Q: I’m a victim of domestic violence. I was charged with a misdemeanor for protecting myself. How can I resolve this?
I don’t want this to hold me back from finding employment.
A: On occasion, when police respond to a call relating to a domestic violence dispute, they will mistakenly arrest the true victim of the crime, believing that that person committed a crime and the aggressor did not. You still need to defend the case by hiring (or asking for a court appointed) lawyer to assist you. You and your lawyer can talk about various possible defenses based on the facts of the case.
In addition, you may wish to consider seeking a 50B (North Carolina Domestic Violence Protective Order). The initial 50B can be requested ex parte (which means without the aggressor knowing). You should certainly talk to a lawyer before requesting a 50B if you are charged with a crime because statements you may make in seeking the 50B order could potentially be used against you in your criminal case.
The 50B, if granted following a full hearing, usually includes 1 year of no-contact by the aggressor, plus may include you getting possession the residence, any vehicle owned or leased by the two of you, and may require that the aggressor surrender firearms either pursuant to state or federal law.
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