North Carolina Domestic Violence Crimes
Being accused of committing a crime can be a traumatic experience. When you are accused of hurting someone you love, the sting of accusation is even more devastating. Our criminal defense attorneys at Guirguis Law, P.A., in Raleigh provide compassionate legal advice and experienced criminal defense to protect your rights if you have been accused of a domestic violence crime.
What Is Domestic Violence?
Under North Carolina law, domestic violence is defined as one of several acts against a person who has a specific type of relationship with the accused:
- Current or former husband or wife
- A person of the opposite sex who lives or has lived with the accused
- Child or grandchild
- Parent or grandparent
- A person with whom the accused has a child
- Current or former household member
- A person of the opposite sex with whom the accused either is currently in a dating relationship, or used to date, such as a girlfriend/boyfriend or an ex
An act of domestic violence act could be anything from intentionally causing bodily injury to another, attempting to cause bodily injury, threatening/harassing someone, stalking, rape, sexual battery or other sexual offenses.
While, at face value, the charge may appear to be the same as a nondomestic violence offense, the thing that elevates a crime to a DV offense is the specific relationship the alleged victim had with the accused. For example, if a man hits a female whom he does not have a relationship with, that crime is simply called “Assault on a Female” with a maximum punishment of up to 120 days in jail.
If a man hits a woman whose relationship fits into one of the above-mentioned categories, that crime is still called “Assault on a Female” with a maximum punishment of up to 120 days in jail. However, because of that special relationship between the victim and the accused, it is now a domestic violence offense, and the potential collateral consequences of a conviction have now gotten more severe.
Consequences Of Domestic Violence Convictions
If convicted of a domestic violence crime, the consequences are severe. As with any criminal conviction, serious fines and jail time are always a possibility. Aside from a criminal record and the societal shaming of the offense, a person convicted of a domestic violence offense will permanently lose their right to possess a firearm.
An experienced criminal defense attorney can protect your rights and defend you in court. The defense attorneys at Guirguis Law have represented numerous people charged with domestic violence offenses in North Carolina courts. Quite often, they are able to get the charges reduced or even dismissed by the District Attorney’s Office.
They are also able to advise you through any complex legal matters that may be overlapping. For example, they can also protect your parental rights in a related family law matter or resulting child custody conflict. They can defend your rights in domestic violence protective order hearings, a.k .a. “DVPO” hearings.
Contact A Domestic Violence Defense Attorney Today
Our domestic violence lawyers are available by appointment for a consultation. If you have been accused of committing a crime of domestic violence, please call our office at 919-874-1445 or reach out to us through our contact form.