Domestic assault victims have the option to pursue an order of protection against their assailant without the help of an attorney. However, if you have children, an issue with immigration status, or if the abuser has his or her own attorney you should have an attorney on your side as well.
The following are some of the things you should know about an attorney and how he or she should help you with your domestic violence case.
The Role of an Attorney
Before you select an attorney, you first need to understand their role. Your attorney is there to represent your interests in and out of court. He or she will work strategically to help you win your case through calling certain witnesses to testify, gather evidence, and so on.
At the end of the day, you have the final say regarding what you ultimately want to do with charges, but an attorney will encourage you to protect yourself and your family.
You should feel confident your attorney is working with your best interests in mind. If you think your attorney is not representing you well enough or is not taking your concerns seriously, you need to speak about your concerns right away. You have the right to use the attorney you feel will advocate for you the best.
Questions You Should Ask
Never feel intimidated when you speak to potential attorneys. An attorney is there to help you, so feel free to ask what you want. Asking questions will also help you determine if an attorney is a good fit for you.
When you meet with an attorney, make sure you fully explain your case. Take your time to explain the facts you believe are relevant to your case. Make your concerns and goals for the case well known. Make sure you fully understand the language the attorney uses when responding to you and whether or not you have confidence in his or her ability to advocate for you.
Ask questions about the strategy and preparation he or she uses in domestic assault cases. Also, ask if other members in the firm has any connection to the person who committed the domestic abuse against you or if anyone is currently representing that person.
You should also ask about how often he or she represents others with cases similar to yours and how they turned out. Were the cases contested, appealed, or sent to trial? Also, ask about the judges. How do the judges typically respond to these types of cases? Learn about various forms of protections for yourself and your children.
Before you speak to an attorney, make a thorough list of questions and topics you want to bring up. This list will help keep you on point and prevent you from forgetting anything you want to discuss. You could even show your list to your attorney so he or she can expound on anything if necessary.
Affording an Attorney
One obstacle that prevents victims of domestic assault from seeking help is the expense of an attorney and trial. If you cannot pay for an attorney, seek out an attorney referral service who can help guide you to the best attorney for your needs and price point.
You may qualify for legal aid or assistance with an attorney. Other attorneys may be able to take your case pro bono or with a sliding scale price model. You have options, so do not ever avoid seeking help just because you believe you cannot afford it.
If you need help with a domestic assault case, please contact The Law Office of Ralph Torres.