If someone in your family or household, or someone you are or were in a relationship with, accuses you of domestic violence, you could face severe criminal charges. Some domestic violence cases are misdemeanors. However, they are still criminal charges and can potentially result in a felony conviction. Taking these charges seriously is in your interest. Ignoring criminal charges can only make problems worse.
When someone is arrested on a North Carolina domestic violence charge, there are two things that they can do to impact their case. One is to exercise their right to remain silent. The other is to call a domestic violence lawyer as soon as possible. You need an aggressive and experienced Charlotte domestic violence lawyer skilled in defending similar cases.
The Law Office of Kevin L. Barnett provides trustworthy and respectful legal services to criminal defense clients in the Charlotte and Mecklenburg County areas. Our firm offers a level of dedication that has garnered highly esteemed awards. With experience dating back as far as 1987, we have extensive familiarity with domestic violence charges. Our firm is knowledgeable of pertinent state laws. We are qualified to represent clients who have either been wrongly accused or have made a big mistake. The Law Office of Kevin L. Barnett takes domestic violence accusations seriously, and we can skillfully defend our clients against these charges.
Due to the severity of these types of charges, and the possible consequences they can carry if convicted, it is imperative that you start building your defense as soon as possible. This will require a knowledgeable domestic violence lawyer. An attorney with a successful record in similar cases is your paramount resource for protecting your rights and interests.
Domestic violence cases can be complex and emotionally charged. Therefore, legal problems can escalate quickly and become more complicated over time. These include conflicting statements, constitutional rights, and psychological evaluations. Among other things, having an attorney by your side early on can ultimately benefit your case.
Time is of the essence in domestic violence cases. Delaying contacting an attorney can cause you to miss important deadlines, such as filing a motion to suppress evidence, negotiating a plea bargain, or preparing for a trial. A delay can also hurt your credibility. This can make it harder to persuade the prosecutor or the judge to reduce the charges or dismiss the case, if applicable.
Domestic violence is defined as acting abusively toward a person with whom the perpetrator lives or has a personal relationship. It can involve any of the following individuals and situations:
Some examples of abusive acts may include:
Domestic violence is a Class A1 misdemeanor. When a weapon is involved, it becomes an assault charge if the assault by a deadly weapon causes serious bodily damage to the victim. Penalties for Class A1 misdemeanors carry sentences that range from probation to jail time. Longer jail sentences may be meted out for those with repeat convictions. The severity and nature of the offense will dictate sentencing. Sentence possibilities include:
If convicted, domestic violence defendants may also be court-ordered to pay restitution. These are payments made to the victim by the perpetrator. This money is intended to recover losses incurred because of the domestic violence in question. Restitution is not a common part of sentencing for domestic violence in Charlotte. However, it is a possibility if the judge believes it to be owed to the victim.
Domestic violence can result in other criminal charges, such as assault, battery, or sexual battery. A domestic violence assault and battery conviction is a Class 2 misdemeanor. First offenses carry up to 30 days of jail time and probation, and additional convictions can cost up to $1,000 each in fines. Sexual assault is a Class A misdemeanor. A first offense carries a sentence of up to 60 days in jail and probation. There are also fines, as determined by the court.
Other potential domestic violence criminal charges include the following:
For felony domestic violence charges, the consequences include longer periods of incarceration. If a domestic violence offense is committed within a protective order, the penalties can be harsher, with additional charges.
Also known as a restraining order or a Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO), a protective order is a court-issued order. It protects a victim for one year or, with a request for an extension, two additional years. When a Charlotte judge grants a protective order against someone, they believe or are convinced by proof that one of the following took place:
There are also various types of protective orders available to victims of domestic violence in North Carolina. These include emergency and domestic violence protective orders. Also known as a restraining order or a Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO), a protective order provides protection to individuals who have been victims of domestic violence or are at risk of harm. If approved, a protective order can prohibit the abuser from coming near:
It can also prevent the abuser from contacting the victim. If the perpetrator acts in conflict with the protective order, whether by sending mail, text or online messages, calling, or in person, they will face serious consequences.
A protective order can also grant the following:
Protective orders can vary in the length of time they provide protection. Most are for one year, but they can be extended if necessary.
Other protective efforts in Charlotte that can help victims of domestic violence include:
When someone makes the decision to violate a restraining order’s terms in Charlotte, the abuser is charged with a Class A1 misdemeanor. This offense carries a sentence of up to one year in jail and up to a $5,000 fine if convicted. If you or someone you love has violated a protective order in Charlotte, a qualified Charlotte domestic violence attorney can build a defense to optimize the outcome of your situation.
Domestic violence laws in North Carolina are strict. This is to provide immediate protection to the victims. However, some people take advantage of these laws. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for domestic violence charges to be false accusations, particularly in divorce cases.
Domestic violence includes acts that cannot necessarily be proven with physical evidence. Therefore, defending one’s innocence from criminal domestic violence charges can be difficult. However, there is a better chance of doing so with a well-practiced and skilled Charlotte domestic violence lawyer.
If you have been wrongfully charged with domestic violence, there are a few things you can do. First, stay relaxed and resist the urge to argue or defend yourself when you are arrested. Stay calm and respectful toward the police. However, maintain your right to remain silent and contact a lawyer immediately.
Second, don’t violate any protective orders. This can potentially bring about more charges against you. Also, avoid contact with your accuser until your attorney says otherwise.
Finally, maintain your privacy. Do not share information on social media or speak about your case or accuser over text messages or social media. This should be followed even if they are private messages sent to someone you trust.
Going through domestic violence charges alone is unwise. If you enlist the aid of an experienced and successful Charlotte domestic violence attorney, your chances of a more favorable outcome can increase. Our legal team can analyze your case and craft a convincing defense against these charges. Contact The Law Office of Kevin L. Barnett today.