VICTIMS of Domestic Violence – 50B Domestic Violence Protection Orders in Charlotte: What You Need to Know
If you are a VICTIM of domestic violence, it is important to know about the different types of protection orders that are available to you. This article will cover who can get a DVPO, what type of personal relationship a protective order covers, what the process is like, and what protections are available.
BIG PICTURE: A domestic violence protection order (DVPO) is a court order that can help protect you from further abuse. Sometimes people call it a TRO or “temporary restraining order.”
Family law attorneys in Charlotte may also refer to it as 50B.
N.C.G.S. Chapter 50B is the North Carolina law on Domestic Violence. It differs from a civil no contact order under N.C.G.S. 50C.
If you have questions, we may be able to help. Indeed, our telephone number is 704-342-HELP.
You are not alone and need not suffer from further acts of domestic violence, threats, harassment, and fears for your safety.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, whether that involves marriage, children in common, or a dating relationship that went wrong, we think it’s a good idea for you to understand the basics of DVPOs in Charlotte NC.
Who can file a restraining order in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, you can file a restraining order if you are the victim of domestic violence or sexual assault. You do not need to have a physical injury in order to get a restraining order.
Chapter 50B-2 sets forth who can file a “civil action” for a Domestic Violence Protective Order:
- People who reside in North Carolina
- Victims of acts of domestic violence
- Children (minor child) who is in the custody of or resides with the victim of domestic violence
Legal assistance (lawyers) are not required. Any person who is a victim of DV can file civil Complaint pro se and represent themselves in court. Original jurisdiction for such matters is in District Court.
What is the process for getting a restraining order in Charlotte?
The process for getting a restraining order in Charlotte can be complicated. We think it helps to have an experienced lawyer on your side to help guide you through the process.
Generally, the first step is to file a petition with the court. That’s also called a Complaint and Motion for Domestic Violence Protective Order.
Relief may also be sought pursuant to Chapter 50 of the NC General Statutes, in an action for Divorce and Alimony.
The petition will include information about yourself and the abuser. If available, proof or evidence of the abuse, such as police reports, hospital records, or photographs, may be something the Court considers as part of the initial Ex Parte hearing.
Domestic violence may include evidence of Assaults, Assault and Battery, Assault with a Deadly Weapon, and threats of imminent serious bodily injury. That is true for civil no contact orders as well.
After you file the petition, a hearing will be scheduled. As a civil filing (a type of lawsuit) requires that a summons be issued against the responding party, the Defendant.
A Complaint for Domestic Violence, pursuant to N.C.G.S. Chapter 50B is a distinct type of legal filing that differs from the institution of criminal charges. While it may be related to criminal activity, a DVPO instituted in Mecklenburg County is handled in civil court in Charlotte.
The abuser will be notified of the hearing and has an opportunity to attend and argue against the restraining order.
If the judge decides that acts of domestic violence have occurred, you are in danger and need protection, they will issue a restraining order. If the abuser is properly served with the Summons and Complaint for Domestic Violence Protective Order and fails to appear, a 50B – DVPO may be issued in certain circumstances in their absence when legally appropriate.
What protections are available under a domestic violence protection order?
A DVPO may move for Emergency Relief is there is a danger of immediate, serious injury against the victim or a minor child.
Some of the main protections that are available under a DVPO in Charlotte NC include:
- Preventing the abuser from coming near you, your home, or your workplace
- Preventing the abuser from contacting you by phone, email, text, social media, or in-person
- Requiring the abuser to leave your home
- Awarding you temporary custody of any children you have together
Domestic violence does not require an ongoing personal relationship or even continued residence within a common household.
A temporary protective order may include claims of relief for temporary custody, a temporary no contact order, possession of residences and vehicles, etc. A no contact order, following a formal court hearing on the initial ex parte order, may be extended for up to one year.
50B Orders may also allege or involve accusations of sexual abuse, substantial emotional distress, and the intent to inflict substantial emotional distress or immediate danger to the victim(s), thus necessitating immediate protection.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, it is important to know your rights. If you need help filing for a restraining order, please call our office and schedule a consultation.
Prior to speaking with a family law attorney, we will conduct a “conflict check” to confirm the availability of the firm for legal representation.
What happens at a 50B Hearing?
The purpose of a 50B hearing is to determine whether or not a domestic violence protective order should be granted.
The person who files the petition (the victim) at the Clerk’s Office has the burden of proof in the legal process, meaning they must show that there is domestic violence and that they are in danger if the abuser is not restrained.
Some factors the court may consider when making their decision include:
- The nature and severity of the abuse
- The history of domestic violence between the parties
- Physical violence
- The relationship of the parties
- The current mental health of the victim and abuser, if known
If an order is granted, it will ordinarily last for one year.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, please call our office and schedule a consultation. We can help you file for a restraining order and provide you with the protection you need.
How do you prepare for a domestic violence case?
When preparing for a domestic violence case, we think it’s a good idea to have an experienced family law attorney on your side.
Your lawyer can help you gather evidence of the abuse and file the necessary paperwork with the court.
They will also represent you at the hearing and argue in favor of granting you a restraining order.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, please call our office and schedule a consultation. We can help you file for a restraining order and provide you with the protection you need.
How long does a domestic violence protection order last?
A domestic violence protection order will ordinarily last for one year.
There are instances when the 50B Order may be shorter, especially if the victim requests such. There are different types of DV restraining orders.
The Court may issue a “no contact” Order, directing the Defendant to not contact or attempt to contact the victim in any way.
Other orders of the Court may allow contact with admonitions the Defendant not assault, threaten, or harass the complaining party.
DVPOs in North Carolina can be rather complicated. That’s one reason we think it’s a good idea to have a lawyer standing by your side with you in Court.
Temporary vs. Final DVPO
There is a big difference between a Temporary DVPO and a Final DVPO. A temporary order will last until the date of the final hearing, which is generally within 10 days after it is issued.
A Final Order may last up to one year, but can be extended upon request of the victim. The abuser can also ask the Court to end the Order early.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, it is important to know your rights and seek legal protection. Please call our office today for a confidential consultation.
The process for getting a restraining order in Charlotte can be complicated. We think it helps to have an experienced lawyer on your side to help
Violating a Domestic Violence Protective Order
If the abuser violates any of the terms of the restraining order, specifically a Domestic Violence Protective Order, they can be arrested and charged with a crime. Domestic Violence Protective Orders are intended to protect victims. A violation of such a Court Order is a serious legal matter.
It is important to keep a copy of your restraining order with you at all times and to contact the police if you see the abuser violating any of its terms.
In North Carolina, violation of a 50B Order is a Class A1 misdemeanor and carries a maximum possible period of incarceration of 150 days.
The District Attorney’s Office is responsible for the criminal prosecution of such matters.
What are the consequences of Domestic Violence to children?
It is well-known that domestic violence has a devastating impact on children. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, “exposure to domestic violence increases the likelihood of mental health problems in children and adolescents, including anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and suicide attempts.”
Children who witness domestic violence are also more likely to perpetrate domestic violence as adults.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, it is important to seek legal protection for yourself and your children. Please call our office today for a confidential consultation.
There are different types of restraining orders in North Carolina, each with its own set of rules and regulations. If you are a victim of domestic violence in North Carolina, it is important to know your rights and what type of restraining order you can file.
In most cases, a Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO) will last for one year. The abuser can ask the Court to end the Order early, but the victim has the right to request that it be extended.
If the abuser violates any of the terms of the restraining order, they can be arrested and charged with a crime. Domestic violence is a serious issue and should not be taken lightly. If you are a victim of domestic violence, please call our office today for a confidential consultation.
Our attorneys have experience with restraining orders in North Carolina and can help you file the right type of order for your situation. We understand that this can be a difficult time, and we are here to help.
What constitutes DV?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Domestic violence can be physical, emotional, or sexual in nature. It can also include stalking, harassment, or intimidation.
Am I required to press charges?
No. You are not required to press charges against the abuser, but you should seek legal counsel to discuss your options and protect yourself and your children. You are not required to call the police or “press charges.”
On the other hand, police may institute criminal charges on their own, with or without your consent. It is up to the prosecutor in Charlotte whether or not to dismiss criminal charges.
If the abuser violates any of the terms of the restraining order, they can be arrested and charged with a crime. Domestic violence is a serious issue and should not be taken lightly.
What are the consequences of Domestic Violence to an adult victim?
Domestic violence can have a devastating impact on adult victims. It can lead to physical injuries, mental health problems, and even death. Victims of domestic violence are also more likely to experience financial instability and homelessness.
What is Stalking?
Stalking is a form of domestic violence in which the abuser repeatedly follows, harasses, or intimidates the victim. Stalking can include following the victim to work, school, or home; sending unwanted emails, text messages, or letters; calling the victim repeatedly; and vandalizing the victim’s property.
What are some signs that I may be a victim of Domestic Violence?
If you are experiencing any of the following signs, you may be a victim of domestic violence:
- Feeling scared or intimidated by your partner
- Having to change your behavior to avoid angering your partner
- Feeling isolated from your friends and family
- Experiencing physical injuries that can’t be explained
- Having to ask permission to go anywhere or do anything
- Being forced to have sex against your will
Will I have to come to court?
In most cases, you will have to come to court. The abuser will also be Summonsed to attend a hearing.
If the Defendant abuser fails to appear after proper issuance of Service of Process, the victim may not be required to testify. However, there are some exceptions to this rule and it is a relatively complicated legal process, so it is important to speak with an attorney about your specific situation.
Will I have to testify?
You may need to testify and present evidence if the Complaint and Motion for Domestic Violence Protective Order in Charlotte are challenged.
The abuser will be Summoned to attend a hearing. He or she also has the opportunity to testify and present evidence.
Unlike criminal charges related to Domestic Violence in North Carolina, either party may call the opposing side to present evidence. That is different from criminal court and the related criminal charges.
Will the Judge be mad at me?
No. The Judge is not mad at you. You are taking action to protect yourself and your children, if any, from harm.
Do I need an attorney?
You are not required to have an attorney, but it is highly recommended that you speak with one. An experienced domestic violence attorney can help you file the right type of restraining order for your situation, represent you in court, and protect your rights.
What is Assault on a Female?
Assault on a Female is a crime in North Carolina that occurs when a male abuser intentionally assaults or attempts to assault the victim, and the victim is female. The punishment for Assault on a Female can range from probation to imprisonment.
Are Harassing Phone Calls a Type of Domestic Violence?
Yes. Harassing phone calls can be a type of domestic violence. If you are being harassed by your partner, you can get a restraining order to protect yourself.
Can texting be considered Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior in an intimate relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over the other person.
It can include physical, sexual, emotional, or financial abuse. Domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of age, race, religion, or gender identity.
What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is any type of non-consensual sexual contact or behavior. This includes unwanted touching, rape, and forced oral or anal sex. Sexual assault is a crime in North Carolina and can result in imprisonment.
In some circumstances even consensual sexual contact, if it involves a minor or someone deemed legally incapable of giving consent, is a serious crime in North Carolina.
What should I do if I am the victim of Domestic Violence?
If you are the victim of domestic violence, there are several things you can do to protect yourself and your children:
- File for a restraining order or other protective order
- Seek medical attention for any injuries
- Tell someone you trust about the abuse
- Create a safety plan
- Get help from a domestic violence shelter or advocacy organization.
These are just some of the steps you can take to protect yourself and your children. For more information, please contact an attorney who has extensive experience in domestic violence cases in both civil court and criminal court.
Can I dismiss the charges?
Domestic violence is a crime. While the prosecutor will want to hear what you think, it’s ultimately the decision of the Assistant District Attorney in Charlotte to decide whether or not to prosecute a criminal case against the abuser.
A civil domestic violence protective order, while often related, is a separate legal procedure in North Carolina. If the Court Orders a DVPO, the criminal charges are NOT automatically dismissed.
Criminal charges will need to be resolved in criminal court.
What are some common myths about Domestic Violence?
There are several myths about domestic violence that can prevent victims from seeking help. Some of these include:
- Domestic violence only happens to women
- Domestic violence is a private matter and should be kept secret
- The victim provoked the abuse
- Domestic violence only happens in low-income families
- Men cannot be victims of domestic violence
These are just some of the myths about domestic violence. To learn more, please contact an attorney who has extensive experience in domestic violence cases.
What happens if I do not show up in court?
If you do not show up in court, the Court may dismiss your Complaint. You may also lose the chance of getting a restraining order against the abuser.
It is therefore important to make every effort to attend all hearings related to your case.
What type of restraining order should I file?
There are several types of restraining orders that may be available in North Carolina, depending on your situation. The most common type is a domestic violence protection order (DVPO), which can protect you from the abuser if you have a qualifying relationship with the abuser.
You can also file for a child custody order, which will allow the Court to make decisions about who will have custody of your children and how often they will see the abuser, if at all.
What if I need to leave the state?
If you need to leave the state for your safety, you may wish to contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (800-799-3224) for help finding a domestic violence shelter in another state.
Can I file for a Domestic Violence Protection Order if I am not married to the abuser?
Yes, you can file for a domestic violence protection order if you are not married to the abuser. You will need to show that you have a qualifying relationship with the abuser, such as being parents of a child together or being roommates.
I’m afraid my abuser will hurt me if I go to court. What can I do?
If you are afraid that your abuser will hurt you if you go to court, you may want to consider filing for a domestic violence protection order in Charlotte NC.
You can do this by contacting an attorney who helps clients in domestic violence cases. The attorney can help you file for the restraining order and can also provide you with safety planning advice.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, it is important to know your rights. You may be able to file for a domestic violence protection order in Charlotte NC to protect yourself from the abuser. To learn more, please contact an experienced attorney today.
Is Cyberstalking a kind of Domestic Violence?
Cyberstalking can be a kind of domestic violence that involves using electronic communication devices to harass or stalk someone. If you are a victim of cyberstalking and otherwise qualify under the North Carolina DV laws, you may file for a restraining order.
Should I change my telephone number?
If you are a victim of domestic violence, it is important to take steps to protect yourself and your children. One step you may want to consider taking is changing your telephone number.
You can also install a security system in your home, change the locks on your doors, and keep a close eye on your children.
It is also important to have a safety plan in case you need to leave your home quickly.
If you are being stalked or harassed online, you may want to consider filing for a restraining order. To learn more, please contact an experienced attorney.
How do I protect my children?
If you are a victim of domestic violence, one of your biggest concerns may be how to protect your children.
There are several things you can do to help protect your children from the abuser.
You can keep a close eye on them, make sure they have a safe place to go if they need to leave home, and make sure they have a safe place to go if something happens to you.
It is also important to talk to your children about domestic violence and what it is. This will help them understand what is happening in their home and may make them more likely to tell someone if they are being abused.
What happens if they call my friends or family?
It is important to keep in mind that your abuser may try to contact your friends or family in an attempt to find out where you are.
If your abuser calls your friends or family, they should not answer the phone. Your friends or family should not tell the abuser anything and should instead contact the police.
What if I have a protection order and my abuser violates it?
If your abuser violates your protection order, you can call the police.
It is important to remember that violating a protection order is a crime and can result in jail time.