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What Court Advocacy
Services Does REACH Provide?
A Court Advocate will assist clients
through every step of the criminal and civil court process, including:
Emergency Protective Orders (DVPO/50B)
Legal Aid Referrals
Accompanying Clients to Court
Assistance in Filing Victim’s
A protective order is a civil court order signed by a judge that offers
protection to victims of domestic violence. Victims can get the paperwork from
the clerk of court’s office or from a domestic violence program (like REACH) where
someone will assist them with completing the paperwork. The paperwork is filed
with the clerk of court. There is no filing fee for domestic violence
protective order and victims do not need an attorney when they go to court.
According to NC law, the following people are eligible for a protective order:
- Persons of opposite sex who live together or have lived together.
- Current or former spouses
- Persons related as parents and children or grandparents and grandchildren.
- Persons who have a child in common
- Current or former household members (includes same-sex relationships if parties live or
have lived together)
- Persons of opposite sex who are in a dating relationship
Victims of Domestic Violence can request the following relief in a protective order:
- Direct batterer to refrain from threatening, abusing, following, harassing, or
otherwise interfering with the victim.
- Grant victim possession of the residence and exclude the batterer
- Order eviction of batterer from residence and assist victim in returning to it
- Order spousal support and/or child support
- Provide for the possession of personal property
- Prohibit batterer from purchasing a firearm
- Order completion of abuser treatment program
- Any additional prohibitions or requirements deemed necessary to protect victim
What is the Civil
No-Contact Order (50C)?
The Civil No-Contact Order is a court order that protects victims from unwanted sexual
conduct or stalking by someone they do not have an intimate or familial
relationship with. This includes an acquaintance, co-worker, neighbor, or a
Victim’s Rights and the Court System
- You have the right to be given information about the crime, how the criminal justice system works, the rights of victims, and the availability of services for victims.
- You have the right to be informed of and to be present at court proceedings of the accused.
- You have the right to talk with the prosecutor and provide a Victim Impact Statement (VIS).
- You have the right to be heard at the sentencing of the accused and at other times as allowed by law.
- You have the right to receive restitution.
- You have the right to receive information about the conviction or final disposition and the sentence of the accused.
- You have the right to be notified of escape, release, proposed parole or pardon, or notice of a reprieve or commutation of the accused’s sentence.
- You have the right to present your views and concerns to the Governor or agency considering the release of the accused.
Victims Compensation Program
The Victims Compensation Program,
administered by the Division of Victim and Justice Services, is designed to assist persons and crime survivors who suffer personal injury or death caused by criminal conduct which occurred on or after August 13, 1987. Under North Carolina law, the victim, his/her survivors, or a legal representative may file a claim within two years to receive compensation from this fund.
The District Attorney’s Responsibilities to Victims:
- The District Attorney’s office will notify you, if you wish, of information concerning court proceedings.
- The District Attorney’s office will provide you the opportunity to talk with the attorney prosecuting the case, before the case is disposed, about your views of the disposition of the case.
- The District Attorney’s office will provide you a secure waiting area during court proceedings, if at all possible and practical.
- The District Attorney’s office will, prior to disposing of a case, offer you the right to make a statement telling the sentencing judge the impact this case has had on you.
- The District Attorney’s office will notify you in writing about what has happened in your case within thirty days of the final proceeding.
- If the defendant appeals the verdict, the District Attorney’s office will forward to Attorney General’s office the appropriate information about you so they can inform you on how the appellate process works.
The Basic Steps in the
Criminal Justice System
- Step One: Offense (Crime is Committed)
- Step Two: Investigation (Continues throughout process)
- Step Three: Arrest
- Step Four: First Appearance
- Step Five: Probable Cause Hearing
and/or Grand Jury Indictment (FELONY
- Step Six: Entry of Plea (guilty or not
- Step Seven: Trial
- Step Eight: Sentence
- Step Nine: Possible Appeal to Higher Court
- Step Ten: Serve Sentence
What to do if the defendant or
someone else threatens or intimidates you?
Threatening a witness is a crime in North Carolina. If you receive a threat from the defendant or anyone else, call the police or contact the prosecutor or the Victim Witness Assistant in the District Attorney's office.
The NC State Bar is the state agency who oversees the practice of law in North Carolina according to their webiste. For more information, click the image above to go to their website.