Mecklenburg County Women's Commission - Domestic Violence Services
Frequently asked questions of domestic violence victims regarding the court process:
Q: Where is the criminal courthouse?
A: See map/directions page.
Q: Will the defendant get out of jail before the trial?
A: The defendant has a bond set by a judge. The defendant can get out of jail by posting the bond.
Q: How can I find out when a defendant is released from jail?
A: There are two webpages that you may wish to review. Access the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's inmate inquiry webpage and/or visit this webpage of the N.C. Department of Public Safety and learn more about their SAVAN program for victim notification. Note: Neither of these webpages or services is associated with the DA's Office. If you have questions or concerns about a defendant's release from jail, you may contact our office at 704-686-0700.
Q: When will there be a trial?
A: The trial date is usually set in courtroom 4130 for a date several weeks after the defendant is arrested.
Q: How will I know the exact trial date?
A: You will be subpoenaed approximately two weeks before the trial date. You may be subpoenaed by phone, mail, or in person. If anyone tells you that the court date has changed, you should contact the DA's Office at 704-686-0700 to confirm that information.
Q: What if I want to dismiss or "drop" the charges?
A: The DA's Office does not dismiss charges at the request of a victim or witness. The Assistant District Attorney (prosecutor) assigned to the courtroom on your court date will make all decisions about whether to proceed with the prosecution of the defendant. You should come to court as subpoenaed and you will then have an opportunity to discuss the matter with the Assistant District Attorney.
Q: What if I don't come to court even though I was subpoenaed?
A: The judge has the authority to issue an order for your arrest and an order for you to show cause as to why you did not appear as directed by the court through the subpoena.
Q: I did not receive (or have lost) a copy of the paperwork sent to me by the DA. How can I get another copy of the Victim Impact Statement that I was asked to complete and return to the DA?
A: Call us at 704-686-0700 and ask to speak to a Domestic Violence Legal Assistant.
Q: What if I have medical bills due to this incident?
A: If you have suffered a physical injury that caused you to have medical expenses or lost wages because of this incident, you may be eligible for compensation from the State of North Carolina through their victim's compensation program. There are requirements and restrictions. You may call 1-800-826-6200 for more information. The DA's Office does not run this program.
Q: I have heard about a program called NOVA. What is it?
A: NOVA is a program that defendants may be ordered to complete as a condition of probation.
Learn more about the NOVA program.
Q: The defendant's lawyer, investigator, or other staff member wants to talk to me; do I have to?
A: You do not have to talk to the defense. That is solely your decision. If you decide you want to talk to the defense, be sure to tell the truth.
Q: What if I move or change my telephone number?
A: If you move or change your phone number it is very important that you let the DA's Office know immediately. Call a Domestic Violence Legal Assistant at our office at 704-686-0700.
Q: I want to get a restraining order; what should I do?
A: Safe Alliance provides information on this webpage about getting a restraining order. Contact them with further questions. A restraining order is issued in civil court; a DA does not represent you or appear in civil court. The DA prosecutes criminal actions in criminal court (such as criminal violations of a restraining order). Once you get a restraining order, if the defendant violates the terms of the restraining order, that is a crime and you should contact the police immediately.