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Basics about “protection orders” in domestic violence situations

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2024 | Domestic Violence

Domestic violence has long been a complex issue in North Carolina and throughout the country. While there are many valid instances of actual abuse between family members, there is no denying that sometimes false allegations are made as well. The situations that lead to domestic violence investigations oftentimes end up in the realm of “he said, she said” circumstances. But, when victims are looking for options to help prevent domestic violence, a “protection order” may be an option.

Protection order basics

In North Carolina, protection orders are commonly referred to as “DVPOs,” which stands for “Domestic Violence Protective Order.” Anyone can file for a DVPO, but the relationship that is at the heart of the attempt to get the order is crucial. The target of a DVPO must be someone who is close to you: a girlfriend or boyfriend; a spouse or ex-spouse; someone you have a child with; or even a child or parent, among other potential close relationships. Domestic violence is an intimate alleged crime, involving the intimate details and relationships of a person’s life.

The basic showing that is required to get a DVPO is that the alleged perpetrator violated North Carolina domestic violence laws. This could have occurred by: actual physical violence or the threat of violence; harassment of some kind; or even sexual assault. The situations can vary greatly on a factual basis.

Initially, a DVPO may be a short-term order that is in effect while the court sets a hearing, at which time the court will have both the alleged victim and the alleged perpetrator present so that evidence can be presented about the situation at hand. If the alleged victim desires and the court finds sufficient evidence, the DVPO can be extended to cover a lengthier amount of time in which the perpetrator is prohibited from having any contact with the alleged victim.