Emotional tensions between spouses or domestic partners can sometimes become violent, especially in situations where heavy drinking or drug abuse aggravate a misunderstanding or deepen and distort a provocation. North Carolina law spells out a detailed series of consequences for persons accused of domestic violence and a set of protections for victims. If you need advice about your rights in a domestic violence situation, or if you have been served with a restraining order under Chapter 50B of the North Carolina statute, contact a knowledgeable lawyer at Sherrill & Cameron, PLLC in Salisbury by contacting us online or calling us at 704-633-5723. We can help you understand your legal options.
In general, our state’s domestic violence laws are intended to protect persons in a past or current family relationship or domestic arrangement from assault, threats of assault, sexual abuse, or a pattern of stalking or harassment. The victim can apply to a court for a Chapter 50B domestic violence protective order (DVPO), which will usually be granted without hearing. The emergency or temporary DVPO will go into effect for a limited period of time, after which the person restrained has the opportunity to get relief from the order at a hearing before the judge. Depending on the evidence and testimony, the court might vacate the protective order, keep it in place on modified terms, or leave it in effect for up to two years. Violation of the DVPO is a misdemeanor crime, but can be charged as a felony on a third offense.
The domestic violence protective order has a number of consequences for the person restrained by its terms. It can not only require that you have no contact of any kind with the victim, but it can require you to leave your own home. You might need to surrender any firearms that you own. You might also be ordered to pay child support or household bills. For persons involved in divorce or paternity proceedings, a history of domestic violence will hurt your ability to obtain child custody or even unsupervised visitation with your son or daughter.
At Sherrill & Cameron, PLLC, our lawyers represent both victims and persons accused of domestic violence. For victims, we show you how to present the facts of your situation to the court to obtain the maximum protection available under the law. For alleged perpetrators, we advise you about avoiding the risk of violating the terms of the DVPO, which will only make a bad situation worse and expose you to a possible criminal conviction. We can also represent your interests at the hearing on the original allegations, where we can make sure that your side of the story is fully presented. In divorce or child custody cases, we can help make sure that domestic violence is not unfairly charged and held against you.
To learn more about our ability to represent your interests effectively in a domestic violence case, contact a Salisbury domestic violence attorney at Sherrill & Cameron, PLLC in Salisbury by filling out our online contact form or calling us at 704-633-5723.