Violation of a Protection Order
Domestic violence is a serious offense, which can have dangerous consequences for the victim. As a result, the law provides protection for victims in the form of a protection order. A protection order, often referred to as a restraining order, prohibits a perpetrator of domestic violence from committing specific acts, including:
- Contacting the victim;
- Carrying or possessing a firearm;
- Residing or living with the victim; and/or
- Any other precaution necessary for the health and safety of the victim.
When offender or perpetrator of domestic violence does not comply with the specific terms of a protection order, whether intentionally or unintentionally, he or she is considered in violation of a protection order. Violation of a protection order is a criminal offense. If faced with criminal charges associated with violation of a protection order, it is recommended to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.
Raleigh Violation of a Protection Order Lawyer
If faced with charges for violation of a protection order, it is imperative that you take these charges seriously and act quickly. The experienced attorneys at Coolidge Law Firm can review your case and prepare the best defense possible on your behalf. Contact the Coolidge Law Firm today at (919) 239-8448 for a free, confidential attorney consultation.
The Coolidge Law Firm proudly defends clients throughout Wake County, including Raleigh, Apex, Cary, Garner, Holly Springs, and Wake Forest.
North Carolina Information Center for Violation of a Protection Order
- What is a protective order?
- How does a defendant violate a protection order?
- What are the consequences for violation of a protection order?
A victim of domestic violence as defined in North Carolina General Statute § 50B-1 may file for a protective order from his or her alleged abuser. Customarily, a protective order contains the following provisions. The court may order additional provisions as necessary for the health and safety of the victim and minor children.
- Prohibit any communication, in person or via electronic device, between victim and the alleged abuser;
- Require the accused pay for alternative housing for a spouse and minor children;
- Order child support for minor children;
- Order accused from committing further acts of violence, including threatening, harassing, interference, or cruelty to the victim’s (or minor child’s) animal;
- Prohibit the accused from possessing or purchasing a firearm for a fixed time;
- Order eviction from the victim’s residence and prohibit from returning;
According to North Carolina General Statute § 50B-4.1 an individual is determined to have violated a protection order if he or she knowingly does not comply with a valid protection order.
The most common violation of a protection order is committed when an accused contacts a victim. Traditionally, contact would include in person contact, but in this technology age contact can be made in person, by telephone, email, or social media. Persons served with a valid protection order must refrain from any form of contact whatsoever, even through a third party. This includes benign contact. Even a text message saying “hello” or “how are you doing” can be considered a violation of a protection order.
Another common violation of a protection order is the failure to surrender a firearm. According to North Carolina General Statute § 50B-3.1 an individual must surrender all firearms, permits to purchase firearms, permits to carry concealed firearms, and include any identifying information to the firearms upon issuance of a protection order.
The law expects individuals served with a protection order to surrender immediately. However, if the accused cannot surrender the firearms at time of issuance, he or she has up to 24 hours to surrender the aforementioned items to the sheriff.
Criminal consequences for violation of a protection order vary depending on the circumstances. Generally, violation of a protection order is a class A1 misdemeanor, which is the most serious type of misdemeanor. An individual convicted of a class A1 misdemeanor faces a maximum penalty of up to 150 days in jail and a discretionary fine.
However, should an individual commit a felony when violating the protection order, the criminal consequence would be one class higher than the felony committed. For example, conviction of assault with a deadly weapon is normally punished as a Class C Felony, punishable by a prison term of 44 to 98 months.
However, if the individual commits assault with a deadly weapon on the victim after being issued a valid protection order, the conviction is now a Class B-2 Felony punishable by 94 to 393 months imprisonment.
North Carolina Violation of a Protection Order Lawyer
The criminal consequences of violating a valid protection order are serious. It is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately following a domestic violence accusation. The experienced attorneys at Coolidge Law Firm can provide counsel during the protection order hearing and adequately advise you of the terms of a protection order if issued.
If already charged with a protection order, the attorneys at Coolidge Law Firm can compile the best defense based on your unique circumstances. Contact the violation of a protection order attorneys from Coolidge Law Firm at (919) 239-8448 for a free, confidential evaluation of your case.