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Violating a Restraining Order in Nevada

image of restraining order

In many cases in which there has been an allegation of domestic violence, the alleged victim will obtain a restraining order against the defendant. Restraining orders, also known as protective orders, typically prohibit contact between the defendant and alleged victim. Some orders define what contact is allowable. A judge decides what is included in a protective order, which makes each one unique to the individual case.

Violating a restraining order associated with a domestic violence charge is a misdemeanor under Nevada law (NRS 33.100). A conviction of violating a protective order could result in a sentence of up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Violating a restraining order through stalking or harassment, sexual assault or child abuse may be charged as a gross misdemeanor or a Category C felony if it is an “extended” restraining order.

If you have been arrested for violation of a restraining order in Clark County, Nevada, the Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys of Adras & Altig can help you fight the charge. There are several possible defenses to a restraining order violation charge. We will move quickly to build a case for you.

Contact our law office today to schedule a free consultation.

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What is a Restraining Order Issued in Las Vegas?

A restraining order or protective order is a court order designed to protect an individual from the person who is charged with some form of domestic violence against them. It is a judge’s decree that the person who is subject to the restraining order must adhere to certain restrictions on their activities.

These restrictions may include:

  • Staying away from the accuser
  • Refraining from any contact with the accuser
  • Ending harassment of the accuser
  • Staying away from the accuser’s home, school, workplace or other locations
  • Not possessing a firearm
  • Temporarily giving up custody of minor-age children
  • Continuing to pay rent or make payments on a mortgage on the accuser’s residence.

The restraining order must be presented by the appropriate law enforcement agency such as the Clark County Sheriff’s Department to the individual who is being restrained.

In addition to stating the specific terms and conditions of the order, the restraining order will inform the restrained individual that he or she now has notice of the provisions of the order and that a violation of the order will result in arrest (NRS 33.070.2(b)).

A person who applies for a restraining order may ask a judge in Nevada to issue a restraining order in cases of:

In Las Vegas, most temporary protective orders (TPOs) stay in effect for 30 days, unless the court specifies some shorter period of time. A TPO against harassment in the workplace remains in effect for 15 days, unless the judge orders something different.

Before a TPO expires, the applicant can seek an extended protection order. An extended restraining order can remain in effect for up to one year after the court signs it. However, the adverse party can appeal the judge’s decision to the district court. The adverse party to an extended protective order may file a motion asking the court to modify or dissolve the extended protection order.

What is a Restraining Order Violation in Las Vegas?

You can be arrested for violating any provision of a restraining order issued by a Nevada court. Let’s say, for example, that you need something from your house. Even if the person who sought the protective order says it’s OK for you to come to the house and get the item, the court has said you cannot.

The individual who sought the protective order could have you arrested after you go to your house to get something that belongs to you. If you need it, have someone else get it and bring it to you.

Typically, police need “probable cause” to arrest someone. In an alleged restraining order violation, the say-so of the applicant is sufficient. 

Penalties for Violating Las Vegas Restraining Orders

If you are convicted of violating a restraining order in Nevada, you face punishment defined by the underlying criminal charge:

  • Domestic Violence: up to 6 months in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines.
  • Harassment in the Workplace: up to 6 months in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines. Up to 364 days in jail and/or up to $2,000 in fines for violating a temporary protective order.
  • Harassment: One to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines for violating an extended protective order (Category C felony).
  • Stalking: Up to 364 days in jail and/or up to $2,000 in fines (gross misdemeanor) for violating a temporary protective order.
  • Stalking: One to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines for violating an extended protective order (Category C felony).
  • Sexual Assault: Up to 364 days in jail and/or up to $2,000 in fines (gross misdemeanor) for violating a temporary protective order. One to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines for violating an extended protective order (Category C felony).
  • Child Abuse: Up to 364 days in jail and/or up to $2,000 in fines (gross misdemeanor) for violating a temporary protective order. One to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines for violating an extended protective order (Category C felony).

Possession of a firearm, when prohibited by a restraining order, is a Category B felony, punishable by 1 to 6 years in prison and potentially a $5,000 fine.

Common Defenses Against a Restraining Order Violation Charge

Adras & Altig will defend you against charges that you have violated a temporary or extended protective order issued in Clark County, Nevada. Criminal defense attorneys Paul Adras and Steve Altig are reputable and respected defense attorneys. They work together on each case handled by the firm. They have the reputations and working relationships in Clark County courts necessary to be fully heard by prosecutors when the defense attorneys propose a reduction or modification of a charge involving violation of a restraining order.

Typical defenses against charges of violating a restraining order center on:

  • Intent. If you had no intention of violating the restraining order, the charge should be dismissed. For example, contact with the applicant may have been happenstance. You both went to the same restaurant by coincidence. A phone call may have been a “pocket dial” and not intentional harassment. We may be able to demonstrate that an accident, misunderstanding or lack of understanding of the order led to the alleged violation.
  • Improper service. A law enforcement officer must serve a restraining order upon the adverse party in accordance with the law. If this never happened, you cannot be held to the provisions of the order. You had to move out, so maybe the Clark County Sheriff’s office never found you. Maybe the order was lost in the mail after law enforcement decided they could not serve it in person.
  • No proof. To get a guilty verdict, prosecutors must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person violated the terms of the restraining order. If the prosecutor cannot prove the violation occurred, then the case should be dismissed. In some cases, a charge may be brought as a result of an estranged spouse’s spite. We may be able to gather information to rebut testimony or other evidence against you and raise sufficient doubt in the prosecutor’s mind before trial to have a charge reduced or set aside.

We’ll get your side of the story, talk to others involved, review the restraining order and how and when it was issued, and determine the best way to proceed with the prosecutor’s office on your behalf. Domestic cases can turn on a variety of factors. Many times, they come down to “he said, she said” and the facts simply cannot be proven.

Because we have dealt with many of these cases over the years, Clark County prosecutors will hear us out when we present your case and the reasons why you deserve consideration. We will seek the most advantageous outcome for you that is available.

Contact Us for Help in Las Vegas

If you have been arrested on charges that you violated a restraining order, you need to talk to our seasoned Las Vegas domestic violence attorneys about your legal options. We can work to keep you from being misused by circumstances that leave you vulnerable to unsubstantiated allegations and arrests.

The Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys at Adras & Altig take your side and work hard for results that favor you. Contact us now for a free discussion of how we can help you

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