Category Archives: Domestic Violence

Defense for Domestic Violence Charges in North Carolina

If you face domestic violence charges, it is imperative that you build a strong defense. A conviction can come with serious consequences, including difficulty passing background checks for future employment. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney in North Carolina, like Dewey P. Brinkley, can help you develop that defense.

Recent Changes in Domestic Violence Protections for Same-Sex Relationships

domestic violence defense North Carolina was the last state in the United States to deny some domestic violence protections, such as protective orders, to same-sex couples. In March 2022, the ACLU of North Carolina reported that the North Carolina Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeals’ decision that same-sex couples cannot be excluded from domestic violence protections.

Going forward, victims of domestic violence will be able to request a protective order and receive it, no matter the gender of their partner.

Common Defenses Against Domestic Violence Charges in North Carolina

If faced with a domestic violence charge, your defense will depend on what happened and what evidence the state has against you. Some common defenses against domestic violence charges in North Carolina include:

I Didn’t Do It

One common defense that you might use is to show that you didn’t do it. This means that your defense team will claim that either the event didn’t happen at all or that it was someone else that hurt your partner. This will works if there is no evidence that shows that you committed domestic violence or if the evidence is weak.

It Was an Accident

Sometimes family members suffer injuries because of an accident. For example, you may have knocked your partner down when trying to pull them back from an intersection so that they weren’t hit by a car and your actions were misunderstood by your partner or witnesses.  Sometimes you didn’t mean to hurt your partner and it was simply an accident.

My Partner Lied

Another defense against domestic violence is claiming that your partner lied about the accusation or about key aspects of the case. If this is the case, any lie could cast doubt on the charges of domestic violence case and lead to your exoneration.


If you acted violently in self-defense, you could claim self-defense. If your partner started physically fighting with you or threatening you with a weapon, you could let the judge and jury know about the physical altercation in the right context. Since you didn’t start the fight but rather defended and protected yourself, this shouldn’t count as domestic violence.

There’s No Proof

Without a confession, you are innocent until found guilty. The state needs proof that domestic violence occurs. In some cases, your criminal defense attorney can advocate for the case to be dismissed on the grounds of insufficient evidence.

Police Errors

Sometimes you can build a defense and have the charges potentially dismissed if there were police errors in the investigation. For instance, if you confessed under coercion or if the investigation did not go in accordance with local laws, this could potentially be used to avoid a conviction. Remember do not talk with the police without an attorney present. Always ask for an attorney and do not be intimidated by police into not getting an attorney. This is your right and is the smart thing to do.

The State, Not the Victim, Proceeds With Domestic Violence Charges

It is important to remember that the State of North Carolina proceeds with domestic violence charges. Even if your partner agrees to drop the case, it isn’t within their rights to have the state stop the criminal trial. For this reason, no matter what really happened, it is important that you speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Your criminal defense attorney can give you advice on your next steps. You should never try to pressure your partner to drop the charges, especially since it isn’t their decision. Your lawyer will let you know if and how to communicate with your partner and how to protect yourself throughout the case.

Consult Criminal Defense Attorney in North Carolina

To defend yourself against domestic violence charges, you need a good defense. If you or a loved one have been charged with domestic violence, contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at (919) 832-0307 or by using the online form. You can discuss your case and decide on what to do next during your consultation. Dewey P. Brinkley has experience fighting domestic violence charges and can help you build a strong defense based on your specific situation.

Domestic Violence Since the Pandemic Isolation in Raleigh, NC

It’s been a full year since COVID-19 closed down the state of North Carolina and the entire world. Beginning in March of 2020, many countries began ordering “lockdowns” for citizens to stem the spread of the coronavirus to more of the population. Masks became commonplace, many office-based employees began working from home.

Children began online schooling, and many parents became home-schoolers as well. Retail employees in grocery and discount stores became “essential workers” while everyone else stayed home.

People everywhere have adapted to the new lifestyle, with many making permanent changes. Unfortunately, one less positive outcome of the pandemic isolation has been the increase of domestic violence resulting from the nationwide lockdowns.

Lockdown With An Abusive Partner

Changes in Domestic Violence Since the Pandemic Isolation in Raleigh, NC

Another name for domestic violence is “intimate partner violence,” or IPV. The CDC reports:

  • About one in four women and one in ten men have experienced domestic violence by an intimate partner during their lifetime and reported at least one impact of the violence, i.e., concern for personal safety
  • Over 43 million women and 38 million men have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime

The pandemic lockdowns have exacerbated domestic violence. Individuals who were planning to leave their abusive domestic partner may have seen their plans thwarted when the shelter-in-place plans were implemented, trapping them with their abuser. Teachers, social workers, childcare professionals, and others who would otherwise have more frequent contact with victims are not in touch to be able to help.

Social distancing requirements meant that abused partners no longer had options in friends or relatives ready to help. The risk of COVID-19, and subsequent quarantine, took away resources such as shelters that might have been available before. Closures of courts also mean that protection orders were more difficult or even impossible to acquire.

Violence can take the forms of:

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Psychological
  • Sexual

Many of these types of relationships also involve financial entanglement, and victims may not be able to access their own paycheck in order to leave.

Medical Implications

One of the most prevalent indicators of increased domestic violence during the pandemic has been the uptick in Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). Even outside of the pandemic, TBI in women is about one in four. That rate has increased along with the rise in domestic violence cases.

Medical facilities are frequently safe spaces for victims to be able to report abuse and seek help. Unfortunately, the pandemic has also taken away that option. Surgeries and other appointments were canceled in the wake of the pandemic. Non-emergency medical visits have taken the form of telemedicine, either a phone call or video call with patients to determine a diagnosis. This means that abusers may be able to listen in to conversations, rendering the patient unable to disclose any indication of abuse.

American Family Physician recently published guidelines for healthcare providers for helping identify and assist victims of domestic violence.

North Carolina’s Response

In March of 2020, police departments in the US saw as much as a 27% increase in domestic violence calls, although the number of calls in Raleigh stayed about the same as the previous year. However, shelters such as Interact have seen a weekly increase in calls as much as 30% to 50%.

North Carolina Health News also reported an uptick in domestic violence cases statewide.

The COVID-19 Remote Hearing Resource For Domestic Violence Matters, published in January of 2021 by the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts sets out guidelines for courts to handle these particularly difficult cases. Additional information is available on the North Carolina Judicial Branch website.

Despite the lockdown, Gov. Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home order does allow domestic violence victims the opportunity to leave home and seek safety and shelter. Victims may not realize that they can leave, no matter what their abuser tells them. Help is also available through:

The North Carolina Domestic Violence Intervention Program also offers treatment for abusers to help end the cycle of abuse and learn new methods of interaction with family members and intimate partners.

Criminal Defense Attorney Dewey P. Brinkley In Raleigh

If you’ve been accused of a crime or arrested for one, it’s important to find a strong defense attorney quickly to begin building an effective defense. Dewey P. Brinkley is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Raleigh, NC who understands the criminal justice system, and how to defend you against many types of criminal charges.

Call Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your case at (919) 832-0307. You can also email us by using our online contact form.

Domestic Violence In Raleigh, NC

It’s become commonplace to read news about violence in a relationship between two people, or in a home situation. Commonly called “domestic violence,” it can occur with individuals in personal relationships, including:

  • Domestic Violence In Raleigh, NCPersons currently or previously married
  • Unmarried individuals who are dating or were dating at one point
  • Unmarried individuals who currently live together, or previously lived together
  • Parents of the same child
  • Parent and child
  • Other relatives, including grandparents and child who act as a parent to a minor child

Domestic violence occurs in all types of homes without regard to race, sex, national origin, or socioeconomic status. In 2020, current statistics show that 43.9% of women and 19.3% of men experience some form of domestic violence in North Carolina. This moves the Tar Heel State into the ten states with the highest rate of domestic violence.

Types Of Domestic Violence

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) defines it as:

“. . .the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, and emotional/psychological abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence vary dramatically.”

The NCADV reports that every year, 10 million people are abused by an intimate partner. Family members such as children, siblings, parents, and grandparents can also potential targets of abuse through:

  • Physical violence, including restraining, striking, pushing, or other actions to cause harm
  • Verbal and emotional abuse, using statements to control and demean the other person, making them feel useless and empty
  • Psychological abuse, statements or actions made with the intent to strike fear in the victim
  • Stalking and “checking up,” unwanted and repeated surveillance against another person, including:
    • Showing up at home, work, or elsewhere without notice or an invitation
    • Following you going to work, errands, or elsewhere
    • Calling after being asked to stop
    • Calling work, school, friends, or relatives to ask about you
    • Sending unwanted letters, texts, emails, or voicemails
    • Waiting at places you frequent
    • Following and watching you on social media
    • Causing damage to your home, car, or other possessions
    • Leaving evidence that they’ve visited and are following you around
  • Financial abuse, in which the victim has no control over their finances, or is not allowed to work or even have money.

Victims can request Domestic Violence Protection Orders that offer them legal protection. Ex parte temporary orders are immediate, and protect the victim until trial, about ten days. Final domestic protection orders can last up to a full year. They are issued after a court hearing where the defendant can speak for him or herself in defense. These orders can be extended as needed.


North Carolina does not have specific charges for domestic violence. Instead, a person arrested for will be charged for the specific crime, such as assault. Anything related to domestic violence incurs additional penalties. If the court discovers that the individual charged with a crime has a personal relationship with the victim, the records will show that the crime was domestic violence.

The court can include additional terms to probation, including:

  • Treatment, including medical and/or psychiatric as an inpatient
  • Successfully complete drug treatment and rehabilitation
  • Refrain from alcohol consumption and be subjected to monitoring
  • Require the defendant to remain at home except for school, work, etc.

Resources For Victims

There are remedies available for those in a difficult situation. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) 24/7.

Domestic Shelters has a listing of shelters in the state where emergency help and housing is available.

The North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence has a list of service providers on its website (scroll down past the section on COVID Relief Funds.)

The North Carolina Department of Administration also has a list of programs for those in need of assistance.

If You’re Accused And/Or Charged

While domestic violence is a serious matter for victims, it’s also wielded as a weapon in divorces and child custody cases. Vindictive spouses and partners claim domestic violence with the idea that it will “help” their cases and goals. The intent may be to get full custody of children, a higher amount of financial support or settlement, or a larger share of marital property (such as the family home.) False accusations of domestic violence frequently backfire, but not until it’s done significant damage to the other party.

Accusing another person of anything is easy, including domestic violence. Even an accusation without any evidence can land someone in the back of a police car. It’s the call most police officers fear the most because it also puts them in danger while trying to diffuse tension. Once they arrive, they must make an arrest.

As a defendant, it’s important to adhere to and comply with any restraining orders that are issued against you. If you don’t, additional criminal charges can be filed, be arrested, and spend time in jail.

If you are accused of domestic violence, the only way to defend yourself is in court with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Failing to appear allows the court to issue a permanent order. Your attorney will work to protect your rights and help you avoid additional legal issues stemming from the original charges.

Domestic Violence Is A Serious Charge

If you’ve been charged with any form of domestic violence, you must have a strong defense when going to trial. Without it, you could be facing jail time.

Dewey P. Brinkley is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Raleigh, NC who can defend you against charges of domestic violence. Call the law offices of Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your criminal defense case at (919) 832-0307. You can also use our online contact form.


What’s Involved In A Domestic Violence Case In North Carolina?

In the US, between one and three million people experience an incidence of domestic violence every year. Although the victims are primarily women, a significant number of men experience domestic violence as well, and it cuts across class, race, and other groups of people. North Carolina saw more than 16,000 individuals sent to an emergency shelter. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that twenty people are assaulted every minute by someone with whom they have an intimate and/or familial relationship. These numbers are just the cases that are reported, because there are many more cases that are not.

What Is Domestic Violence?

A Domestic Violence Case In North Carolina?North Carolina defines it as committing an act against another person with whom the offender has or had a personal relationship, or the child of that person:

  • Attempting to or intentionally causing bodily injury
  • Giving a victim the fear of imminent danger or bodily injury and/or continual harassment to the point of causing great emotional distress
  • Sex crimes such as:
    • Rape, 1st or 2nd degree
    • Sexual battery
    • Sex crimes against children, including statutory rape

North Carolina has expanded the law to include dating relationships as well.

Many of these crimes are already covered by other statutes, and are prosecuted that way. However, when they are suitable for domestic violence cases, judges have additional options for conditions of probation including medical or psychiatric treatments, drug or alcohol treatments and house arrest with limitations.

Civil And Criminal

Although domestic violence is part of civil law, criminal charges can also be levied. In a domestic violence case where an assault was committed, the perpetrator will be prosecuted for assault. A case that involved rape or a similar charge would be prosecuted as a sex crimes case.

Victims also have civil remedies available to them, such as concealing their addresses from the defendant. Additionally, a victim can file a civil suit against the defendant similar to a personal injury lawsuit to recover medical expenses, damages, lost wages and pain and suffering. Child custody and alimony orders may also be modified after charges and/or a conviction.

Protective Orders

A person who is in fear of an incident of domestic violence against themselves and/or their children can request an emergency protective order (sometimes called a “restraining order”) that issues a range of conditions against the defendant. These conditions can include orders of no contact, prohibit him or her from being in or near the home, award temporary child custody, visitation, and child support payments, as well as prohibit further harassment or abuse of the individual, any children, as well as any pets.

Protective orders can be valid for a year, but the party who filed for the order can also request an extension of up to two years.

Violations of these orders can range from misdemeanor charges to felony charges, depending on what a defendant does in the process. If he or she commits a felony while violating a protective order, they will be charged one level higher. Police will not need to obtain an arrest warrant under the circumstances.

False Charges Of Domestic Violence

Despite the statistics, there are cases where domestic violence charges are false, particularly against spouses in the middle of divorce proceedings.

If this is the case, your divorce attorney may offer to handle it for you. However, it’s better to have a criminal defense attorney handle it instead, since a divorce attorney concentrates on family matters. Gather up any evidence for your case, especially written and electronic communications, witness statements and other proof of your innocence to give to your criminal defense attorney to build your case.

Domestic Violence Is A Serious Charge

If you’ve been charged with any form of domestic violence, you must have a strong defense when going to trial. Without it, you could be facing jail time.

Dewey P. Brinkley is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Raleigh, NC who can defend you against charges of domestic violence. Call the law offices of Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your criminal defense case at (919) 832-0307. You can also email us at, or use our online contact form.

Defendant in a Domestic Violence Case in Raleigh? Here’s What to Do

Defendant in a Domestic Violence Case in Raleigh? Here's What to DoDomestic violence charges are not these exclusively private affairs that you can glide by. For instance, even if there wasn’t a serious injury, even if your partner wants to drop the case, and even if your friend, a real estate lawyer, seems like a good option for representing you, then you’d be in for a surprise. Domestic violence cases can be complex and the Raleigh and Wake County courts can be particularly unforgiving to individuals charged with domestic violence.

From being separated from your family for a long period of time to getting a criminal record and the long-term consequences associated with it, it’s absolutely critical to speak with the best domestic violence defense attorney in Raleigh, Dewey P. Brinkley. If you were charged with domestic violence, don’t hesitate and call our criminal defense law firm today at (919) 832-0307. Free consultations are available.

In the meantime, as a defendant charged with domestic violence in Raleigh, here are a few things that you can do.

What to Do After Being Arrested for Domestic Abuse?

Being arrested, no matter the charges or the circumstances surrounding the arrest, is a stressful and emotional experience. When arrested for domestic abuse, however, the high levels of stress and emotion cause a fairly dangerous situation for police officers. In fact, many police officers in Raleigh and Wake County have reported that domestic violence calls often pose the most threat to the responding officers.

Right to Remain Silent and Remaining Civil

Therefore, whether or not the police are making a mistake in arresting you, it is absolutely critical that you comply, remain polite, and use your right to remain silent. In order to invoke this right, calmly and politely say, “I want to invoke my right to remain silent,” instead of not responding to the police questioning. Furthermore, you don’t want to incriminate yourself by saying something that the prosecutor can use against you.

Calling a Criminal Defense Attorney

If arrested and charged with domestic violence, don’t consider it equivalent to a speeding ticket or something insignificant. Remember, criminal charges will adversely affect your freedom, your job, your ability to make a living and gain employment in the future, and your family, as well as many other matters.

By acquiring an experienced criminal defense attorney, your attorney will work on your behalf to gather evidence and investigate the circumstances of the charge.

Cooperate and Follow Any Requirements Regarding Counseling or Diversion Programs

If you are convicted of domestic violence and are given an alternative sentence to jail time, make sure that you follow these regulations to a “T.” If you fail to fulfill these requirements, then original penalties or other consequences may be imposed.

Asked to Visit the Detective Regarding “Your Side of the Story?”

Often in a domestic violence case, our clients will call us saying, “The detective in my case called me in so that I can tell my side of the story.” The detective will generally sound very nice, like he/she just wants to straighten out the facts and move on.

A general rule, however, is that if you are called into the precinct, you should consult your attorney and don’t go alone. The detective may not want to straighten things out, but, instead, he/she may be looking to arrest you. For instance, the officer may ask for your side of the story, and if you respond, “My wife was trying to attack me, and so I pushed her away,” then you may have just admitted to pushing your wife. Now, the DA might just have the necessary evidence to move forward with your case.

The Victim and Your Domestic Abuse Charges

Many, if not most, of the claimants in a domestic violence case (i.e., the “victim”) regret having their spouse arrested. As a result, they may try to call the precinct or the defendant’s attorney trying to get the charges withdrawn.

Unlike civil cases, where the plaintiff can withdraw his/her motion, criminal charges in North Carolina act a bit differently. As a criminal case, the victim is considered a “witness” and does not, technically, file or decide whether the charges will be dropped. It is up to the State regarding how a case will proceed in criminal courts.

How the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley Can Defend Your Charges

Every domestic violence case is different, involving a wide range of factors, causes, and effects. As a result, our criminal defense approach to your domestic violence case will highly depend on these factors.

At the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley, we will thorough investigate these factors, provide you with essential and realistic counsel regarding your case, and we will use leading domestic abuse defense tactics to seek a favorable result in North Carolina courts.

For a free consultation, contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley today at (919) 832-0307

Domestic Violence Law Part One

Criminal charges as a result of domestic violence are an ever increasing phenomenon in courtrooms across the United States. In North Carolina, these charges are defined as any assault, violation of a restraining order, trespass on property, damage to property, or unwanted communication occurring between two people who have at some time been in a romantic relationship. This can include acts between current spouses, domestic partners, current and former love interests and divorced parties. In North Carolina, prosecutors across the State have focused on these crimes by creating special courtrooms with specially trained assistant district attorneys, victim witness advocates, and judges who focus solely on these crimes. Police departments have also developed specially trained officers to deal with domestic disputes arising in this area.

In order to better understand this area of criminal law and utilizing my experience as a Raleigh Domestic Violence Lawyer, I want to focus on three key stages Continue reading Domestic Violence Law Part One