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Domestic Violence Protective Orders
Addressing domestic violence issues is difficult for both victims and defendants accused of perpetrating violence, especially when courts get involved. These issues can disrupt the lives and happiness of either, or both, parties.
In North Carolina, acts of domestic violence can include:
- Attempting to cause physical injury or intentionally causing bodily injury to a person or member of that person’s family or household
- Placing a person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury
- Placing a person in fear of harassment that causes substantial emotional distress
- Sexual assaults, sexual batteries, and other sexual offenses
A domestic violence protective order, also called a DVPO or “50B” (after the North Carolina statute that allows it), protects domestic violence victims by prohibiting the other party from making contact, potentially granting the victim sole possession of the couple’s home or vehicle, entering a temporary child custody order, or ordering that the Sheriff’s Office confiscate the offending party’s weapons.
If you would like to seek a DVPO, you need to act quickly by requesting one at the courthouse or a local domestic violence shelter. You can do so without alerting the other party, but keep in mind that he or she is still entitled to a hearing within ten days to defend him or herself against the allegations.
If you have been accused of domestic violence, your future is at stake. This area of law is nuanced, and a protective order entered against you can negatively impact your quality of life for years – from affecting where you can go, to your relationship with your children, to requiring mandatory counseling, and more. It is vital to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney to help you navigate these charges.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, or if you have been accused of committing an act of domestic violence, consult an attorney to ensure you are adequately protecting your rights in a sensitive and potentially dangerous situation.