Before Chapter 50B of the North Carolina General Statutes was enacted, the only remedies for domestic violence victims were through criminal statutes. There was growing concern that these criminal laws did not provide adequate protection for victims. Chapter 50B, entitled “Domestic Violence” created strong civil penalties to parties charged with domestic violence. The statute prohibits, among other things, intentionally causing bodily injury, attempting to cause bodily injury, harassing an individual or their family/household to a level that inflicts substantial emotional distress, and committing a sex crime. The domestic violence statutes apply when there is a personal relationship between the parties, including where they are current/former spouses, live or have lived together, have had a child together, are or have dated, or are in parent-child relationship.
To violate the domestic violence statute under Point (2), it must be found that the victim was placed in fear of imminent serious bodily injury. This is a subjective test. The court is required to find that the person actually feared imminent serious bodily injury; merely feeling uncomfortable is insufficient.
Being charged with any act of domestic violence or having a restraining order taken out can have a tremendous negative impact on all areas of your life, including subsequent child custody, support, or alimony cases. It can also result in termination from your job not to mention the stigma of being labeled an “abuser.” With such high stakes, having an attorney that understands the various laws and standards involved in these cases is very important. Your attorney must be someone you trust to fight for your rights and ensure a fair result. The family law attorneys at Maginnis Law, PLLC are familiar with the entirety of the domestic violence process. Maginnis Law is a Raleigh civil litigation firm handling family law matters, including domestic violence matters, in Cary, Apex, Wake Forest, Morrisville, and the rest of Wake County. To discuss your case, contact Wake County Family Lawyer Karl S. Gwaltney at 919.960.1545 or send a confidential email inquiry using our contact page.