Nevada law makes it a crime to violate protection orders. Even so, the accused may not know they’ve violated an order, or the order may have been filed based on false accusations. The consequences for not adhering to the parameters established can lead to potentially stiff penalties, but a violent crimes lawyer can help you fight for your rights and defend you against these charges.
What Is a Protection Order?
A protection order is a civil action that requires the named “adverse party” in the order to refrain from having contact with a person or pet. A temporary restraining order prevents contact for up to 45 days, while an extended order can last for up to a year.
The process for filing a TPO is easy, and the judge usually rules on it without the adverse party’s presence, providing no way for that person to object to the order. If you are charged with violating a TPO, a violent crimes lawyer may be able to argue that you were falsely accused.
Often, the person who filed the TPO seeks an EPO. Unlike a temporary order, an extended order involves a hearing. If the adverse party does not appear at the hearing, the judge can still issue the EPO, which may last two years. The courts issue temporary or extended protection orders for alleged threats from:
- Domestic violence
- Sexual assault
- Harm or abuse to minors
- Harassment, stalking or aggravated stalking
- Workplace harassment
Violating these orders can result in criminal charges.
How Do You Violate a Protection Order?
When the adverse party fails to adhere to the parameters established in the restraining order, he or she may be found in violation. An order of protection may prevent you from having direct contact with the supposed victim, their friends, family members or work colleagues.
The judge may order you to stay away from a home (even your own!), workplace, school or frequently visited places. Additionally, the orders generally stipulate that you cannot have indirect contact with the named party or parties, meaning that it is a violation to send someone else to make contact on your behalf. If you knowingly engage in any behavior that defies any provision of the order, you could be charged with a crime.
What Happens When You Violate the Order?
If you are accused of violating an order, a law enforcement officer may arrest you immediately. As with any criminal accusation, you have a right to speak to an attorney. Seeking the assistance of a violent crimes lawyer may make a big difference in the outcome of your case.
A single restraining order can result in multiple violation charges. You may be accused of violating more than one provision in the order. If so, each instance leads to a separate charge, compounding the potential penalties.
Penalties for Violating a TPO or EPO
While most charges fall within the misdemeanor category, you may be charged with a gross misdemeanor or a Class D felony depending on the seriousness of the violation. A conviction could result in:
- Misdemeanor penalties: Jail time of up to six months and $1,000 in fines
- Gross misdemeanor penalties: Jail time of up to 364 days and $2,000 in fines
- Class D felony: Imprisonment for one to four years and up to $5,000 in fines
If you are being charged with any other crimes in conjunction with a protection order violation crime, the penalties for those charges are separate from protection order violations penalties.
How Do You Fight the Charges?
A violent crimes lawyer analyzes the facts of the case before determining the best defense. While the burden is on the prosecutors to prove guilt, defense attorneys often find that the facts support a defense based on one of three arguments:
- You were not informed of the restraining order as required by law.
- You were falsely accused of violating the order.
- You did not intentionally violate the order.
If any of these conditions are met, then you should not be convicted of the crime.
Where Can You Find an Experienced Violent Crimes Lawyer?
If you are being accused of violating a temporary or extended protection order, you could face serious consequences that impact your life. Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony crime, a violent crimes lawyer at C. Benjamin Scroggins Law can help you fight the charges. We are committed to getting you the most favorable results possible. Schedule your consultation today to find out what we can do for you.