One question I often get asked as a domestic violence lawyer is whether a defendant facing charges of domestic violence should take his or her case to trial; that is often the very first question I am asked during an initial consultation with an individual facing charges of domestic violence.
My response invariably includes some variation of “I need more information to answer your question”, but I will address some of the issues that may or should factor into your decision making process here. Ultimately, it is always best to consult with and retain a successful domestic violence attorney to handle your case.
Defendants often believe that setting their case for trial makes sense, because they believe the victim will not show up. Certainly, having a victim who is uncooperative with the prosecution should be helpful to your case. However, relationships resulting in incidents of domestic violence are often volatile and as a result a victim who may not want to assist the prosecution today may be willing to assist the prosecution tomorrow.
Also, victims may in theory not want to court, but feel differently once they are personally served. Another concern with placing too much reliance on the victim’s absence is that there are certain cases in which the district attorney may be able to prosecute you without their presence; to find out whether your case falls into that category, contact a skilled denver domestic violence attorney today.
Notwithstanding all of the above, a victim willing to cooperate with your defense is always a plus. However, your domestic violence defense lawyer cannot advise the victim since that would pose a conflict of interest and raise ethical concerns; for legal advice, the victim must consult his or her own attorney. Oftentimes, victims have valid fifth amendment concerns in reference to their privilege against self-incrimination, and in that situation may also find the advice of a criminal attorney to be helpful.
Another reason why defendants facing charges of domestic violence often feel compelled to take a hard look at a trial is the fact that a conviction for domestic violence can have severe and far-reaching consequences. Domestic violence treatment for even a first time offender can be long and arduous. Also, domestic violence charges often make an individual ineligible to live in most acceptable rental properties, and also make it difficult to find and secure suitable employment. Some career choices are impossible once a domestic violence conviction enters.
Ultimately, there is no substitute for hiring your own aggressive, skilled domestic violence attorney with a track record of proven success in handling domestic violence cases. You need a criminal lawyer that will work hard to defend your case, and explain to you the risks and benefits of every available avenue so that you can make educated decisions as to whether to accept a plea, go to trial, or vigorously fight for and obtain a dismissal.
You also need an attorney that is not afraid to take your case to trial and will not pressure you to enter into a plea if that would be against your interests or contrary to your desires.
If you have been charged with a crime of domestic violence, contact proven domestic violence attorney Kimberly Diego today for a free consultation at (720) 257-5346.