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Domestic Violence Criminal Charges

The area of domestic violence law incorporates a number of different charges, such as assault, communicating threats, harassing phone calls, stalking, cyber-stalking and violation of a domestic violence protective order. The common factor among all these charges for domestic violence is that the victim and the defendant have a personal relationship with one another.

North Carolina takes domestic violence seriously, and in Mecklenburg County, two courtrooms are specifically devoted to domestic violence issues in the county. If you have been charged with a domestic violence crime, or served with a Domestic Violence Protective Order (also known as a 50-B), you are facing serious legal issues. Not only could you face jail time, your employment, child custody and right to own firearms could be affected by the outcome of your case.

If you have been charged with a domestic violence crime, be prepared for the District Attorney’s office to vigorously prosecute your case. Just because your wife, husband, girlfriend or boyfriend says they are going to drop the charges against you does not mean your case automatically gets dismissed. It is up to the District Attorney’s office to drop the charges, not the victim. That’s why if you have been charged, you need an advocate for your side.

J. Bradley Smith is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Charlotte, NC and has assisted a number of clients with domestic violence matters. Mr. Smith and his team will work hard for you and your interest to do everything they can to ensure that you get the best possible outcome. Please contact our office at 704-370-2828.

Assault

An extremely common charge in domestic violence court is Assault on a Female. This is an A1 misdemeanor, which means if you are charged with this crime, you face up to 150 days in jail as well as a potential fine. Only men over the age of 18 can be charged with this crime, and although it does not seem legal under the Equal Protection Clause in the Constitution, Courts have upheld its legality.

Stalking

Stalking typically refers to activity that is intended to place a person in fear for their own or their family’s safety, or cause someone to suffer substantial emotional distress because of fear of death, bodily injury or continued harassment, and that person does suffer substantial emotional distress. The first conviction of stalking as a Class A1 misdemeanor, and a person convicted of first offense stalking faces up to 150 days in jail. Further convictions can be class F felonies, and stalking while a court order is in effect prohibiting such behavior is a Class H felony.

Another type of stalking which is becoming more common in this technological world is cyberstalking. There are three types of cyberstalking including: (1)using e-mail or other types of electronic communication to threaten to inflict bodily harm, damage property or extort money; (2) repeatedly using e-mail or other electronic communication for harassment; and (3)using e-mail or electronic communications to send a false statement.

Violation of Domestic Violence Protective Order (50-B)

Violating a Domestic Violence Protective Order is an offense that prosecutors around North Carolina take very seriously. Those charged with this offense need to understand that just because the person who has the protective order does not want to press charges does not mean that the state will simply drop the charge against the defendant.

A very typical example of a domestic violence protective order violation scenario is where a girlfriend obtains a protective order against the boyfriend. A few days, weeks or months later, the couple reunites, but the protective order is never dropped. One day the couple has a fight, and the girlfriend charges the boyfriend with violating the protective order, even though the girlfriend may have been initiating contact with the boyfriend. That young man is now likely to be convicted of violating a domestic violence protective order. Any contact during the time a protective order is in place will get you in trouble, and this charge is an A1 misdemeanor which carries a penalty of up to 150 days.

Related Articles:

- What is a 50B, Domestic Violence Protective order, restraining order and how do they work?

- How to obtain a 50B, Domestic Violence Protective order, Restraining Order

- Restraining Orders - Criminal Charges - Terms of Release (Bond)

- Restraining Orders - Civil Methods of Relief

- Restraining Orders - 50C and R65