Should You Hire a Lawyer for a Domestic Violence Case?
Many clients wonder if they should hire an attorney to represent them in their domestic violence case. Often, the victim may not want to "press charges," so it may seem like the situation is not that serious. A conviction for a domestic violence case has a lot of severe consequences that can have a lasting impact on your reputation and ability to seek employment. An experienced domestic violence lawyer can help minimize the consequences of an arrest and obtain the most favorable resolution. Also, domestic violence cases can take a significant amount of time to resolve, and often having an attorney working on your side can help make the process go more quickly.Criminal Cases are Adversarial Proceedings
A domestic violence case is a criminal prosecution, the State of Connecticut is the complainant, and you are the respondent. The victim does not have the power to drop the charges. The state's attorney's job is to prosecute you. The state's attorney will decide on whether to drop the charges based upon the facts of the case. Your domestic violence defense attorney's job is to conduct an independent investigation and review of the facts and present your side of the story.
If you ever noticed in the news even when prominent lawyers get arrested for domestic violence and other criminal allegations, they always retain separate lawyers to represent them. The reason why lawyers always hire lawyers to represent them is because it is difficult to effectively advocate on your behalf in the context of a criminal proceeding given its adversarial nature. When it comes to negotiating a resolution of your domestic violence case, the best approach is to hire an attorney with extensive local experience dealing with the state's attorneys and judges who are handling your case. This kind of local insight is invaluable in knowing which approach is most likely to achieve the desired result.Meeting with Family Relations - Next Day Arraignment
All domestic violence cases in Connecticut have a mandatory next day arraignment. The primary purpose of the arraignment is to impose a criminal order of protection in favor of the victim. The first step in the process is a meeting with the office of family relations, who will conduct a lethality screening and make recommendations to the court concerning the type of restraining order that will be recommended.
Orders of protection can have a profound and lasting impact on your life and prevent you from returning from your family home and, in some cases, from having contact with the victim during the duration of the case. It is essential to have legal counsel to advise you during a domestic violence arraignment and act as your liaison among all the decision-makers who need to be influenced on your behalf.
It is essential always to remember that everything you say to a family relations officer is noted and will be used against you. In some severe domestic violence cases, it is better not to participate in the meeting with family relations. Having an attorney to guide you through the process and speak on your behalf can be highly beneficial.Building your Defense Case
While you certainly can represent yourself in a criminal domestic violence case often if you don't have experience in court procedures and practice book rules, you are a sitting duck. A significant advantage in using a domestic violence attorney to represent you is in having an experienced advocate who can coordinate the collection of exculpatory evidence.
An attorney can rapidly obtain discovery materials from the state's attorney, which include police reports and witness statements. This foundational information is the key to forming your defense strategy. Often, additional information such as 911 emergency calls, police bodycam footage, and video surveillance may exist, which must be preserved by filing an immediate motion with the court. It is not uncommon for police reports to contain errors, exaggerated information, and outright false information. In some cases, we work with our private investigator to take recorded statements from witnesses to set the record straight.Representing You in Court
A courtroom is an unfamiliar, fast-moving environment. Having a trusted and experienced advocate to advocate on your behalf can make a significant difference. Many people accused of crimes do not understand that since everything they say can be used against them it puts them in a horrible position when they have to speak on their own behalf in court. Many self- represented individuals make the mistake of making comments in court, which are self-incriminating.
Domestic violence cases have become an area of the law with a lot of media attention. Judges and state's attorneys are handling domestic violence cases very carefully. It is advantageous to have an experienced domestic violence attorney to serve as your advocate and liaison to get your case resolved as quickly as possible.Objectives of Hiring an Attorney
A domestic violence attorney can inform you about your legal rights in the process and guide you through to the most favorable result possible. There are a lot of critical aspects to a domestic violence matter. Our clients frequently ask for help with matters such as modifying and contesting orders of protection, continuing a co-parenting relationship with the alleged victim, and making sure that their case gets resolved without getting any criminal record, which can affect their ability to seek employment in the future.
An attorney can explain the process, answer your questions, and keep you informed. Having an attorney to fight for your rights and defend you will usually result in a more favorable outcome and a less stressful experience. A Connecticut domestic violence lawyer's principal objective is to have the charges against you dismissed and clear your name. Accomplishing this objective in an expedient and less stressful manner is one of the chief benefits of retaining an experienced domestic violence attorney.Contact us Today!
If you been arrested for a domestic violence offense in Connecticut, we invite you to arrange a free initial consultation with attorney Allan F. Friedman. We work on a flat fee basis, and our rates are reasonable. We offer payment plans as needed. Call Attorney Friedman at (203) 357-5555 to schedule your free initial consultation. We are available 24/7. Or you can contact us online for a prompt response.