Goldsboro Domestic Violence Lawyers
The scourge of domestic violence is tragically common in our society. Our Goldsboro domestic violence lawyers are here to help victims get protection for themselves and their families.
Our office can be reached at (919) 893-0090 or here online. But when you or someone you love is suffering from domestic violence, it’s also imperative to get yourself into a safe situation. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE today.
What Constitutes Domestic Violence in North Carolina?
There are two facets to domestic violence from a legal perspective. The first is the crime itself. The second is the relationship the victim has to the perpetrator.
The state of North Carolina defines a violent crime as causing, or at least attempting to cause bodily injury. Sex crimes, including statutory rape, fall under the domestic violence umbrella.
Acts of domestic violence are not restricted to physical acts. Psychological assaults on someone’s mental health can also be placed in this category. Was a victim placed in reasonable fear of bodily injury? Are they being subjected to continuous harassment? All of this can add up to domestic violence depending on the circumstances.
These actions are all crimes regardless of who the victim is. What elevates them to the legal status of domestic violence is when the victim is any of the following:
- A spouse or ex-spouse
- A romantic partner or ex-romantic partner
- An immediate family member
- Anyone living under the same roof as the perpetrator
How To Get a Restraining Order in North Carolina
The restraining order process works in two phases. It starts with securing an ex parte order. This is temporary and all that’s required is the testimony of the victim. Now, the perpetrator will get their day in court at a full hearing, but victims can get some immediate security and peace of mind.
When the full hearing is held, both sides will present their evidence. The lawyer for the victim can summon witnesses that may include family, friends, and neighbors who either witnessed the actual violence or can give the court greater context on the perpetrator’s pattern of behavior. Cellphone pictures of injuries are another source of evidence and if a victim ever had to seek medical treatment, there will be a formal record of that to be presented in court.
The judge can then issue a Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO) which is a long-term restraining order.
A restraining order can give you peace of mind and physical protection. Call Strickland Agner Pittman today at (919) 893-0090 or fill out our online contact form to get help in dealing with domestic violence.
Protections a DVPO Can Give
The precise parameters of a DVPO can vary from case to case and judges have discretion. A perpetrator may be forbidden to be within a certain distance of the victim or to enter into certain geographical boundaries (i.e., the property of the victim).
The court may award child custody to the victim on a temporary basis and restrict–if not eliminate–any visitation rights the perpetrator may have. Sharp limits can be placed on communication of any sort, from texting to phone calls to social media contact.
Furthermore, the court has the option of ordering the perpetrator to compensate the victim for attorney fees, restrict their Second Amendment rights and perhaps order the perpetrator into an appropriate treatment program.
The DVPO lasts for one year, at which time the court can revisit the terms.
Consequences for Violating a DVPO
The gravity of domestic violence means that the consequences of violating protective orders based on this crime can be enhanced. Penalties for doing so start with a Class A misdemeanor charge, which can result in jail time for anywhere from 2-5 months, depending on the perpetrator’s prior record. But that is just the starting point. A perpetrator who commits other felony acts–even if they are completely unrelated to the victim–can see charges and potential sentences escalate. Multiple violations of the DVP can see what was once a misdemeanor turn into a felony–and the potential for long prison terms. Even a Class H felony–the lowest-level felony in the state of North Carolina–is punishable by more than 3 years behind bars.
Victims of domestic violence have legal recourse. Our Goldsboro domestic violence attorneys, available at (919) 893-0090 can work to gain immediate protection through a restraining order.
People have the right to live peaceably in their own homes. When that right is violated by someone that is currently or previously was close to them, it can be particularly painful. Don’t sit by and let someone rob you of your safety and your peace of mind.
Strickland Agner Pittman will fight for you, your safety, and the safety of your children.