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  • Coastal South Law

Defending Against Domestic Violence Charges

Updated: Oct 21, 2020

Domestic violence cases have become more and more prevalent just as the number of divorces has increased. Oftentimes, cases involving domestic violence charges result from couples going through rough times. Charges of domestic violence are not to be taken lightly, though. Normally, these matters begin with one party filing a domestic violence protective order (DVPO) against another party. A DVPO is similar to a restraining order. And if the order is allegedly violated, criminal charges can be filed against the alleged violator.

A person who knowingly violates a valid protective order in North Carolina or a valid protective order entered by the courts of another state is guilty of a Class A1 misdemeanor. This is the highest type of misdemeanor North Carolina has and comes with a maximum penalty of 150 days in jail. But that is not the worst of it; violating such an order may also result in a felony conviction, meaning substantial incarceration time. If a criminal conviction is not enough, your gun rights can be restricted since a domestic violence conviction would bar you from possessing a firearm.

What to Do if You Have Been Served With a Domestic Violence Protective Order

  • Take it very seriously.

  • Contact an attorney immediately.

  • Read the Order carefully and comply with every provision. “No contact” means just that. You cannot contact the alleged victim at all, even via text messages or emails. Many people falsely assume “no contact” only means no in person contact.

  • Show up for the hearing and put on a defense. Ignoring the summons and notice of hearing may result in a default resolution in favor of the plaintiff.

Possible Defenses Used in Domestic Violence Cases

  • Actual innocence.

  • Alleged victim is lying.

  • Self-defense.

  • It was unintentional.

  • Violation of constitutional rights.

Much like with some other criminal charges we have discussed in previous posts, domestic violence cases are often “he said, she said” situations. Defending these types of matters can be complicated. Getting an attorney early on in the case is important. Do not talk to the police without your attorney present. Begin gathering all pertinent information, including names of any potential witnesses, pictures of injuries you sustained, pictures of damage the alleged victim may have done to your property, emails/texts/voicemails between you and the alleged victim, audio you might have saved on your cell phone, and any local surveillance video, whether it be from your home security system, a neighbor, or even a local business.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Have you recently been charged with or arrested for a domestic violence crime in Southeastern North Carolina? Our experienced criminal defense attorneys are ready to fight for you both inside and outside of the courtroom. You do not have to go through this difficult time alone. Having a tough negotiator and litigator on your side can make all the difference. Pick up the phone today and call Coastal South Law or visit us online at

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