Types of 50B Order Violations

Types of 50B Order Violations

There are a few different types of restraining orders that individuals in North Carolina can file for. The consequences of violating a protective order against an individual are serious, though, and it is important to be aware of any behavior that might suggest a violation of the order. In today’s blog, we discuss the consequences of violating a 50B protective order and ways to avoid accidental violations.

Terms of a 50B Restraining Order

A 50B order in North Carolina, also known as a Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO), is a specific type of restraining order designed for victims of domestic violence. Unlike a standard restraining order, the 50B order provides greater protections for victims and gives law enforcement more power to charge and arrest an alleged abuser that violates the 50B. Note that a violation of this order is not just “contempt of court,” but instead a serious criminal offense punishable by extensive penalties.

If you have a 50B order against you, it is critical that you don’t commit a crime, don’t go within a certain distance of the person(s) who filed the order, and don’t contact them, even if it is an accidental phone call. A protection order in North Carolina may also include:

  • losing possession of your residence/being evicted;
  • losing custody or full custody of your children;
  • paying for child support or spousal support;
  • loss of the right to own or purchase a firearm;
  • completing a substance abuse program;
  • anything that a judge deems necessary to protect the alleged victim.

Violations of 50B Orders in North Carolina

Various different behaviors can constitute a violation of a 50B order. Be aware that if someone has a restraining order against you, even contact initiated by the person who filed the order could be a violation of the order on your part. Some examples of behavior that violates a protective order include:

  • contacting the alleged victim and/or their household members or children;
  • going to specific places associated with the victim, such as their school, work, children’s daycare or school;
  • being within a certain distance of the victim and their loved ones (e.g. 500 feet).

In North Carolina, protection order violations start as Class A1 misdemeanors, and penalties include up to 150 days in jail. There are several other crimes, though, that could elevate charges to a Class H felony. For instance, the following scenarios are charged as Class H felonies punishable by up to 39 months in prison, depending on your circumstance:

  • individuals with 2 prior convictions for violating a 50B order;
  • possessing a deadly weapon during violating conduct;
  • entering a domestic violence safe house or haven for alleged victims of domestic violence (where the person under the order is residing.

Keep in mind that if you are charged with another crime while violating the order, the penalties are increased, such as a Class H felony becoming a Class G felony, which effectively doubles the prison sentence. In most cases, individuals who commit a crime while they are under a protection order will face felony charges and a higher sentence than if they weren’t subject to a protection order.

Avoid Violations

Intent is not necessary to prove a restraining order violation. As a result, it is easy to convict someone of a violation, even if their conduct was accidental. To best avoid potentially suggestive activity of restraining order violations, it is best to take precautions to modify your pre-restraining order habits. For example, if a no-contact order is a part of the protection order, any attempt to reach out may be considered a violation, so it is wise to block and delete the person on your social media account and erase their phone number.

Another way to avoid your chances at violating a protective order and stay away from the victim is to take an alternative route to work that will avoid places the alleged victim likely frequents, especially the neighborhood where they live.

Contact Jetton & Meredith, PLLC for Legal Support

If you are arrested or charged with violating a protection order, contact an experienced lawyer immediately. Our attorneys at Jetton & Meredith, PLLC can evaluate the facts of your situation and fight to drop your charges and avoid a harsh sentence. Whether you have been falsely accused or acted mistakenly, our firm can fight for your defense against an alleged 50B order violation.

Contact Jetton & Meredith, PLLC to speak with one of our attorneys today.

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