What is a 50B?
Cases that allege “acts of domestic violence” or other criminal charges pertaining to dating relationships, marriage, families, and children in common, may result in the issuance of a “50B Protection Order.” It’s a type of restraining order.
If you’ve been served with what is formally known as a Domestic Violence Protective Order or “DVPO,” it’s time to lawyer up. The allegations are quite serious and carry potential long-term consequences. Violation of a DVPO in North Carolina is a separate criminal charge and may serve as a basis to revoke your bond.
Most people understand Assault on a Female, communicating threats, injury to personal property, and other assault charges that involve disputes among family members are serious stuff.
They may involve getting arrested, posting bond, and an eventual appearance in criminal court. That makes sense.
What you may not realize is those same criminal charges in the Outer Banks can also result in a civil cause of action in civil court. It’s technically a type of civil lawsuit with separate court procedures and protocols.
Attorneys who handle criminal charges regularly refer to such cases as “domestic violence” matters, but that in itself can be confusing. What is domestic violence? What happens if you don’t live or “domicile” with that person anymore? Is that still “domestic” violence?
Is domestic violence limited to people of the opposite sex? Is that a separate criminal charge? Are they handled in criminal court or civil court? Is domestic violence a misdemeanor or felony charge? What is a 50B? Is that different from a 50C? Am I required to appear in court? Does it affect my bond?What is Domestic Violence?
Most criminal offenses can be located by looking through the General Statutes under Chapter 14.
Interestingly enough, there is no formal criminal charge in North Carolina known as “ domestic violence.” There also isn’t a formal definition of what is assault, as it is a common law offense that is still recognized in our courts.
At the same time, there are references to “acts of domestic violence” in those statutes (and others) that require careful consideration.
For example, in setting bond for DV charges, the terms and conditions of release are subject to the nature and circumstances of what took place and whether it involved family members or parties who have dated or had children together.
Charges involving assault and battery, simple assault, assault on a child, and assault on female may all be deemed “domestic violence,” assuming there is a dating relationship, “personal relationship,” marriage, divorce, and/or legal separation.
What is considered “domestic” is purposely broad under the criminal laws. It’s intended to be expansive in nature. One way to think of it is this:
- Not all assaults are domestic violence
- All assaults involving people who have lived together, have children, been married, or even dated may fall within the general categorization of “acts of domestic violence”
If you're confused, that’s OK. Our legal system can be extremely complicated, if not a bit discombobulating at times. That’s one reason it makes sense to hire a lawyer.
Lawyers explain the processes and the laws behind the allegations. We help guide our clients through the system, providing legal options and advice. We literally stand next to you in court, advocating for your position and working hard to protect your Constitutional Rights.What is Assault on Female?
There are lots of different types of assault charges. The State, through the assistant district attorney assigned to prosecute your case, carries the “burden of proof.”
That means the ADA has to prove the essential elements of the crime. That may also be called the prima facie or “first facts” of a case.
The burden of proof for criminal charges pertains both to presenting evidence as well as the legal standard by which all criminal offenses are judged, that being Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.
That’s the highest legal standard in the land and is required for all criminal charges in North Carolina (felony or misdemeanor).
The State therefore must prove, relative to Assault on a Female:
- An assault took place
- Within the statute of limitations (there is a statute of limitations for misdemeanor charges in NC)
- In North Carolina and the County where the court has jurisdiction
- That the Defendant is a male who is at least 18 years old
- That the alleged victim is a female
Those same allegations may also serve as proof in civil court for a restraining order. What’s important to understand is the hearing on the DVPO would be during a separate legal proceeding using a different, lower standard of proof.
Prosecution in criminal court does not preclude bringing a cause of action for a DVPO or “50B Order.” While related, they generally serve two separate purposes.
Criminal court may punish someone for breaking the law. That can involve jail time, probation, fines, costs of court, drug treatment, and the like.
Civil court, especially when involving a complaint for a domestic violence protection order, seeks to prevent future acts of violence.
So, it doesn’t much matter if you were charged with assault by strangulation, assault inflicting serious injury, injury to real property, communicating threats, stalking, or other forms of harassment.
Those all may fall under the broad categorization of domestic violence charges, assuming they involve a family member, someone you dated, had kids with, etc., at least with respect to how they may be handled in court.
You can both be punished in criminal court and subject to an additional court order to stay away from the victim, avoid future contact with him or her, or even be prevented from possessing firearms.
What’s more, violation of a valid 50B domestic violence restraining order is also a separate, distinct criminal charge. Indeed, it’s a serious criminal offense that can very easily put you in jail.Outer Banks Criminal Defense Lawyer Danny Glover
Danny Glover is an experienced OBX criminal defense attorney. He has helped people on the Outer Banks for more than two decades, offering guidance and assistance with a wide range of legal matters that involve courtroom litigation.
Danny is a courtroom lawyer, dedicated to hard work, attention to the needs of his clients, and is detail oriented. He’s also a former President of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice and a respected member of the legal profession.
Domestic violence charges can be extremely complicated. They often require more than one court appearance and, as stated, may involve both criminal offenses and a related civil cause of action for a restraining order.
The timing of the legal matters, especially those involving a 50B Order are often time-sensitive. Legal consultations at our OBX law firm are confidential.
That means we don’t charge a legal fee to provide general information about the legal system, how the courts work, and what can be done to help with your criminal charges.
If you’ve been arrested or even just accused of domestic violence, call Danny Glover NOW: (252) 299-5300