Do I really need a lawyer for my domestic abuse case?
Is a lawyer required? No. Do you need one? Absolutely. When? Immediately and the sooner the better. This is one area of the law where the principle of "innocent until proven guilty" is severely tested. There may not be a bias within the law against the accused, but there is a bias in how the law is applied. Due to fear of what COULD happen if a protective order is not granted, one is almost always granted when a woman accuses a man of domestic abuse, with little regard for the reputation damage that WILL happen as a result. Failure to aggressively and immediately pursue a defense will put you back on your heels, and is a position from which it is difficult to recover.
What consequences do I face from domestic violence charges?
First of all, there are significant criminal consequences associated with a domestic violence conviction, including prison time and a permanent stain on your record. There are also civil consequences in the form of the order for protection. If you are in the midst of a divorce or custody dispute, you will surely find yourself at a disadvantage in that forum as well. On top of all that, you can incur significant damage to your personal reputation and standing in the community.
Will I have my day at trial?
Most domestic violence cases can be resolved without a trial and, where possible, that is usually best for everyone involved. Trials are costly and can be highly stressful. I am a strong negotiator who has a tremendous track record protecting the accused from the consequences of domestic violence charges. I will fight to make sure your side of the story is told. However, there are cases where it is necessary to pursue a trial to clear your name and protect your future. I have extensive experience and a track record of success in domestic violence jury trials and will do everything in my power to give you the most aggressive representation at trial.
What will legal representation cost?
There are many variables that determine cost, but all cases begin with a no-cost assessment of rights and options. In other words, it will cost you nothing to find out if and how I can help you. If we prevail on a self-defense argument at trial, I may be able to obtain refund for some or all of the attorneys fees. With all that said, the costs of hiring a strong attorney pale in comparison to the consequences of doing nothing in the face of domestic violence charges.
What if my spouse or partner wants to drop the charges?
Once charges are filed, it is the prosecutor's decision whether or not to drop not the alleged victim's. Furthermore, domestic violence advocates and other counselors will often lobby accusers to continue moving forward with the charges. I have successfully obtained dismissals in these types of cases.
How can I be sure to protect my rights?
The first step is calling (425) 646-7111 to schedule a no cost assessment. My firm is located in Bellevue, Washington, and I represent clients throughout King, Snohomish and Pierce counties.