It’s serious to be charged with a domestic violence offense in North Carolina. Being accused of an offense including domestic violence in the state is something you should take very seriously since it can have an impact on your life both in the short and long term.
Bringing an experienced attorney onto your case from the start will make a huge difference. They can work with you to devise an appropriate defense. Remember, no matter the charges, you are entitled to a robust defense in an effort to reclaim control over your life.
Here is what you need to know about domestic violence charges in North Carolina and how to defend yourself against them.
What Is Domestic Violence in North Carolina?
Domestic violence is defined under North Carolina law as violent acts between people who share some sort of personal relationship. Personal relationships are considered those between:
- Two people who are married or have been
- People of the opposite sex who have lived together or live together
- People who have a child in common
- People who are related as parents to a child or grandparents to a child
- Present or former members of the same household
It can also extend to anyone of the same sex you dated or are currently dating.
Domestic violence is committed in a few ways. If you commit certain acts against a person with whom you share a personal relationship, then you can face domestic violence charges. These acts include things such as:
- Intentionally causing a person bodily injury or trying to do so
- Committing a sex offense
- Putting another person in fear that bodily harm will come to them or their family
You have the right to defend yourself against charges of domestic violence. Though no two cases are the same, an experienced attorney can look at the specifics of each case to formulate an appropriate defense. The most common of these defenses include:
Not Enough Evidence
In any case in criminal court, the prosecution has to meet the burden of proof for someone to be convicted of a crime. This means that the prosecution must show beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the act of domestic violence for which they are being accused.
If you can show evidence that contradicts their case, or you find inconsistencies in the witness statements, then that may be enough to encourage doubt – and get you off the hook.
You Acted in Self Defense
A person can, under the laws of North Carolina, use appropriate force against someone if they believe they need to defend themselves. Many domestic violence cases pit the word of one person against the word of another. Thus, bringing evidence that shows the other party initiated the contact, and you were only acting out of self-defense, is a legitimate defense.
The Allegations Aren’t True
Domestic violence does occur, but a small number of domestic violence accusations are simply false. If you are a victim of false allegations, then you may be able to produce evidence in court that you didn’t commit the acts for which you’re being accused. Let your lawyer take the lead when you provide them with statements that the charges against you are false.
Domestic violence is serious, but remember that no matter what a person is charged with, they are entitled to defend themselves – and should do so. A skilled attorney can help to guide you through the process and make sure that you explore every avenue of defense.