Fighting a Domestic Violence Protection Order

Facing a Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO) can be challenging both from a quality of life perspective and from the legal ramifications. Domestic Violence Protective Orders are commonly referred to as restraining orders. A restraining order is a court ordered, legally binding document that stops the defendant from contacting or coming within a certain distance of the plaintiff. North Carolina courts usually order an individual to not contact the plaintiff directly or indirectly.

What is a Domestic Violence Protection Order?

North Carolina recognizes three different types of no-contact and protective orders. A North Carolina Domestic Violence Protection Orders are also known as 50B Orders. They are legally binding, civil orders that another person seeks against you. In domestic violence situations, typically one partner or spouse alleges that the other spouse or partner has harmed or attempted to harm them. Spouses, partners, boyfriends, and girlfriends may seek Domestic Violence Protection orders against their respective partners.

A 50C Order is a Civil No-Contact Orders. These orders allow a plaintiff to file a protective order against another person where there is not an existing personal relationship. Individuals typically seek 50C Orders when another person is stalking them or has committed non-consensual sexual conduct with them. You do not need to have a personal relationship to request a 50C Order. Finally, Civil No-Contact Orders for Registered Sex Offenders or 50D orders allow victims of sexual crimes to seek a no-contact order against the alleged perpetrator.

Fighting an Emergency Domestic Violence Protective Order

Many of our clients are unpleasantly surprised when they receive a summons to court and the corresponding paperwork. Every person subject to a possible protective order has a right to service of process. This right means that the plaintiff must ensure that the defendant receives the summons to court in a timely manner.

When you receive a copy of the paperwork, it often includes a copy of a temporary protective order against the defendant. The copy of the temporary protective order is referred to as an “ex-parte order.” Typically, the ex-parte protective order is a 10-day emergency order issued by a judge. North Carolina judges have the authority to issue temporary protective orders before they conduct hearings into permanent protective orders. In other words, North Carolina judges can issue ex-parte orders without a defendant coming to court to defend himself or herself.

If the defendant violates the temporary no-contact order or DVPO, he or she must follow the instructions or risk facing criminal charges. Defendants do not have any grounds to fight an ex-parte, temporary protective order. Additionally, when defendants violate a temporary or ex-parte protective order, the plaintiff will often use the violation as evidence against the defendant. Plaintiffs regularly bring up violations of temporary restraining orders to portray the defendant’s character in a bad light at the hearing for the one-year DVPO.

Fighting a Long-Term Domestic Violence Protective Order

Defendants have a right to fight against a petition for a long-term Domestic Violence Protective Order. Domestic violence protective orders usually last for one year. The plaintiff has a right to petition the court to renew the order before it expires. Our skilled DVPO attorneys know how to assertively fight against DVPO’s.

First, we poke holes in the plaintiff’s narrative. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant harassed them, threatened them, committed violence against them, or took other harmful actions against them. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant engaged in these behaviors by a preponderance of the evidence. In other words, the plaintiff must prove that it is more likely than not that the defendant engaged in these behaviors. Many times, plaintiffs do not have the necessary evidence.

Our attorneys can cross-examine our clients’ accusers to showcase any inaccuracies or falsehoods in their testimony. Additionally, we can call witnesses who persuasively testify as to our client’s innocent, or who will testify that the accuser is seeking revenge or has an ulterior motive for requesting the domestic violence restraining order. Our clients may have a right to appeal the protection order after it’s been granted.

Our Attorneys Can Help

If you are facing charges for violating a Domestic Violence Protective Order, our lawyers can help defend you. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC ensure that your rights are protected throughout the entire legal process. You can fight a North Carolina protective order and our skilled lawyers fight hard to defend our clients against false allegations. Contact our criminal defense law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.