NRS 33.100 is the Nevada law that makes it a crime to violate a restraining order for domestic violence. Restraining orders also go by the name protective orders, and they can be temporary or extended. The statute states:
A person who intentionally violates a temporary or extended order is guilty of a misdemeanor, unless a more severe penalty is prescribed by law for the act that constitutes the violation of the order.
In this article, our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys provide basic information about restraining order violations in Nevada under NRS 33.100. Keep reading to learn more about its definition, possible defenses, and the penalties a conviction carries.
What a protection order violation is in Las Vegas, Nevada under NRS 33.100
A protection order violation is when the "adverse party" to a restraining order defies the rules in the order. A common example is an ex-boyfriend going to his ex-girlfriend's house even though the court had granted her a restraining order requiring the ex-boyfriend (the "adverse party") to stay away from her residence.
Nevada courts grant temporary or extended restraining orders to people allegedly at risk of being victims of either of the following five crimes:
- The Las Vegas offense of domestic violence (NRS 200.485)
- The Las Vegas offense of harassment (NRS 200.571)
- The Las Vegas offense of stalking (NRS 200.575)
- The Las Vegas offense of harassment in the workplace
- The Las Vegas offense of sexual assault (NRS 200.366)
- The Las Vegas offense of child abuse (NRS 200.508)
Each protection order is unique to the individual case. Protection orders may include provisions on anything from child visitation and relinquishing firearms to which locations are off-limits for the adverse party to go. Violating any provision in a restraining order is grounds for prosecution in Nevada.
What the defenses are to a charge of violating a protection order in Las Vegas, Nevada
Violating a restraining order may be a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or a felony depending upon the kind of order.
How best to fight allegations of a restraining order violation in Nevada turns on the specific facts of the case. Three common defense strategies include the following:
- The restraining order was not properly served: Nevada law outlines very strict rules for how a restraining order has to be served. For example, some restraining orders have to be served on the adverse party in person. If a defense attorney can show that law enforcement failed to serve properly the restraining order, then the defendant should not be criminally liable.
- The defendant had no intent to violate the order: Violating the terms of a restraining order is not illegal if the person honestly did not mean to break the rules. If defense counsel can demonstrate that the defendant's actions were the result of an accident, misunderstanding or a mental deficiency, the case should be dismissed.
- There is insufficient evidence to prove guilt: If a criminal case goes to trial, the prosecution bears the burden to prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in order to obtain a conviction. As long as the defense lawyer can raise this reasonable doubt by arguing that the state's evidence is too inadequate or unreliable, criminal charges should not stand.
What the penalties are for violating a protection order in Las Vegas, Nevada
The punishment for defying a restraining order in Nevada depends on the underlying purpose of the restraining order:
Domestic violence (under NRS 33.100) and harassment in the workplace
Deliberately violating any restraining order against domestic violence (under NRS 33.100) or harassment in the workplace (under NRS 33.350) is prosecuted as a misdemeanor in Las Vegas. The sentence is:
- up to 6 months in Clark County Detention Center (or other county jail), and/or
- up to $1,000 in fines
Possessing a firearm when required not to under a restraining order is a category B felony in Nevada, carrying 1 to 6 years in Nevada State Prison and maybe a $5,000 fine.
Stalking or harassment, sexual assault, or protection of children
Meanwhile, deliberately violating a temporary protective order against stalking or harassment (under NRS 200.591), sexual assault (under NRS 200.378), or child abuse (under NRS 33.400) is prosecuted as a gross misdemeanor in Las Vegas. The sentence is:
- up to 364 days in Clark County Detention Center (or other county jail), and/or
- up to $2,000 in fines
Finally, deliberately violating an extended restraining order against stalking or harassment, sexual assault, or child abuse is prosecuted as a category C felony in Las Vegas. The sentence is:
- 1 to 5 years in Nevada State Prison, and
- maybe up to $10,000 in fines
Possessing a firearm when required not to under a restraining order is a category B felony, carrying 1 to 6 years in Nevada State Prison and maybe a $5,000 fine.
Call us for help . . . .
If you have been charged with violating a restraining order in Nevada, call Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) to talk for free. They may be able to negotiate a favorable resolution with prosecutors, or else they will fight the allegations all the way to trial.