With North Carolina residents told the stay home as much as possible over the past several weeks, experts suspect that incidents of domestic violence have increased, though reports may actually be down since the lockdown began.

For example, a Forsyth County organization that helps people get away from domestic violence in their homes says that all the factors that lead to abuse are present in many households: lost employment, isolation, and drug and alcohol abuse. However, the group’s emergency hotline has gotten fewer calls recently. And the organization has had fewer people showing up in person to ask for help. That could be because victims are stuck at home with their abuser and unable to reach out.

Could charges spike soon?

It remains to be seen if the coronavirus lockdown is affecting the domestic violence rate in North Carolina. But if it is, as the lockdown eases, the number of calls to police could soon go up. When someone is arrested on domestic violence charges, they could be facing incarceration and fines. Outside of that, they also could have a protective order placed against them that prevents them from going home or seeing their children. This order could last until trial or indefinitely.

Your rights matter after an arrest

Many domestic violence accusations arise out of a self-defense situation or are false accusations. The facts can get confused behind the emotions of this type of criminal charge. Just because you have been charged with domestic assault, does not mean that you will be found guilty. Instead of going along with what the police or prosecutor tells you, discuss your case with a criminal defense attorney as soon as you can.