A man who was convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense in 1997 has sued the United States Attorney General to get his right to carry a firearm restored. At issue is a federal law, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9), which permanently bans the ownership of firearms or ammunition by anyone "who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence."
A point that is often quickly and correctly made regarding domestic violence matters in North Carolina and nationally is that domestic abuse -- where it is proven -- is an unmitigated and pernicious evil. Victims -- spouses, unmarried partners, relatives, children and others -- who suffer in myriad ways from physical, emotional and other forms of violence are often extremely vulnerable and immediately in harm's way. Where acts of abuse are being committed, they must be stopped.
Every reasonable person in North Carolina is disheartened by the sad reality of domestic violence and the trauma it inflicts on children and families. Where family violence exists, it is a legitimate social and legal concern that must be responded to.
Acronyms and numerical designations applicable to some areas can sometimes seem innocuous, rendering their subject matter distant and without immediate implications.
Do you like to stand out in a crowd?
An online overview discussing one tangent of criminal law refers to "the other end of the victim spectrum," which is a telling comment that we pick up on and address with a bit of detail in today's blog post.
Any individual in North Carolina who comes into contact with law enforcement regarding a suspected crime will immediately feel the unequivocal seriousness of the matter and the broad power of state authorities to act.
Maybe it didn't really happen that way. Perhaps the "facts" were twisted, with authorities too quickly jumping on the bandwagon of a perceived victim who is actually -- through calculating and manipulative behavior -- a victimizer. Maybe police and prosecutors are being unfairly influenced by immediate perceptions based on sexual stereotypes.
For Domestic Violence offenses committed on or after December 1, 2015, a defendant in a dating relationship is now subject to possible 48 hour hold and the requirement that a judge (not a magistrate) set the bond. A dating relationship is defined under NCGS Chapter 50B "as one wherein the parties are romantically involved over time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship. A casual acquaintance or ordinary fraternization between persons in a business or social context is not a dating relationship."
Prosecutors dismissed his case today voluntarily after the purported victim was unable to be located. However, a "Voluntary Dismissal" leaves the option open to prosecutors to reinstate the charges if and when they locate witnesses. So if they can find their victim, its a new day in court.