A restraining order—also commonly referred to as a protective order or a domestic violence protective order (DVPO)—is designed to provide safety and security to victims of intimate partner violence or domestic abuse. It is a legally enforceable decree from a North Carolina court that requires one party to stay away from another party. If a restraining order is violated, the perpetrator may be subject to an immediate arrest.
At Perry, Bundy, Plyler & Long, L.L.P., our Monroe, NC restraining orders attorneys are compassionate, effective advocates for our clients. If you have any questions or concerns about obtaining a restraining order or defending a restraining order in North Carolina, we are here to help. To get a fully confidential legal guidance, please do not hesitate to call us at our Monroe law office today.
What You Need to Know About Restraining Orders in North Carolina
Domestic Abuse is Defined Broadly
For the purposes of a domestic violence protective order (DVPO) in North Carolina, domestic abuse is defined in a relatively broad manner. Among other things, a petitioner may be eligible to obtain a restraining order if there has been any of the following:
- Physical violence;
- Sexual misconduct;
- Serious emotional or psychological abuse;
- Stalking or other predatory behavior; or
- Verbal or written threats.
To be clear, this means that actual physical violence is not a required element of qualifying for a protective restraining order. Victims of mental abuse, stalking, or actionable threats of harm are able to get a protective order in North Carolina.
Restraining Orders Provide Immediate Protection
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.
Illegitimate Restraining Orders Can Be Challenged
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. They 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.
How Our North Carolina Family Law Restraining Order Attorneys Can Help
Family law cases that involve allegations of abuse or domestic violence require immediate attention. If you were a victim of domestic violence, a restraining order may be necessary to protect your health, safety, and overall well-being. In addition, obtaining one will give you important family law rights as you move through the legal process. Our Monroe, NC family law attorneys are here to help you take the steps that you need to protect yourself and your family.
If your partner or family member is seeking a domestic violence order against you on false pretenses, it is imperative that you call an experienced North Carolina family law attorney as soon as possible. Not only can a false restraining order cause serious harm to your reputation, it can deny you important legal rights—and, if you are involved in a child custody or visitation case, it will make it far more challenging to obtain a favorable result.
Get Help From Our Our Monroe, NC Restraining Orders Lawyers Today
At Perry, Bundy, Plyler & Long, L.L.P., our North Carolina family lawyers are compassionate, committed advocates for our clients. We handle the full range of restraining order cases. Our family law attorneys can help you in pursuing a restraining order or defending against this type of claim.
To arrange your strictly confidential initial consultation, please do not hesitate to contact our legal team today. From our law office in Monroe, we serve clients throughout the region.