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Is Domestic Violence a Federal Offense?

We’ve all heard the saying, “Don’t make a federal case out of it.” It’s meant to imply a substantial Domestic Violence Charges in Charlotte NCoverreaction or hyperbolic assessment of a problem.  In the south, we might say, “Don’t make such a fuss.”  But is it really fair regarding “DV” charges in Charlotte?  Is domestic violence a federal offense?

Should it be?

Federal Court and federal criminal charges are serious stuff.  People can serve long, long prison sentences if indicted and found guilty of violations of serious federal, criminal laws.

Given the possible consequences of DV, is it appropriate to “federalize” what has for decades been handled in state court?

Criminal charges like an assault on a female, communicating threats, injury to personal property, and felony assault by strangulation are traditionally considered to be violations of the NC criminal laws.

Should that be it?

Is it an overreaction to criminally prosecute someone in both state and federal court?  Does that violate the Constitution or the precept of Double Jeopardy?

Is there a difference/more serious when the relationship involves a husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, or other domestic relationship?

If so, when should it be a federal offense?

Domestic Violence in Charlotte already is somewhat complicated, given the possibility of a both criminal charges and a related DVPO (restraining order) based the same allegations.  That’s true whether you’re a victim or the alleged offender.  It helps to receive sound legal advice irrespective of where you stand in the courtroom – Bill Powers, Charlotte Lawyer

Recent media accounts suggest Domestic Violence in Charlotte may result in the feds taking a look.  While most criminal charges in Charlotte will remain within the state court system, that’s true for state felony or misdemeanor charges, there are instances where the United Government might involve itself, seeking an indictment.

At least in Charlotte, the United States Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, Andrew Murray, seems interested in pursuing federal criminal charges in certain circumstances.

Those seem likely to be related to weapons offenses, cyberstalking, and instances of gross misconduct.

One would be remiss in failing to note that US Attorney Murray is the former elected District Attorney for the 26th Judicial District state court system (prosecutor for crimes in Charlotte-Mecklenburg) and as such, has intimate knowledge of both the strengths and weaknesses of the state court criminal justice system.

Domestic Violence Charges in North Carolina

The term “domestic violence” does not specifically refer to a certain type of charge as much as it is intended to cover some very common criminal charges that also involve a special relationship between the alleged victim and the accused.

Criminal defense lawyers sometimes view DV charges a bit differently from divorce lawyers.  They tend to focus on the elements of offenses like assault, assault and battery, etc.  The distinguishing factor is criminal charge involves a ‘domestic relationship’ – Bill Powers 

There are special rules about bond/bail involving DV charges in North Carolina.

The DA’s Office in Charlotte has a special team of experienced prosecutors who focus on DV charges.

Related Legal Issues Involving Domestic Violence / Federal Offense

  1. Domestic Violence
  2. Domestic Violence Protective Orders in North Carolina
  3. Restraining Order
  4. Complaint for Domestic Violence Protective Orders – Filing and Pleadings
  5. DVPO Violation

Charlotte Divorce Lawyers – Domestic Violence – Bill Powers

Our law firm helps people on both sides of the courtroom.  That means we represent both victims of domestic violence and those who may have been accused of acts of domestic violence.

Obviously, we don’t do that at the same time.

Legal representation is limited to one party in a dispute.

That’s one reason we conduct a conflict check before going into great detail into a case.

Our law firm is dedicated to helping people understand what has become, we believe, an extraordinarily complicated area of law.  Understanding both sides to a dispute, and the procedural aspects of representation irrespective of the litigant, is an important aspect of any case – Bill Powers, Divorce Lawyer in Charlotte 

We think it’s a good idea to take a holistic approach to analyze a case.  Allegations of DV are as wide and varied as the parties and their individual relationships.



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