Domestic violence has always been a topic of concern, especially because so much of it is hidden and both women and men, as well as children, often suffer in silence. With the latest travails within the NFL, domestic violence is becoming a much more visible issue, with a significant amount of discussion around who may be at fault and what the consequences should be.
Let’s be perfectly clear – it is never ok to hit or strike someone out of anger, in retribution or with the intent to cause fear. Doing so is tantamount to the legal description of assault. In North Carolina, the law differentiates between many different types of assaults, including, but not limited to:
- Simple affray (Misdemeanor)
- Simple assault (Misdemeanor)
- Assault on a female (Misdemeanor)
- Assault by strangulation (Felony)
- Assault with a deadly weapon (Misdemeanor)
- Assault inflicting serious injury (Misdemeanor)
- Assault with deadly weapon inflicting serious injury (Felony)
- Assault with deadly weapon with intent to kill (Felony)
- Assault with deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury (Felony)
Assault cases can be handled either as domestic violence cases or outside of the confines of domestic violence. Charges are classified as being “DV” cases if they involve a spouse, significant other, family member, or a previous spouse or significant other. In Wake County, a special courtroom is set aside specifically for domestic violence related cases. We see too many cases in Wake County where a party was never touched or injured, yet someone is charged with an assault. For example, if a couple is having an argument and one party calls the policy just to help manage the situation and no hands are ever laid on either person, there is an unwritten police policy to charge someone in the situation.
Domestic violence assault cases that are handled in Raleigh and Wake County are very serious. If convicted, this is a charge that is non-expungeable from your criminal record, meaning it will be there for the rest of your life. For this reason, it is critical that have an attorney representing you that is experienced in handling domestic violence and assault cases. There are certain programs available to defendants that would allow for charges to be dismissed and possibly even expunged if handled correctly. Many people don’t realize the severity of this charge on a background check and therefore don’t ensure adequate representation. These are cases that need to be aggressively fought and stringently managed to get the best possible result.
Domestic violence is absolutely not acceptable. These issues need to be appropriately managed so that people can get the help they need. But incorrectly labeling an argument between family members or a misunderstanding as domestic violence has its problems and consequences too. If you are accused of domestic violence, you need a vigorous defense – one that The Chetson Firm has developed a reputation for delivering.