Defending Against a Nevada Domestic Violence Protective Order
Nevada courts can issue temporary restraining orders for domestic violence without any advance notice to you.
Defending against a Nevada domestic violence protective order is essential.
If you are served, there are two extremely important steps you must take immediately:
- Comply with all the conditions and requirements of the order, to the finest detail. If you do not comply, you can be arrested.
- At the soonest possible time, consult an attorney to defend you against the order.
In addition to restricting your activities, a restraining order can affect your employment and housing opportunities, as well as other significant aspects of your life, such as the ability to possess and own firearms.
Temporary Restraining Orders
A temporary restraining order can be issued against you without you even having the opportunity to present your side of the case. The proceeding is referred to as an ex parte proceeding, because the judge can issue the order without all parties being present.
Most likely, you will find out about an order when it is served on you after it has been issued by the court. The order will be in effect as soon as it is served and stay in effect for thirty (30) days. A hearing will be scheduled to determine whether the order should become permanent.
Your attorney will file an answer to the complaint and represent you at the hearing. During the hearing, the complainant will present his or her side of the case first. Then your attorney will present your side of the case. Your evidence can include witnesses and documents.
Being represented by counsel is important for several reasons. First, your attorney will know the legal processes and court procedures, including the rules about filing a response. Your attorney also will understand what the legal requirements are for having a protective order issued, which enables him or her to argue on your behalf that those requirements have not been met.
After the hearing, the court will either dismiss the case and dissolve the temporary order or issue an extended order for protection, which can last for up to one (1) year.
Who Can Get a Domestic Violence Protective Order?
Only individuals with whom you have certain relationships can ask the court to issue a domestic violence protective order (DVPO). They include:
- Your spouse or former spouse;
- Anyone related to you by blood or marriage;
- A person with whom you have or had a dating relationship;
- An individual with whom you have a child;
- The minor child of any of the people listed above;
- Your minor child or a person appointed as custodian or legal guardian for your child.
A parent or guardian can file for an order on behalf of a child under age eighteen (18) or an elder or other person who is unable to file on account of disability or hospitalization.
What Constitutes Domestic Abuse?
For purposes of a getting a restraining order, domestic violence includes:
- Battery, which includes any type physical violence;
- Assault, which includes attempting to use physical force or putting a person in reasonable fear of immediate bodily harm;
- Use of force or threats to make a person do something he or she does not want to do or to restrain that person from doing something he or she wants to do;
- Sexual assault;
- Any of the above done with the intent to harass;
- Arson, trespassing, larceny, destruction of private property;
- Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit;
- False imprisonment or stalking;
- Injuring or killing an animal;
- Illegally entering a person’s home when he or she is not there or forcing oneself into the home in a way that may cause harm.
What Does a Temporary or Extended Protective Order Do?
A temporary protective order can encompass a broad range of conduct. It can:
- Prohibit you from making any threats, harassment, or injury to the complainant or his/her minor child, either directly or through a third person;
- Forbid you from entering your own home;
- Prohibit you from going to the complainant’s place of employment, school, or other specific location;
- Remove your children from your custody;
- Prohibit you from injuring or threatening to injure any pet of yours, the complainant’s, or the complainant’s child;
- Forbid any other conduct that the court considers necessary.
An extended restraining order can include even more significant provisions, such as:
- Determine custody of children and child support;
- Establish visitation terms;
- Require payment of rent or mortgage on the complainant’s home;
- Order payment of the complainant’s costs and fees for getting the DVPO;
- Force transfer or sale of firearms and prevent you from owning or possessing guns.
If you violate any provision of a temporary or extended domestic violence protective order, you can be arrested and face jail time and a fine.
Can an Extended Retraining Order Be Removed?
If an extended restraining order is issued, you can appeal the order. The order will remain in effect during the appeal.
In addition, after a DVPO has been issued by a court, it is possible to file a motion asking the court to dissolve or modify the order. The person who had the order issued can oppose your motion.
Proceedings involving temporary and extended protective orders can be extremely complex. You should not try to navigate through the process or defend yourself without having an experienced domestic violence attorney represent you.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Las Vegas Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
If a temporary protective order is issued against you, Las Vegas domestic violence defense attorney Joseph Gersten will vigorously defend you throughout the proceedings relating to the restraining order, fully utilizing his special investigative background and extensive trial experience. Attorney Gersten can also assist if you have an existing protective order against you and are interested in determining whether to pursue a motion to have it vacated or modified.
If you are facing a protective order or other domestic violence charges in Las Vegas or elsewhere in Clark County, contact The Gersten Law Firm to schedule a free consultation.