Reasons for a Restraining Order in North Carolina

By Amanda Rumble
Restraining orders protect individuals from becoming the victims of violence.

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The state of North Carolina offers two types of restraining orders. A civil no-contact order protects an individual from contact with someone who's not a family member, including neighbors, acquaintances or strangers. A domestic violence protective order protects an individual from a spouse, family member or domestic partner. If someone listed in a restraining order violates the terms, he faces legal consequences. You can obtain a restraining order for numerous reasons.

Purpose of a Protection Order

A protective order in North Carolina does a number of things. You may get a protective order to secure your residence, obtain temporary custody of your children, retain personal property, require spousal or child support payments, or even require the offending party to pay your attorney fees. A protective order also restricts where the offending party may go and how close he can get to you, as well as require him to cease all communication you.

Domestic Violence

North Carolina grants protective orders in cases of domestic violence, which includes an attempt to cause bodily injury or causing bodily injury. The state also grants protective orders for those who fear that they may be the victim of bodily injury in the future. You can obtain a temporary protective order the same day you file a petition, but to get a permanent order, you must attend a court hearing with the accused.

Stalking

You may obtain a protective order if you're a victim of stalking. Stalking, as defined by North Carolina law is, "willfully following, being in the presence of or otherwise harassing another person without purpose." Stalkers do so in an attempt to cause fear for your safety or your family members' safety or to cause emotional distress, which may eventually lead to dire results, such as suicide in extreme cases.

Harassment

North Carolina defines harassment as "conduct that is directed at another person that torments, terrorizes or terrifies them and serves no legitimate purpose." If you are a victim of harassment, whether through the telephone, Internet or answering machine, you may be able to obtain a protective order.

Penalties for Stalking and Harassment

The penalty for stalking or harassing is a Class A1 misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of up to one year in prison, along with hefty fines. If a protective order is already in place when the stalking or harassment occurs, the charge is a Class H felony, which carries the possibility of four to eight months in state prison as a minimum, and up to 25 months maximum if the person is convicted.

About the Author

Amanda Rumble has been writing for online publications since 2000, primarily in the fields of computing and technology. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Buffalo in information technology. Rumble also focuses on writing articles involving popular video games and Internet culture.

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