Violation of a protection order for domestic violence is a criminal offense that can lead to dire consequences, including potential crimincal charges and conviction, imprisonment, , and severe penalties. Find out more about the legal implications of a conviction and understand the importance of adhering to protective orders to avoid the potential consequences of a criminal record.
What is a Civil Protection Order in North Carolina?
The 50B, DVPO, or restraining order are all well-known terms for the domestic violence protection order. This order offers various provisions to ensure the safety of the alleged victim of domestic violence.
Domestic Abuse Protection Orders may include these provisions:
- Giving the victim(s) possession of the household and combined personal property, including a pet or a minor child, while ordering your eviction from residence
- Requiring you to provide the victim (if spouse) and any children with suitable housing
- Ordering you to support a spouse or minor children (if required by law)
- Prohibiting you from purchasing a firearm for a specified amount of time
- Ordering sheriff to deliver protective order to school principals named in the order
- Ordering you to attend and complete an abuser treatment program (approved by the Domestic Violence Commission)
- A protective order can also order you to refrain from doing any or all of the following:
- Contacting victim(s) directly or indirectly, including through third parties
- Threatening, abusing, or following victim(s)
- Harassing victim(s) by phone
- Harassing victim(s) by visiting your home or workplace or by other means
- Treating a household pet cruelly
- Interfering with a victim(s) in different ways (2)
What is an Ex Parte Emergency Order?
Another protective order is called an ex parte or emergency order. With this protection order, the court gives an alleged victim further domestic violence protections before officially serving you notice of the request for a restraining order.
An ex parte DVPO may require you to:
- Leave home
- Stay away from your own children
- Give up possession of a motor vehicle
- Surrender any firearms, ammunition, and gun permits to the sheriff
A protected person counts on the fact that it is a serious criminal offense to violate a protection order.
Criminal Court Consequences of Protection Order Violation in North Carolina?
Law enforcement can arrest you immediately if you violate a DVPO or ex parte order. Your charges will vary depending on which part of the restraining order you broke.
For instance, if you intentionally violate a valid protection order without committing any other crime, you can be charged with a Class A1 misdemeanor. You may be sentenced to up to 150 days in prison.
However, let’s say you have convictions for two previous misdemeanor offenses. If someone is convicted for violating a DVPO for the third time as a misdemeanor, it is considered a Class H felony. The penalties for this offense can include up to 39 months of imprisonment. G.S. 50B-4.1(f)
You’re also guilty of a Class H felony if you (attempt to) possess, purchase, or receive a:
- Machine gun
- Permits to purchase or carry concealed firearms G.S. 14-269.8
If you disregard protection orders and enter a place or come in contact with a protected person while carrying a deadly weapon, you may be charged with a Class H felony under G.S. 50B-4.1(g).
Additionally, suppose you enter a safe house where alleged victims of domestic abuse reside, regardless of whether the person who requested the DVPO is present. In that case, you can still be charged with a Class H felony under G.S. 50B-4.1(g1).
Being convicted of a Class H felony can result in up to 39 months in prison, as well as court fees, probation, and attorney fees.
Felony Protection Order Violation Conviction Penalties
Violating a protective order is one thing. However, if you break the law by committing a felony while violating a protection order, your consequences are worse.
For instance, committing a felony prohibited by a valid protective order can bring charges for one class higher than the felony you committed. G.S. 50B-4.1(d)
If you face attempted second-degree kidnapping charges violating a valid protective order, your punishment can move from a Class F felony to a Class D felony. (1) While a Class F felony carries from 10 to 41 months of prison time, a Class D felony can bring you 38 to 160 months!
As you can see, violating a restraining order by committing a felony is a serious offense with harsh consequences.
If you have been accused of breaking a restraining order, it is crucial to consult with a skilled criminal defense lawyer right away. They can clarify the charges brought against you and provide legal guidance on your available options.
What Are My Rights if I Face Charges of Violating a Restraining Order in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, if you are accused by law enforcement of violating a restraining order, it’s crucial to exercise your right to an attorney. Seeking the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer at the earliest is advisable. They can guide you through the legal process and help you understand your possible defenses.
When facing such protection order violation charges, it’s crucial to have the support of skilled domestic violence attorneys. You can mount a strong defense and protect your rights with an attorney’s expertise.
The consequences can be severe if found guilty of violating a restraining order in North Carolina. Therefore, hiring an attorney who will fight for you and give you the best possible chance at a favorable outcome is essential.
Defenses for Violation of Protection Order in North Carolina
There are a few defenses your lawyer may use on your behalf, such as:
- No one gave you notice of the order, or you did not receive it
- You did not violate the order knowingly
- The order expired, and the victim(s) did not renew the order
- The victim(s) falsely accused you
Please keep in mind that it is crucial to seek the assistance of a domestic violence attorney when facing charges related to violating a restraining order. In North Carolina, the repercussions for such actions are severe. Bringing on a knowledgeable domestic violence lawyer to guide you through this challenging period is essential.
Our Experienced Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers Can Help
If you have been accused of violating a restraining order, seek the guidance of an experienced attorney. At Cape Fear Law, we offer a free consultation to give you insight into your legal rights. Our experience helping others in your situation means we can help you take measures to help you avoid a conviction. Reach out to us today to discover how we can support you during this difficult period.