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Domestic Violence Protective Orders

Defense Lawyer for Domestic Violence Protective Order

A domestic violence protective order can be imposed either (1) temporarily to protect a person who believes that there is a danger of serious and immediate injury or (2) for a period of up to one year if a court finds that an act of domestic violence occurred. The violation of a domestic violence protective order can have serious consequences, including increased punishment for crimes committed. It is important to know the terms of such order to prevent a violation, and Mr. Rosensteel can assist you in this process. If you are charged with a domestic violence protective order violation, contact Mr. Rosensteel so that we can begin the process of preparing your defense as soon as possible.
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Domestic Violence Protective Orders

Domestic violence is defined in North Carolina as committing an act of bodily injury, causing fear of bodily injury, or committing a sex offense upon a person with whom the offender has a personal relationship or a child of such a person. Specifically, G.S. 50B-1(a) states that
Domestic violence means the commission of one or more of the following acts upon an aggrieved party or upon a minor child residing with or in the custody of the aggrieved party by a person with whom the aggrieved party has or has had a personal relationship, but does not include acts of self-defense:
  • 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, as defined in G.S. 14-277.3A, that rises to such a level as to inflict substantial emotional distress; or
  • Committing any act defined in G.S. 14-27.2 through G.S. 14-27.7.
As noted above, the statute requires that the offender and the aggrieved party have a “personal relationship.” This is defined by statute as a relationship where the two parties are:
  • Are current or former spouses;
  • Are persons of opposite sex who live together or have lived together;
  • Are related as parents and children, including others acting in loco parentis to a minor child, or as grandparents and grandchildren. For purposes of this subdivision, an aggrieved party may not obtain an order of protection against a child or grandchild under the age of 16;
  • Have a child in common;
  • Are current or former household members;
  • Are persons of the opposite sex who are in a dating relationship or have been in a dating relationship. For purposes of this subdivision, a dating relationship is one wherein the parties are romantically involved over time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship. A casual acquaintance or ordinary fraternization between persons in a business or social context is not a dating relationship.

Domestic Violence Protective Orders

Knowingly violating a domestic violence protective order can have a number of consequences. These consequences apply to violations of both temporary and final protective orders because a “valid protective order” is defined to include “an emergency or ex parte order entered under” the Domestic Violence chapter. (G.S. 50B-4.1(h))

If a person knowingly violates a valid protective order, he is guilty of a Class A1 misdemeanor. (G.S. 50B-4.1(a)) If a person commits a felony and the person knows that the behavior is prohibited by a valid protective order, he is guilty of a felony one class higher than the principal felony. (G.S. 50B-4.1(b)) However, this raising of the felony class does not apply to a person charged with a Class A or B1 felony.

If a person knowingly violates a valid protective order and he has previously been convicted of two domestic violence offenses, he is guilty of a Class H felony. (G.S. 50B-4.1(f)) If a person possesses a deadly weapon and knowingly violates a valid protective order by failing to stay away from a place or person, he is guilty of a Class H felony. (G.S. 50B-4.1(g)) If a person subject to a valid protective order enters a safe house for domestic violence victims where the protected person is residing (whether or not the protected person is actually present), he is guilty of a Class H felony. (G.S. 50B-4.1(g1))

What does it mean to knowingly violate a domestic violence protective order? If a domestic violence protective order has been served on the offender, knowledge of the terms of the domestic violence protective order is presumed.

Speak to a Charlotte, NC Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

If you have been charged with a domestic violence offense or violating a domestic violence protective order, contact an attorney at Rosensteel Fleishman, PLLC (704) 714-1450, to discuss your options.
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