A protective order impacts almost every aspect of your life, which is why it’s essential to understand your rights and legal options. If you have been served a protective order in Nevada, be sure to examine it closely. You may feel like you are acting within your rights, but there are many ways to accidentally violate the order and end up facing the possibility of fines or even jail time.
It can be very challenging to adhere to the specifics of a protective order. Especially if you work with the person in question or live near them, you might accidentally violate an item on the order and find yourself the target of criminal charges. Without an attorney to help you explain your situation to the court, you could suffer a conviction.
Restraining Orders Are Called Protective Orders In Nevada
You might be wondering what is a protective order and what does a protective order do? An order of protection, also known as a restraining order in other parts of the country, is a court order to stay away from a person or place. Domestic violence, stalking, children in jeopardy or harm, and workplace harassment cases are among the most common scenarios in which an alleged victim would file a protective order. Protection orders may include various provisions such as relinquishing firearms or child visitation rules.
The applicant is the person that filed for the order of protection, and the person that is being restrained is considered the adverse party, often called the respondent. A protective order can require the adverse party to refrain from contacting, intimidating, threatening, or otherwise interfering with the applicant and any other acquaintance or family member of the alleged victim.
How Does a Protective Order Work?
There are different protective orders available through different courts in Clark County. While there are certain exceptions, a protective order against domestic violence is generally issued through Family Court. A protective order against harassment and stalking is issued through the Justice Court.
A judge reviews the application for a protective order resulting in one of three outcomes. They either sign it granting protection, deny it and don’t grant protection, or order a hearing to determine whether the order should be granted. If a judge signs a protective order, the court will arrange for the adverse party to be notified with a copy. The order will not go into effect until it is served to the respondent.
How Long Does a Protective Order Last?
In addition to the types of orders, there are also two forms of protective orders in Nevada. A temporary order of protection can last no longer than 30 days after the order is served unless otherwise determined by the judge. During this time the adverse party must abide by the order’s terms.
If the adverse party remains a threat, the alleged victim may apply for an extended order of protection. As opposed to temporary protection orders, an extended order can last up to one year from the date a judge signs the extension. However, an extended order must be applied for within the 30 days that the temporary order is in place. The extension may only be granted after notice to the adverse party and a hearing on the application is held.
Does a Protective Order Go On My Record?
The length a protective order stays on your record depends on what order you received. Generally, Nevada law requires protective orders to be registered in the state’s central criminal history repository, searchable by the court database, and visible to law enforcement and those working in the court system.
A protective order may not be easily expunged from your criminal record. You might be forced to get a psychological evaluation, and the court could order you to take anger management classes or some other form of treatment. Yet it’s important to note, that a Nevada conviction for violating a protection order can be sealed, but there is a waiting period depending on the case. Dismissed charges are sealable immediately. Once a case gets sealed from Nevada’s criminal repository, it will no longer appear on your background check.
What Happens After I Violate a Protective Order?
You can be arrested for violating any provision of a protective order issued by a court in Nevada. Typically, police need probable cause to arrest you. In an alleged protective order violation, the applicant’s testimony is enough. If you have been accused of violating a protective order in Nevada, you should seek the services of a criminal defense attorney right away. Call an attorney to discuss your rights and how much jail time you could be facing for violating a protective order.
How Much Jail Time Can I Get For Violating a Protective Order In Nevada?
Under Nevada law, violating a temporary order of protection is a gross misdemeanor charge. The penalty is up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine. If an extended protective order is violated, there are more severe penalties. Anyone found in violation of an extended protection order is committing a felony criminal offense and facing up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
If the act that constitutes the violation of a protection order is itself a felony, the violator can be sent to prison for one to 20 years. In addition, a person who violates a protection order may also be held in civil contempt of court and punished by a fine of up to $500 and/or jailed for up to 25 days. Criminal contempt of court may also be prosecuted as a misdemeanor criminal case, impacting how much jail time for violating a protective order and fines up to $1,000.
What Are The Best Defenses Against a Protective Order Violation?
Just as the terms of every order of protection can vary in Nevada, so can the defenses for every alleged violation. Common defenses to charges of violating a restraining order include that you were never served with the order, you did not intentionally violate its terms, the court did not correctly communicate the requirements of the protective order to you, or you did not violate the order at all. Vindictive people might claim you violated a protective order when you did not just to get you in trouble. It is essential to get legal representation that can reduce or do away with how much jail time you might be facing for violating a protective order.
Fight Your Protective Order Violation With John F. Marchiano Law
If you have been accused of breaking a protection order in Nevada, a qualified attorney can raise several defenses to negotiate a favorable resolution. Our criminal defense lawyers have extensive experience in handling protective orders and will dedicate our attention and resources to quickly build a case for you and fight aggressively on your behalf. To find out how a defense attorney in Henderson, Nevada, can help you right away, contact us at John F. Marchiano Law for a confidential consultation. We want what you want — the best possible result at a reasonable cost.