In North Carolina, domestic violence is an attempt at bodily harm or harassment to a member of a person’s household. Domestic violence is intentional violence to an aggrieved party. It is not self-defense.
When accused of domestic violence, people often receive protective orders. If delivered a protective order, a defendant must follow the restrictions or face serious consequences.
Protective orders, as described by the North Carolina legislature, provide relief to plaintiffs in domestic violence cases. The protective order will direct the defendant to refrain from any acts of domestic violence or any contact with the plaintiff. The plaintiff may receive temporary possession of the residence, whereas the defendant can no longer enter the premises.
If children are involved, the defendant may be unable to visit with or see the children for the duration of the case. For children, courts look at the best interests of the child to decide whether a person should have custody or visitation. Some orders will require a person to attend an abuser treatment program if the court finds him or her responsible. Also, protective orders can restrict a person from buying a firearm.
When a person violates a protective order, an officer can arrest said person with or without a warrant. According to the North Carolina legislature, an officer only needs probable cause that the offender knowingly violated the protective order. In addition to an arrest, the charge can increase in severity. For instance, if a person commits a felony while simultaneously violating a protective order, the person may face charges one class higher than the principal felony.