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What Happens After a Domestic Violence Arrest?

Judges and prosecutors take Domestic violence charges in Raleigh NC seriously.  You should too.  If you’re facing criminal charges for things like assault and battery, injury to personal property, or interference with emergency communications (911), we recommend you start your legal defense without delay.

In the United States, almost 20 people are physically abused by a family member or someone involved in a personal relationship (dating, marriage, etc.) every minute. More than 10 million people are involved in domestic crimes every year.

What to Expect on Domestic Violence Charges Raleigh NC

Here’s what will happen in the event of a domestic violence situation:

Arrest and Allegations of Criminal Charges

If arrested, you could be charged with simple assault, Assault on a Female, or aggravated assault related to domestic violence. You’ll then be taken to the Wake County Jail (if charged in that county).

  • Sexually related assault (felony or misdemeanor charges)
  • Placing the victim or their relatives in fear of harassment or bodily injury
  • Causing, or attempting to cause bodily injury
  • Felony Assault by Strangulation
  • Felony Inflicting Serious Bodily Injury
  • Harassment
  • Communicating Threats

Posting Bond – Conditions for Release from Jail

When you appear before a judge they may choose to release you without posting bond. This is called Personal Recognizance. They may also set a cash amount which you’ll need to pay before you can leave jail.

In North Carolina, magistrates are not authorized to set bond terms for domestic violence cases, unless it has been 48 hours and a district court judge hasn’t yet reviewed your case.

That means that if you’re unfortunate enough to be arrested on a Friday night, you wouldn’t be out on bond until Sunday night.

North Carolina Family LawsWhen you go to your bond hearing, avoid the temptation to tell your side of the story. No one is deciding your guilt or innocence during this hearing, and anything you say now could later be held against you.

If you’ve experienced a domestic violence arrest, you may naturally want to set the record straight. But your job is to simply tell the judge why you can be trusted to go back to court, and why you can also be trusted to stay away from your partner.

Restraining Orders – DVPO Domestic Violence Protection Orders

Also known as “protective orders”, restraining orders are issued in court, and can be issued before your court date.

Most orders concern the defendant’s right to be physically near their victim. But sometimes other provisions are added as well, including the payment of child support, giving up any shared property, or relinquishing any firearms.

After your domestic violence arrest, you may decide that you’d like to apologize to your partner. But violating your protective order can result in up to 60 days behind bars. And if you get caught violating the order twice, you could be charged with a felony (Class H) which can mean up to six years in prison.

It’s crucial that you obey all terms of any protective orders issued and stay away from your partner until you go to court.

Remember, the victim cannot give you permission to violate the terms of the order. If your partner initiates contact with you by phone, text, or any other means, you need to refuse these communications and avoid seeing them. Otherwise, you could be hit with additional charges.

Dropping Charges

Often after a domestic violence arrest, the victim will either ask or be pressured into asking to drop the charges. But it’s not actually the victim that issues the charges- it’s the state. That means that only the state can drop charges.

80-90% of victims of domestic violence will attempt to recant or take back their statement. While the victim may assume that this will mean the State has to drop the case, this is not necessarily true.

The state can still use evidence including:

  • Photographs
  • Police reports
  • Video or audio recordings
  • 911 calls
  • Social media
  • Eyewitness accounts
  • Medical records
  • And more

If you recant your statement, you can also face your own criminal charges for falsifying information.

Sentencing and Punishments for DV Charges in Raleigh NC

During the court process, the victim of domestic violence is entitled to submit an impact statement. This can include details of any emotional, psychological, or physical harm they suffered. It can also include any property damage or economic loss and may ask for financial restitution.

Finally, this statement can also include an opinion regarding what the victim thinks the sentence should be. Keep in mind that the judge will ultimately decide which sentence is appropriate.

John Fanney – Domestic Lawyer – 50B Orders in Wake County NC

Need legal representation? We can help. Get in touch today and let’s talk about your options.

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