Restraining orders can accompany criminal charges or they can be issued independently. There are two types of restraining orders in North Carolina in this context. One is between a spouse, family member, boyfriend/girlfriend and is issued upon a finding of domestic violence, and the other type of restraining order involves people who do not have a family or romantic relationship which is called a 50(c). The first type involves allegations of domestic violence and is called a 50(b), which is the statute number that sets out the terms and conditions. An entry of a 50(b) is not a criminal conviction but they can appear on your criminal history and a violation of a 50(b) is the highest class of misdemeanor in the State of North Carolina. 50(b)s can have numerous terms and conditions, and one of the main ones is that possession of a firearm is a crime. 50(b)s, when used appropriately, may provide relief to a victim that is in desperate need of help.
However, some 50(b)s are used in a vindictive manner or as a way to gain the upper hand in a child custody action or domestic dispute. People need to be informed of the consequences of an entry of a 50(b) on both sides. A 50(b) is a lawsuit and is started by the issuance of a complaint that sets out the allegations of the claim. If you represent yourself, the judge will presume that you know the law and is not allowed to help you. The State does not prosecute 50(b)s. The only prosecute criminal actions. You may be at a disadvantage is the opposing side hires an attorney, and you show up to court to represent yourself. Many people think they will prevail because they are on in the right and the other party is in the wrong. There are rules of procedure that must be followed in a court of law, and an attorney will help you be able to present your case in a clear and concise manner while abiding by the rules of evidence.
Our family law attorneys can help you in pursuing a restraining order or defending against this type of claim.