Taking Legal Action In Cases Of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence affects both men and women across the country. Oftentimes, victims of domestic violence are able to seek relief through separate criminal and civil channels. Victims of domestic violence may request a civil court to provide an emergency protective order when there is a danger of serious and immediate injury to themselves or a minor child. In many cases, domestic abuse endangers the welfare of children. Our attorneys take domestic violence very seriously and will diligently fight to keep you and your family safe.

If you have been the victim of domestic violence, or if you suspect child abuse, you need a strong legal advocate to help keep you and your loved ones safe. Likewise, if you have been wrongly accused of domestic violence, you need a lawyer who can boldly stand up for your side of the story in court.

At Helton, Cody & Associates, PLLC, you will find the champion you seek. Our experienced and trained attorneys will vigorously defend your safety and your rights, working in your best interests to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.

Do You Need To Request Or Defend Against A Protective Order?

North Carolina General Statute 50B-3 states that when a court finds that domestic violence has occurred, the court shall grant a protective order restraining the defendant from further acts of domestic violence. A protective order may include any of the following types of relief:

(1) Direct a party to refrain from such acts.

(2) Grant to a party possession of the residence or household of the parties and exclude the other party from the residence or household.

(3) Require a party to provide a spouse and his or her children suitable alternate housing.

(4) Award temporary custody of minor children and establish temporary visitation rights pursuant to G.S. 50B-2 if the order is granted ex parte, and pursuant to subsection (a1) of this section if the order is granted after notice or service of process.

(5) Order the eviction of a party from the residence or household and assistance to the victim in returning to it.

(6) Order either party to make payments for the support of a minor child as required by law.

(7) Order either party to make payments for the support of a spouse as required by law.

(8) Provide for possession of personal property of the parties, including the care, custody, and control of any animal owned, possessed, kept, or held as a pet by either party or minor child residing in the household.

(9) Order a party to refrain from doing any or all of the following:

a. Threatening, abusing, or following the other party.

b. Harassing the other party, including by telephone, visiting the home or workplace, or other means.

b1. Cruelly treating or abusing an animal owned, possessed, kept, or held as a pet by either party or minor child residing in the household.

c. Otherwise interfering with the other party.

(10) Award attorney's fees to either party.

(11) Prohibit a party from purchasing a firearm for a time fixed in the order.

(12) Order any party the court finds is responsible for acts of domestic violence to attend and complete an abuser treatment program if the program is approved by the Domestic Violence Commission.

(13) Include any additional prohibitions or requirements the court deems necessary to protect any party or any minor child.

If a protective order has been wrongly issued against you, you should act quickly and retain a lawyer to defend against it. Violating a domestic violence protective order is a Class A1 misdemeanor and punishable by up to 150 days in jail. Some types of violations are felonies.

If you have been served with a domestic violence protective order, make sure you completely understand what it is you are prohibited from doing and where you cannot go. Until the protective order is dismissed or expires, you must completely abide by its terms, even if the opposing party tells you that you don't have to. Permission to violate a domestic violence protective order is not a defense in a criminal trial. You should speak with an attorney as soon as possible.

Because our attorneys have experience in both and criminal law, we are well-equipped to address these sensitive matters that often overlap both areas of practice.

Take Action Today

Do not wait to contact Helton, Cody & Associates, PLLC, and consult with one of our lawyers. You can reach our Hickory office by email or by calling us at 828-848-8776 (toll free at 888-321-0494).