Possession of a Firearm While DVPO in Effect in Wake County

Were you recently arrested in North Carolina for allegedly possessing a firearm in violation of a DVPO? You will want to contact Coolidge Law Firm before you make a statement to authorities.

Raleigh criminal defense attorney David Coolidge represents clients accused of domestic violence offenses in Wendell, Garner, Morrisville, Holly Springs, Fuquay-Varina, Rolesville, and many surrounding areas of Wake County. You can have our lawyer review your case and discuss all of your legal options when you call (919) 239-8448 to receive a free initial consultation.

Lawyer for Possession of a Firearm While DVPO in Effect in Raleigh, NC

A domestic violence protective order (or DVPO, but also commonly referred to as a 50B order—so named for the chapter of the North Carolina General Statute related to domestic violence) is a specific kind of restraining order that involves a victim having a personal relationship with the person named in the order. DVPOs not only allows courts to order people to refrain from abusing or threatening victims, but they can also order alleged offenders to surrender all of their firearms.

While some DVPO violations are misdemeanor offenses, possession of a firearm in violation of a DVPO is a felony offense. Convictions can carry very steep penalties, including lengthy prison sentences and orders to pay significant fines.


North Carolina DVPO Firearm Possession Information Center


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Possession of a Firearm While DVPO in Effect Charges in Wake County

Under North Carolina General Statute § 50B-3.1(a), the court will order a defendant to surrender to the sheriff all firearms, machine guns, ammunition, permits to purchase firearms, and permits to carry concealed firearms that are in the care, custody, possession, ownership, or control of the defendant if the court finds any of the following factors when issuing an emergency or ex parte DVPO:

  • The use or threatened use of a deadly weapon by the defendant or a pattern of prior conduct involving the use or threatened use of violence with a firearm against persons;
  • Threats to seriously injure or kill the aggrieved party or minor child by the defendant;
  • Threats to commit suicide by the defendant; or
  • Serious injuries inflicted upon the aggrieved party or minor child by the defendant.

North Carolina General Statute § 50B-3.1(d) requires immediate surrender of all firearms, machine guns, ammunition, permits to purchase firearms, and permits to carry concealed firearms that are in the care, custody, possession, ownership, or control of the defendant. When such weapons cannot be surrendered at the time an order is issued, they must be surrendered within 24 hours.

The Wake County Sheriff’s Office can ask a defendant if he or she has firearms, machine guns, ammunition, or permits, but the agency will generally not take any further action if a defendant claims he or she does not have any of these items in his or her possession.


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Possession of a Firearm While DVPO in Effect Penalties in Raleigh

North Carolina General Statute § 14-269.8 makes it unlawful for any person to possess, purchase, or receive or attempt to possess, purchase, or receive a firearm, machine gun, ammunition, or permits to purchase or carry concealed firearms if ordered by the court for so long as that protective order or any successive protective order entered against that person pursuant to Chapter 50B of the General Statutes is in effect. Under North Carolina General Statute § 50B-3.1(i), it is unlawful for any person subject to a protective order prohibiting the possession or purchase of firearms to:

  • Fail to surrender all firearms, ammunition, permits to purchase firearms, and permits to carry concealed firearms to the sheriff as ordered by the court;
  • Fail to disclose all information pertaining to the possession of firearms, ammunition, and permits to purchase and permits to carry concealed firearms as requested by the court; or
  • Provide false information to the court pertaining to any of these items.

Violations are classified as Class H felony offenses. People who are convicted of crimes in North Carolina can receive one of three types of sentences: Active punishments involving terms of incarceration in state prisons or jails, intermediate punishments involving sentences of supervised probation as well as other possible conditions, and community punishments involving any sentences other than active punishments.

North Carolina uses a “structured sentencing” system that takes into account both the nature of the crime an alleged offender is accused of and his or her prior criminal record. With felony cases, points are assigned to a person’s criminal record and the alleged offender is placed into one of six different prior record levels.

The possible punishment ranges for felony offenses are also broken up into three different ranges: a mitigated range for cases with more mitigating factors, an aggravated range for cases with more aggravating factors, and a presumptive range for cases with an equal amount of or no mitigating factors and aggravating factors. Class H felony convictions are punishable as follows:

  Prior Record Level I

(0-1 point)

Prior Record Level II

(2-5 points)

Prior Record Level III

(6-9 points)

Prior Record Level IV

(10-13 points)

Prior Record Level V

(14-17 points)

Prior Record Level VI

(18+ points)

Class H Community, Intermediate, or Active Intermediate or Active Intermediate or Active Intermediate or Active Intermediate or Active Active
Aggravated 6-8 months 8-10 months 10-12 months 11-14 months 15-19 months 20-25 months
Presumptive 5-6 months 6-8 months 8-10 months 9-11 months 12-15 months 16-20 months
Mitigated 4-5 months 4-6 months 6-8 months 7-9 months 9-12 months 12-16 months

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North Carolina Possession of a Firearm While DVPO in Effect Resources

North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCCADV) — The NCCADV is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to lead the state’s movement to end domestic violence and to enhance work with survivors through collaborations, innovative trainings, prevention, technical assistance, state policy development and legal advocacy. Visit this website to learn more about statistics on domestic violence in North Carolina. You can also search for crisis centers by county.

North Carolina Domestic Violence and Guns | Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence — Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence is a policy organization with the mission “to save lives from gun violence by shifting culture, changing policies, and challenging injustice.” View an October 2014 fact sheet that provides an overview of North Carolina gun violence and domestic violence statistics. Learn more about state laws to protect women from abusers and stalkers.


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Find a Possession of a Firearm While DVPO in Effect Attorney in Raleigh

If you were arrested in the Research Triangle area for allegedly possessing a firearm while a DVPO was in effect, it is in your best interest to quickly seek legal representation. Coolidge Law Firm defends individuals in communities throughout Wake County, such as Knightdale, Zebulon, Apex, Raleigh, Cary, Wake Forest, and many others.

David Coolidge is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Raleigh who also helps students at such local institutions of higher learning as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), Shaw University, North Carolina State University (NCSU), Wake Technical Community College (Wake Tech), Duke University, and William Peace University. Call (919) 239-8448 or complete an online contact form to have our attorney provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.

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