The COVID-19 Pandemic has all kinds of far-reaching effects that one never would have expected. One unfortunate repercussion is that domestic violence cases are on the rise. Experts attribute the rise in cases to more people being relegated to working from home and spending more time in close proximity. Read on to learn more about both civil and criminal domestic violence cases as Raleigh domestic violence attorney, Nick Saparilas, breaks down what you need to know.
Civil domestic violence cases are person vs. person. If domestic violence is found, the remedy is a protective order. In criminal cases, charges are brought by the state of North Carolina. If the defendant is found guilty, the sentence can vary from probation to time in jail. One other distinct difference between civil and criminal cases is the burden of proof. In civil cases, the burden of proof is the “preponderance of the evidence”. In a criminal case, because the remedy is more stringent, the burden of proof is much higher: in fact, the state must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the defendant is guilty for them to be convicted.
Most civil domestic violence cases, if proof is shown by a preponderance of the evidence, result in a protective order being granted. Each protective order is unique to the situation but most protective orders specify a distance that must remain between the two people involved and allow no communication whatsoever. In other words, if person A files a protective order against person B, person B cannot come within a specified amount of distance of person A or communicate with them in any way. In fact, person B cannot even ask for an uninvolved person to give person A a message.
Unfortunately, sometimes person A calls or visits person B and, if they respond in any way, person B can then be criminally charged with “violating a protective order”. If you have had a protective order filed against you and that person contacts you, do not respond in any way or you will risk Class A-1 misdemeanor criminal charges which can result in probation or, in some cases, time in jail.
The Two Main Types of Civil Domestic Violence Cases Are:
- 50-B Domestic Violence Protective Order: These cases are reserved for people who: 1) are current or former spouses 2) are persons of the opposite sex that live together or have lived together 3) are related as parents and children, including others acting in loco parentis to a minor child, or as grandparents and grandchildren 4) have a child in common 5) are current or former household members or 6) are persons of the opposite sex who are in a dating relationship or have been in a dating relationship.
- 50-C Domestic Violence Protective Order: These cases are reserved for people who do not know one another at all, or do not know one another as well.
One interesting aspect of criminal domestic violence charges is that gender determines the charges being filed. If a male hits a female, they are charged with a Class A-1 misdemeanor, “Assault on a Female”. If a female hits a male, the charges are “Simple Assault”.
Whether you are facing criminal charges of domestic violence or have had a protective order filed against you, it is important you consult with a Raleigh domestic violence attorney you can trust. Contact Nick Saparilas from Saparilas Law for representation you can count on. Call (919) 832-2280 to schedule your consultation today.