The Potential Timeframe Of Resolution In A Domestic Violence Case

Interviewer: How long would a typical domestic violence case take? How does a typical case last? How long could it potentially take?

Brett Hollett: Anywhere from six months to two plus years, it just depends on the seriousness of the case and it depends on how the individual client wants to deal with their case. Obviously the case is going to be over a lot faster if the client simply wants to plead guilty and move on with their life. If the client is adamant that they didn’t do what they are accused of and that they want to be exonerated at a jury trial, it can take some time. Each case is really just so unique.

Common Client Concerns Regarding a Domestic Violence Case

Interviewer: When you meet with the client, whether he sits down with you for the first time, what typically are their needs you know their immediate needs?

Brett Hollett: I think they need reassurance that this isn’t going to ruin their life and they need somebody to listen to them and to understand what’s going on and how it’s going to affect them and obviously they need legal advice. We try to explain that this isn’t going to be over immediately and that they may need to make alternative living arrangements, until this case is finalized. They need to understand that they shouldn’t be talking to the victim or the victim’s family or anybody else until we’re able to go to court and either to reach potential settlement or have the case dismissed or eventually, try the case.

Dealing With the Emotional Factors Involved In A Domestic Violence Case

Interviewer: How do you remove the emotional factors and help a client focus and stay focus on the case?

Brett Hollett: In order to remain focused on their case, the client must realize that it’s a process and that it’s not going to, end immediately. The client’s expectations should be discussed with an understanding of the available evidence. The client will need to be prepared for the long haul and understand that time may be on their side.

Domestic Violence Cases Are Normally Settled Prior to Trial

Interviewer: How often do like domestic violence cases go to like jury trials? Is it a frequent thing or is it less common thing? And is it more beneficial to do that or not?

Brett Hollett: It just depends. To be honest with you, a lot of times, the victim in these cases change their mind. Whether or not it happened or didn’t happen, they feel like they love the person and if it did happen that this was an isolated incident and they don’t want to ruin that person’s life or they come around and say “Well, this really didn’t happen the way I said it. I was just angry with the person”. So, a lot of times, the cases tend to work themselves out. Oftentimes the cases that try are the ones where the facts are truly disputed or where the alleged victim’s statements may be unreliable or inconsistent with the evidence.

The Role of Expert Witnesses in a Domestic Violence Case

Interviewer: What sort of expert witnesses might be utilized for that?

Brett Hollett: It just depends on what kind of case it was. I mean if it’s a harassing case, I mean you may have a forensic expert to talk about, cell phone records or cell phone data and you may have a doctor and someone talk about the types of injuries or the types of markings or bruises, I mean it depends on I guess what kind of case it is.

Getting the Expert Testimony of a Doctor is Not Going to Be Cheap

Especially if it’s any case that if you are going to involve a doctor require their testimony, it’s not going to be cheap. So typically those are the cases like we talked about that are going to be disputed and there may be an allegation of more serious physical harm if you’re going to go to the trial. If the victim is claiming their injuries were caused by x but the physical evidence suggests y, then we may need to bring in our own doctor to explore that.

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