Thursday, May 22, 2014

Protective Order Violations – What You Need to Know

If you have been served a protective order in Nevada, it is very important that you follow all terms set by the order. Failure to comply with the court order can result in serious criminal penalties, which will depend upon the reason for the protective order being issued in the first place.

Protective Orders for Domestic Violence or Workplace Harassment
Intentionally violating these types of protective orders will result in a misdemeanor charge, which is punishable by:
  • Incarceration in county jail for up to 6 months; and/or
  • Fines up to $1,000

Protective Orders for Stalking or Harassment, Sexual Assault, or Child Abuse
The penalties for intentionally violating these types of orders will vary based upon whether the defendant was served a temporary protective order (lasts up to 30 days) or an extended protective order (lasts up to 1 year).

Violating a temporary protective order against stalking or harassment, sexual assault, or child abuse is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by:
  • Incarceration in county jail for up to 1 year; and/or
  • Fines up to $2,000

Violating an extended protective order against stalking or harassment, sexual assault, or child abuse is a Category C felony in Nevada, punishable by:
  • Incarceration in state prison for 1 to 5 years; and
  • Fines up to $10,000

Possible Defenses

Depending on the specific circumstances of the case, there may be a number of different defenses that can be used to fight allegations that the defendant violated a protective order.
  • Order was not served properly. Nevada law has clear-cut rules dictating how a protective order must be served to an individual. If the restraining order was improperly served to the defendant, their attorney could argue that the defendant is not liable under the law.
  • Defendant did not intend to violate the order. If the defendant unknowingly violated the terms of their protective order – because of a misunderstanding or by accident, for example – the court may dismiss the charges.
  • Defendant was falsely accused. In some cases the person protected by the order lies and claims that the defendant violated the order in some way, hoping to get the defendant into trouble with the court.
  • Prosecution lacks sufficient evidence of guilt. If the prosecutor cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intentionally violated a protective order, then the defendant should be cleared of the charges.
If you are accused of violating any type of protective order in the Las Vegas area, get in touch with our skilled defense lawyers at De Castroverde Law Group as soon as possible.