10 questions to ask when looking for an attorney to defend you in a domestic violence case

Domestic Violence Cases arise in a number of circumstances in which people from all walks of life can find themselves facing domestic violence accusations.  Charges can arise because someone in a family or romantic relationship lost control of their temper and actually committed an act of violence or violated a protection or no contact order.  Sometimes, a witness hears or sees an argument and believes that violence has occurred when they actually just witnessed a heated verbal exchange.  Domestic violence charges can also be fabricated by one party for a variety of reasons, including anger, retaliation or to gain advantage in some other context.  Domestic violence convictions can assist someone in gaining leverage in a family law case in which child custody is in dispute.  It can provide someone who is not a U.S. citizen a justification for remaining legally in the United States.  Someone may have fabricated an allegation out of spite or anger and now they feel they need to stick to their story since they lied about it, especially if they lied to the police.

Whatever the reason you find yourself accused of a domestic violence offense, you need expert representation in order to effectively fight the charge and obtain a just result.  Many people accused of domestic violence offenses have no experience in the criminal justice system and have no idea how to find the best attorney to represent them.

There are several ways to look for a good attorney online.  In looking at possible attorneys, read client reviews, if any exist, and also look for information about whether the attorney handles domestic violence cases regularly and with success.  Once you find an attorney that looks good, make an appointment with that attorney and consider asking these questions to help you determine if this is the right advocate for you:

  1. How much experience do you have with cases like mine?
  2. Does your practice emphasize domestic violence cases (do you have expertise in this area)?
  3. Can you give me a basic idea of how you will approach representing me and what you will do to develop a defense?
  4. How much experience do you have doing trials on cases like this and will you be ready to do the hard work of preparing my case for trial if that is the best approach?
  5. Do you have an investigator that you work with regularly who can help interview witnesses and who you trust to write accurate reports?
  6. How often can I expect to meet and talk with you while my case is pending?
  7. Will you personally handle my case from beginning to end or will associates with less experience be working on my case behind-the-scenes or representing me in court?
  8. How does billing work in your practice?
  9. What kinds of things will you do to try to save me money during the course of the representation?
  10. Why do you do this type of work and why would you like to represent me?

Just asking these 10 questions will give some structure to your first meeting with an attorney and listening to their answers will give you a lot of information about whether this is someone you can trust with your future and your liberty.

DISCLAIMER: This post is intended to share my perspective, insights and some general information on various aspects of Domestic Violence Cases. It is not legal advice and is not intended to substitute for legal advice. You should consult an attorney to obtain legal advice for your individual situation and case.