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Domestic violence murder rate increases in North Carolina

North Carolina residents may be dismayed to learn that the murder rate for victims of domestic violence has increased by 15% in 2012. Wake County had the highest amount of homicides, followed by Mecklenburg County. The executive director of the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence believes that these numbers indicate a greater need for more resources to combat the pervasive issue of domestic violence, which can strike individuals of every walk of life. There were a total of 122 murders linked to domestic violence in 2012 in North Carolina. There were nearly twice as many women victims as men.

Domestic violence charges are taken very seriously by the state of North Carolina. If someone is charged with domestic abuse, they can face both criminal and civil penalties. A conviction for a criminal charge of domestic abuse can involve incarceration and hefty fines. It can also cause irreparable damage to one's reputation.

In addition to criminal penalties, individuals accused of domestic abuse may also be required to appear in civil court if an alleged victim files for a restraining order to prohibit further contact with them. These hearings can also address issues involving child custody and the ability to continue to maintain contact with one's child should a restraining order be issued on a parent.

Domestic disputes can lead to unintended consequences when they escalate. If someone is wrongfully accused of a crime of domestic violence, they should prepare a vigorous defense to dispute the allegations. Many successful defensive strategies can be employed to question the credibility of the testimony of prosecutorial witnesses in these types of cases.

Source: News & Observer, "NC's top cop: Domestic violence deaths up in 2012," April 9, 2013.

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