Raleigh Domestic Violence Lawyer
Get the Legal Support You Need
If you face charges of domestic violence, the passionate Raleigh defense attorneys at Clifford Law Group will stand by your side. Our domestic violence lawyers will represent and advise you though any complex legal matters that may arise out of these accusations, including both criminal and civil matters, such as domestic violence protective order hearings, commonly known as a "DVPO."
An accusation of harming someone you love can be heartbreaking. Let us defend your rights and help you move on with your life. We are based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and represent people throughout Wake County, Orange County, Durham County and the surrounding areas, including Durham and Chapel Hill.
Call us today at (919) 842-5461 or contact us on our online form for a free consultation on your domestic violence charges.
Defining Domestic Violence in North Carolina
Under North Carolina General Statutes § 50B-1, domestic violence is defined as one of several acts against a person who has one of the following relationships with the accused:
- Wife or husband
- Ex-wife or ex-husband
- Person of the opposite sex who lives or has lived with the accused
- Child or grandchild
- Parent or grandparent
- Person with which the accused has a child
- Current or former household member
- Person of the opposite sex with whom the accused is in a dating relationship, like a girlfriend or boyfriend
- Person of the opposite sex with whom the accused used to have a dating relationship, like an ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend
The act could be intentionally causing bodily injury or attempting to cause bodily injury, putting the alleged victim in fear of serious bodily injury, continued harassment that constitutes stalking, rape, sexual battery or a sexual offense. Many people do not believe that a person can rape a spouse, but North Carolina can charge a person for allegedly raping his or her wife or husband.
There are certain crimes in the North Carolina criminal code that are likely to be associated with domestic violence in which the circumstance in the alleged crime cause the offense to be upgraded to allow for more severe punishment, such as neglect or exploitation of a disabled or elder adult.
For instance, if you are a man accused of assaulting another man, you will face Class 2 misdemeanor charges. If you are a man accused of assaulting a woman, however, you will face Class A1 misdemeanor, a more severe charge. The same applies for an adult assaulting a child.
For a first offense, you could face up to 60 days in jail. Under North Carolina's structured sentencing laws, any prior offenses can add to your jail time, for a maximum of 150 days in jail.
If you are facing a complex legal matter, it is vital that you retain the immediate representation of Clifford Law Group. The right attorney may make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Make the smart choice – enlist the supportive assistance of our Raleigh natives today.
Protective Orders in Wake County Domestic Violence Cases
If you face domestic violence charges, you will likely also face a domestic violence protective order, also known as a restraining order. Protective orders are civil matters, unless violated. Unlike criminal charges, a person seeking a protective order need not prove their case beyond reasonable doubt - only that, more likely than not, an act of domestic violence occurred.
A protective or restraining order could order you to:
- Give the alleged victim possession of your home, and order you away from your home, or require you to provide housing for the person;
- Interfering with the alleged victim at all, which could forbid you from being able to speak or even be near the person;
- Give custody of your children to another person;
- Order you to pay child support;
- Order you to pay spousal support;
- Give the alleged victim possession of property, including pets;
- Surrender all firearms you own; and/or
- Forbid you from purchasing a firearm.
If the alleged victim is seeking a protective or restraining order against you, he or she may first seek a temporary order "ex parte." Ex parte means alone, so you and your North Carolina criminal defense lawyer will not have a chance to respond.
For a longer protective order, which may last up to a year, you will have the opportunity to fight the entry of the domestic violence protective order at a hearing. A protective order can severely disrupt your life. At Clifford Law Group, our defense attorneys can help show why a protective order against you would be unfair and is unwarranted.
Violation of a protective order carries serious penalties. Violation of a domestic violence protective order is a Class A1 misdemeanor. If you have been previously convicted under Chapter 50-B of the North Carolina General Statutes, it is a Class H felony if convicted, meaning you can spend 5-6 months in jail if it's your first criminal offense, and up to 20 months if you've had multiple convictions.
Elder Abuse & Abuse of the Disabled in the Research Triangle
It is a specific crime, under North Carolina law, for the caretaker to abuse or neglect an adult who is disabled or elderly and is living in a domestic setting (not a care facility). A caretaker can be both a family member who is responsible for a disabled adult or someone hired to take care of a person who is elderly or is disabled. "Disabled" means the person is incapacitated. And elder is a person is older than 60 and is not able to provide for his or her own needs.
Abuse means that the accused intentionally assaulted, failed to provide proper medical or hygiene care, or confined the person in a condition that was cruel or unsafe. If the alleged victim suffered no injury, it is a Class H felony, resulting in 5-6 months in jail for a first offense. If the adult did, it's a Class F felony, resulting in 13-16 months in jail.
Neglect means that the accused reckless or wantonly failed to provide medical or hygiene care or constrained the victim in an unsafe manner. If the victim suffered no injury, the charge is a Class I felony, resulting in 4-6 months in jail. If the victim did, it's a Class G felony, resulting in 10-13 months.
Contact a Wake County Domestic Assault Defense Attorney
If you're facing charges of domestic violence, Clifford Law Group can defend you and your rights. Domestic violence criminal charges usually come with civil protective orders. At Clifford Law Group, we can represent you on all matters that may come from domestic violence accusations.
Call us today at (919) 842-5461 or contact us on our online form for a free consultation.