Facing a domestic violence charge can be daunting. At your arraignment, the judge may ask you if you intend to hire an attorney. You may wonder:
Do I need to hire a domestic violence defense lawyer?
Reasons to hire a domestic violence defense lawyer
Here are some reasons to hire a domestic violence defense lawyer:
1. Challenge the evidence effectively
Domestic violence charges often hinge on the testimony of just a single witness. There are a number of reasons why a witness’s statement may not be reliable. They may not have fully understood the situation in the heat of the moment. In addition, they may be making the statements to gain the advantage in a divorce or custody battle, or they may simply want the upper hand in the relationship.
Witness testimony can be successfully challenged for bias. However, you must point out the issues with the testimony in an effective manner. You must ask the right questions in order to help the jury see your side of the story.
An experienced lawyer has the skills to handle cross-examination effectively and comply with court rules for questioning witnesses.
2. Understand your options
Domestic violence cases are always complex. Whether you’re innocent or you believe that you may have done something wrong, it’s critical to address the charges against you properly. Remember, it’s the state’s job to prove the evidence against you.
Even if you think you’re guilty, you may not be guilty in the eyes of the law. There may be viable defenses that you aren’t aware of. An experienced attorney can help you see all of these options through a neutral lens and help you pursue the ideal path to success.
3. Mitigate the damages
There are some steps that you may be able to take in order to mitigate or reduce the penalties you face. Some states offer deferral or counseling programs to first-time offenders. Your attorney can help you put your best foot forward in order to ask for participation in a diversion program, if you qualify.
Alternatively, even if you plead guilty or you’re found guilty, what you say at sentencing can have a big impact on the ultimate penalty you receive. With knowledge in and out of the courtroom, your defense lawyer will know how particular judges handle cases and what to say or do at each court hearing. They can also help you understand what to expect so that you walk into each hearing feeling prepared.
When to hire a domestic violence lawyer
A domestic violence conviction can change your life in an instant. However, a trained lawyer can help you aggressively defend against the charges. When you are not guilty, they help you prepare and conduct a trial successfully, addressing all avenues to present your case effectively and argue your innocence.
With their experience, you can take care of the matter quickly in order to get back to your life.