In the state of Nevada, those who fear that an intimate partner or close family member will engage in violence have certain protections under the law. Nevada provides temporary or extended protection to people who feel threatened or in fear of domestic violence by giving a “restraining order.”
When a person claims to feel threatened, obtaining a restraining order is a simple and straight forward process. In some cases, however, those who are accused of being threatened will not be properly notified of a restraining order and, as a result, can accidentally violate the restraining order without knowing it. In many other cases, restraining orders are obtained as a result of false accusations, adversely affecting the rights of the accused.
If you have been accused of violating a protective order, your rights are at stake. It is imperative that you take action to protect your interests. A Las Vegas criminal lawyer can provide help in taking action to protect you when you have been accused of violating a restraining order.
You should reach out to LV Criminal Defense for help as soon as possible if you have been accused of violating a protective order so our compassionate and knowledgeable legal team can get to work fighting to help you avoid serious consequences.
There are two types of restraining orders, known more formally as protective orders.
While minimal evidence is required to obtain temporary protective orders, a TPO still puts tremendous limitations on the right of the alleged abuser who the restraining order applies to. Your freedom to contact your family, live in your home, and move about freely can be impacted by a temporary protective order – and violating the order can have consequences.
LV Criminal Defense can help you to respond both when a temporary protective order is entered by the court and when the court grants an extended protective order. You should also learn about the different processes for obtaining a temporary or extended protective order in Las Vegas, as well as the implications of each type of protective order on your future.
A temporary protective order typically comes before an extended protective order. As soon as an alleged domestic violence victim believes he or she is in danger, the alleged victim 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. This means that a TPO could be issued without you being aware that accusations against you have been made and without you being aware that the alleged victim has initiated court action. This is not always true — in some cases, the court may bring both parties to court before issuing a TPO. However, it is common for a TPO to be granted quickly based on information provided by the alleged victim alone.
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 to that person’s child, or to that person’s pet.
This may mean that if a TPO is issued by the court against an accused abuser, the alleged abuser cannot enter the applicant’s house, school, place of work, or anywhere the person commonly visits. The court also 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.
The limitations imposed on an alleged abuser as a result of an extended protective order often include the same restrictions as a TPO, including a prohibition on contacting the alleged victim, contacting the family of the alleged victim, or interacting with pets of the alleged victim.
The restrictions could also prevent access to children and could prohibit the alleged abuser from entering the alleged victim’s house, school, place of work, or other location the alleged victim visits on a regular basis. Since an extended protective order lasts for a year, you could be barred from going all of these places or having contact with extended family members for a year-long period of time.
An extended protective order in Nevada may include provisions related to child custody, child support, and financial issues.
Because so many key issues can be addressed in a protective order hearing, it is imperative you are represented by an experienced attorney if you are provided with notice that a hearing will take place.
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. A felony conviction can also affect your rights going forward, including your right to bear arms.
If a crime occurs while you are in violation of any restraining order, penalties for the violation may also increase. The penalties for the violation of the restraining order will also apply and will be separate from the penalties for whatever the crime was.
Violations of a restraining order must be deliberate in order for you to face criminal prosecution and penalties. If a violation was not deliberate, the charges against you should be dismissed. The prosecutor has the burden of proving that the violation was a deliberate one.
You can raise a number of defenses or introduce many different arguments showing why the violation of the restraining order was not a deliberate one. For example, you could argue your violation was not deliberate if you did not get proper notice of the restraining order or if the notice of the restraining order was not properly served.
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. If you can introduce reasonable doubt regarding whether you violated the restraining order, you should be able to avoid conviction.
There are a number of resources you can make use of to understand more about temporary protective orders or restraining orders in Las Vegas. Resources include the following.
Clark County Sheriff Civil – TPO
301 E. Clark Avenue, Suite 100
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Las Vegas Justice Court – Protective Orders
200 Lewis Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89101
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.