Domestic violence is one of the most sensitive issues the legal system handles. Its effects are significant and often extend beyond the law. As hard as any violence or abuse is, it becomes even harder to process when it comes from those closest to us. The same is true when we are accused of these kinds of things by someone close.
In situations like this, we know that what parties need is clarity and sensitivity from their Valdese, NC, domestic violence lawyers. With our experience handling these kinds of matters, Helton, Cody & Associates, PLLC are able to give you clear guidance on the legal process ahead with the sensitivity you need, whether you’re in Burke County, Catawba County, or Caldwell County.
Domestic violence is not a specific charge in North Carolina. It is more of an umbrella term. Where it is addressed by the law, it is defined by who the victims of the violence or abuse are. The victims of domestic violence could be:
There are five general categories of domestic violence. They are:
North Carolina does not have any specific penalties for domestic violence. So any charges for specific crimes will determine the penalties for those crimes if convicted. The state does not, though, leave victims without some means of protection, the primary one being a domestic violence protective order.
A victim of domestic violence can seek a domestic violence protective order (DVPO), also known as a restraining order or 50B, against their perpetrator. If you file this order, the subject of it is required to:
A DVPO can last for up to a year and potentially be extended another two years. A violation of this order can lead to immediate arrest.
As serious as domestic violence is, false accusations can be a significant issue as well. Of course, we wish that these never occurred; however, especially in the emotional turmoil of divorce, a custody battle, or conflict at home, these things do occasionally happen. It’s important to realize that false accusation is itself a crime, as well as a form of emotional abuse. There are a few important steps to remember if you are accused of domestic violence:
A: There’s no specific charge of domestic violence in North Carolina. However, domestic violence tends to refer to forms of physical violence, sexual assault, emotional abuse, or economic abuse. The domestic nature, for purposes of a domestic violence protection order, often refers to who these acts are perpetrated upon:
A: If you are in any kind of imminent danger, the first thing you should do is get yourself to safety. Calling the police is a good decision if you are threatened. After that, seek legal guidance. If you call us, we can help you with the next steps, including potentially filing for a domestic violence protection order.
A: Since domestic violence is not a specific charge, any sentencing will be based on the particular crime that someone has been charged with.
A: The first thing to do is remain calm and don’t resist any arrest. Keeping calm and not acting belligerent in any way may help your case. You have a right to remain silent, and generally, the less said, the better. You also have a right to an attorney, so wait until they are present. Work with a lawyer who understands domestic abuse cases. Document everything you can. Lastly, never take anything into your own hands. As hard as it may be, your greatest chance at vindication is to let the legal process unfold.
We understand domestic violence cases. The seriousness and sensitivity they deserve is something we’ve handled many times before. When it comes to dealing with domestic violence, you need a lawyer who understands the law and the situation. Contact us today and make sure your domestic violence situation is treated with the care and respect that you need.