A restraining order is a court-mandated order to stay away from a person or his or her family. The individuals seeking the protection of a restraining order are considered the “protected” while the other party is called the “restrained” or the “adverse party”. A restraining order can prevent a person from acting a certain way in the workplace or it may prevent the restrained person from coming to a certain distance to places where the protected party frequents.
Violation of a restraining order is a violation of Nevada law and can result in jail time and fines. The act of violating a restraining order can result in a misdemeanor or a felony and each will hold different consequences. Additionally, the fines and jail time will vary depending on the past history of the restrained person. If the restrained person has violated a restraining order in the past, he or she may face additional penalties for any future offense.
To be successfully charged for violating a restraining order, the prosecuting party will need to prove that the restrained acted with intent. Acting with intent is when the restrained party is completely knowledgeable about his restrained status and yet proceeds to violate a condition of the protective order. In other words, to be held liable to a restraining order you must have received notice of your status.
If you have violated a restraining order, you should consider speaking with a criminal law attorney. A criminal law attorney may be able to help drop the charges for violating a restraining order. A restrained person may be able to challenge the charges if they did not know of the restraining order, if they are being falsely accused, or if they did not act with the intent to violate a condition of the order.
If you are in Las Vegas, Nevada you may contact the Law Offices of Martin Hart to schedule a consultation. Upon consultation you will have a full comprehension of your duties as a restrained person and of ways in which we can help you prove your innocence. In the state of Nevada, a violation of a restraining order that can be charged as a wobbler, a violation of a restraining order is not a light offense. Make sure you have the right party representing your case in a courtroom. To reach our office, you may contact us at 702-380-4278
Stalking, Harassment and Harm
In the state of Nevada, if a person presents a clear threat to your well-being then you can proceed with a protective order to keep that person away. A protective order can help keep away a person that engages in stalking, engages in harassing behavior, or causes physical or mental harm to another person.
Nevada law explains that it is against the law to follow or stalk a person. A person is considered to be stalking when their actions are unwanted and when they cause a reasonable person to fear for their life. If you are being stalked, you can request a temporary protective order to keep the person away.
Harassment under Nevada law can be seen as the act of threatening to inflict physical damage, threatening to cause damage to private property, or the act of causing physical or mental damage to another person.
Causing harm to a child or another person is an act that can result in a protective order. A person can be restrained if they engage in activity that causes physical or mental harm to a minor.
A protective order otherwise known as a restraining order is a court-mandated order that is meant to protect a person from harassment, stalking, threats, and physical harm. A restraining order will limit the amount of contact you are allowed to have with a given person. It may dictate the distance you are required to keep from the person on a regular basis and may keep you from visiting locations that are considered common places for the protected party. Protected areas may include the protected persons home, school, or neighborhood. Aside from the physical restraining order, a restraining order limits the restricted party from contacting the protected party. A restraining order may prevent the restrained party from contacting the person via e-mail, texts, calls, social media, and through other forms of communication. Additionally, a restraining order can serve as an order to evict someone from your living space.
In Nevada a person can seek protection through four types of orders. These orders include the workplace violence restraining order, the domestic violence restraining order, the dependent adult abuse restraining order, or the civil harassment restraining order. The type of order will depend on the individuals involved and the reasons for the restraining order.
- Domestic Violence Restraining Order: this type of restraining order is for couples that are living together either as married or divorced individuals. Domestic violence can also occur between individuals that are living together and not married or living together and share children. The restraining order is meant to protect individuals of domestic violence including those who experience sexual assault, those who are physically harmed, and those who’s peace has been disturbed.
- Workplace Violence Restraining Order: employers have the ability to request a restraining order if they understand that their employee has suffered from stalking or some form of violence. The restraining order may only be requested by the employer to protect the person while at work. If the individual wants to seek a protection for him or herself, they will be required to file a civil harassment restraining order.
- Civil Harassment Restraining Order: A civil harassment can be requested if you are being stalked or harassed by a person that is not a close family member. Individuals that can be restrained with a civil harassment restraining order include distant family members, neighbors, friends, or others that you may not know.
- Dependent Adult Restraining Order: a person that can seek protection under the dependent adult restraining order are those over the age of 65 or those who are considered dependent. Dependent adults are between the age of 18 and 64 that may experience mental or physical disabilities.
Restraining Order Functions
There are many reasons that a person would seek a restraining order. The following are some of the most common reasons a person may seek certain protections.
A conduct order can be requested to restrict a person from performing some of the following acts. If you have a conduct restraining order, you may not do some of the following:
- You may not contact the protected person through emails, calls, text messages, or through any other form of communicative means.
- You may not stalk or follow a person to their home, their workplace, or other places that they frequent.
- You may not threaten or harass a protected person.
- You may not destroy a person's personal property or engage in activities that would ‘disturb the peace’.
Stay Away Order
A stay-away order is meant to keep a person away from you. In some cases, it can include the person staying away from your home or staying a certain distance from you at all times. If you are under a stay-away order, you are not allowed to approach the protected person even if they request to meet with you. If you have a stay away order and the protected person wishes to meet with you or reconcile, he or she will need to talk to the judge to remove the order. Some of the following apply to individuals under a stay-away order:
- You may not visit the protected persons home, work, or other places they frequent
- You may not approach a person or persons that the order protects
- You may not visit the school or other places their children may frequent
- You may not approach or be near the protected person vehicle
This order is placed on a person you are living with. The person can be your roommate or a close relative. The restrained person under this order will be required to move away and may only take his or her immediate belongings like computer and clothing until the court hearing. Those placed under this order may not do some of the following things:
- You may not visit a place where the protected person frequents
- You may not own a weapon such as a gun (those with weapons may be required to sell
Those who are placed in a restrained status may find other complications that include:
- The person's ability to see their children
- It may affect their immigration status if they are applying for a government visa or a residency
If you are a restrained person, you should learn about the restraining order that applies to your case. In some cases, the more you know, the better equipped you will be to avoid any charges under the restraining order.
If you have been notified of a violation of a restraining order, you must act quickly to ensure your side of the story is represented. Often if you can prove that you did not act with intent to break the order, you may have the charges dropped. To be charged for violating a restraining order the prosecuting party will need to prove that you acted with full knowledge and with intent. For instance, if you happen to be at a mall shopping and the protected person walks into the same store, then it is clear that you did not act with the intention of breaking the restraining order. However, in this scenario, you may be required to leave the store as soon as you find that the protected person has entered the store.
Restrained individuals can be falsely accused of a number of reasons. First and foremost, an ex-spouse may be accusing the restrained person to gain some leverage in a court case. For instance, if the protected person is fighting for custody, he or she may use the violation of a restraining order to help win their case. On the other hand, a person can be falsely accused if they are mistaken by another person. When you have been mistaken for another person you may have to prove that you were at another place at the same time the person claims he or she saw you. If you have been falsely accused, it is in your best interest to seek representation so that you are not wrongly convicted.
Ex: Tina accused James of violating his restraining order after she saw someone who looked like him near her home. James is required to stay away from Tina’s home and other locations that she frequents. However, James was camping during the time of the alleged violation of restraining order. James may consider working with a lawyer that can help prove that he was away during the time of the alleged violation.
Lack of Knowledge
Restrained individuals should be served by the court to ensure that they are fully aware of their restrained status. If you have moved from location and you were never served, it is clear that you were not aware of your responsibilities as a restrained person. In these cases, a lawyer can help prove that you did not act with the intent to violate a restraining order.
Ex: Lisa put a restraining order on John. John never received notice of the restraining order which means he was never served. John runs into to Lisa and Lisa notifies the court of a violation of a restraining order. John can seek a lawyer’s help to prove that he was never served and therefore unaware of his restrained status.
Acting Without Intention
To be prosecuted for violating a restraining order, the restrained person must have acted with intention. Acting with intention means the restrained person was well aware of the conditions of the restraining order and continued with his or her actions. In other words, if you recognize you are actions are a violation of the restraining order and you continue with your actions then you may be charged for violating the restraining order.
Ex: Andy knows he should stay 100 yards away from a Clair. However, Andy wants to make up with Clair and decides to approach her at a park. Andy is violating the conditions of the restraining order. To approach a protected person, Clair must ask the judge to lift the restraining order.
Ex: In another event, Andy is at the mall doing some shopping. Clair happens to walk into the same shop where Andy is found shopping. Any leaves the premises as he understands his obligations to stay away from the protected person. Clair cannot press charges for violating a restraining order as Andy did not act with intent to violate the restrained conditions.
Violating a Restraining Order
Some of the following actions can warrant a charge for violating a restraining order. Restrained individuals may not engage in the following:
- May not show up to the protected person’s house, work, school, or frequently visited places to complain about the restraining order
- May not approach the person for any reasons unless the judge lifts the restraining order
- May not contact any person considered protected, this may include the protected persons close family members
- May not contact the protected person through any communicative means including messaging through social media, text messaging, letters, or phone calls
If you are notified of a restraining order, it is crucial that you understand the terms and conditions of the restraining order. Even if you do not approach the person to cause harm and you simply want to talk about the situation, you may be charged for violating the restraining
order. To ensure you are not accused or charged for violating a restraining order, you will want to fully understand the terms and conditions of the restraining order.
Violation of Restraining Order Penalties
The penalties revolving a restraining order will vary depending on the number of times you have violated a restraining order and based on whether the protected person was hurt during the time you violated the restraining order. A violation of a restraining order can be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony. The gravity of the situation will dictate which one you will be charged with. Those who are charged with a felony and are given probation may find that their charges may be dropped to a misdemeanor.
Penalties for violating a protective order can include up to six months in county jail and/or a fine of up to one thousand dollars. However, the charges increase if the actions involve a child or in the presence of a firearm.
Contact a Las Vegas Criminal Attorney Near Me
If you are charged for violating a protective order in Las Vegas, Nevada, you may contact the Law Offices of Martin Hart. There are a number of ways to challenge a violation of a restraining order accusation. To schedule a consultation you may send us an email or you may phone our office our Las Vegas Criminal Attorney at 702-380-4278.