Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “The person that called the police doesn’t want to press charges, can I still be prosecuted?”
North Carolina prosecutors vigorously prosecute domestic violence cases. This strict approach is in response to the general public’s feeling that abuse among partners is heinous and should not be acceptable. As such, a defendant facing a criminal domestic violence charge needs to be equipped with the best defenses possible. The following are common defenses used in domestic violence cases.
J. Bradley Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Can I be arrested without evidence against me?”
Domestic violence advocates and the family of a young woman murdered in east Charlotte last month are asking that officers with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department be given the authority to check a database showing criminal convictions from other states of persons not suspected of criminal activity.
Attorney J. Bradley Smith answering the question: “What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?”
Police in Kings Mountain, North Carolina say a 57-year-old woman has been arrested and charged with beating another woman with a Bible. According to authorities, the woman, Evelyn Mills Moore, was arrested over the weekend on a charge of assault inflicting serious injury.
Moore’s arrest report says that the woman used her firsts and a nearby Bible to repeatedly strike the other woman. Apparently the incident was not religiously motivated, but instead a domestic dispute that turned physical. The Bible had no special significance other than that it was the nearest, heaviest object that the woman could get her hands on. The victim in the attack suffered bruises on her head, face and arms.
In a related incident, police also charged Moore with assault for attacking a man. Moore allegedly hit and punched the man with her fist, causing numerous bruises across his face and body. The woman is currently in Cleveland County jail and authorities say they do not believe she has hired a criminal defense attorney.
North Carolina has a series of aggravating factors that raise the seriousness of the offense from a Class 2 misdemeanor to a Class 1 or Class A1 misdemeanor (discussed under N.C.G.S. 14-33). For example, committing an assault against an official at a sporting event is a Class 1 misdemeanor. If a man, 18 years of age or older, assaults a female, he is guilty of a Class A1 misdemeanor, which is the most serious misdemeanor class. A person who assaults a child under the age of 12 years old is also guilty of a Class A1 misdemeanor.
Attorney J. Bradley Smith answering the question: “Can I be arrested without evidence against me?”
News from the Attorney General indicates that there was a big rise in the number of North Carolinians who died as a result of domestic violence last year. The 15 percent jump, a rise of 16 deaths, brings the total dead in 2012 to 122. The rise has alarmed law enforcement officials who have now said that more will be done to stop domestic abuse before it turns deadly.
The statistics showed that out of the murders that took place last year, 78 of the victims were female and 44 were male. The offenders were overwhelmingly male, 104 versus 18 female offenders. A tragic statistic contained in the new reports is that out of the 122 people killed, seven had taken out protective orders at the time they were murdered.
Attorney General Roy Cooper said that Wake County saw the highest number of domestic violence murders, 11, while Mecklenburg County saw the second highest, with eight. Robeson County, a relatively small place in terms of population ranked much higher than expected, coming in fourth with five domestic violence murders.
Because law enforcement agencies believe more can be done to stem the rise in domestic violence deaths, the state legislature have proposed several bills aimed at increasing law enforcement’s power to regulate the matter. One proposal would require that prosecutors be informed if those out on probation for domestic violence fail to satisfy their offender treatment programs. Another proposal, House Bill 209, would require that consent protective orders be treated like traditional protective orders.