Domestic violence affects people of every race, religion, age, and economic level. If you are a victim of domestic violence, remember that you are not alone. Thankfully, the state has enacted statutes to protect victims of domestic violence from their abuser. If you believe that you are the victim of domestic violence, it is imperative for both your safety and your case that you seek appropriate protections as soon after the incident as possible. At Conrad Trosch & Kemmy, our experienced family lawyers are ready to help you fight back against domestic violence in both the civil and criminal context.
In North Carolina, victims of domestic violence are provided protection through what is called a Domestic Violence Protective Order. These orders, whether entered on a temporary basis (ex parte) or on a permanent basis (for one year, as discussed below) at a minimum prohibit the abuser from committing further acts of domestic violence, and prohibit the abuser from contacting, assaulting, threatening, or harassing the victim. A Domestic Violence Order of Protection may also provide one party the exclusive use of the shared residence, temporary custody of the children, or temporary child and spousal support. If an abuser violates a Domestic Violence Order of Protection, it is classified as a Class A1 Misdemeanor under North Carolina Law, punishable by up to 150 days in jail. A Domestic Violence Protective Order can remain effective for up to one year from the date of its issuance, although the victim may petition the Court to renew the Order each year prior to its expiration upon a showing of good cause that the Order should remain in place.
For you to be eligible to receive a Domestic Violence Order of Protection against another individual, North Carolina requires that you have a certain type of relationship with that individual. Specifically, you and that individual must be one of the following:
- Current of former spouse;
- Person of the opposite sec who live together or have lived together;
- Are related as parents and children, or as grandparents and grandchildren;
- Have a child in common;
- Are current or former household members; or
- Are persons of the opposite sex who are in a dating relationship or have been in a dating relationship (i.e. romantically involved over a period of time and on a continuous basis).
If your relationship with another individual falls under the above and that individual commits and act of domestic violence against you, you may be eligible to receive a Domestic Violence Order of Protection. An act of domestic violence, as defined by North Carolina statutes, is:
- Attempting to cause bodily injury, or intentionally causing bodily injury; or
- Placing the aggrieved party or a member of the aggrieved party’s family or household in fear of imminent serious bodily injury or continued harassment that rises to such a level as to inflict substantial emotional distress.
If you believe that you are a victim of domestic violence—act now. If you wait too long (whether that be weeks, months, or years) in time between when the act(s) occurred and when you seek court protection, it will make obtaining a Domestic Violence Order of Protection more difficult to obtain, despite the fact that the act of domestic violence did occur. At Conrad Trosch & Kemmy, our lawyers are able to help you get the security and protection that you need.
Not all claims for domestic violence are well grounded, but they nevertheless should be defended vigorously. Sometimes an abuser will falsely claim that the victim is the actual abuser to divert the court’s attention from their own guilt. Other times individuals will falsify domestic violence claims to get possession of the residence or to get a leg up on a custody claim. If you have been wrongly accused of domestic violence, we can assist you in your strong defense of these claims.