If you’ve been accused of domestic violence, your future and freedom are in jeopardy. A domestic violence conviction can result in the loss of child custody or visitation, jail time, and a restraining order being issued against you. The penalties for domestic violence are serious in North Carolina, and you’ll benefit from working with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The family law attorneys at Greene, Wilson, Crow & Smith have decades of experience representing clients facing domestic violence charges in the New Bern area. When you work with us, you can rest assured we will carefully investigate the allegations against you and immediately begin working to build a strong legal defense. Our legal team will work diligently to help you avoid a conviction.
What Constitutes Domestic Violence in North Carolina?
Under North Carolina law, domestic violence includes any act of sexual abuse, physical violence, or emotional committed against a family member or a household member. Domestic violence is generally prosecuted as a felony charge, and those convicted can face significant penalties, including jail time, fines, and probation. The attorneys at Greene, Wilson, Crow & Smith represent clients in many types of domestic violence cases, including the following:
- Domestic violence
- Child abuse
- Violation of protective orders
If you’re accused of domestic violence, the court may issue a restraining order against you. When a court issues a restraining order, you’ll be legally required to stay away from the alleged victim and have no contact with him or her. A restraining order could make it challenging for you to see your children. You may lose your job if a restraining order has been issued against you. Those conviction could also lose their child custody rights and their right to possess a firearm.
False Accusations of Domestic Violence Are Common
Unfortunately, many people make false claims of domestic violence. False accusations of domestic violence are common in divorce proceedings and custodial battles. A spouse or partner may try to gain the upper hand in negotiations by making false claims of domestic violence. The person making the false accusation may assume the accusation will help them secure custody of their children and ruin their former partner’s reputation.
Facing a false accusation of domestic violence can be emotionally overwhelming. Even if you know you’re innocent, you could already be facing criminal charges and hostile friends and family. It’s important that you avoid all contact with the alleged victim. Don’t try to call, text, or visit him or her, even if you think face-to-face conversation could help you solve your problems. You should also secure your financial and social media accounts and avoid posting anything related to the alleged domestic violence.
The sooner you hire an attorney, the sooner your attorney can help you begin gathering evidence of your innocence. Suppose your partner said you abused them on a specific day in a specific way. You should check your records to see if you can find any evidence you were not in the location where the alleged domestic violence occurred. The alleged victim may have said you hurt him or her when you were visiting family or at work. You have the best opportunity to reassert your legal rights when you have a skilled attorney.
The Penalties for Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Charges
The severity of the penalties for domestic violence depends on multiple factors, including whether prosecutors pursued a misdemeanor or felony charge. The penalties will also depend on whether the victim was seriously injured or killed. Those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence face a penalty of up to 150 days in jail. When a victim becomes seriously injured, he or she could be sentenced to up to two years in jail and ordered to pay a fine of up to $2,000.
Felony Domestic Violence Penalties
The penalties for felony domestic violence are far more serious than for misdemeanor charges. Those convicted of felony domestic violence could face up to 60 months in prison. When a victim is seriously injured, he or she could receive a sentence of up to 120 months in prison and be required to pay a fine of up to $5,000.
Defending Clients Against Domestic Violence Charges
During your initial consultation, we will ask you questions about the charges against you and learn more about the circumstances that led to your arrest. Our legal team will investigate your case and develop a legal defense strategy. Our goal will be for the court to dismiss the charges against you. In other cases, the best outcome is a reduction of the charges against you. The type of legal defense you utilize depends on your unique situation. For example, if you were protecting yourself or someone else from violence.
Many domestic violence cases come down to a “he said, she said” situation. A police officer may arrive at a call about domestic violence and make a snap decision about which person is the perpetrator. The innocent party may be arrested wrongly. In order for a prosecutor to secure a conviction against you for domestic violence, he or she must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
If the prosecutor doesn’t have enough evidence, he or she may be able to get the charges against you dismissed. These are just some of the many legal defenses you can raise in a domestic violence case. The experienced attorneys at Greene, Wilson, Crow & Smith can help you determine the best legal defense for your case.
How Can a Domestic Violence Attorney Help Me?
If you’ve been accused of domestic violence, it’s important to pursue legal counsel from a skilled attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at Greene, Wilson, Crow & Smith will help you understand the charges you’re facing. An attorney can also help you build a strong legal defense and negotiate with the prosecutors.
The attorneys at Greene, Wilson, Crow & Smith know how to build a strong legal defense. Don’t hesitate to contact the criminal New Bern defense attorneys at Greene, Wilson, Crow & Smith to schedule a complimentary case evaluation.