Domestic Violence Criminal Charges
Domestic violence law in North Carolina encompasses several different types of criminal charges. These include communicating threats, assault, stalking, harassing phone calls, cyberstalking and violation of a domestic violence protective order. The underlying common factor among all of these different type of domestic violence charges is that the victim and the defendant have a personal relationship with each other.
Like many other states across the nation, North Carolina takes domestic violence quite seriously. If you have been charged with a domestic violence crime in Monroe Union County, or any other part of the state, know that you are facing serious legal issues. The same rings true if you have been served with a Domestic Violence Protective Order, commonly referred to as a 50-B. This is because a person facing domestic violence charges is not only facing potential jail time, but the outcome of the case could affect several aspects of his or her life - child custody, employment, and even one’s right to own a firearm.
The District Attorney’s office in North Carolina will vigorously prosecute a domestic violence criminal case. This is true even if the person who originally filed charges against you -- your wife or husband, boyfriend, or girlfriend -- says they will drop them; this does not mean your case will automatically get dismissed. In fact, the District Attorney’s office determines whether or not the charges will be dropped, not the victim of domestic violence. For this reason, if you or someone you know has been charged with domestic violence in Monroe Union County, you need to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney right away.Assault
One common North Carolina domestic violence charge is assault on a female. Under state law, assault on a female is an A1 misdemeanor. A person charged with assault on a female in North Carolina faces up to 150 days in jail as well as a possible monetary fine. Of note, the only group of people who may be charged with assault on a female are men over the age of 18. While this may not seem allowable under our Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause, courts have upheld the legality of this requirement.Stalking
The act of stalking generally refers to activity that is meant to put a person in fear of his or her own, or his or her family’s, safety. Stalking may also include the act of causing another to suffer substantial emotional distress due to fear of death, bodily injury, or continued harassment. Someone who has a first-time conviction of stalking, which is a Class A1 misdemeanor, can face up to 150 days in jail. Additional stalking convictions can be considered Class F felonies. Moreover, someone who is found to be stalking while a court order is in effect prohibiting the behavior will face a Class H felony.Cyberstalking
In today’s technologically advanced world, another type of stalking that has become more common is cyberstalking. Cyberstalking can be divided into three types:
- Using email or other electronic communication to threaten to inflict bodily harm, extort money, or damage property;
- The repetitive use of email or other electronic communications to harass another; or
- Using email or other electronic communication to send a statement that is false.
Violation of a North Carolina domestic violence protective order is an offense that is taken seriously be state prosecutors. A person who is charged with violation of a protective order must understand that the state can continue prosecuting the case even if the victim does not want to press charges. This is because any contact that occurs during the time a protective order is in place will get a person in trouble. Violating a protective order is an A1 misdemeanor which carries a penalty of up to 150 days.Domestic Battery
Under North Carolina law, domestic battery is a Class 2 misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 60 days in jail. Battery is defined as the unlawful and unwanted striking or application of force upon another. Unlike assault, which requires fear, battery only requires unwanted contact. Unfortunately, these two often go hand in hand -- this is particularly true when it happens within a domestic dispute.Monroe Union County Family Law Help
Arnold Smith Law, PLLC has criminal defense attorneys as well as family law attorneys on standby ready to fight for your rights under applicable North Carolina law. Our skilled attorneys have experience in Monroe Union County and surrounding areas across the state who are equipped and prepared to help you with both criminal and family law issues. Contact us today to schedule your initial case evaluation.