i was arrested for domestic violence. i have been given a court appearance today. my question do i need an attorney for my first summon or should i go to the court and based on the decision decide further.
This court appearance is most likely an arraignment. Without seeing the notice he received from the court I cannot be certain. I would recommend to you that you contact an attorney immediately. A domestic violence charge can have devastating effects on your life. Do not wait. I have attached a link to my guide concerning selecting an attorney. Good luck.
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Criminal Defense Attorney
More information is needed. Was a restraining order entered? Is your wife interested in pursuing the charges or is she willing to drop the charges? The repercussions of a conviction for domestic violence can be quite serious and you should consult an attorney immediately.
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Family Law Attorney
You should be consulting in person with an attorney immediately. The consequences of being found guilty of Domestic Violence are quite severe.
In your question you were not clear whether you were referencing a court appearance in the Family Court to address Complaint alleging a violation of the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act or a municipal court appearance. In either event, you will be best served by meeting with an attorney who can take the time to review all the relevant information/documentation, and provide you with meaningful advice.
The Answer provided was based on the limited information provided, and represents information based on the law in general, not a legal opinion that can be relied upon. Before a formal legal opinion can be offered I would need an opportunity to review all possible relevant facts and circumstances. You cannot rely on the advice of an attorney given over the internet. The exact facts of your sitaution, including facts which you have not mentioned in your question, may completely change the opinion that is being offered. Please be aware that the above comments are neither protected by attorney-client privilege, nor may the same be the basis for a malpractice lawsuit.
Family Law Attorney
It is difficult to answer your inquiry without additional information. Is your appearance in a Municipal Court or in a Superior Court? If charges have been brought against you for assault, harassment, or any other type of charge requiring an arraignment, it would be prudent to hire an attorney to accompany you to the Court appearance. If there has been a Temporary Restraining Order entered, you will be required to appear in Court for purposes to determining whether a Final Restraining Order will be entered. Your spouse may either voluntarily dismiss the Temporary Restraining Order, may wish to proceed with a hearing for a Final Restraining Order, or may, alternatively, agree to dismiss the TRO in order to enter into what are called civil restraints. In any event, a Restraining Order and / or other criminal charges can have resounding consequences in your life.
If you cannot retain an attorney for today's appearance, you would be best suited by advising the Judge that you wish to retain counsel and that you request an adjournment until such time as you can seek and retain legal representation.
You should become familiar with the various acts that constitute domestic violence, as included on the following website: http://www.weinbergerlawgroup.com/Domestic-Violence.html. You should seek legal representation as expeditiously as possible to protect your rights. Good luck!
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Criminal Defense Attorney
I would ask the Court for an adjournment to get an attorney. The hearing for the FRO is the final decision. I would not submit to this without first at least speaking to an attorney. Your wife may be inclined to dismiss the DV but you still face the criminal charge in Municipal Court. Call with more information.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Based on your statement it appears you have a municipal court matter regarding harassment, assault or a similar charge related to allegations of domestic violence. If this is the case, you should consult an attorney immediately regarding your options, much of will depend on the specific facts of your case.
Separate from a municipal court matter is a TRO or Temporary Restraining Order that may be ordered by a Family Court for allegations related to domestic violence. Generally, a TRO is followed up by a hearing within ten days to determine whether or not a FRO or Final Restraining Order should be ordered by the Court. An FRO, although a civil matter, can also have severe repercussions and therefore you should seek counsel regarding this type of matter as well.