Restraining Orders and Violations in North Carolina
The District Courts of North Carolina can issue orders of protection between domestic partners or neighbors. If served with a restraining order, you are not required to attend the court date. However, if you wish to contest the order then you should attend the hearing with an attorney. If you do not show up, then most likely the court will side with the petitioning party and grant the order. A restraining order can negatively affect your life if issued. It may bar you from attending the places in your community such as restaurants, entertainment venues, and sporting events. It may also impact your ability to obtain firearms. A violation of the order can occur even when the one who sought the restraining order is the one who initiated contact or communication.
The elements surrounding violation of a restraining order are typically emotionally charged and involve complex relationship difficulties, such as children, friends, and places of worship. Violation of a restraining order is at a minimum a Class A1 misdemeanor which runs the risk of incarceration up to twelve months in prison. If another crime is conducted, such as domestic violence while you are in violation of the restraining order, that crime runs the risk of a more severe punishment than if conducted not in violation of the restraining order. If you were to violate the order and are in the presence or possession of a deadly weapon, you can be convicted of a Class H felony, which is punishable by up to over two years in prison.
If a protective order is taken out, take it as a warning that you are at risk of a domestic violence charge. Per the law in North Carolina, by placing the aggrieved party or a member of the aggrieved party’s family or household in fear of imminent serious bodily injury or continued harassment, you can be found guilty of domestic violence. This fear of harm, whether founded or not, is often the reasoning to seek out a restraining order.
Attempting to battle a restraining order in court alone is an uphill battle. Legal expertise and experience is a valuable tool in preventing an upheaval in your daily life caused by the restrictions resulting from a restraining order. Obtaining an attorney for these hearings exponentially increases your chances of success in fighting this court injunction. The attorneys at Mulligan Epstein have experience with protective orders and violations. If you have any questions concerning filing, fighting a restraining order, or a violation of a restraining order, please contact the attorneys at Mulligan Epstein.