Every day, people face arrest for crimes they didn’t commit. Police err on the side of caution and bring charges have real standing in the first place. It’s an unfortunate part of modern society, but not one we should easily overlook.
This overcharging and increasingly under pressured court systems and judges also leads to a staggeringly high false conviction rate of 4.1 percent. That’s 4 wrongful convictions for every 100 people charged.
And while going to prison on a false murder conviction ruins a life, murder charges aren’t all that common. Even cities with high murder rates don’t see that many charges brought. However, “lesser” charges such as domestic violence are common and have very real life-altering effects. That’s where the wrongful arrest and conviction rates really do their damage.
If you’ve been charged with domestic violence you need a lawyer. And not just any lawyer you need to know…
How to Find the Best Domestic Violence Lawyer
We know what the above title says, but before we get into how to find the best domestic violence lawyer, we need to talk about why it’s so important. We cannot impress enough the severity of a domestic violence conviction. Let’s take a look at the arrest process from start to finish, and then move into conviction consequences.
If you’re reading this article you may have been accused of or arrested for domestic violence. The fear of public humiliation is strong, and it can seem like you’re alone.
It’s important to understand that you’re not.
That’s part of why hiring a domestic violence attorney is so important. Your lawyer will always take your side and advise you on your next move.
After you’re formally charged and arraigned it’s the judge typically implements a temporary order of protection. This order means one of two things.
First, it can mean you’re forbidden from harassing your significant other. This can even extend to raising your voice, and one phone call from anyone could lead to another arrest and more charges.
Though the other alternative is worse. The other type of restraining order mandates that you stay away from your significant other. You’re not allowed within a predetermined distance from them even if you live together.
In addition, both of these orders mean that you’re unable to purchase a firearm. Just the act of having charges brought against you can strip you of rights temporarily, even without a conviction.
While the effects of a domestic violence arrest aren’t the best, the results of a conviction are even worse. You’ll face jail time, high fines, probation, domestic violence education classes, and the stigma on your record whenever you’re applying for a job. You’ll also face restriction from firearm ownership for life.
Avoiding any of these effects takes someone experienced at defending people charged with domestic violence. An experienced lawyer can help you beat the case and walk free of all charges.
Or, in some scenarios plea bargain down to a lesser charge with less severe consequences. Though no matter the result you’ll know that you have someone working for you and the ability understand your unique case.
Finding the Right Lawyer for You
Choosing the best domestic violence lawyer means understanding both your resources and what to look for in a domestic violence lawyer. Let’s talk first about what to look for in a domestic violence lawyer.
It seems obvious, but you’ll want a lawyer with extensive experience handling domestic violence cases, preferably someone who has argued both sides, prosecution and defense. This is very important, as choosing a cheaper cost over experience is an excellent way to lose your case.
In addition to experience, you’ll want a lawyer with local experience. This means they’ve handled domestic violence cases within your area for many years. The reason being, local attorneys know the District and Assistant DAs. A working relationship builds over time where they’re able to get better deals and talk openly about if charges seem unreasonable are therefore can get dropped.
Another way to ensure you’re choosing the best lawyer is actually part of the search process. Referrals make a decent way to choose a lawyer, however, they do come with their caveats. First, you probably aren’t too keen to share your arrest. That makes it hard to gather referrals.
Second, even if you do share your arrest with someone who’s gone through something similar, every case is different. They aren’t a lawyer and so their advice about their own case can only go so far. A good referral is nice, but it doesn’t prove all that much.
Instead, ask the lawyers you’re interested in about their referrals. The more referrals they get, the more positive results they get. A larger amount of referrals means much more than one referral from friends or family.
Where to Look for Your Lawyer
Actually finding a lawyer isn’t that difficult. We can break it down into three steps that will get you on the road to legal representation.
In years past you could easily pick up a phone book to find a lawyer, but times have changed. Start with a simple Google search for local attorneys who handle domestic violence cases. The first two or three pages or Google results should give you enough hits.
Keep in mind, the more professional the website, the more professional the attorney. At least as a general rule of thumb.
Once you have your lawyer choices the next step is actually calling them and gathering information. Choose your top picks and interview them regarding your case details, their rates, how they typically handle cases, what their gut tells them they could do in your situation.
You’ll likely get different answers and because each case is unique, most lawyers will deal in hypotheticals. However, this step will help you get a better feel if they can help your cause.
The In-Person Meeting
The final step is actually meeting attorneys in person. Once you’ve narrowed down your list make appointments to see attorneys who best fit what you’re looking for. Bring all of your court documents to the meeting and let the attorney really dig into your case.
It’s important to also gauge the attorney with your own gut during this meeting. Personality clash won’t help your defense so it’s important the attorney is someone you feel that you can trust.
If you’re looking for a domestic violence lawyer to defend you after your arrest, consider getting in contact with us for a free case evaluation. Our legal team has years of experience in the Denver area and knows how to work with the local DAs.
We’re happy to answer your questions during an initial phone consultation and then in person. Don’t wait, your defense starts today.