Relationships require constant communication to remain healthy. Positive communication can help a couple settle disagreements, make decisions, and even bring them emotionally closer together. Unfortunately, for some Weddington, NC couples and their families, communication can be very negative. This can look like constant belittlement, degradation, and even physical violence. Whether these moments are between adults, adults and their children, or any family members that may share a home, they can be difficult, leaving the victim feeling powerless.
Individuals who knowingly choose to commit acts of domestic violence should be held responsible. However, there are many layers to these accusations that can further hurt victims and even hurt those accused if those accusations are untrue. Regardless of the circumstances, domestic violence cases should be handled with care, given a thorough investigation, and all parties involved have a right to protect themselves.
At Lehnhardt Price Family Law, our team has the knowledge and experience in these cases to help all parties involved. We understand the volatile situation families face when domestic violence enters the home. We know the risks involved for both sides and our team works diligently to protect victims and to represent those who have a right to defend themselves. Because domestic violence cases are so delicate, they may also leave you with many questions. From protective orders to penalties to victim advocacy, we have the answers to help you.
When one person commits a violent act against another individual with whom they share a personal relationship, it is considered to be domestic violence under North Carolina law. Included in the law are relationships that look like the following:
In any of these situations, domestic violence can occur when an act of violence is committed by one individual against another such as:
Each crime will carry varying penalties and charges. North Carolina’s domestic violence laws, while defined above, are superseded by the governing law that was broken. For example, if a person hits their spouse, they may be charged with battery. Each crime is unique and can be litigated as either a misdemeanor or a felony offense depending on the severity of the crime. Because those accused of domestic violence will be charged with other crimes, physical contact does not have to occur in order for charges to be pursued. Crimes such as assault are not indicative of physical contact, just the threat of violence.
When there are cases of domestic violence, those involved have the right to seek protective orders. These are usually filed by the victim against the accused. Protective orders allow victims to establish a no-contact clause with the accused, meaning they may not attempt to contact or share a location with one another. These types of orders offer immediate protection for the victim as many will fear retaliation from their abuser.
Most protective order cases will summon both the plaintiff and the defendant to litigation before a judge adjudicates a decision. However, victims may file emergency orders that allow a judge to render a protective decision without notifying or extending a summons to the defendant. Regardless of how the protective order is filed, the terms of the order may include:
These guidelines, and many more, seek to protect the victim by establishing as many terms as possible to prevent the need for any type of contact. Violating protective orders can result in jail or prison time depending on the circumstances of the violation.
Any criminal case has the potential to be dismissed, but it is a matter of circumstances and evidence against the defendant in the crime. With the help of your attorney, scouring the police reports, witness statements, and reviewing your criminal record can help in convincing a judge the case may be worthy of dismissal. Your family law attorney can help you understand your options.
Like many states, domestic violence occurs when two individuals share a livable space in some capacity. However, unlike other states, an accused abuser will not face charges labeled domestic violence, they will instead face charges for the crime that was committed inside the home against the other person. For example, if one spouse hits the other, it may be domestic violence, but the charges would instead result in battery.
In some situations, it is possible to sue for emotional distress if the person who causes the distress is proven liable by engaging in extreme conduct, the conduct was intended to cause emotional distress, and the intention is realized by causing the actual distress. A judge will look to award damages based on how “extreme or outrageous” the conduct was.
The answer is based on the crime with which you are charged. If it is a nonviolent misdemeanor, the charge could be removed after five years. However, if the charges are a violent misdemeanor or felony, there is a strong possibility that the charges will never be able to be removed.
If you or a loved one is the victim of domestic violence or you have been accused of domestic violence, you need to seek out the services of a legal professional as quickly as possible. At Lehnhardt Price Family Law, our attorneys are ready to represent you and help you achieve the outcome that helps you feel safe, protected, and heard. Domestic violence can be complicated, but with the right attorney, the outcome doesn’t have to be. Contact our offices today.