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  1. #1

    Default Charged with California Penal Code 243(E)(1) PC

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: California

    How do I find a good lawyer specializing in domestic violence? What questions should I be asking to screen potential lawyers (how closely are they willing to work with me, will I be able to control the direction of our plan, sucess rate)?

    The incident took place with my wife, she didn't want me to be arrested but a bystander called it in. I am being charged with California Penal Code 243(e)(1) PC. We both want to get this resolved with minimal effects on our lives.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Default Re: Charged with California Penal Code 243(E)(1) PC

    A call to the local Bar Association, or a trip through the phone book are good places to start when looking for an attorney.

    Depending on your county, the District Attorney may not concern him or herself with the wishes of your wife. The state expects the victim to recant as they do so on more than 75% of all DV cases, so the state is used to pursuing these without cooperation from the victim.

    If found guilty, a first offender can generally expect fines, probation, and mandatory counseling. However, local practices might vary, so you will need to speak with that local attorney.

    - Carl
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ...

  3. #3

    Default Re: Charged with California Penal Code 243(E)(1) PC

    Your questions of how to find a good lawyer and how to screen them are great questions. Below are 10 tips to help guide you in this process.

    More importantly, with respect to the domestic violence charge, the sooner you get an attorney involved the better chance you have of minimizing the effects this case can have on both your life and relationship. I have been practicing criminal defense law in California for 13 years and, depending on the circumstances of the case, it is possible to prevent these matters from even getting filed in court. Early intervention is key. In any case, your questions certainly require a lengthier conversation with an experienced domestic violence attorney.

    I hope you find the following helpful.

    1. GATHER INFORMATION - While it is important to act diligently if you are being investigated for and/or charged with a committing a crime, the time for educating yourself is now. Be proactive and schedule consultations with a few attorneys to give you some different perspectives on your issue(s). Nothing takes away uncertainty and fear better than taking action.
    2. CONDUCT AN INTERVIEW - Whomever you meet with, it is important that you interview them thoroughly about both their experience and your case. Leave no rock unturned. At the end of the day, this is your life that they will be involved in so don’t be shy.
    3. EXPERIENCE - It is extremely important that the attorney you decide to hire has the following experience to handle your case:
    * a thorough knowledge of criminal law (you can tell by how well they answer your questions);
    * in practice long enough to have established relationships with judges and prosecutors in the court in which your case will be filed;
    * specific experience in handling your kind of case; and
    * extensive experience in DEFENDING individuals. Many lawyers like to promote themselves as former prosecutors now defending you but have very little actual experience on the side of the defense.
    4. COMMUNICATION - Pay attention to how they are communicating with you. Are you being talked at or are they having a conversation with you? Are they involving you in the discussion? Do you feel like they are listening to you? Are they sufficiently answering your questions?
    5. YOUR CONCERNS AND EXPECTATIONS - The right lawyer should understand that no matter what the situation this is the most important thing happening in your life and it should be handled with a sense of compassion and empathy. To that end, a good lawyer will make a point to ask you about your concerns and expectations because they matter.
    6. ARE THEY BEING HONEST ABOUT YOUR REALITY - While your expectations matter, they may sometimes be unrealistic given your set of circumstances or the facts of your case. You are not expected to understand what the possible outcomes are for your case. However, an honest lawyer should tell you what you can realistically expect to happen prior to taking your money.
    7. SPEAK WITH THE ACTUAL LAWYER - Many times a law firm will have you consult with a case manager who will ultimately have nothing to do with your case or you may meet with the head of the firm who will ultimately assign your case to an associate attorney and you will never hear from that person again. You should not settle for less than speaking with the actual attorney who will be handling your case from start to finish. Do not believe it when they tell you they work on all cases together. It just doesn’t happen.
    8. BEWARE OF THE HARD SELL - Many lawyers like to use words like “dismissal” as a means to lift your spirits and/or your expectations to what can realistically happen on your case. A dismissal for every client would be great but the fact of the matter is not every case is appropriate for dismissal. If it starts to feel like you are buying a car you should thank them for their time and move on.
    9. THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES - Any lawyer willing to guarantee you a specific result is selling you something you do not want. The only guarantee a lawyer can make is that they will work extremely hard in your defense.
    10. GO WITH YOUR GUT - Often the best judge of what is right for you is your intuition. How does it feel to you? Do you feel a connection with this person? At the end of the day, go with your gut feeling as it will guide you to making the right decision for you.

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