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Testifying in court in a Nevada domestic violence case

Those who have been the victim of domestic violence or who have witnessed a domestic assault may be asked to testify about that incident. Testimony is generally taken during the trial itself, and it is used to prove that person accused of domestic violence committed the crime. If the charge is considered a misdemeanor, the case will be heard in front of a judge without a jury.

Anyone who is asked to testify in court may seek assistance from a victim witness advocate. This person will be available throughout the trial process to listen to that person and can work with the court to address any witness concerns. It may also be possible for an advocate to accompany a witness to and from the courtroom. A witness only has to testify if he or she has been subpoenaed to do so. Witnesses may include individuals who saw the abuse happen or a police officer called to the incident.

Any victims of abuse may also be called to the stand to give their version of events. If the defendant pleads guilty prior to the trial, there will be no need for witness testimony. However, the victim in the case may choose to make a statement before the judge during the defendant's sentencing hearing.

Those who have been the victims of domestic violence may be able to file for a restraining order or ask for an immediate divorce. If a divorce occurs due to domestic violence, the abuser may not be awarded any visitation or custody rights. A family law attorney can help anyone who is filing for a divorce through the legal process. It may also be possible for an attorney to provide assistance during any mediation sessions that may occur.

Source: City of Las Vegas, "Domestic Violence", November 21, 2014

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