Choosing the right lawyer is a critical decision if you or a loved one gets charged with a domestic violence designated crime in Arizona. 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 ensure it is someone 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 precisely 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 ensure you are a good fit for each other.
Is the lawyer experienced with domestic violence crimes?
- A lawyer can be highly experienced with various crimes but may not be 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 how much experience they have with domestic violence cases. A lawyer who is not very experienced with domestic violence cases may not be as capable of doing an excellent job for you as they may lack the required particular types of cases.
Is the lawyer familiar with the court where you are charged?
- In Arizona, most 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 various prosecutors have other policies regarding domestic violence offenses. The same thing goes for judges when it comes to domestic violence offenses. One judge may sentence little jail time after a trial, while a different judge may sentence a significant amount of jail time for a similar crime.
- A lawyer familiar with the court practices and policies will be better positioned to help you with your domestic violence charge.
- When speaking with a lawyer before hiring them, ask them if they are familiar with the court where you are charged. For example, if you have been accused in Mesa, and the lawyer has never handled a domestic violence offense in that court, that could spell a potential problem.
Will the lawyer that you spoke or met with initially be the one that handles your case?
- Some law firms in Arizona have one lawyer 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 another lawyer you may have never met.
- When speaking with potential lawyers, ask specifically if they will handle your case or if your case will hand it off to another lawyer in that firm. You hire one person to represent you, and it makes sense that you want that lawyer, not someone else, to represent you.
Does the lawyer listen to you and your concerns?
- Every domestic violence case is different, and every person charged with a domestic violence crime is another. When you speak to a potential lawyer, do they listen to you and your concerns, or do they want financial gain? An experienced domestic violence lawyer knows how to listen and give you the attention you deserve.
If you or a loved one have been charged with domestic violence then this is a very stressful time in your life. The most important step you can take right now is consulting with an experienced attorney that has extensive knowledge of the criminal justice system and how to handle domestic violence cases. If you choose to work with our firm, you will always have direct access to your attorney and will be working with one of the most knowledgeable criminal attorneys in Arizona.
Our firm serves the areas of Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Glendale, Tempe, Chandler and other areas around Arizona. If you or a loved one have been charged with a domestic violence charge in Arizona, please contact us today to schedule your free consultation.