Domestic Violence Attorney in Raleigh

At Coolidge Law Firm, we represent people who have been accused of abuse or violence against loved ones. If you face charges of assault and battery, child abuse, or any other offense, a Raleigh domestic violence attorney from Coolidge Law Firm can defend your rights during any questioning by police, in court, and in any associated protective order hearings. We are experienced criminal trial attorneys who handle domestic violence matters every day

We will develop a strategy for your defense, whether that involves negotiating a plea bargain or fighting the charges. We represent the accused in Wake County, including Raleigh, Apex, Rolesville, Garner, Wake Forest, Fuquay-Varina, and Knightdale. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.

Domestic Violence Attorneys in Raleigh

In the heat of the moment, a loved one, including a spouse, child, or person you are dating, may make an accusation of violence against you. Once the police become involved, your life could change dramatically. A misunderstanding or exaggeration could define the rest of your life when it involves the abuse of a family member.

North Carolina takes allegations of domestic violence very seriously. If you currently face these charges, you probably already spent a night in jail as a “cooling off” period. Do not take these charges lightly. You need an experienced domestic violence defense attorney who can fight the accusations and seek to have the charges reduced or dismissed. Your attorney should be there to advise you on all matters including any hearings related to a domestic violence protective order, commonly referred to as a DVPO.

(919) 239-8448

Information on Family Abuse Charges

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How Domestic Violence Cases Are Defined

A number of different criminal charges may be designated as domestic violence if the accused and the victim have one of several relationships under N.C.G.S. § 50B-1. Those relationships can include if the victim is:

  • The accused’s spouse
  • The accused’s former spouse
  • A child or grandchild of the defendant
  • A parent or grandparent of the defendant
  • A person of the opposite sex that the accused lives with or has lived with
  • Someone with whom the accused has a child
  • The accused’s boyfriend or girlfriend
  • The accused’s ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend
  • A current or former household member of the accused

Despite the reference to “the opposite sex” in the state statute, prosecutors may bring charges against people accused of assaulting or abusing spouses and partners of the same sex. Both men and women may be accused of domestic violence.

If the victim and the accused share a relationship described, the defendant faces domestic violence charges if he or she is accused of:

  • Attempting to cause or intentionally causing bodily injury
  • Placing the victim or a member of the victim’s family in fear of imminent serious bodily injury or harassment that inflicts substantial emotional distress
  • Committing one of several charges involving sexual assault

Some of the criminal charges designated as domestic violence include:

  • Assault
  • Assault by strangulation
  • Assault on a female
  • Assault with a deadly Weapon
  • Domestic abuse, neglect, and exploitation of disabled or elder adults
  • Child abuse
  • Harassment by repeated telephoning
  • Stalking
  • Cyberstalking
  • Rape
  • Sexual Offense
  • Sexual Battery

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Can the Victim Drop Charges?

In some cases, the person who called to complain about the alleged domestic violence later regrets the decision. Domestic violence cases often result from very heated family disputes. In such situations, even otherwise honest people can make exaggerated or even fabricated claims.

Once a spouse or loved one calls the police, though, there is usually no going back.  They cannot “unring” the bell. The Wake County District Attorney has a “no drop” policy for family abuse cases. This means prosecutors will not drop charges upon the victim requesting to withdraw his or her complaint.

This makes it especially imperative for those accused to immediately seek defense counsel. In all likelihood, they will be prosecuted.

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Wake County Domestic Violence Court

Most domestic abuse cases are misdemeanors. The Wake County District Attorney’s Office prosecutes all Misdemeanor DV charges in a separate courtroom at the Wake County Justice Center. A specially trained prosecutorial unit handles these cases and often works with specialized units at the Raleigh Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies.

Felony charges are tried in Superior Court. Felony domestic violence charges include:  Assaults involving strangulation, serious injury, or a weapon. Other offenses include rape, kidnapping, or unlawful restraint.

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50B Protective Order Under North Carolina Law

Under North Carolina General Statutes, Chapter 50B, a person who has been the victim of domestic violence may seek a protective order to prevent future abuse. These are often called “restraining orders.” The order will have a profound effect on the life of the accused.

A protective order can:

  • Prohibit any communication between the accused and the victim;
  • Require the accused to pay for housing for the victim;
  • Give the victim sole possession of the home, and evict the accused;
  • Give the victim possession of personal property;
  • Grant custody of children to the victim or to a person other than the accused;
  • Require the accused to pay child support;
  • Require the accused to pay spousal support;
  • Award attorney’s fees;
  • Prohibit the accused from carrying a firearm; and
  • Order any other action to protect the safety and health of the victim or any children involved.

When a report involves domestic violence, he or she may seek an emergency order. A judge or magistrate may grant the order “ex parte,” meaning the accused does not have an opportunity to be represented in the hearing. The judge or magistrate will grant the order if he or she finds that the person complaining or a minor child is in danger of violent acts.

However, within 10 days of the order or within seven days of the accused being served, whichever is later, the judge or magistrate must order a hearing. At the hearing, the person facing the order can be represented by an attorney. His or her attorney can present the other side of the case and argue that the evidence presented by the petitioner does not sufficiently satisfy the requirements for the protective order to remain in place.  A criminal defense attorney can also show why stringent prohibitions and drastic orders should not apply in a particular case.

Once granted, a domestic violence protective order (DVPO) remains in place for one year, at which time the victim may request a new one.  Violation of any of the order’s conditions can result in criminal charges, this can include possessing a firearm while a DVPO is in effect.

Protective order hearings are actually a civil matter. However, a criminal defense lawyer from Coolidge Law Firm can represent you, both in the DVPO hearings and in any related criminal proceedings.

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Penalties and Batterer Intervention

It is important to understand that if convicted, penalties will depend upon the charge. North Carolina uses a structured sentencing scheme in which punishment, like time in jail or prison or probation, depends upon the class of felony or misdemeanor, the accused’s criminal record, and whether there were aggravating or mitigating factors involved in the case.

A person convicted of any domestic violence offense — even a misdemeanor — will permanently lose his or her right to carry a firearm under federal law.

A person convicted of a domestic violence offense may also be required to complete a batterer intervention course. The batterer intervention course is a 26-week program. If a person fails to complete or gets terminated from the program, the administrators will report that fact to the court.

These are far from the only consequences that you may suffer if convicted of a domestic violence offense. A conviction for any type of child abuse can result in the inability to work with children. A spousal abuse charge may have a powerful effect on personal relationships in the future. It is important to take any domestic violence charge very seriously.

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Contact a Domestic Abuse Attorney in Raleigh

If you face any type of charge involving an act of abuse or violence against a family member, it is imperative that you act today. Contact a skilled attorney at Coolidge Law Firm so we can begin developing a strategy for your defense.
Reach us at (919) 239-8448 or fill out the form below to schedule a free consultation with one of our criminal defense attorneys. We represent clients throughout Wake County, including Raleigh, Cary, Zebulon, Holly Springs, Wendell, and Morrisville.  We’ve successfully defended numerous people that found themselves in situations just like you.  Call us now!

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Client Testimonials

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    I can not say enough good about David Coolidge and the Law Firm! From the moment of our 1st interaction, I could tell that David TRULY cares and has a passion about the cases he takes on. I was anxious and nervous about my case from the beginning. David immediately showed his support and listened with an empathetic ear. From that moment on, I felt as though I knew I could trust him to put his whole heart into helping me with my case. He is intelligent, kind and completely nonjudgmental. He will listen to you and is so very supportive. I really felt, and still do, that he really cared about helping me. His passion for his work and in helping others shines. We VERY HAPPILY, had a GREAT outcome from the case and I could not be happier. As I told him when we left the court room that morning... “David, you have changed my life forever”. I would recommend David and this Law Firm to EVERYONE who is reading this review.
    - Brian L.
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    David Coolidge is a wonderful attorney! I hired him twice for two different cases that I had which were only 2 months apart. He's very thorough and efficient. I was even able to reach him after hours through phone calls, texts, and email. Hopefully I never need his services again but if I am in a similar predicament I would most definitely hire David again.
    - Tiffany C.
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    I cannot say enough about Attorney Coolidge and his staff. He’s handed several matters for me and in every instance he has exceeded my expectations. He even answered a frantic call from me on a Saturday night. I called in desperation not really expecting an answer. Mr. Coolidge delivered on all that he promised and more. I highly recommend.
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