Domestic violence is a serious crime. If found guilty, an accused person might face harsh criminal penalties, including jail terms and hefty fines. Besides, an unfavourable ruling might affect the accused individual's social standing or end a vibrant professional career. However, finding a lawyer to defend you in a court of law is not a walk in the park. Notably, many people don't know where to start or what to consider when hiring a domestic violence lawyer. Here are a few factors to consider in this regard.
In almost all domestic abuse cases, protective orders are issued against an accused person. Although an offender is presumed innocent until proven guilty, the sensitivity of domestic violence charges attracts restraining orders to safeguard a plaintiff, especially if violence was involved. Therefore, someone might be arrested without a warrant and held in custody until the matter is resolved. One might also face extended alienation from their children, which can trigger emotional anguish. However, with an excellent domestic violence lawyer, the protective measures might be lifted, allowing a defendant to continue with their normal life before a suit is settled conclusively. Therefore, review the record of a lawyer regarding protective orders before engaging their services.
While one might be tempted to let a case go to trial, it is risky, especially in domestic violence suits. With a competent domestic abuse lawyer, you can negotiate with a prosecutor for a lighter punishment. Your lawyer can ask for amended charges which exclude domestic abuse accusations. Even better, a competent lawyer can ask for a stipulated order of compliance, where a case might be dismissed if an accused agrees to comply with the set terms. Therefore, choose a lawyer with skilled negotiation skills to reduce your chances of going to jail. A simple online search before signing any contract can reveal if a lawyer has been successful in this front.
Legal fees present a headache to many people, with high rates being common. If facing domestic violence charges, you should request a retainer fee. Typically, the funds are placed in a trust account, and the costs of representation are deducted as the case progresses. Look for a lawyer that uses this model to help you better budget for your necessary legal expenses.
To learn more about how to handle a domestic violence charge, contact a domestic violence lawyer in your local area.