Orders for protection (often called restraining orders) are orders from the court that prohibit named people from contacting certain individuals or doing certain things. Any violation of the terms established in a protection order can be a criminal offense that results in serious penalties.
Prosecutors and judges take any violation of a court order seriously and can be largely unforgiving when it comes to seeking punishments. When a person has been falsely accused of violating a restraining order or unknowingly breaches its terms, that alleged offender should make sure that he or she has strong legal representation when appearing in court.
Lawyer for Violation of a Protection Order in Las Vegas, NV
If you were arrested in Clark County for allegedly violating the terms of any kind of restraining order, it is in your best interest to retain legal counsel as soon as possible. Gallo Law Office aggressively defends clients all over southern Nevada, including North Las Vegas, Henderson, and Boulder City.
Las Vegas criminal defense attorney James C. Gallo understands how people accidentally violate the terms of protection orders without any criminal intent and fights to get the criminal charges for alleged violations reduced or dismissed. You can have our lawyer review your case and answer all of your legal questions as soon as you call (702) 385-3131 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Violation of a Protection Order Penalties in Nevada
Not all orders of protection are the same, so what might constitute a violation for one person may not be a prohibited activity for another. Generally, some of the most common violations of restraining orders include violating no contact provisions, failing to seek court-ordered counseling, and firearms violations.
The possible consequences of a protection order violation depend on the type of restraining order that was violated. It is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000 if an alleged offender violates a temporary or extended order for protection against domestic violence under Nevada Revised Statute § 33.100 or a temporary or extended order for protection against harassment in the workplace under Nevada Revised Statute § 33.350.
A violation of a temporary order for protection against harassment, stalking, or aggravated stalking under Nevada Revised Statute § 200.591, protection against sexual assault under Nevada Revised Statute § 200.378, or protection of children under Nevada Revised Statute § 33.400 is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000. Violations of extended orders for protection against harassment, stalking, or aggravated stalking, against sexual assault or of children are classified as category C felony offenses punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
It is important to note that Nevada Revised Statute § 193.166 establishes an additional penalty for alleged offenders who commit felony offenses when violating any kind of order of protection. In such cases, alleged offenders can receive prison sentences in addition to the terms of imprisonment for the felony offenses that may run concurrently or consecutively with the sentence prescribed by statute for the crime. The additional sentences cannot exceed the sentences imposed for the felony crimes.
Protection order violations can also result in civil contempt of court charges, which are punishable under Nevada Revised Statute § 22.100 by up to 25 days imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $500. If the alleged offender is prosecuted for criminal contempt, which is a misdemeanor under Nevada Revised Statute § 199.340.
Violation of a Protection Order Defenses in Las Vegas
Just as the terms of every order of protection can vary, so too can the defenses for every alleged violation. Depending on the specific circumstances of a case, some of the most common defenses against criminal charges for an alleged violation of a restraining order include, but are not limited to:
- False Allegations — In certain situations, complex child custody or divorce disputes can lead to former spouses or significant others falsely accusing alleged offenders of violating the terms of a protection order in an attempt to gain leverage in those other matters.
- Lack of Criminal Intent — Many alleged offenders accidentally encounter the protected parties during complete random, unintentional run-ins. In other cases, alleged offenders are accused of violating no contact provisions because they simply answered phone calls from the protected parties.
- Failure to Lawfully Serve — When law enforcement serves alleged offenders with copies of protective orders, they have very specific requirements to follow when doing so. Alleged offenders cannot be expected to comply with the terms of orders that were improperly served.
- Lack of Evidence — In order to be convicted of a criminal offense, the prosecutor will need to prove the alleged offender's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A conviction can be much more difficult to obtain if the prosecution does not have the necessary evidence to support the accusations.
Nevada Protection Order Violation Resources
Safe Nest — Safe Nest is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that identifies itself as “Nevada's largest and most comprehensive charity devoted solely to domestic violence issues.” On this website, you can learn more about Safe Nest's counseling and shelter services as well as its advocacy efforts. You can also find a wide assortment of links to other local and national domestic violence resources.
Safe Nest: Temporary Assistance for Domestic Crisis, Inc.
2915 W. Charleston Blvd., Suite 12
Las Vegas, NV 89102
Protection Order or Chaos? | The TPO Processing Experience in the Las Vegas Justice Court and Its Larger Implications for Nevada Law — View a May 2010 research project that featured “a highly analytical and careful review of all 2,040 protection-order cases that were initiated in Calendar Year 2008.” The report examines the five most common dispositions, the most common relationships between applicants and adverse parties, and statistics about the adverse party. It also discusses numerous issues encountered in the processing of court paperwork.
Gallo Law Office | Las Vegas Violation of a Protection Order Lawyer
Were you recently arrested anywhere in Clark County for an alleged violation of an order for protection? You should contact Gallo Law Office as soon as possible for help protecting your rights and securing the most favorable possible outcome to your situation.
James C. Gallo is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Las Vegas who represents clients in Boulder City, North Las Vegas, Henderson, and many surrounding communities in southern Nevada. Call Gallo Law Office at (702) 385-3131 or fill out an online contact form today to have our lawyer provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free consultation.