Living with domestic violence is a difficult experience for anyone, whether you are the victim seeking safety or a defendant who is coping with accusations that throw your life in disarray. Dealing with the courts during an already troubling time can be overwhelming. We have the experience in domestic violence cases and can help you through this difficult time. Contact us to discuss your situation.
When someone feels that their safety is at risk, they can seek protection from their abuser by filing for a protective order.
Domestic Violence Protective Orders
Protective orders are also called a “DVPO” or “50B” (after the chapter in the North Carolina General Statutes that provides protection to victims of domestic violence).
A protective order can include a variety of protections for the victim including:
- Prohibiting the abuser from contacting the victim
- Granting the victim possession of the home or car
- Entering a temporary child custody order
- Confiscation of the abuser’s weapons by the sheriff
The parties must have a personal relationship such as spouses, ex-spouses, parties currently or formerly in a dating relationship, people currently or formerly living in the same household, people with a child in common, or certain familial relationships.
Acts of domestic violence include:
- Attempting to cause physical injury or intentionally causing bodily injury to a person or member of that person’s family or household
- Placing a person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury such as threatening a person
- Placing a person in fear of harassment that causes substantial emotional distress
- Sexual assaults, sexual batteries, and other similar sexual offenses
How do I get a Protective Order?
The process of requesting a protective order usually begins with a victim requesting immediate protection through a temporary ex parte order from the court. Ex parte means that the victim (or plaintiff) asks for these protections without notice to the abuser from who they are seeking protection. The defendant is entitled to a hearing within 10 days to defend the allegations. If a protective order is entered after notice, it can only be valid for up to one calendar year, but may be renewed after that time with good cause.
If you are the victim of domestic violence, or if you have been accused of domestic violence, it is important to protect your rights. Consult an attorney to discuss the details of your situation.
Civil No-Contact Order for Stalking or Nonconsensual Sexual Activity
What happens when a victim doesn’t have a personal relationship with their abuser? A civil no-contact order or 50C (named for the chapter in the North Carolina General Statutes that provides for such protections) does not require that the victim know the perpetrator.
While the process for obtaining a civil no-contact order is the same as a domestic violence protective order, enforcement of these orders is different.
If you are the victim of stalking, harassment, non-consensual sexual contact, or sexual assault – or if you have been accused of any of these acts – you should consult with an attorney who can help you get the protection you deserve.