The Nevada legislative session is drawing to a close for its 2019 term. The legislature will not be in session again until 2021, unless a special session is called by the governor. During this term 700 or so bills were sent to the governor. As of this writing the governor has signed over 600 and vetoed only a few.
This session, Domestic Violence (DV) was on the mind of the legislators and a group of five bills was passed and signed by the governor: enhancing penalties for DV perpetrators; creating new DV crimes; increasing terms of Protective Orders and provided increased options to serve Orders; and enhanced privacy for victims of DV crimes.
Summary of new Domestic Violence laws
Enhanced Penalties – Assembly Bill 60 (AB60) effective July 1, 2019, increases punishments times for first and second offenses for Battery which constitutes Domestic Violence (BDV). If convicted, BDV first time offenders are guilty of a misdemeanor with jail time of 2 days to 6 months and fines of $200 to $1,000. Intermittent sentencing has been increased from 4 hours to 12 hours for the first act. Second time BDV offenders if convicted are guilty of a misdemeanor, and the minimum sentence is increased from 10 days to 20 days. Third time BDV offenders increased from Category C felony to Category B felony.
Senate Bill 218 (SB218) provides for increased punishments for repeat felony offenders of BDV. Second time and subsequent felony BDV offenders will charged with a Category B felony with prison term of 2 to 15 years in state prison, and fines from $2,000 to $5,000.
New Domestic Violence Crimes – Assembly Bill 60 (AB60) also recognizes new offenses which qualify as Domestic Violence. Coercion, Burglary, Home Invasion and Pandering are now recognized as unlawful acts that constitute domestic violence. Also, BDV against a pregnant person is a new crime, punished on a first offense as a gross misdemeanor, and second and subsequent offenses as a Category B felony.
Increased Protective Order Terms – Protective Orders have received changes through three bills, Assembly Bills 19 and 410, (AB19 and AB410 respectively) and Senate Bill 218 (SB218). AB19 takes effect July 1, 2019 while AB 410 is effective October 1, 2019. SB 218 takes effect October 1, 2018. The bills address the two types of protective orders in Nevada: Temporary Protective Orders (TPO), and Extended Protective Orders. Until now, TPO’s were limited to 30-day terms. AB410 changes the term to 45 days. Extended Orders were limited to one-year terms, but AB19 changes that to up to two years.
AB19 also expands the methods used by Law Enforcement (LE) to serve Protective Orders, whether Temporary or Extended. LE will deliver orders to the last known residence, and if service cannot be completed, will leave a notice in a conspicuous place. LE may then attempt to serve the Protective Order at the adverse party’s last known place of employment.
Other methods for delivery are provided in the new law if multiple attempts fail to complete service. AB19 also provides for more stringent punishments for people who violate the terms of a Protective Order, even if it is to answer a communication from the victim. Repeated violations result in increased punishments.
SB218 provides increase punishments for intentional violations of Protective Orders. First time violations are a misdemeanor, second time violations are a Gross Misdemeanor, and Third and subsequent violations are a Category D Felony. SB218 also limits courts from considering any factor other than whether a petitioner for TPO or Extended Order was a victim of Domestic Violence or threat of DV.
Enhanced Privacy to Victims – Current law allows for fictitious addresses to be used by victims of domestic violence, sex trafficking, stalking and sexual assault by the Department of Health and Human Services. Assembly Bill 41 (AB41) extends the use of fictitious address for such victims to all government agencies and public utilities. AB41 takes effect July 1, 2019.
The Defenders provides vigorous defense against domestic violence charges
If you’ve been charged with a domestic violence crime, you face an increasingly complicated array of laws and penalties, which can potentially deprive you of your rights and freedoms. Our lawyers know this area of the law and will provide you with a defense which focuses on preserving your rights. If you have been charged with a domestic violence crime, or have a protective order issued against you, you need a lawyer to help you navigate this complex legal territory. Call our office today to discuss your potential case at (702) 333-3333.