50-B Protective Order
A “Protective Order” under North Carolina General Statutes 50-B is an civil Order signed by a judge prohibiting certain contact and conduct between parties who have had a domestic relationship. It may or may not be issued in conjunction with other criminal charges like Assault on a Female, Assault, Battery, Trespass, Communicating Threats, Child endangerment or Harassing Telephone Calls.
A domestic relationship is one between spouses, ex-spouses, boyfriends/girlfriends or people who have children in common. Gay relationships and mere romantic dating relationships may be included.
Domestic violence is characterized a causing or attempting to cause bodily injury, placing them (or their family) in fear of imminent serious bodily injury or continued harassment that inflicts substantial emotional distress.
The victim may ask for 50-B Order without notifying the other party just by going to talk to the Magistrate. It is not considered to be in effect until the other party has received a copy of it, usually served by the Sheriff. After service, the Order is in effect for 10 days until a hearing is held before a judge where the other party can challenge the allegations and argue why it should not be put into effect for one year.
The victim will frequently be accompanied to court by a Victims Advocate. This person is not a lawyer but will sit with the victim and encourage them though the process. Or the victim may ask for a free lawyer to be appointed for them to prosecute the case against you.
Experience Representing Men in Domestic Violence Cases
Mr. Connelly has extensive experience in representing men in Domestic Violence cases. In many cases the man is charged with the offense. However, simply because you are a man does not mean you are the aggressor. Mr. Connelly will advocate for your rights and be sure that you are given fair and competent representation.
Representing Women Charged with Domestic Violence
Conversely, sometimes women are charged with Domestic Violence either in a criminal setting or in a civil 50B setting. After being assaulted, they are twice victimized when a savvy assailant makes sure he is the first to get to the police and magistrate to file charges. Attorney Connelly has represented women defendants in these matters, advocating that the charges were fabricated or presenting issues of self-defense or defense of third parties.
Why do I need a lawyer for this type of case?
Not only will the judge prohibit the alleged assailant from having certain contact with the self-described victim or their family, the judge may also order:
- Monetary support for the victim
- Child custody
- Child visitation
- Evict the alleged assailant and give possession of the home to the victim
- Refer child abuse cases to law enforcement for investigation and possible prosecution
- Force the assailant to go to an intense months-long costly Batterers program
- Confiscate and prohibit subsequent possession of firearms by the assailant
What happens if I don’t follow the Order?
This Order is punishable by Contempt. This means that the assailant may be required to follow the above requirements or risk going to jail and having a criminal conviction.
The other person says that they want to drop the case. What can I expect?
It should not be unexpected that a victim, seeking advantage in a case, asserts that they will not prosecute in the hopes of lulling their opponent into complacency. Sometimes, even if a victim wants to drop the case, parties in the courthouse may call the victim and vigorously encourage them to come to court and prosecute the case.
Alleged assailants are sometimes surprised when they are ambushed in court by a victim who has changed their mind and has shown up in court loaded for bear with either a Victim Advocate or even a lawyer.