A domestic violence charge is severe, and anybody can envision how a result could cause trouble in a variety of ways. As such a charge can be so upsetting, it’s vital to seek someone who can assist and safeguard you as soon as possible. No one anticipates the cost of hiring a criminal defense lawyer; yet, it is vital to put investment in a skilled defense counsel since failing to do so is the gateway to disaster. Since money does not come on trees, the expense of employing a domestic violence defense lawyer is an essential aspect to consider while seeking legal representation.
A family law lawyer, a divorce lawyer, or a criminal justice lawyer can defend you or your family in circumstances when you require legal assistance involving domestic violence. Domestic violence, as described by the US Department of Justice, is when two or more people live together in a home one spouse’s habit of disparaging behavior has been used to obtain or retain power over another spouse. Domestic abuse can result in physical, emotional, or financial actions or intimidations against the other partner.
In cases of domestic violence, lawyers can help in a number of different ways. Obtaining restraining orders for domestic violence victims, offering legal assistance in a separation or paternity case involving domestic abuse, giving criminal representation for those convicted of domestic abuse, and giving legal assistance to protect kids who are victims of domestic violence are all examples of legal assistance. Here are some financial aspects to consider if you or a beloved one requires legal assistance for domestic abuse.
Domestic violence legal expenses vary depending on the customers’ requirements and the type of case, thus a flat amount is rare. They do give a flat price for criminal representation occasionally, but not for family law matters. Legal fees are decided by the location of the matter, its intricacy, or whether it is linked to other issues, including criminal, separation, or paternity matters.
Many domestic abuse cases are invoiced on an hourly basis due to the subjectivity of each case. Hourly prices vary depending on the lawyer’s experience and expertise, your geographical locations, and whether you’re dealing with a solo practitioner or a company. A lawyer in Denver, Colorado, costs roughly $285 per hour, whereas the cost in Oklahoma City is somewhere around $150 per hour.
Because of spending time on the discovery, preparedness, and the final trial, a trial will massively enhance the expense of a lawsuit. A trial raises the expense of a family court matter (ending in divorce or legal divorce with domestic abuse) by about $5,000. All additional discoveries and preparations, as well as the hearings itself, are included in this cost.
Domestic abuse is regulated differently in every state. In Colorado, for instance, domestic violence is never seen as a separate issue. Domestic violence is an enhancement to the main offense if it is linked to a criminal issue. If you beat your husband, for instance, you will be prosecuted with assault, the same as if you attacked a neighbor. Nevertheless, because it is your partner, the accusation is elevated to domestic abuse. If the main offense is a misdemeanor, a trial normally results in an increased cost of about $2,500 in criminal matters. It’s around $5000 or more when it’s a felony.
Additional cost considerations
The intricacy of the matter or if it is linked to other issues, such as criminal matters, separation or divorce, or paternity disputes, can further affect the cost. Other considerations include the location of the matter, the identity of the defense lawyers, the identity of the judges, and timing concerns.
Cases of domestic abuse
Lawyer costs for domestic abuse cases largely depend on the facts of the matter, the location of the case, the lawyer chose, and other factors. Listed below are a few instances of case costs:
Hearing on a protective order costs: Around $500.
Services include: Preparedness, investigations, and court appearances; legal advice on the client’s security before and after the restraining order was obtained; and referrals to counseling and support programs were among the services provided.
Lawyer’s time on the case: Almost 3.5 hours.
Hearing on divorce and an order of protection: Around $1,500
Service included: Preparedness, investigations, and court appearances; legal advice on the client’s security before and after the protection order was issued; suggestions for counseling and support programs; and guidance on visitation, custody, child maintenance, division of assets, caregiving, and legal expenses.
Lawyer’s time on the case: About 3.5 hours on protective order and about 6.5 hours on divorce.
Child custody case with the order of protection: About $12,000.
Case details: Legal assistance for a client who was wrongfully accused of a physical confrontation with his child’s mother (in his home). The criminal justice system recommended the mother seek a protective order so that the client could not enter the house. She asked for a protective order, which the firm successfully won. The child custody dispute was eventually settled.
Services include: Inducted and submitted the necessary documentation, went to all hearings, and defended the client in front of the judge; arranged expert evidence and prepared specialists for trials; and maintained counseling and health records for presentation at the hearing.
Lawyer’s time on the case: 1-year case, around 60 hours.
A contentious divorce case involving severe violence and a child custody fight: About $25,000.
Details of the case: Several hearings and substantial legal wrangling were required to preserve the small child’s safety. The sides were unable to contact one another, and the defense lawyer disregarded all of the client’s complaints as untrue. This case entailed rape, abusive behavior, and manipulations; the parties were unable to interact with one another at all.
Services provided: prepared and submitted all necessary documentation, went to all hearings, and defended the client in front of the judge to plead her claim; organized expert evidence and prepared experts for trial; secured counseling and health records for presentation at the hearing.
Lawyer’s time on the case: 2 years, over 100 hours (It should be emphasized that after consulting with the firm, the client lacks money midway through and had to go through 3 lawyers).
Factors that affect the cost of a domestic violence lawyer
- Location of court – civil court, criminal court, family court, or separation
- The lawyer’s level of experience
- Whether you’ve had a previous DV case
- Whether or not you have any criminal background whatsoever
- Whether your matter is a felony or a misdemeanor, the law firm can assist you.
- The possibility of the case being brought to trial or not
- The numbers of charges — one or three misdemeanor or criminal offenses
The following are the criteria that lawyers evaluate while determining the value of their services
- Involvement with issues of domestic abuse (number of years of practicing in the field ).
- Successful track record (does the lawyer have a record of pleased clients)
- Available resources (such as paralegals, multiple lawyers, investigators, etc.).
- The expertise of practice (does a lawyer’s work revolve entirely around criminal defense?).
- Whether the lawyer is referred to as a “trial lawyer,” “plea lawyer,” or a “litigator,”
- Is the case heading to be resolved by a plea bargain or a court hearing.
- Whether the lawyer is a sole practitioner or a partner in a criminal defense firm.
- There will be any preliminary motions or suppressing hearings, and
- the lawyer’s credibility with the court and authorities.
What is the cost of not hiring an experienced domestic violence defense lawyer?
You must evaluate the repercussions that pertain to your specific circumstance while selecting your defense lawyer expense. The following are among some of the potential direct and indirect repercussions of domestic violence:
- As a first offense domestic violence, up to 93 days in prison,
- Usually 80 days in prison for a first offense domestic abuse,
- up to 1 year in prison for agitating domestic abuse,
- up to 1 year when there is a previous domestic violence accusation,
- up to 5 years in jail if there are 2 or more previous accusations,
- up to 2 years of probation for a case of misdemeanor,
- up to 5 years of probation for a case of felony,
- loss of visitation rights or custody,
- trouble getting promotion or work,
- Removal or suspension of professional licenses,
- Significant fines and penalties,
- Forced counseling, alcohol and drug abstention, screening, education, community work, home detention, travel restrictions, a lifelong ban on carrying firearms, and more are all possible consequences.
All the numbers mentioned above have been taken from many journals and might fluctuate. Clearly, a more competent lawyer will charge more than a less skilled, specialized, well-known, effective, and recognized lawyer. As most budgets are restricted, it is critical to establish a budget before finding appropriate legal counsel. Your objective will be to choose the best agent within your financial constraints. Some of the most well-known domestic law companies charge modest, inexpensive costs while providing the best legal counsel.