50B Restraining Orders and Protective Orders
In the context of family law, restraining orders in North Carolina are commonly handled pursuant to general statute 50B and the institution of a civil action.
To be clear, criminal charges may also be a legal option in addition to relief sought pursuant to a protection order.
As such, the very same allegations as set forth in a criminal warrant or summons may also serve as a basis for a Domestic Violence Protective Order or “DVPO.”
It is not considered Double Jeopardy to seek both. There are no 5th Amendment protections against filing a 50B and criminal charges based on the same fact-pattern and allegations in the appropriate circumstances.
It’s common for people to be a bit confused about what to call such prayers for relief. Domestic violence attorneys often use the terms DVPO, 50B, and/or a Protective Order, meaning the same thing.
It doesn’t much matter what you call it. Just remember what we’re essentially talking about is a type restraining order and legal protection backed up by a Court Order to prevent further harm, injury, or emotional distress.