In North Carolina, victims of domestic violence are protected by both criminal and civil laws. However, most domestic violence cases in North Carolina are prosecuted through general criminal statutes. The law describes domestic violence as one of several violent acts when committed between people sharing a personal relationship, and individuals convicted of domestic violence could be looking at some very serious penalties.
If you are charged with committing a crime involving domestic violence, or if you are accused of committing domestic violence in a petition for a court order, it’s essential to speak with an experienced and knowledgeable Raleigh criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. For a free, confidential consultation with defense attorney Dewey Brinkley, call our Raleigh Law Firm today at (919) 832-0307.
Definition of Domestic Violence in North Carolina
Although the most common idea of domestic violence is what’s portrayed on television in the media, there are several ways that a person can commit domestic violence and violate North Carolina law. The law covering domestic violence is N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50B.
In general, domestic violence occurs when any of the following acts are committed against a person with whom the offender shares or shared a personal relationship, or against the minor child of such a person:
- Intentionally causing to attempting to cause injury
- Putting the victim or the victim’s family in fear of imminent danger. The actions must cause substantial emotional distress, putting the victim in fear of serious injury or continued harassment
- Committing a sex-related crime, such as rape, sexual offenses, sexual offense with a child, sexual battery, statutory rape, or intercourse with certain victims
The law often mentions “personal relationship.” This is defined as:
- A current or former spouse
- Persons who live together or have lived together
- Related as parent or child
- Parents who have a child in common
- Current or former household members
- Persons who were in a dating relationship
Punishments in Domestic Violence Cases in North Carolina
There are many different punishments and sentencings for domestic violence, and the severity of the punishment often depends on the circumstances of the alleged offense, the severity of the victim’s injury, the offender’s criminal history, and so forth.
In these cases, the prosecutor and the judge will establish that there is a personal relationship, and if the crime fits the definition of domestic violence, then the judge can also impose special conditions when sentencing the defendant.
Some common misdemeanor domestic violence crimes include:
- Assault on a female
- Communicating threats
- Domestic criminal trespass
- Harassing phone calls
- Injury to pregnant women
- Injury to personal property
- Assault inflicting serious injury
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Stalking (can be a felony)
- Violation of a protective order
- Assault in presence of child
- Sexual battery
Some felony domestic violence crimes can include:
- Sexual offenses
- Non-fatal strangulations
If the alleged offender doesn’t have any priors and the charge is minor, then the person may be eligible for pre-trial release. Furthermore, the judge may impose special conditions on the case, such as requiring the defendant to undergo medical or psychiatric treatment, such as rehabilitation, counseling, treatment, training, etc. The defendant may also be asked to complete a Drug Treatment Court Program, abstain from alcohol or drugs, and remain at home except for work and school, for instance.
Defense for Domestic Violence Charges
Your criminal defense attorney will help you navigate the arrest and court processes, representing and defending your case at every stage and keeping you informed regarding defense strategies and legal options.
Some common domestic violence strategies and tips can include:
- Completely abiding by any “no contact” orders.
- Reaching out to the victim and trying to mend things.
- Proving that you acted out of self-defense and concerned with your own safety.
- Proving that you acted out of a necessity to protected your child.
- Proving that you acted with legal justification on your side.
- Proving that you didn’t batter the victim.
- The police didn’t follow procedure, such as not reading your rights or conducting an illegal search.
- If the evidence is stacked against you, it’s important to show that the abuse was an isolated incident.
Based on your interests, you and your attorney can fight for innocence, dropped charges, or alternative or reduced sentencing.
Call Criminal Defense Attorney Dewey P. Brinkley Today
Domestic violence charges can wreak havoc on your life, ruin your reputation, give you a criminal record, and possibly put you away behind bars for some amount of time. For this reason, it’s critical to get the defense experience of Raleigh domestic violence attorney Dewey P. Brinkley. For a free consultation with our law firm, call our Raleigh law firm today at 919-832-0307.