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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    3

    Default Domestic Violence Laws In North Carolina

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: north carolina

    my husband had been arrested on charges for domestic violence, first offensealthough this wasnt the first time, since i have a new born baby, i decided to call the cops,,and they arrested him but he was released on bail after the court decided on a date for his trial. he has consulted his lawyer and has been told that it isnt a big deal, that on the day the court has fixed for his trial, his lawyer has advised him that if i dont show up, all charges against him would be dropped, please advice what are the consequences for me if i dont show up? also when he was arrested i had told the police that it was the first time, but this might have been the umpteenth time, i have photos of the previous times when he has really hit me badly, is it possible for me to tell the police about this now? will i be facing charges for lying about him? i dont want to go thru this again, i have decided to press charges as i now have to think about my baby, please let me know the laws about domestic violence in NC for first time offenders and also the punishment. thanks

  2. #2

    Default Re: Domestic Violence Laws In North Carolina

    Someone (your husband claiming to be telling you what his attorney is saying?) is blowing a lot of smoke up your butt.

    First, no one, not the police, and not the courts, realistically believes that this was a first time - it's just not how the dynamic of domestic violence works, so regardless of your statement, believe me when I tell you that this part of your statement fell on deaf ears. That you lied about it being a first time isn't going to phase anyone in the least. What it MIGHT do is make it harder for the prosecution to reference any prior incidents.

    Second, most certainly DO tell the prosecutor about prior instances of domestic violence, and provide photos if you have them - they may or may not make use of this. (Difficulties can arise because the prior instances weren't reported, and there could certainly be issues about the photos depending on who took them, under what circumstances, etc.)

    Third, have you been subpoena'd to appear in court as a witness? If so and you fail to appear, you could be in some hot water yourself - up to and including the issuing of a warrant for your arrest for contempt/failure to appear.

    Fourth, if you haven't been identified as a witness to testify, the state can still most certainly pursue the case without you. A HUGE majority of domestic violence victims refuse to participate in the process, thinking that the whole thing will just go away - but it doesn't. A lot of abusers will also try to convince you that you have the ability to "get them off" by not showing - but that's just not true. You being there can certainly be beneficial to the prosecution, but even if you were never seen or heard from again, they can continue to work to obtain a conviction. In your case in particular, because there is an infant in the picture, it would be very unusual for a prosecutor to just drop the case because you decided not to show.

    Fifth, his punishment if found guilty will depend on the exact statute number(s) that he's being charged under (whether misdemeanor or felony - both are possible), and how many different charges (one incident could include two, three, four, or more individual counts or charges). For misdemeanors, he could be looking at up to a year in jail, each. For felony charges, up to three years in state prison, each. But it's unusual for a first time offender to get these maximums unless your injuries were severe - although NC statutes provide more severe treatment if the incident happened in the presence of a minor.

    Finally, please be sure to contact your local domestic violence program. They can help provide a variety of services that you might find beneficial (particularly if you'd like an advocate to attend court with you, explain various parts of the process, obtain a restraining order, apply for crime victim compensation, get counseling, etc.). You can find your local program at:

    http://www.aardvarc.org/dv/states/ncdv.shtml
    Catherine NeSmith
    Executive Director
    AARDVARC.org, Inc.
    http://www.aardvarc.org

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