Nevada provides temporary or extended protection to people who feel threatened or in fear of domestic violence by giving a “restraining order.” In some cases, a person who is accused of being threatening does not get notice that there is a restraining order, and he or she can unknowingly violate it.
Contact a Las Vegas criminal lawyer if you have been accused of violating a protective order because your rights are at stake.
There are two types of restraining orders, known more formally as protective orders.
At the first stage, a victim of domestic violence (or a person who fears for is or her safety) can apply for a temporary protective order, or a “TPO.” The court does not have to notify a person that a temporary order has been granted. In some cases, though, the court may bring both parties to court before issuing a TPO. A TPO can last up to 30 days.
TPOs can be used to stop or prevent threats, harassment, or physical injuries to the person applying for the restraining order, or that person’s child, or that person’s pet. This may mean that the person cannot enter the applicant’s house, school, place of work, or anywhere the person commonly visits. The court has the power to add other requirements to the order as needed.
Extended protective orders can be much broader than a TPO. They also can last up to 1 year. Because extended protective orders involve so many important rights for such a long period of time, extended protective orders require notice to the parties and a hearing before the court before they will be granted.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
Extended orders for up to 1 year can include the same terms as discussed above for TPOs and usually more. An extended protective order in Nevada may include provisions for:
A PTO or restraining order is an order of the court that should not be violated. A violation of a restraining order is usually a misdemeanor, but it depends on the purpose of the PTO. If a crime occurs while you are in violation of the restraining order, penalties for the violation may increase, along with penalties for whatever the crime was.
If the PTO was issued to prevent domestic violence or harassment at work, violating the order is a misdemeanor with up to 6 months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
If the restraining order is to prevent stalking, harassment, sexual assault, or to protect children, it is a gross misdemeanor. Las Vegas gross misdemeanors increase the jail time up to 364 days in Clark County Detention Center (or other county jail in other counties), and/or $2000 in fines.
If an extended protective order is violated, there are more severe penalties. It is a Category C felony carrying 1 to 5 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Violations of a restraining order must be deliberate. If they are not, the charges should be dismissed. This can occur if the order was not properly served (defendant did not get proper notice of it), for example. The charges can also be dismissed if there is not sufficient evidence to show a violation occurred, such as when an angry spouse makes claims out of revenge.
Violating a TPO or extended protective order can bring serious consequences. If you are accused of violating a restraining order in Las Vegas, Nevada, contact LV Criminal Defense – a team of qualified defense lawyers – to learn about your options for reducing or dismissing the charges.