What is the legal definition of sexual assault in Nevada?
Sexual assault is when someone forces sexual penetration upon you or forces you to make a sexual penetration upon him/her, another person, or an animal. You must be unwilling to do the sexual act or the abuser must know that you are mentally or physically incapable of resisting or understanding what you are doing.1
Sexual penetration includes sexual intercourse in its ordinary meaning. It can also include oral sex, and any insertion of any part of a person’s body or any object into the genital or anal openings of another person’s body.2
Note: If you are married to the abuser at the time of the sexual assault, it is still a sexual assault if it was committed by force or by the threat of force.3 See our Marital/Partner Rape page for general information and ways to get help.
1 N.R.S. § 200.366(1)
2 N.R.S. § 200.364(2)
3 N.R.S. § 200.373
What types of orders are there? How long do they last?
An order for protection against sexual assault is a court order that protects the victim from the abuser. For more information on what these orders can do for you, see How can an order for protection against sexual assault help me?
There are two types of orders for protection against sexual assault in Nevada: temporary orders and extended orders.
A temporary order for protection against sexual assault is an order that can be granted on the day you first apply for an order in court. Whether you get this order will be based on the information you include in your petition as well as your testimony or any evidence you present when you are in front of the judge who is reviewing your petition. You can get the order without the abuser being present in court or notified of your application for a temporary order (known as an ex parte order).1 The temporary order will last up to 30 days or until your court hearing for an extended order takes place (assuming that you file a petition for an extended order within those 30 days).2
Note: Once your temporary ex parte order is served on the abuser, s/he can file legal papers to ask the court to hold a hearing (sooner than the scheduled court hearing) at which the abuser can ask the court to change or drop the temporary order. S/he has to give you only two days’ notice of this new hearing.3
An extended order will last for up to three years.4 An extended order could be granted after the abuser has been given notice of the court hearing and a hearing takes place in which you and the abuser each have an opportunity to present evidence, witnesses and testimony to prove your case.1 You may want to have a lawyer represent you at this hearing, especially if you think the abuser will have one. For free and paid legal services, go to our NV Finding a Lawyer page.
1 N.R.S. § 200.378(3)
2 N.R.S. § 200.3782(1)
3 N.R.S. § 200.3782(2)
4 N.R.S. § 200.3782(3)
What protections can I get in an order for protection against sexual assault?
A temporary or extended order can:
- Direct the abuser to stay away from your home, school, business, or place of employment and any other location specifically named by the court;
- Prohibit the abuser from contacting, intimidating, threatening, or interfering with you or any other person named in the order, including your family or household member(s); and/or
- Include other restrictions on the abuser that the court considers necessary to protect you or any other person specifically named by the court, including members of your family or household.1
Note: If an abuser is charged with the crime of sexual assault against you, you might get a protection order from the criminal court judge with the restrictions listed above. The judge could issue this order if the abuser (defendant) is released from jail before trial or once s/he is found guilty of the crime.2 If the abuser is brought to trial, the prosecutor should inform you of the outcome of the case.3 If the court orders any restrictions on the abuser, the court clerk is supposed to provide you and any other people named in the order with a certified copy of the order.4
1 N.R.S. § 200.378(1)
2 N.R.S. § 200.378(2)
3 N.R.S. § 200.3784(1)
4 N.R.S. § 200.3784(2)
If the abuser lives in a different state, can I still get an order against him/her?
When you and the abuser live in different states, the judge may not have “personal jurisdiction” (power) over an out-of-state abuser. This means that the court may not be able to grant an order against him/her.
There are a few ways that a court can have personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state abuser:
- The abuser has a substantial connection to your state. Perhaps the abuser regularly travels to your state to visit you, for business, to see extended family, or the abuser lived in your state and recently fled.
- One of the acts of abuse “happened” in your state. Perhaps the abuser sends you threatening texts or harassing phone calls from another state but you read the messages or answer the calls while you are in your state. The judge could decide that the abuse “happened” to you while you were in your state. It may also be possible that the abuser was in your state when s/he abused you s/he but has since left the state.
- If you file your petition and the abuser gets served with the court petition while s/he is in your state, this is another way for the court to get jurisdiction.
However, even if none of the above apply to your situation, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t get an order. If you file, you may be granted an order on consent or the judge may find other circumstances that allow the order to be granted.
You can read more about personal jurisdiction in our Court System Basics - Personal Jurisdiction section.
Note: If the judge in your state refuses to issue an order, you can file for an order in the courthouse in the state where the abuser lives. However, remember that you will likely need to file the petition in person and attend various court dates, which could be difficult if the abuser’s state is far away.