of an attorney. Defendants will
need to think about finding evidence that supports their innocence.
IMPORTANT POINT TO WIN DV CASE
• Winning a Case as the Victim
• Request a protective order
• Cooperate with the police
• Report violations of the protective order
• Prepare to testify
• Attend court.
IMPORTANT POINT TO WIN DV CASEIn order to stop the abuse, you need to seek help from the police. You can call 9-1-1 if you are in the
middle of an attack, or you can stop by the police station when the abuser is away from home. It is
very difficult to report an abuser for domestic violence. About 80-90% of all victims who report
domestic violence end up recanting their statements.
•You may have children together or you may care deeply about the abuser. Also, your family may have
a hard time believing that you are being abused.
•Accordingly, many victims find it helpful to plan their escape from the abusive situation in advance.
They develop a safety plan, which allows them to identify methods of escape, support networks of
friends or family, and signs that the abuse has escalated to a dangerous level.
•For more advice on how to develop a safety plan and how to leave an abuser. You can call the DV
Lawyer Las Vegas Hotline at 702-656-0808.
REQUEST A PROTECTIVE ORDER
Once you have reported the violence, you should seek a protective order. Also called a “restraining
order,” a protective order will prohibit the abuser from doing certain things, such as contacting you or
coming within a certain distance of you or your children. You can get a protective order by going to
the courthouse in the county where you live.
•Courts now have printed, “fill in the blank” forms for you to use to request a protective order. You
can ask the clerk for the form and fill it out. There should be no fee for filing the form.
•A judge can grant a temporary protective order “ex parte,” which means without hearing from the
abuser. However, the judge is likely to schedule a hearing at a later date so that the abuser can come
into court and challenge your allegations of domestic violence.
COOPERATE WITH THE POLICE
The police will investigate your allegations of abuse. If they think the situation warrants it, then they
will forward the case to the prosecutor, who will then decide whether or not to bring criminal charges
against the abuser. You should cooperate with the police in every way possible. For example, the
police may want to come to your home to interview you. Make time to meet with them.
•You should also share any evidence you have of the abuse. For example, you may have taken
photographs or video that show black eyes, bruises, or cuts. You might also have medical reports from
trips to the emergency room or to your doctor’s office.
•Ideally, you also kept a journal of the abuse, noting the dates and the types of abuse you suffered.
This information could be very helpful to the police.
•Other people might have witnessed the abuse. You should give the police their names and phone
number. Having third parties observe the domestic violence will help make your case stronger.
REPORT VIOLATIONS OF THE PROTECTIVE ORDERIf the abuser violates the protective order by contacting you or showing up at your work, for example then you should immediately call the police. The police will arrest the abuser. You can then contact the court to report the violation.
For violating a protective order, the abuser could face contempt charges. Civil or criminal contempt can result in heavy fines or even jail time.
PREPARE TO TESTIFYIf the prosecutor decides to bring criminal charges against the abuser, then you should prepare to testify.
You will need to prepare emotionally not only for seeing the abuser in court but for the cross-examination
you will face from the abuser’s attorney. To help you prepare, remember the following:
•It is normal to be nervous. Some people are nervous simply by having to speak in public. The fact that you
will see someone who has hurt you will only increase the nervousness you feel.
•Take as much time as you need to answer questions. When people get nervous, time seems to
accelerate. You may feel like the questioning is spinning out of control. If you need to pause, then do so.
Don’t apologize for doing so either.
•Ask for a break. If you need to take a ten minute break to collect yourself, then ask for one. Witnesses do
this all the time, so you should not feel embarrassed.
•Remember that you are not on trial. The state has not chosen to prosecute you; it is prosecuting the
Be sure to dress conservatively and professionally. Avoid wearing flashy jewelry or anything that might
draw attention to you. If you are a woman, then a judge will expect to see you in a skirt suit or a pant suit.
You could also wear a conservative dress.
•Men should wear a suit (if they have one) or dress pants, a button-up shirt, and a tie.
•The prosecutor should reach out to you and tell you when to arrive at court, where to go, and what to
expect during the trial.