Asked in Civil Rights and Criminal Law for North Carolina

Q: My wife punched me in the face, she was drunk, called the police to the hotel room to have me thrown out, they took her

and charged her with simple assault domestic violence. i filled out papers for a protective order here in nc, what can i do to get this order approved?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Bill Powers
Bill Powers
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: That's a good question because that type of thing happens more than you might expect in North Carolina.

The best thing to do is just show up to Court. I see cases dismissed on a regular basis in Domestic Violence Court simply because the people don't show up.

Sometimes that's on purpose. Sometimes that's because the Complaining Party didn't fully understand what they needed to do to proceed forward.

It's important to realize that while there was one event, there are often actually two types of Court hearings involved with Domestic Violence.

Once type of case is for the Criminal charge of Assault or sometimes Communicating Threats or Interference with 911 Communications.

Criminal cases have penalties such as the possibility of Jail or prison, alcohol and drug treatment, counseling for Domestic Violence, and when appropriate, a Protective Order on behalf of the victim pursuant to any Suspended term or sentence.

And while it may not be immediately obvious, the second type of Court proceeding may involve something lawyers refer to as an "50B Domestic Violence Restraining Order." That often is held on a different date, in a different Courtroom, and in front of a different Judge using a different Standard of Proof.

In Criminal cases, the State of North Carolina would normally be the party responsible for presenting the charges for prosecution, which must be proven Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.

In a Civil 50B Domestic Violence Restraing Order Hearing, it's not unusual for each side of the proceeding to be represented by their own lawyer. The Standard of Proof is different that Criminal Court. It is a lower standard.

Because these cases can get complicated, it makes sense to consult with an attorney experienced in handling 50B matters.

For more information about Domestic Violence Restraining Orders, see:

Good question. Best of luck to you in the future!

Bill Powers

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