Richmond, VA asked in Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for North Carolina

Q: Can I get a continuance on a domestic violence order protection violation?

I shouldn't even have this out on me but because I found out my wife was cheating on me and I told her I didn't want to get back with her she took my kids and went and put a restraining order on me. I did not realize the punishment if you did not show up to the court date but I was not in the right mental or physical state tip appear that day. Then to appeal it I was unable to afford the cost and so the 30 days passed and the order stuck. I did nothing wrong and I have several witnesses to testify to that and now I am in trouble because I was having a conversation to my wife about selling the home and I wasn't supposed to talk to her apparently and now I'm facing jail time. I don't know what to do I can't get anybody to help me and I am actually scared of her because she does this intentionally knowing that she can and I am a victim not an abuser.

1 Lawyer Answer
Mr. Albert Loch Saslow
Mr. Albert Loch Saslow
  • Greensboro, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: I am answering this question as it pertain to NC law, even though you appear to be from VA. Yes, it is possible to get a Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO) "continued," although I don't think this is what you are really trying to answer.

To get a DVPO, the plaintiff shows up at court at the initial hearing and asks the judge to grant their request for a DVPO. This initial hearing is typically done without the defendant present. Whether the DVPO is granted or not at the initial hearing, a return hearing is set a and the defendant is notified so as to allow him or her to obtain counsel (if desired) and present evidence on their behalf. At the return hearing, it is very common to see continuances granted to allow additional time for the defendant to obtain counsel. However, even with a continuance, the terms of the DVPO remain in effect.

Once the return hearing is held, the DVPO lasts for one year. There would not be a reason for a continuance to be granted during this time. After one year, the plaintiff has the right to 'renew' the DVPO for one additional year.

Any contact with the plaintiff exposes you to sanctions, including the possibility of jail time. If you need to discuss selling your home, you will need to hire an attorney to initiate this converstation.

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