Restrictions of Domestic Violence Protective Orders

Domestic violence is an issue that plagues families throughout the country. It is not exclusive to people who are married or in relationships. If can affect all members of a family, including children. In Florida, domestic violence is considered any assault or battery that results in injury to a family member or another person living in the household.

The Sunshine State has several laws in place designed to shield and protect people from domestic violence. Although it cannot be stopped entirely, the goal is to decrease the number of families and people who are victim to the abuse. One possible way is through a domestic violence protective order.

Protective orders are designed to limit the interaction one person has with another, whether that is physical contact or any sort of interaction. The orders are supposed to keep people safe from another, but domestic violence protective orders can be complicated.

A person can file for a protective order if he or she has been the victim of domestic violence or if there is the fear he or she might become a victim. For instance, if a spouse says he or she will harm the other person or that person’s family, a protective order could be issued.

To obtain a protective order, a person first must petition to the court requesting the order be instated. The court will use several factors to determine whether the petitioner has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in danger, including the history between the two parties.

A court is likely to grant a protective order if there has been physical abuse, threats of abuse, threats of kidnapping or harming children, abuse or killing of a family pet or use of a weapon. Whether the respondent – the person the order is filed against -has stopped the other spouse from calling law enforcement also could be used as proof.

The domestic violence laws only apply if the respondent is the petitioner’s spouse, former spouse, related by blood or marriage, living with the petitioner now or has in the past lived as a family. The law also would apply if the person shares a child or children with the petitioner, whether or not they have been married or lived together.

In Florida, violating a protective order is a first-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fee. A person can violate it in several different ways, including:

• Refusing to vacate the home, apartment or dwelling shared by both parties
• Being within 500 feet of the petitioner’s home, school, job, or any location specified as a place frequented by the petitioner, or a family member
• Committing an act of domestic violence against the petitioner
• Threatening by words or actions to harm the petitioner
• Intentionally communicating with the petitioner

Getting Knowledge on State Domestic Violence Laws

Laws for domestic violence can be very restrictive or lenient in the state you reside, so a consultation with a family law attorney may be a wise choice. A majority of states have strict laws prohibiting such acts and have laws in place to protect women of domestic violence. The former couples involved in a domestic violence situation may be married, recently divorced, straight, gay, lesbian, living together, going out or not together anymore. Additional involvements may also exist and need to be talked over with a family law lawyer or law enforcement official.

Domestic violence may include verbal abuse, significant other from contacting family, friends, not sharing money, preventing a spouse from getting a job, making a spouse get fired from their job, physical abuse, threatening remarks, sexual assault, following, intimidation, etc. Any questions about what is considered domestic violence should be directed to an attorney or law enforcement official.

There are several hotlines and safe havens that exist for victims of domestic violence, so knowing this is available is very important. The National Domestic Violence National Phone line is among the resources victims should be privy to. The number is located in your local yellow pages. Browsing online is a great way to learn more about domestic abuse resources. Contact an experienced family law lawyer or law enforcement official for extensive information and resources.

An emergency protective order (EPO) may be obtained that according to local law strictly limits the accused from contacting or within a certain amount of feet near the victim. It may also grant custody of the kids (if applicable) to the victim or someone with whom they will be in a protective environment. When in immediate danger, victims should contact 911 instantly and tell the police officers what occurred once they arrive. The policeman may call an on-call court officer to give the EPO on the spot.

To be granted an EPO, the person in danger or his or her kids have to be in immediate and current life threatening situation of extreme violence. The order is valid for five court days or seven calendar days, whichever is less. Further information about an EPO can be obtained by talking to a family law laeyer or law enforcement officer.

To be approved for a temporary restraining order (TRO), the victim must file an application with the nearest family law court. If given, the TRO will be effective once the aggressor is served with papers. To find out more about TROs, victims should, once again, speak with an family law lawyer or a police officer or official deputy.

People affected by domestic violence can be of any gender, race, ethnic background, sexual orientation, age, etc. Knowing one’s resources and phoning the authorities if in immediate danger is important.

Understanding Nevada’s Domestic Violence Statutes

Domestic violence is a serious offense in Nevada and carries stiff penalties. The state code of Nevada, known as the Nevada Revised Statutes (“NRS”), defines domestic violence and provides the penalties associated with convictions for domestic violence.

Most people, when they think of domestic violence, think only of a battery committed by one spouse or partner against another. However, in Nevada it is defined much more broadly. NRS 33.018 explains that the crime occurs when one of a specific group of acts is committed by one person against another and the two parties have a certain relationship listed in the statute.

Domestic violence can be charged when the prohibited act is committed by the alleged offender against any of the following persons:
o A spouse
o A former spouse
o Any other person to whom the suspected offender is related by blood or marriage
o A person with whom the alleged offender is or was actually residing
o A person with whom the alleged offender has had a dating relationship
o A person with whom the suspected offender is having a dating relationship
o A person with whom the alleged offender has a child in common
o The minor child of any of the above persons
o The alleged offender’s minor child
o Any person who has been appointed the custodian or legal guardian for the alleged offender’s minor child

According to the NRS, a “dating relationship” means frequent, intimate associations primarily characterized by the expectation of affectional or sexual involvement. The term does not include a casual relationship or an ordinary association between persons in a business or social context.

As can be observed by reviewing the statutory language, domestic violence is a much broader offense than most people understand. It is not simply an act of violence against one’s spouse or dating partner. Domestic violence can exist between a former spouse or dating partner, or even a person who simply lives in the same residence as the potential offender.

Understanding the law is the first step in knowing how to protect your rights. It is important to stay composed if you find yourself in a situation that may be perceived as crime by an outside viewer. The actions you take may be misinterpreted by an observer or describe incorrectly by a participant in the argument. Try to avoid these situations all together if you can. However, if you find yourself in the midst of an argument, be respectful and never threaten or take any action against the other person.

Domestic Violence Definitions

Performing violent acts in the home is a serious crime. In recent years many programs have been put in place in order to promote the reporting and intolerance of domestic violence occurrences. So what exactly constitutes domestic violence? By knowing what acts can be considered forms of domestic related violence you are better able to protect yourself and your loved ones from these situations.

The Definition of Domestic Violence

In the United States, each state has the ability to make their own laws and definitions concerning violence in the home. However, in general this illegal activity of violence is defined as an act done by a family member or household member against another family member or household member in order to cause harm, be it physical or otherwise. Some common acts and offenses that can fall under this classification can include:

· Causing physical harm and abuse
· Physical assault, such as making threats or causing serious intimidation
· Performing physical battery and other forms of violent contact
· Bodily injuries, be they minor or severe
· Performing sexual assault and battery, including spousal rape
· Threatening or implying the intention to cause harm to the other household member

These are some of the acts that can usually fall under the definition of domestic violence. This crime can be punished through fines, jail time, probation, legal orders, or any combination of those items, depending on the severity of the act. If you have been accused of committing this crime it is important you seek legal counsel to protect your rights and freedoms.

For More Information

Because the laws concerning violence in the home vary from state to state it is important to take measures to find out what laws you are responsible for abiding by within your home state. If you would like to know more about domestic violence or criminal defense law, visit today.

Domestic Violence 101 – Laws, Facts and Information

Domestic violence implicates a wider range of offenses beyond simple battery. Acts which constitute this type of crime include any of the following:

o A battery;
o An assault;
o Compelling the other by force or threat of force to perform an act from which she has the right to refrain or to refrain from an act which she has the right to perform;
o A sexual assault;
o A false imprisonment;
o Unlawful entry of the other’s residence, or forcible entry against the other’s will if there is a reasonably foreseeable risk of harm to the other from the entry;
o A knowing, purposeful or reckless course of conduct intended to harass the other including, but is not limited to:

(1) Stalking.

(2) Arson.

(3) Trespassing.

(4) Larceny.

(5) Destruction of private property.

(6) Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.

(7) Injuring or killing an animal.

As stated in the Nevada Revised Statutes, domestic violence includes a much broader range of offenses than simple battery. This crime can also include an unlawful entry into the alleged victim’s residence or other harassing conduct.

A person convicted of a first offense of domestic violence in Nevada must be sentenced to a minimum of two days jail time, and a maximum of six months jail time, in the Clark County Detention Center. A person convicted of a first offense also must be sentenced to 48 hours, but not more than 120 hours, of community service. Additionally, a first offense of this crime carries a fine of up to $1,000, and requires up to 6 months of counseling.

A second offense of domestic violence within a seven year period carries a minimum of 10 days jail time, 100 hours of community service, and a year of Las Vegas counseling specific to the crime.

A third domestic violence offense within seven years is punishable as a Category “C” felony and carries a mandatory prison sentence of up to 5 years. In other words, if convicted of a third domestic violence offense within seven years of the first conviction for a domestic violence offense, the District Court Judge must, under Nevada law, sentence you to mandatory prison time in Nevada State Prison.

Unfortunately, under the Nevada revised Statutes, a prosecutor lacks discretion in dismissing or reducing domestic violence charges unless your attorney can uncover a legal or factual problem with the case and demonstrate clearly that the case cannot be readily proven.

According to the Nevada Revised Statutes, NRS 200.485(7), if a person is charged with committing a battery, a prosecuting attorney “shall not” dismiss such a charge, or plead down the charge to a lesser charge or for any other reason unless the prosecutor knows, or it is obvious, that the charge is not supported by probable cause or cannot be proven at trial.

The above language, combined with the often overzealous prosecution of these cases by prosecutors, is a recipe for disaster. Prosecutors who handle domestic violence cases in Las Vegas have very little discretion. Often common sense takes a backseat to an overzealous Clark County Prosecutor’s desire to obtain a serious domestic violence conviction for what could have been handled in a more effective and lenient fashion. Not every Battery case needs to result in a conviction. Oftentimes, the police arrive at an incident, don’t get the right facts, arrest the wrong person, and refer a case for prosecution which should not have been submitted to the Clark County District Attorney’s Office. As someone who is charged with Domestic Violence in Las Vegas, you need to look for ways to protect yourself and have your side of the story represented fairly and aggressively. Otherwise, you will in all probability, pay high penalties, be forced to attend mandatory weekly counseling, and most significantly, serve jail time.