Criminal Consequences of Domestic Violence Charges

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Domestic violence plagues many relationships, and it can be difficult to determine who is to blame. Both parties may be engaging in abusive behavior, or the person accused may have been defending themselves.

Because an act of domestic violence can lead to serious and possibly deadly consequences, North Carolina has developed laws to ensure the safety and protection of victims. People who are arrested on domestic violence charges can face serious criminal penalties and often unexpected collateral consequences.

If you have been accused of domestic violence, you need an experienced North Carolina domestic violence attorney on your side. Jonathan Breeden will listen to your side of the story and make sure it is heard in court. Call him today at (919) 661-4970 to find out how he can help you.

What are the consequences of domestic violence charges in North Carolina?

What Is Domestic Violence?

North Carolina defines domestic violence as causing or attempting to cause bodily injury or emotional distress upon a member of your household, family, or someone with whom you have a personal relationship.

You may have a “personal relationship” with:

  • Current or former spouses
  • Someone that you live with or have ever lived with
  • A parent, child, or grandchild
  • A co-parent
  • Someone you are dating or have dated

Some criminal acts that qualify as domestic violence, but may be charged separately, include:

  • Assault / Battery – Attempting to or actually physically injuring another person may result in a misdemeanor charge. Subsequent convictions may be charged as felonies.
  • Stalking – A severe intrusion on the personal privacy and autonomy of another person may be charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor. Subsequent convictions may result in a Class F felony.
  • Harassment – Harassment is activity that torments, terrorizes, or terrifies another person via telephone, internet, pager, voice mail, or other methods. Class 1 misdemeanor charges may be imposed for a first offense, with subsequent offenses charged as felonies.
  • Sexual assault or rape – Touching another person sexually against their will always results in serious felony charges.

If you have been accused of domestic violence or any associated criminal acts, you may be facing serious criminal penalties that will forever change your life. You need a skilled criminal defense attorney on your side to defend your rights in court. Jonathan Breeden has successfully represented countless people who have been accused of these crimes.

What Are the Consequences of Domestic Violence Charges?

If a judge determines that an act of domestic violence occurred, they will issue a protective order in an attempt to keep any further acts from occurring.

Protective orders can include several areas of relief, including prohibiting further acts of domestic violence, establishing a temporary custody order for minor children, ordering removal from a place of residence, or mandating an abuser treatment program that is approved by the Domestic Violence Commission.

If you violate a valid protective order, you can be charged with a Class A1 misdemeanor, which can result in a fine and a jail sentence of up to 150 days. If a police officer has probable cause that the violation occurred, that officer may arrest you without waiting for a warrant.

A misdemeanor is by far the lightest conviction possible. If you are convicted of other criminal acts while violating a protective order, or if your violation was severe, you may face a felony charge. Felony offenses may include:

  • Committing a felonious offense that is strictly prohibited by a protective order while under the protective order. The second felony charge will be one class higher than the first felony committed.
  • Violating a protective order after already being convicted of 2 previous offenses. The felony charge, in this case, is Class H, which carries a prison sentence of up to 39 months.
  • Violating a protective order while in possession of a deadly weapon is also a Class H felony offense.
  • Violating a protective order by entering a safe house or shelter for victims of domestic violence with the intent to seek out the person who filed the order, whether or not the person is found to be a resident there, is also a Class H felony.

Contact a North Carolina Domestic Violence Lawyer

The state of North Carolina does not take domestic violence lightly. Whether you are a victim of abuse or you have been served with a protective order, you need a domestic violence attorney on your side. Jonathan Breeden of Breeden Law Offices has helped numerous clients with domestic violence cases. He is familiar with the law and local courts, and can make sure your rights are respected throughout any investigation and hearing that occurs. Call him today at (919) 661-4970.

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