If you have been charged with domestic violence in North Carolina, it is important to understand the charges against you and what you can expect during the criminal justice process.
This webpage provides an overview of domestic violence charges, including definitions of key terms, potential penalties, and how a conviction may impact your life.
If you have any questions after reading this information, please do not hesitate to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at our law office for advice.What is Domestic Violence in NC?
Domestic violence is a crime committed against someone with whom you have a domestic relationship. A "domestic relationship" may include things such as:
- Spouses or former spouses
- People who are currently living together or who have lived together in the past
- Parents and children
- People who share a child in common
- People who are or have been in a dating relationship
The potential penalties for domestic violence convictions vary depending on the severity of the crime and whether there are any aggravating factors involved.
For example, Assault on a Female in North Carolina is a Class A1 misdemeanor, and the potential penalties include up to 150 days in jail, supervised probation, domestic violence counseling, fines, and costs of court.
In appropriate circumstances, related felony offenses may be charged.
Potential misdemeanor and felony charges relating to DV may include things like:
- Assault with a Deadly Weapon
- Assault by Pointing a Gun
- Felony Assault by Strangulation
- Assault Inflicting Serious Injury
- Assault with Deadly Weapon with Intent to Kill Inflicting Serious Injury
- Assault on a Female
- Simple Assault
- Communicating Threats
- Violation of a Domestic Violence Protective Order
- Sex Offenses - Sex Crimes
Crimes in North Carolina are categorized as Domestic Violence when the parties fall into the specific categories mentioned above.
The categorization of a crime as domestic violence adds the potential for various other punishments and consequences, including the inability to own weapons, surrender of a concealed carry permit, and an extended detention in jail following an initial arrest.
DV charges in NC can also affect child custody issues, your job, and even the ability to rent an apartment or buy a home.
If you have been charged with domestic violence, contact our criminal defense lawyers at the Beaver Courie Law Firm to learn about your rights and what steps may be necessary for your defense.
It's important to understand, domestic violence case results depend a lot on the fact pattern and allegations made by the alleged victim. NC lawyers carefully analyze the supporting materials and documentation surrounding the charges.What is Assault on a Female in North Carolina?
Assault on a Female in North Carolina is a Class A1 misdemeanor, and the potential penalties include up to 150 days of incarceration (jail).
The essential elements of Assault on a Female (AOF) include:
- The defendant assaulted a female person
- The defendant is male
- The defendant is at least 18 years old or older
As such, Assault on a Female may be thought of as a simple assault coupled with certain additional gender and age requirements for prosecution. Personal injury or serious bodily harm is not necessarily required for assault charges in NC.
Our criminal defense lawyers can help explain the differences between simple assault, affray, and AOF charges and explore possible legal defenses to your felony and misdemeanor charges in Cumberland, Hoke County and Moore County, North Carolina.What is Stalking?
Stalking is defined as a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or the safety of others.What is Communicating Threats in NC?
Threatening to kill or cause serious injury to another person is a serious criminal charge in North Carolina.
This law prohibits the communication of any threat, written or oral, that would put the recipient in reasonable fear for their safety or personal injury.
Communicating threats is set forth under § 14-277.1 and includes what the State needs to prove to obtain a conviction. It includes things like:
- The Defendant, without legal authority or excuse
- Threatens to injure, physically, the victim OR
- Threatens to physically injure the victim's dependent, child, spouse, or sibling OR
- Willfully threatens to injure (damage) the property of the victim
The threat may be communicated to the victim, in writing, orally (spoken), or by any other means.
The threat must be made under circumstances and in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to believe that the threat is likely to be carried out.
The victim must also reasonably believe the threat will be carried out.What is a Domestic Violence Protective Order?
A domestic violence protective order, also known as a 50B Order in North Carolina, can be used to protect victims of domestic abuse.
The effects of a DV protective order depend on the type and severity of the alleged abuse; however, it can restrict communication with family members or even limit access to your home.
If you have been served with a DV protective order, it is important to understand your rights under the law and what legal defenses may be available.What is Domestic Violence Protective Order Violation?
Violating domestic violence orders in North Carolina may result in severe penalties including criminal prosecution. Indeed, willfully violating a DVPO in North Carolina is a Class A1 misdemeanor.
As such, it's crucial to understand the elements of a DVPO violation and whether any legal defenses may be available to you.What Does Burden of Proof Mean?
The burden of proof is the responsibility of one party to prove a certain fact or allegation.
In criminal law, the prosecution must meet the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt in order to obtain a conviction. This is often referred to as the highest standard of proof in our legal system.
The burden of proof in civil charges is typically a preponderance of the evidence, which means that the plaintiff must prove that it is more likely than not that the alleged facts are true.
Criminal charges involving Domestic Violence in North Carolina must be proven, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, by the State (the Assistant District Attorney assigned to prosecute).
The Burden of Proof for a DVPO in North Carolina is the preponderance of the evidence. This means that it is more likely than not (greater than 50%) that you committed a domestic violence offense in North Carolina to obtain an order.
This is a lower burden, when compared with criminal charges, but can have serious repercussions and effects on your rights.Do I Need a Lawyer for DV Charges?
If you are accused of domestic violence, we firmly believe it is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney representing you.
DV charges can result in serious penalties, including jail time and a criminal record, if convicted.
An attorney can help you understand the charges against you, analyze the fact pattern, explain your options, and protect your rights.Should I Talk to the Police?
Generally speaking, if you’re accused of criminal wrongdoing, we don’t think is good idea to talk to the police without an attorney.
Anything you say may be used against you in court. As such, we recommend people facing possible criminal charges politely decline to answer questions or “clear things up.”
As if you are under arrest. If you are free to leave, do so. If arrested, exercise your right to remain silent. Request to speak with a lawyer without hindrance or delay.
We think it is important to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer representing you if you are accused of domestic violence.
The consequences of a conviction can be serious and may include jail time, probation, and a criminal record.
If you have been accused of domestic violence, contact the attorneys at the Beaver Courie Law Firm for a consultation.
We will review your case and help you understand your rights under the law. Our goal is to protect you and your best interests.What Does Miranda Warning Mean?
The Miranda warning is a statement that law enforcement officers recite to criminal suspects in order to inform them of their constitutional rights.
The Miranda warning includes the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, and the right to have an attorney present during any questioning.
If you are arrested or questioned by police, it is important to understand your Miranda rights and exercise them accordingly.How Much is the Bond for DV Charges in NC?
The amount of bond for DV charges in North Carolina varies based on the facts of each case.
If you are accused of domestic violence, it is important to have an attorney representing you as soon as possible.
Our attorneys will work with the court and the prosecuting attorney to determine whether a reasonable bond can be set for your case.What Defense Can I Use for DV Charges?
The defenses available in domestic violence cases vary based on the facts of each case, but may include defenses such as self-defense, defense of others, or accident.Should I Try to Talk to or Apologize to the Person Who Accused Me of Domestic Violence?
We believe you should not talk to the person who accused you of domestic violence.
In North Carolina, a defendant can be charged with violating a 50B order if they communicate with someone who has an active restraining or protective order against them. It may also be a violation of a term or condition of release from jail.
This includes both verbal and written communication (i.e., text messaging).
If you have a question about whether or not you can communicate with the person who accused you of domestic violence, contact the attorneys at Beaver Courie Law Firm.What if I Violate My DVPO?
If you are charged with violating your DVPO, it is important to understand that this is a criminal charge in North Carolina and must be taken seriously.
We believe it helps to have an attorney by your side in court if you are charged with violating your DVPO in North Carolina.
The attorneys at Beaver Courie Law Firm understand the seriousness of DV charges and can help explain the consequences of a conviction for these serious allegations.
For more information about Domestic Violence charges and orders in North Carolina, contact our office now.Are You Facing Criminal Charges?
If you are facing criminal charges, then it's important to understand your rights and know the best possible defense strategies for your unique situation.
Our Fayetteville NC lawyers handle felony and misdemeanor cases in Cumberland County, North Carolina regularly. We also have an office in Raeford, North Carolina, in Hoke County.
If available for representation, we can help explain the law surrounding your case as well as what defenses may be available to you.
Please contact us to discuss your case today.Do Domestic Abuse Cases Go to Court?
Yes, domestic cases in North Carolina are heard in court on a daily basis. If you have been charged with a crime related to domestic abuse, then it's important to understand your rights under the law and what legal defenses may be available.Is Verbal Abuse a Crime in NC?
Verbal abuse is ordinarily not a crime in North Carolina; however, assault and other related charges may be applicable in certain situations.
Communicating Threats, which may be a type of verbal abuse, is a crime in North Carolina. Interfering with emergency communications is also a criminal charge often encountered in DV cases in NC.
If you have been charged with a crime related to domestic violence, it's important to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can help explain your rights and defenses.What are the Penalties for Domestic Violence?
The penalties for domestic violence vary depending on the type and severity of the abuse, as well as whether any physical injuries are sustained.
Some domestic violence charges are a misdemeanor in North Carolina; however, DV allegations can be elevated to a felony charge if serious injury is caused or if the allegations involve strangulation.
Each case is different.
Consult with an experienced lawyer immediately if you have been accused of Domestic Violence in NC. We strongly recommend you establish a formal attorney client relationship even before criminal charges are formally pressed.
It's important to understand that domestic violence charges can have a significant impact on your future, including the ability to obtain employment or secure housing.
If you have been charged with domestic abuse, then it's important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can explain your rights and defenses under North Carolina law.When Results Matter, We Offer Serious Help for Serious Legal Problems
We handle numerous domestic violence cases each year, some of which other criminal defense lawyers decline.
We are trial lawyers and willingly accept the challenge of unpopular cases and often render support services and assistance to other lawyers and law firms through case-by-case affiliation.Contact Us Today for More Information on Domestic Violence Cases and What Beaver Courie Can Do for You
Contact our offices in Fayetteville, Raeford or Pinehurst, North Carolina, to discuss the charges against you. When results matter, we are just a phone call away.