DVPO Domestic Violence Protective Order
By Bill Powers, NBTA / NBLSC Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialist
There are few criminal charges in North Carolina that are as serious, or carry the potential for long-term consequences including a permanent record or jail, as those involving allegations of domestic violence.
That’s because Carolina defense lawyers, experienced handling felony or misdemeanor charges, know there may be more than being arrested for Assault, Assault and Battery, Interference with 911 Communications, and criminal charges for Communicating Threats. There also may be a pending Petition for a 50B Restraining Order.
“DVPO Domestic Violence Protective Order is actually a CIVIL action in North Carolina, that is often filed soon after swearing-out warrants for criminal charges (or NC criminal summons) involving assault and assault on female in North Carolina.” Bill Powers, NC Family Law Attorney – Criminal Defense Lawyer
Once the defense lawyers at our law firm determine the allegations of criminal charges involve domestic violence, the next question we ask is this:
That’s because it has become increasingly popular to institute criminal charges in North Carolina, and file related civil allegations for domestic violence , very close to one-another in time.
NC family law attorneys, if retained by the complaining witness (the petitioner in NC), will sometimes have the respondent (the person accused of assault or some other felony or misdemeanor charges) served in Court, by the Sheriff’s Department Courtroom Deputies, with Emergency Motions for Child Custody and other family law complaints.
Indeed, in larger jurisdictions like Charlotte NC and the surrounding judicial districts of Union County in Monroe NC and Iredell County in Mooresville NC or Statesville NC, there are even non-profit organizations that help prepare and file paperwork that seeks the issuance of a North Carolina 50B Order (Domestic Violence Restraining Order).
In Charlotte NC, one such group has traditionally been called “Victim’s Assistance.”
For Charlotte criminal charges involving allegations of domestic violence, that organization is formally called “Safe Alliance Victim Assistance” and it provides legal representation to people “Who seek a Domestic Violence Protective Order DVPO” among other things.
The state of North Carolina, through the Office of the District Attorney, may also provide assistance through a “victim coordinator” or “victim’s advocate” for the criminal charges. They may also cross-refer the case to Safe Alliance, and even the DSS Department of Social Services / Child Protective Services, if criminal charges involve children or took place in front of children in the household.
Make no mistake; if you have been charged with Assault on a Female, battery, felony or misdemeanor strangulation, or other domestic violence in North Carolina, you need your own legal advocate.
It’s important to start on your defense immediately. It’s also extremely important not to discuss your case with anyone, including friends and relatives, other than your criminal defense lawyer.
“After being arrested, and possibly sitting in jail for a long time without the ability to post bond, it’s not unusual for criminal defense clients to be a bit shell-shocked. People facing criminal charges for assault and battery, misdemeanor or felony charges, may not even realize the paperwork they hold in their hand is a separate legal proceeding.” Bill Powers, Criminal Defense Lawyer Charlotte NC
There are two separate legal proceedings and often multiple court dates in Mecklenburg County Domestic Violence charges. Often the first court dates in Charlotte District Court are related to a bond hearing, where the conditions of bond and release are addressed by a District Court Judge. Felony charges may require a Probable Cause hearing (PC Hearing or possible indictment by Grand Jury) prior to being sent to NC Superior Court.
Felony criminal charges may, among other misdemeanor criminal offenses, involve allegations of assault inflicting serious body injury and strangulation. Serious bodily injury cases are those where coma may result or one that involves a significant risk of death or a long period of time in the hospital. (The NC criminal laws explain in greater detail what may be considered a “serious bodily injury.”)
North Carolina General Statute 14-32.4 sets forth:
- Under the NC criminal laws, assault that inflicts serious injury by strangulation is a Class H felony, unless covered under another section of the law
- Assault that inflicts serious bodily injury that results in protracted loss or permanent impairment of a bodily function or organ may qualify as a Class F felony in North Carolina
Misdemeanor criminal charges for assault and assault on female depend on the sex of the victim. Assault on Female charges North Carolina are classified as Class A1 misdemeanor charges that carry a maximum period of imprisonment (jail or prison) of 150 days.
Allegations of assault, both felony or misdemeanor criminal charges in North Carolina, are serious. A conviction for either may result in more than jail or prison, including but not limited to:
- Supervised Probation
- Intensive Probation
- House Arrest
- EM Electronic Monitoring
- Mental Health Assessment
- Domestic Violence Counseling
- Alcohol Assessment
- Drug Testing / Drug Treatment
- DVPO Domestic Violence Protective Order
- Territorial Restrictions
- Court Costs and Fines
- Civil Judgment for Medical Expenses and Treatment
“Our defense attorneys will want to meet with you immediately, as there are important legal rights and legal protections you need to know and understand. The right to remain silent applies in allegations of criminal charges, not civil actions for a DVPO Domestic Violence Protective Order (Petition for Restraining Order).” Bill Powers, Criminal Defense Lawyer Charlotte NC
It is important you understand your rights under the NC criminal laws, as they related to DVPO and the NC family laws. Everything you tell our criminal defense lawyers as part our FREE CONSULTATION, and legal representation, is strictly confidential. That means you can call our law office, ask our NC defense attorneys questions, and see how we may be able to help with your civil case or criminal case in North Carolina.
It doesn’t hurt that we have experience with criminal defense and also help people needing legal help with NC family law matters.
Call now: 704-342-HELP