Olsinski Law Firm team

Domestic Violence

Highly Experienced Charlotte Criminal Defense Lawyers Committed to Defending Clients Charged With Family Violence Offenses

Recent studies suggest that about one-third of all men and women in North Carolina have experienced some form of domestic violence, including stalking. As a result, Charlotte police and prosecutors take allegations of domestic violence incredibly seriously. And, if you’re convicted, you can expect the judge to take a similarly serious stance.

However, being arrested and charged with a domestic violence crime is not the same thing as being convicted. It’s up to the prosecution to prove you committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt—if it can. And that’s where the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, can help. We’re a dedicated Charlotte domestic violence defense law firm committed to upholding your presumption of innocence and ensuring that your recent arrest has as little impact on your life as possible. We have more than 25 years of experience protecting the futures of our clients and look forward to discussing how we can help in your case.

What Constitutes Domestic Violence?

In North Carolina, domestic violence can include a range of behaviors. However, there is only one true “domestic violence” statute in North Carolina, and that’s under North Carolina General Statutes § 14-32.5. This law makes it illegal to use physical force, attempt to use physical force, or threaten to use a deadly weapon against someone with whom you have or had a close, intimate, or familial relationship.

More specifically, § 14-32.5 applies when the defendant:

  • Is the spouse or former spouse of the victim;
  • Is the parent or guardian of the victim;
  • Has a child in common with the victim; or
  • Was involved in a dating relationship with the victim.

Domestic violence is considered a Class A1 misdemeanor, which is the most serious grade of misdemeanor. If convicted, you could face a jail sentence of up to 150 days. The court also has discretion to issue a fine.

Communicating Threats

Although not strictly a domestic violence offense, the crime of communicating threats is frequently charged in the domestic violence context. Under North Carolina General Statutes § 4-277.1, communicating threats involves the following elements:

  1. A threat to injure the victim or their child, sibling, spouse or property.
  2. The threat was communicated to the alleged victim.
  3. The threat was made in such a way that a reasonable person could believe you intended to carry it out.
  4. The alleged victim actually thought you would carry out the threat.

Communicating threats is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a possible sentence of up to 120 days in jail, as well as a fine that will be determined by the court.

Violation of a Protective Order

Another common domestic violence offense involves the violation of a protective order under North Carolina General Statutes § 50B-4.1(a). This law provides that it is a Class A1 misdemeanor to knowingly violate a protective order. Moreover, police officers must arrest and take into custody anyone alleged to have violated a protective order, provided there is probable cause to believe they violated the order.

Defenses to a North Carolina Domestic Violence Case

Domestic violence cases can be some of the toughest cases, based on the intense emotions involved. However, this level of emotion also opens the doors to some compelling defenses, including:

Self-Defense: You can claim that you acted in self-defense if you believed you were in imminent danger of being harmed and used reasonable force to protect yourself.

False Accusations: Sometimes, people make false accusations out of anger, jealousy, or for other personal reasons. You can argue that the allegations against you are not true and provide evidence to support your claim. Showing that the alleged victim exaggerated even a part of the narrative can cast doubt on their whole story.

Lack of Evidence: The prosecution must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If there is insufficient evidence to support the charges, your attorney can argue for a dismissal or reduction of the charges.

Consent: In some domestic violence cases involving sex crime allegations, you might argue that the alleged victim consented to the actions that led to the charges.

Of course, every case is unique, and it’s best to work with an experienced Charlotte domestic violence defense attorney to ensure you select the best defense based on the facts of your case.

Have You Been Charged With Domestic Violence?

If you were recently arrested and charged with a domestic violence crime, reach out to the Charlotte domestic violence lawyers at the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC. At our criminal defense firm, we know what’s on the line and what it will take to protect your interests. We’ve successfully handled countless DV cases on behalf of clients in the past and look forward to discussing how we can help with your case. To learn more and to schedule a free consultation with a North Carolina criminal defense attorney today, call the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, at 704-405-2580. You can also connect with us through our secure online contact form.

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