Domestic violence charges often result in some type of protective court order. These restraining orders might have more consequences than you initially expect.
One potential problem is that certain types of criminal charges might come with more serious penalties, should you get a conviction. Stalking is one example.
Stalking has its own section in state criminal statutes. To pursue a charge, the state would probably attempt to prove that you did the following while harassing someone willfully and knowingly:
- Caused someone to fear for themselves
- Caused someone to fear for the safety of close friends or family
- Distressed someone via fear of death, injuries or continued harassment
Without a court protective order, your conviction might result in misdemeanor-level penalties, such as community service and supervised probation. However, a domestic violence charge could complicate matters.
Restraining orders and stalking
Domestic violence is a relatively unique type of crime in North Carolina. Its definition comes from the identity of the victims. The penalties tend to be more severe when you get a conviction for an act against a family member versus the same act against an acquaintance or a stranger.
The law also empowers the court to issue orders that do everything from evicting you from your home to preventing you from buying a gun. These orders may also prevent you from threatening, abusing or harassing the other party.
If you call someone repeatedly when an order against harassment is in place, this could result in a criminal charge. Moreover, since the restraining order is there, your stalking charge could become a Class H felony rather than the typical Class A1 misdemeanor.