In North Carolina, a domestic violence case will involve criminal charges like assault and battery.
For someone who has no criminal history, the charge will usually be a misdemeanor. However, certain circumstances, like choking the victim or using a weapon, could lead to a felony charge even for a first-time offender.
Criminal penalties for misdemeanors can include jail time. They also will go on a North Carolina resident’s permanent criminal record. In domestic violence cases, North Carolina judges have the ability to add special probation terms. For example, they may require counseling, including counseling that will involve staying at an inpatient facility.
For those who are not United States citizens, even a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence is grounds for deportation from the country.
There may be some defenses available through the immigration systems, but it is best simply not to be convicted of a domestic violence offense.
Defending against a domestic violence charge may avoid other penalties
There are other long-term penalties for domestic violence offenses as well. Many jobs and professions will be closed to people with any criminal history of domestic violence. They may lose other social opportunities as well.
Legally, a domestic violence crime could be grounds for a protective order which could require a person to leave their home. A conviction could also mean a person has to surrender their firearms, and the conviction may affect their ability to see their children.
Every case is different, but a person accused of domestic violence should understand all of their options before deciding to plead guilty, even if the prosecutor offers what seems like a good deal.
There are defenses available to domestic violence charges. Cases often are a matter of one person’s word against another. Legally, the police may overstep their bounds with some of their questioning.
The consequences of any conviction related to domestic violence are serious and, potentially, life-altering. A Charlotte resident accused of this type of crime should strongly consider seeking professional legal assistance.