North Carolina Domestic Violence Laws 2024 – All You Need to Know

Domestic violence is an unfortunate reality for thousands of people annually across the United States. Every state has laws pertaining to domestic violence that are regularly updated in response to public concern and the revision of outdated statutes. It is essential for everyone to know the state’s domestic violence laws and the potential penalties for conviction. They must also know what to do if they become victims of domestic violence and the legal rights that come into play after their experiences.

Christina Rivenbark & Associates has a team of experienced attorneys who have seen both sides of many domestic violence cases. Our firm carefully tracks the latest legislative changes pertaining to domestic violence and other civil and criminal law areas. If you are a victim of domestic violence, an experienced attorney can help you secure a protective order and file a civil suit against your attacker to recover your losses. Your case could also have implications in family law. If you committed or are accused of committing domestic violence, you need a criminal defense attorney  you can trust to represent you in the difficult proceedings ahead of you.

Defining Domestic Violence

North Carolina does not define a single specific offense as “domestic violence.” This is a blanket term that applies to any type of interpersonal violence that occurs within a family or household. However, the parties involved do not need to live together or be related for an incident between them to qualify as domestic violence. Physical abuse, sexual assault, threats, terrorization, and other damaging actions can constitute domestic violence. It’s possible for these incidents to arise between current or former spouses, partners, housemates, and extended family.

The potential penalties for domestic violence reflect those assigned to their standard counterparts, but their classification as domestic violence increases the associated penalties. For example, domestic assault may reflect the same physical actions as a simple assault, but the fact that the relationship qualifies for domestic violence prosecution means the defendant is likely to face a much harsher sentence than they would for simple assault.

One of the most important legal mechanisms available to victims of domestic violence is a protective order, also called a restraining order. This will prevent the attacker from coming near the victim or contacting them. Judges often include specific stipulations in the restraining orders they approve based on the individual details of the case. Your attorney can help you understand the terms of a protective order so you do not unintentionally violate the terms of the order and face the associated penalties.

Consequences in Family, Criminal, and Civil Law

When domestic violence occurs, the police will remove the alleged aggressor from the situation and help the victim secure a temporary restraining order. The order will prevent them from facing further harm until a hearing date when the judge will decide whether to turn the order into a permanent protective order. A domestic violence conviction can lead to fines and incarceration for the defendant as well as loss of child custody or visitation rights. Additionally, the victim is likely to file a civil claim against them if they caused any measurable damages.

Ultimately, any domestic violence case has the potential to spiral into a very complex legal battle that can touch on various areas of law. If you are accused of domestic violence, a defense attorney is essential. The attorneys of Christina Rivenbark & Associates stay up to date on the latest changes to state law and can help you formulate the most effective defense possible. When you choose us to represent you as defense counsel in a domestic violence case, we will do everything we can to minimize your penalties or prove the truth of the situation if you have been falsely accused.


Q: Is Domestic Violence a Felony in North Carolina?

A: State law defines many forms of domestic violence, and some types can be committed at various levels. The penalty the defendant faces and the severity of their charges usually hinges on the severity of their actions. For example, if a defendant is prosecuted for an assault via threat but did not make any physical contact with the plaintiff, their sentence is likely to be lighter than a defendant who physically injured a plaintiff. Domestic violence can be prosecuted as a state misdemeanor or felony.

Q: What Should I Do if I’m Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence?

A: Unfortunately, some people levy false accusations of domestic violence in divorce cases and contested custody disputes in an effort to cast spouses and/or co-parents in poor light. If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, it may seem like you have no evidence or witness testimony to support your side of the events in question. An experienced domestic violence defense attorney is your best asset in this situation, and a good attorney will help you identify all your best defensive options.

Q: Can I Sue My Attacker for Domestic Violence-Related Damages?

A: If the person who committed domestic violence against you caused physical injuries and other economic damages, you have the right to file a personal injury claim for damages against them. Many domestic violence victims seek compensation for their medical expenses, lost income from time spent recovering, and legal fees for bringing their actions. Your attorney can help you calculate the damages you can claim from the defendant and file your personal injury action.

Q: Should I Hire an Attorney If I’ve Experienced Domestic Violence?

A: After addressing the aftermath of your experience with the police, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The police may help you secure a temporary restraining order that will last until your initial hearing, but a good attorney will be crucial for navigating the subsequent proceedings effectively and securing the legal protections you and your family require.

Christina Rivenbark & Associates has years of experience handling domestic violence defense cases and helping victims of domestic violence recover from their damages. Whatever your situation, our team is prepared to provide the legal representation you require to navigate your case proceedings as efficiently as possible. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our team about your impending domestic violence case.

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