What Defines Harassment in a Las Vegas, NV?
Harassment is a broad category of crime that may involve many different actions.
Generally speaking, to harass someone means to knowingly threaten them with harm so they reasonably fear the threat will be carried out, including:
- Bodily injury
- Property damage
- Being physically confined
- Anything else intended to harm another person’s safety
Threats can be made by word or behavior to be considered harassment. It’s also harassment to threaten to harm someone else. An example would be threatening a parent to harm their child. Furthermore, the injury being threatened does not have to be immediate. Threatening to do harm in the future, could still be considered harassment.
Criminal charges for harassment are often associated with various types of domestic violence, including:
- Domestic battery
- Emotional abuse
- Online harassment
- Sexual abuse
Remember that domestic violence does not have to be only physical. Abuse can be emotional or psychological, as well. A person does not have to be physically injured to be abused.
And let’s not forget about sexual harassment and the rise of people reporting it. Whether is in the workplace, at school, and amongst other settings, in 2018 alone, there were 26,699 complaints filed with the EEOC. Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination and, if convicted, can also be a crime. It violates US law and Nevada State law.
Can Harassment Be Considered Domestic Violence in Vegas?
Domestic violence is violence within a home and it can come in many different forms. Harassment is one of the forms of violence that may fall into the category of domestic violence. For it to be considered domestic violence, harassment must be aimed at a spouse, ex-spouse, domestic partner, past or present significant other, fiancé(e), or cohabitant.
Harassment can be anything from making threatening calls or texts to stalking. However, harassment must be willful and malicious for it to be considered criminal. The harassing act has to put the victim in reasonable fear for their safety. This crime may be punishable by a fine or time in jail. More severe cases could call for a stiffer penalty.
It’s worth noting that not all cases of harassment are criminal. A harassment case could be civil, which is an action between two people instead of the state and a person. The individual being harassed must take action to get legal protection from the person harassing them.
A restraining order or protective order is usually issued to protect someone from being harassed. The individual being restrained is not necessarily charged with a crime, however. Rather, that person could be if they violate the protective order or were seriously abusive.
What’s the Difference Between Domestic Violence and Civil Harassment?
Domestic violence is often confused with civil harassment. Civil harassment occurs when one person harasses, annoys, threatens, or injures another individual. However, a civil harassment case does not have to meet the relationship test established for domestic violence.
Domestic violence cases are typically more volatile than civil harassment. Due to the special relationship between the parties, domestic violence often results in more harm.
Domestic violence deals with the abusive actions that are perpetrated by and on couples or family members. The relationships between victims and perpetrators are critical components of this definition. While civil harassment refers to many different types of violence and abuse, only those acts that are non-domestic in nature can constitute a civil harassment case.
Therefore, domestic violence is not a subcategory of civil harassment. Domestic violence and civil harassment are complementary categories in the court system.
What are the Penalties in Nevada for a Harassment Conviction?
Based on state laws and statutes regarding harassment (NRS 200.571), if convicted you could receive the following:
- For the first offense, is guilty of a misdemeanor
- For the second or any subsequent offense, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor
It is also important to know, based on other circumstances, the court may place an extended protection order over the victim. Get to know your rights and restrictions under a protection order, also known as a restraining order, or contact the experienced attorneys at Adras & Altig who can help.
If you are convicted for domestic abuse, (also known as battery domestic violence), your charges will be based on whether or not it is your first offense, if there were any other charges and also based on the judges’ discretion by Nevada law. Most penalties include jail time between 10 days and 6 months, a fine, required counseling sessions, and community service. In 2017, NCEDSV reported that 13% of all reports of domestic violence resulted in an ongoing investigation. This means you need someone to help prove your innocence. You can read more about domestic battery violence here.
If you or someone you love has been arrested on a harassment or domestic abuse charge, don’t hesitate to talk to the experienced Las Vegas domestic abuse lawyers at Adras & Altig about your legal options. A conviction could haunt you for the remainder of your life, blemishing your criminal record, and negatively affecting your ability to find employment or other opportunities.
Allow our skilled and compassionate criminal defense lawyers to evaluate your case during a free initial consultation. We will discuss how we can help you during this difficult time in your life. Call us today.