If you or a loved one has been charged with a domestic violence designated crime in Arizona choosing the right lawyer is a very important decision. Your freedom, ability to work, own weapons, and other rights may be at stake. Here are some things to consider when choosing a lawyer for a domestic violence offense:


Are you and the lawyer a good fit for each other?


When choosing a lawyer, you want to make sure it is someone that you get along with. Just because someone is a good defense lawyer doesn’t mean they are a good defense lawyer for you. A good lawyer client relationship is exactly that, a relationship. If you don’t like the lawyer as a person or don’t like their personality are you going to be able to work with them. This is why it is a good idea to speak to the lawyer before hiring them to make sure you are a good fit for each other.


Is the lawyer experienced with domestic violence crimes?


A lawyer can be experienced with various crimes but not be very experienced with domestic violence cases. In Arizona, domestic violence is not a crime itself but a designation. The crimes may be assault, criminal damage, disorderly conduct and others. When speaking with potential lawyers ask them if they have a lot of experience with domestic violence cases. A lawyer who is not very experienced with domestic violence cases may not be as capable of doing a great job for you as they may lack these special types of cases require.


Is the lawyer familiar with the court where you are charged?


In Arizona most of the domestic crimes are codified by statute in the Arizona Revised Statutes which means every city and county court will follow the same law. Just because two courts follow the same laws doesn’t mean that they do everything the same. Different courts have different prosecutors and different prosecutors have different policies when it comes to domestic violence offenses. Same thing goes for judges when it comes to domestic violence offenses. One judge may give little jail after trial, while a different judge may give a large amount of jail for the similar offense. A lawyer who is familiar with the court practices and policies will be better positioned to help you with your domestic violence charge. When speaking with lawyer before hiring them ask them if they are familiar with the court where you are charged. If you have been charged, for example, in Mesa, and the lawyer has never handled a domestic violence offense in that court that is a problem.


Will the lawyer that you spoke or met with initially be the one that actually handles your case?


There are some law firms in Arizona that have one lawyer that you meet with but when you go to court a different lawyer from that firm shows up to handle your case. In essence, your case was handed off to a different lawyer who you may have never met. When speaking with potential lawyers ask them if that lawyer will actually be handling your case or if your case will be handed off to another lawyer in that firm. You hire one person to represent you and it makes sense that you would want that lawyer, and not someone else representing you.


Does the lawyer listen to you and your concerns?


When you speak to a potential lawyer do they listen to you and your concerns, or do they just want your money? An experienced domestic violence lawyer knows how to listen. Every domestic violence case is different and every person charged with a domestic violence crime is different.