Domestic Violence Attorney in Gastonia, North Carolina
If you or a loved one has been charged with domestic violence, you need quality legal representation. At The Law Office of Eddie L. Meeks, I believe that everyone deserves the right to a fair legal battle with qualified representation.
Unfortunately, reports of domestic violence in North Carolina rose sharply in 2020, with counties across the state reporting 2,000 more cases than the previous year. This is a serious problem, but we also know that not all domestic violence charges are legitimate and can often stem from a vindictive ex or current partner.
An experienced criminal defense attorney will listen to your side of the story, weigh all of the evidence, and look at your choices to help you prepare an appropriate defense. If you’re in the Charlotte, Lincolnton, or Hickory areas, call me at The Law Office of Eddie L. Meeks in Gastonia, North Carolina today for a consultation.
Domestic Violence in North Carolina
“Domestic violence” is a legal term used to describe violent acts committed within a personal relationship. This term is not applicable in cases of self-defense but instead refers to acts that are intended to cause injury to the other person. It can also include charges like harassment or intimidation that cause one member of the relationship to feel as though they are in imminent danger of bodily harm, promoting an environment that creates sustained emotional distress, or a sex-related crime like sexual abuse or battery.
The personal relationship can be current or former spouses, live-in partners, current or former dating partners, a parent and child (or someone standing in as the parent, such as a foster parent or grandparent), or other household members (such as roommates).
The designation of a domestic violence sentence brings with it special conditions that a judge may impose on the defendant. All domestic violence cases in North Carolina in which the accused has been arrested are subject to the 48-hour rule. This rule states that the alleged domestic abuser will be held in jail for a minimum of 48 hours until a district court judge sets a bond.
After the trial, the severity of the consequences is dependent on the type of physical assault, whether it’s a misdemeanor or a felony, whether the defendant has previous charges against them, and whether the judge determines that the victim will remain in immediate danger by staying with the defendant. In some cases, the judge will issue a protective order in addition to the possible penalties of:
Loss of Firearms Rights
Anger Management Classes
Loss of Parenting Privileges/Custody
Deportation (if applicable)
Though you may feel helpless being accused of domestic violence, you do have options for your defense. Many domestic violence cases are not clear-cut since it’s often one person’s word against another. Some potential legal arguments include:
False Accusations: With this defense, it is argued that the violence was committed by another person and the victim is blaming the defendant incorrectly, or that the victim has fabricated the entire story. In either case, attorneys will look for corroborating evidence or witness accounts.
Self-Defense: If a defendant claims self-defense, their story will have to be corroborated by police reports, any witness testimony (including that of the injured party), and consistencies with the injuries pointing to self-defense such as injuries that were sustained first by the defendant.
Lack of Intent: This defense does not deny that the defendant caused the injury, rather that it was accidentally committed. This will also have to be proven in court using enough evidence that points to an accidental injury.
Domestic Violence Attorney
Serving Gastonia, North Carolina
A domestic violence charge isn’t always an open and shut case. There are things you can do to seek a lesser sentence or get the charge dismissed. Whatever your situation may be, you stand a better chance by calling me at The Law Office of Eddie L. Meeks. I proudly represent clients in Gastonia, Charlotte, Lincolnton, and Hickory, North Carolina.