In a situation where an abusive partner is being taken to court, you want to ensure you’re as prepared as possible. This can be over domestic violence or seeking to recover your Michigan Driver’s license after a DUI conviction. Whatever the case, we are here to help.
A domestic violence hearing can determine many things, including your eligibility for a personal protection order or a change in custody for your children.
Our Grand Rapids defense attorneys can help you build your case and prepare for your hearing. Please contact our office today if you have any additional questions or concerns.
Getting Ready For A Domestic Violence Hearing
Keep a Record of Injuries
Out of the different types of domestic violence, physical abuse is less difficult to prove. To make a case for physical abuse, you’ll need to make sure you have photographic evidence of your injuries. Be prepared to give the court specific details about each injury, such as the date, time, and where the incident occurred. If you have any hospital records of serious injuries, make sure you have them ready to present to the court. Since abuse allegations rely mostly on testimony, the more evidence you have of the abuse, the better. Our domestic violence lawyers can help you determine what evidence you’ll need.
If you are still living with your abuser, make sure to store your evidence at a trusted family member or friend’s house. If you have been isolated from your support system, keep the evidence at work or in a safety deposit box. Your domestic violence attorney can also keep photographic evidence locked in their office in extreme cases.
Get in Touch with Witnesses
A domestic violence lawyer will be able to serve witnesses subpoenas. All a subpoena does is order a witness to show up and testify at your domestic violence hearing. Potential witnesses of the abuse could be family members, friends, co-workers, police officers, doctors, or emergency room nurses. Anyone who saw the signs of domestic violence is an effective witness. Your case grows stronger with each witness that confirms your abuse allegations.
Understand the Legal System
During a domestic violence hearing, a judge will decide whether you and your children need legal protective orders to stay safe from an abuser. If you have minor children with your abuser, the judge may also decide to grant you full custody. However, in most cases, the abuser is still allowed to see their children during supervised visits. Only rarely will a parent be completely cut off from their children.
A temporary restraining order prevents an abuser from:
Prepare Your Statement
It is important to be honest when you take the stand. However, you’ll also be responsible for remembering specific details such as the date and time of a physical assault or the words your abuser said to you. Depending on the laws in your state, you may be able to reference your notes (not read from them). However, you must have all the important facts memorized if the judge rules against having notes on the stand.
Most domestic violence victims have never gotten the opportunity to talk about what they lived through, which is why it’s important to make sure you practice telling your story. Going over the facts in your head beforehand may also help you remember new details that support your case. A domestic assault attorney can also help you prepare for testifying so you know what to expect.
The experienced criminal lawyers at John Engman & Associates are more than willing to help you navigate this difficult stage of the legal process. Our Grand Rapids domestic violence attorneys have experience in removing clients from abusive situations and will examine every recourse you have under the law. To set up an appointment, give our office a call at 616-426-9576. Please note that if you fear for the safety of yourself or your children, you can call the at 1-800-799-7233.