The Importance of Hiring a Domestic Violence Attorney

December 14, 2020

If you face domestic violence at home, there are two ways to hold your assailant accountable. One is to cooperate with the criminal process to ensure the prosecutor brings domestic violence charges in Tavares, FL. The second is to pursue your assailant through civil remedies like restraining orders, family law proceedings and lawsuits for financial damages. You can pursue one of these paths or both, but you need to hire a domestic violence lawyer in any case. Here is an overview of each option.

Criminal process

Filing criminal charges offer several benefits. First, it shows your assailant that you are serious about stopping the abuse. Second, it creates a court record of the abuse, and if you face another assault, the court is more likely to act. Finally, criminal records help you when you leave your abuser and need to establish child custody and secure public assistance.

However, there are some drawbacks. The court may release your abuser on bail, which leaves you in greater danger. To prevent further violence, create a safety plan so you remain safe. That plan may include filing restraining and emergency orders or finding a new place to live.

Also, you have no say in whether a prosecutor opens a criminal case against your abuser. That decision is up to the district attorney, and they may decide there is not enough evidence for a successful result. However, the prosecutor will ask you about the facts of your case and the remedies you seek. Speak freely when these questions arise. If you feel your abuser needs to be in jail, say so. The same is true when the prosecutor asks you about counseling needs, probation terms and acceptable plea bargain deals.

No matter the results, always make sure you have a safety plan if your abuser remains unprosecuted or released. Civil remedies may be an essential part of this plan.

Civil remedies

When your abuser is in jail, that’s the time to look into civil remedies. Talk to a lawyer and file restraining orders and orders of protection. If you wish to divorce or separate, you can file emergency orders that place your children with you and keep your abuser out of the house. You can also set child support and guarantee access to assets like bank accounts and cars.

Most abuse victims pursue both criminal and civil routes. That combination helps secure freedom and buys time to make longer-term plans. Statistically, the time victims leave is the most dangerous for them. So, if you hire a domestic violence attorney to handle emergency orders, you never need to deal directly with your abuser, and that keeps you safer.

You also want domestic violence charges and family law orders to move forward correctly the first time around. Delay only places you in danger, and haste is necessary. If you need a domestic violence lawyer in Tavares, FL, K.J. Law P.A. is here for you. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation and start your safety plan.

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