Winston-Salem Domestic Violence Lawyers

No matter the level of the offense, domestic violence is always a serious criminal charge. When you are the defendant, there is no such thing as a routine domestic violence charge, no matter how much the prosecutor wants to convict you and move on to the next case.

Make this next decision count.

WInston-Salem Criminal Defense Attorneys

Our clients are people, not case numbers

We treat our clients with the dignity and respect they deserve.

You have the right to defend yourself against the charges and make the prosecutor prove every element. The system may seem like it is stacked against you, but you can hire an experienced lawyer to protect your legal rights.

You should not wait to hire a Winston-Salem domestic violence attorney. Law enforcement may try to speak with you and gather evidence, and you may not know your legal rights. Any moment where you are unrepresented poses a major risk for you.

North Carolina Laws About Domestic Violence

North Carolina law considers the following to be domestic violence:

  • Attempting to cause or intentionally inflicting injury
  • Putting the victim or a member of their household or family in fear of imminent serious bodily injury
  • Continued harassment of the victim that rises to such a level as to inflict substantial emotional distress

Who Is Charged With Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can be committed against a number of people. You could be charged with domestic violence when the following people are involved:

  • A spouse
  • A domestic partner
  • Persons who have been in a relationship, whether presently or formerly
  • Persons who have lived together, whether presently or formerly
  • Parents and their adult children
  • Someone with whom you have a child in common

Upon conviction, your punishment would largely depend on whether you have been charged with a felony or a misdemeanor. Oftentimes, your lawyer can get involved early in the case and influence the prosecutor’s decision about how to charge you for the alleged offense.

How Domestic Violence Punishment Is Determined

Here are some factors that the prosecutor may consider when deciding how to charge an alleged domestic violence offense:

  • Whether there was bodily injury and the extent of it
  • Whether there were prior reports of abuse by the defendant
  • Whether the defendant has a criminal record or any prior convictions for domestic violence
  • Whether there were weapons involved in the alleged offense

Domestic Violence Penalties

Here are the potential penalties involved with domestic violence convictions:

  • For misdemeanors, the defendant can be sentenced to up to 150 days in jail. They may also be required to take anger management courses and pay fines.
  • Felonies are subject to sentencing under the state’s guidelines, depending on the classification of the felony. Aggravated domestic violence is charged as a Class E felony, which can be punished with up to seven years in prison. If you have been previously convicted of felony domestic violence, you will face a three-year mandatory minimum sentence.

Collateral Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction

A domestic violence conviction has far more ramifications for you beyond possible jail time. Of course, losing your freedom is a very big deal, but a domestic violence conviction may carry the following additional consequences:

  • The loss of your right to vote if you are convicted of a felony
  • The loss of your gun rights
  • Potentially losing your job and the ability to find a new one
  • Damage to your reputation
  • The restriction of your freedom to go where you want because you may be subject to a protective order
  • A negative impact on your custody rights if you have children

There are possible defenses to a domestic violence charge. Domestic violence is a crime that requires intent, meaning that you cannot do it accidentally. Prosecutors must prove every single element of the offense to win a conviction. In addition, they cannot violate your legal rights at any point in the process.

Defenses to a Domestic Violence Charge

Here are some defenses to domestic violence charges:

  • The allegations against you are false and were reported to either gain an advantage or to punish you
  • You did not intend to make physical contact with someone else (it was accidental contact)
  • Your legal rights were violated at some point when you were denied due process
  • Your actions were in self-defense or in defense of another person

Police often err on the side of arresting someone when they are called to the scene of a domestic dispute. They have a limited amount of time to assess the situation and the credibility of the person complaining. Police are often worried that the failure to do something may come back to hurt them in the future, especially if something does happen. Therefore, they may arrest first and ask questions later. Many of the details then end up being sorted out as the prosecutor decides whether and how to charge the defendant.

When you have been charged with domestic violence, you may face a stigma in the legal system. While every individual is equal in the eyes of the law, and you have legal rights, it seems like there is often a rush to convict people accused of domestic violence. However, facts matter in these cases, and you have your own right to have your side of the story heard.

The first thing you need is an attorney who recognizes that everyone deserves a strong legal defense and will handle your case without any judgment. You should hire a Winston-Salem domestic violence attorney early in the process. Otherwise, the criminal justice system can overtake you in a rush to judgment.

Call a Winston-Salem Domestic Violence Attorney Today

If you have been charged with domestic violence, you cannot afford to be without an attorney. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can fight for you to obtain the best legal outcome in your case. They can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing that there is someone else in your corner when the entire world seems to be against you. The lawyers at Graystar Legal will fight for you and take up your case. Call us today or message us online to set up an appointment to discuss your case with a free case review.



If this is your first offense

you may be eligible for the First Offender program. This program may help you avoid a conviction and have your charges dismissed and possibly expunged from your record.

Meet Your Team

The prosecutor’s job is to convict you. Our job is to protect your rights

Frequently Asked Questions

Can cyberstalking be considered domestic abuse?

Yes, if it is repeated and there is an attempt to cause substantial emotional distress.

Can I also be subject to a civil lawsuit for domestic violence?

Depending on who the alleged victim is, you may be sued in the civil process as well. It is independent of the criminal process.

Can men be victims of domestic abuse?

Absolutely. Domestic violence statutes are gender-neutral. Women can be charged with domestic violence for incidents involving other women and men.

We’re with you every step of the way.




Defendant is charged.
Bond is set after the arrest and can be reviewed at any court hearing.

first appearance

If convicted, the defendant will be sentenced by a judge.

Probable cause hearing

Felony cases only.
Possible Grand Jury indictment.


Misdemeanor cases are generally tried in District Court. Felonycases are presented in Superior Court.


If convicted, the defendant will be sentenced by a judge.

Entry of plea

Plea negotiations and guilty pleas can happen any time before a verdict.

CONSEQUENCES of a criminal conviction

Top-Rated Criminal Defense

Serving the GreensboroWinston-SalemLexingtonHigh Point Piedmont Triad Area

Here are the areas we serve and the criminal courts where your charges will be heard. The best thing you can do now is speak with a lawyer and get a free consultation.

Graystar Legal

Graystar Legal

  • 224 S Cherry St, STE C
    Winston-Salem, NC 27101
  • 336-715-7250