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8 Questions to Ask An Attorney When Accused of Domestic Abuse

The Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski

Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crimes. Domestic violence is serious, and because of this, the courts treat perpetrators of that type of abuse harshly.

But what happens if the domestic abuse case isn’t as it seems? What happens if one party is trying to frame the other by making false claims? In this case, the defendant needs a domestic abuse attorney to create a great defense strategy.

If you’ve never had to contact a lawyer before, but now have a domestic abuse case on your hands, we’re here to help. We’ve compiled a list of questions for you to ask your attorney. Read on to learn more.

1. Have You Handled a Case Like This Before?

When you’re consulting with an attorney for the first time, ask them whether or not they’ve experienced a similar case in the past. Many criminal defense attorneys, especially if they also work in family law, have dealt with domestic abuse cases at some point, so unless your case is very niche, you should be in luck.

Attorneys with no experience in domestic violence cases can still do good work, but why take that risk? You want to make sure you’re working with someone who’s already had successful cases.

2. What Outcome do You Foresee?

Your defense attorney isn’t psychic, but as long as they have experience with your type of case, they should be able to tell you what you can expect.

When you first speak to your attorney, make sure you give them as much information as possible about your situation. Even if you think something isn’t relevant, include it. If you have documents or evidence, bring it with you.

Using this information, your attorney will be able to more easily “see” how the situation will play out.

The attorney should be able to give you a realistic best-case scenario. Note that things can change and the outcome may be better or worse than expected, but the attorney is making an informed guess. This guess is only as accurate as the information you give them.

3. Is a Trial Necessary, or Are There Alternatives?

Not all cases go to trial, and often, not going to trial is the best option. Plea bargains can also be effective, among other things.

If the idea of going to trial is making you anxious, or if you just want to know about all of your options, talk to your attorney about this early in the legal process.

4. What Is Your Success Rate?

Don’t be afraid to ask your domestic abuse lawyer about their success rate. Lawyers understand that you’re putting a lot of trust in them and that choosing a lawyer with a good success rate gives you a better chance of success yourself.

A good lawyer will be straightforward and honest about their success rate, but keep in mind that it’s helpful to combine their answer with any reviews that are available online.

Also, note that an unsuccessful case is not indicative of a bad or ineffective lawyer. Lawyers try to get the best possible outcomes for their clients, even if those outcomes may not be what the clients hoped for.

5. What Do You Need From Your Clients?

It’s helpful to know what a lawyer will expect from you when you start working together.

Some attorneys prefer their clients to have a “hands-on” approach. They may want more input from clients and take their opinions into account more frequently.

Other attorneys prefer that their clients let them do all of the work. Aside from gathering any important documents or evidence, they want to control the case as much as possible.

Neither of these methods is “wrong.” Some attorneys will leave it up to the client while others have preferences. Knowing what is expected of you ahead of time will be helpful during the case.

6. What’s Your Preferred Method of Communication?

How do you plan on communicating with your attorney? Will your attorney charge you for communication between appointments? You should know these things before you get started working with them.

If you have a preferred method, discuss this with your attorney to make sure you’re aligned. Some attorneys prefer to only meet face-to-face. Some like emails and others prefer phone calls.

Video calls may even be an option if you need them.

7. How Long Will This Case Take?

Again, your domestic abuse attorney is not psychic, but they should be able to give you a reasonable estimate of how long the case should take.

Your attorney understands how emotionally and financially draining cases can be when they take too much time. They won’t feel like you’re rushing them.

8. What Fees Can I Expect?

It’s never a bad thing to ask about the cost of your attorney’s services. Ask them to break down the fees for you so you know that you can afford them.

It’s also helpful to know if they charge a flat fee or if they charge hourly. Again, ask if they charge for communication between appointments as well. Some attorneys will charge for emails and phone calls while others will not.

Is It Time to Hire a Domestic Abuse Attorney?

If you’ve been faced with domestic abuse charges, it’s time to contact an attorney who can help. A good domestic abuse attorney will help you get the best possible outcome for your case.

Keep these questions in mind when you’re consulting with your attorney.

If you’re ready to schedule your consultation, we’re ready to meet you. Contact us to set up an appointment today.

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