While strict domestic violence laws are intended to provide victims with immediate protection, they can also be abused. False accusations of domestic violence are quite common. False domestic violence accusations occur in 25% of all divorces. Definitions of domestic violence extend beyond actions that leave physical evidence, so it can be challenging for someone falsely accused to defend their innocence.
Domestic violence includes physical, psychological, emotional, and sexual abuse to a spouse, partner, child or any other household or family member. Common forms of abuse include arousing fear, threats and intimidation and using physical harm and force.
If you have been accused of committing domestic violence or assault, the most important thing to do is seek legal representation as soon as possible. King Law is prepared to protect your rights under North Carolina laws.
North Carolina Penalties for Domestic Violence
In North Carolina, there are no specific domestic violence penalties. Instead, the law institutes protective restraining orders to protect the domestic violence victim and prosecutes those accused of domestic violence under the criminal act the used to commit the violence.
Domestic Violence Protective Order
Someone accused of domestic violence often is placed under a Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO), which can be issued with many different conditions and requirements including:
- To move from your residence
- Not to have contact with the victim or any shared children
- To pay child or spousal support
These protective orders remain valid for a period of up to one year, but they can be renewed for two more years after that.
Criminal Acts Associated with Domestic Violence
Domestic violence guidelines direct the courts to assess penalties based on the original charge of assault, battery, stalking, etc., is used to determine the judge’s initial sentencing.
The types of crimes often associated with domestic violence include:
- Sexual assault
- Sexual battery
- Aggravated battery
Assault and battery between people who have a personal relationship is a Class 2 misdemeanor. A first-time offense will require up to 30 days in jail and a probation sentence. Each conviction may also carry a fine of up to $1,000.
Sexual Assault is a Class A1 misdemeanor. A first-time offense will require up to 60 days in jail and a probation sentence. A fine may be assessed, and the amount of the fine is up to the court.
In most states, the laws surrounding domestic violence are in favor of the victim. Even if accusations of domestic violence are false, enough evidence could convict a person of nearly any crime. This makes working closely with a lawyer experienced in domestic violence cases vital to the outcome of your case.
How Would a Domestic Violence Charge Affect Your Life
Charges and claims of domestic violence can affect your life and future for many years to come. Accusations of domestic violence can cost you your marriage, custody of your children, your job, hefty fines, and even jail time.
A domestic violence charge will stay on your permeant record and likely make it hard to find a job and reestablish your reputation.
If you have been found guilty of an act of domestic violence against your spouse or family members, it can negatively affect any divorce or child custody proceedings. The court may order supervised visitation or remove custody.
Before you do anything, you need to hire an experienced North Carolina criminal defense lawyer. Proving your innocence will not be easy, so the sooner you and your attorney can develop a legal defense, the better the chances of a successful outcome.
What Should You Do If You Have Been Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence?
If you have been wrongly accused of domestic violence, how you respond can affect how well you can defend against these charges. Here are some ways to position yourself for the best possible outcome.
Stay Calm. Resist the urge to become emotional or combative; stay calm. Avoid making any statements to the police without an attorney present, either to confirm or deny the charges.
Following any Restraining Orders. Violating a domestic violence protective order opens you to a separate criminal charge and can further hurt your case. Be sure to honor any DVPO’s to the letter.
Avoid Contact with Your Accuser. Contact should be avoided with your accuser until approved by your domestic violence lawyer.
Protect Your Personal Assets. Make sure to keep your privacy and limit your partner’s access to your resources. This can sometimes mean hiding your bank account information, car title(s), electronics, jewelry, or other items of value that can be easily liquidated. Be sure to change the passwords to all your social media, credit cards, electronic devices, email, applications, and any online shopping outlets, as these can sometimes be misused by the person accusing you.
At King Law, we understand that domestic violence cases such as these can be complicated as emotions run high when individuals have or had a personal relationship. Keep in mind that these situations are time sensitive. Please do not hesitate to call and speak with our experienced legal team today to learn how we can help you win your case.
Why You Can Trust Our North Carolina Criminal Defense Lawyers
Small towns. Big relationships. King Law Offices represent clients for legal matters in Western North Carolina. Our firm is committed to high legal quality as well as respect, confidentiality, and compassion for our clients. Our North Carolina domestic violence and assault lawyers are here to provide trusted legal support for those charged with domestic violence as well as those who are victims of domestic violence.
We will research every aspect of your case and identify where the victim’s testimony is unreliable or inconsistent. Our criminal defense lawyers are experienced in gathering medical records, photographs, witness statements, written interactions between you and your accuser and other evidence to show that there is no support for a conviction of Domestic violence.
When facing a legal criminal issue, you need an experienced lawyer you can trust, and a legal team focused on providing quality services. Our attorneys utilize excellent defense strategies in the courtroom, have a successful track record, and will advocate tirelessly for you to obtain the best possible result for your case.
Contact us today at (888) 748-KING (5464) or via online form for a consultation.