Restraining Orders

Restraining Order

There are many different types of restraining orders, or emergency protective orders. Simply put, their primary purpose is to attempt to keep someone from doing something. For example, an order may be issued by a court to prohibit an individual from taking a certain action. One of the most common purposes would be to keep someone from physically approaching or even contacting a specific individual. It can provide protection against harassment or abuse by a person who may try to approach that person at work, at home or elsewhere in public. 

Restraining orders can be issued as emergency, temporary or permanent. Here are the most common types of restraining orders:

  • Temporary restraining orders (TROs): As its name implies, this is an order that is temporary, typically lasting until a future court date where the issue will be revisited.
  • Emergency protective orders (EPOs): This can be issued by police “on the scene” of a domestic abuse incident.
  • Workplace violence prevention restraining order: This protects an employer or employee when they feel threatened in a work environment.
  • Elder abuse or dependent adult orders: These are issued with the intent to protect elders who have been abused or threatened.
  • Domestic violence restraining order (DVRO): One of these orders may be placed at the end of a domestic violence case.
  • Civil harassment order and juvenile restraining order: These are typically placed against someone who is not related or close to the person requesting the order.

Unfortunately, some of the most frequently issued orders involve domestic violence. In Nevada, domestic violence is defined as having one or more of these components:

  • Battery or physical violence such as slapping, strangulation or punching.
  • Assault, that is, attempting to use physical force against another person or placing that person in reasonable fear of immediate bodily harm.
  • Sexual assault.
  • False imprisonment.
  • Coercion.
  • Multiple acts of harassment, such as stalking, trespassing, arson, home invasion, injuring or killing an animal, destruction of private property, larceny or burglary.1 

Having a restraining order placed against you has significant ramifications. You will want to seek professional legal advice from a qualified lawyer who can explain exactly what it means, represent you to seek its dismissal (if appropriate and possible) and protect your legal rights. Similarly, if you feel threatened and need a protective order, a criminal defense lawyer can provide guidance to you.

Getting a Restraining Order

There are various forms to be completed, depending upon the type of restraining order you are seeking. They will need to be submitted to the court so they can be reviewed and processed, including the order’s approval or denial. A qualified lawyer can assist with completing and filing the forms on your behalf, offering legal advice and guidance to maximize your chances of getting the protection you are seeking.

Violation of a Restraining Order

Depending upon the type of restraining order and its directives, violating that order could lead to a misdemeanor or felony charge, which could carry fines and/or jail time. Again, if you are charged with violating a restraining order, you will want to work with a criminal defense lawyer who understands this area of law and the overall process to ensure you are well represented in court. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long does a restraining order apply?

A: It depends. Some orders last a set number of days, say, until a court appearance can be scheduled. Others may last indefinitely.

Q: What if a person violates the restraining order?

A: The “protected” person should contact the police and his or her attorney to report the incident. Documenting the violation is vital to protecting not only yourself, but also your future legal rights.

Q: Are all restraining order requests granted?

A: No. You and the person you are trying to protect yourself from will likely need to appear in court before a judge to explain the circumstances so the judge can decide if they warrant the issuance of a protective order. If you are denied, your lawyer can advise you of additional avenues to help protect yourself.

Q: Does a restraining order from another state apply in Nevada?

A: It’s possible. Be sure to check with a Nevada criminal defense lawyer about your particular case. You may need to take action with a Nevada judge to ensure the existing restraining order applies or can apply in Nevada.

A restraining order of any kind is serious for the person applying for one, and for the person that the order will apply towards. A qualified criminal defense lawyer can represent either party so there is a full understanding of the process and help ensure your legal rights are protected.

Source: N.R.S. § 33.018

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