Domestic violence is defined as any act of violence between people who are in a romantic relationship, a familial relationship, or live together. Although the term “domestic violence” is commonly associated with acts of physical abuse, domestic violence crimes may include sexual abuse and emotional abuse, including threats. A person found guilty of domestic violence may face jail time, fine, or restrictions such as restraining orders.
Contact the Law Office of Kelli Y. Allen, PLLC for assistance with domestic violence crimes. Our Charlotte domestic violence attorney is prepared to take on your case.
If you are interested in speaking with our legal team, complete our contact formor call (704) 870-0340.
Definition of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence offenses in North Carolina are based on the existence of a personal relationship between the defendant and alleged victim. Additionally, many crimes that are not domestic violence offenses in-and-of themselves, such as simple assault or communicating threats, can constitute domestic violence offenses if the qualifying relationship exists.
For an offense to be deemed a “domestic violence” crime, one of the following relationships must exist:
- Current or former spouses
- People who live or have lived together
- Parent and child or grandparent and grandchild
- Parents with a child in common
- Current or former household members
- People who are or have been in a dating relationship
Types of Domestic Violence Offenses
If the prerequisite relationship exists, the following crimes are domestic violence offenses.
Assault on a Female (AOF)
This is the most commonly charged domestic violence offense. The State most prove the
- Defendant is a male age 18 or older
- Alleged victim must be a female
- Attempts or commits an act of physical violence which puts the victim in reasonable fear of injury
The State must prove the following elements:
- Defendant willfully threatened to injure a person or his/her family member (child, sibling, spouse) or his/her property
- Threat may be orally, in writing, or delivered by a third party
- Reasonable person would believe the threat
- Person threatened actually believes the threat will be carried out
Communicating threats is a Class 1 misdemeanor and carries a sentence of up to 120 days in jail.
Violation of Domestic Violence Protective Order
Domestic violence protective orders, commonly referred to as 50-B orders, are issued in civil court. Once entered, anyone who violates such an order is guilty of the criminal offense of violating a protective order. This offense is a Class A1 misdemeanor and carries a sentence of up to 150 days in jail.
Domestic Criminal Trespass
This offense often arises as part of a family law divorce/separation case. If a judge has ordered one party to vacate the residence previously shared by both parties and he/she returns to the residence or refuses to leave the residence, the offender may be charged with domestic criminal trespass. Domestic criminal trespass also arises if the parties have separated and the individual remaining in the residence forbids re-entry (no previous judicial order required.) If convicted, this offense carries a sentence of 60 to 120 days in jail.
Our Legal Team Can Assist You
Domestic Violence offenses can carry serious criminal penalties, but can have even more dire consequences in the immigration and family law contexts. Contact the Law Office of Kelli Y. Allen for a full case analysis to discuss the full range of consequences prior to agreeing to any plea arrangement for a domestic violence offense.
Call (704) 870-0340 or send us a message for a consultation with our domestic violence attorneys in Charlotte.
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