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Ask TexCrimLawyer, J.D. Your Own Question
TexCrimLawyer, J.D.
TexCrimLawyer, J.D., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4782
Experience:  Experienced in state and federal criminal litigation.
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what do i do in court when charged with 4th degree assault domestic violence

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what do i do in court when charged with 4th degree assault domestic violence?

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

First off, can you afford a lawyer/

Customer:

Probably not. And the court date is tomorrow.

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

Ok. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you have a right to have the court appoint one for you and you don't have to pay for it.

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

When you go to court tomorrow, tell the judge you need a lawyer appointed for you.

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

If he asks for a plea, plead not guilty. You can always go back and change your plea after you try to make a deal with the prosecutor.

Customer:

That doesn't give the lawyer and I time to talk though. I mean, if I ask the judge to appoint a lawyer right then and there...is that what happens? A lawyer will just automatically walk in and be my lawyer?

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

No, you will be given a new court date.

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

It is important to be represented by a lawyer so he/she can make sure your rights are protected and you get the best deal possible.

Customer:

But my husband and I are on a no contact order, an EPO, until my court date tomorrow. Though we have been talking. We had been waiting for the court date so that we can both legally be in our house together again without "breaking the law"

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

You can ask the judge to change the order.

Customer:

I have another question then. I was reading about the Commonwealth of Kentucky laws online and read that prosecutors are the ones that decide if charges can be dropped or not...but that the prosecutor will take the wishes of the victim (my husband) into consideration.

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

A conviction of this nature can be very bad for your future. It is considered a crime of violence and can make things much worse if you ever get in trouble with the law again.

Customer:

So my husband emailed the prosecutor and is planning to call in th morning as well.

Customer:

Does that change your advice?

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

They will, but some offices have a "no drop" policy on domestic violence cases. That said, it is up to the prosecutor.

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

Not really. It would not be a bad idea for your husband to make his wishes known. If the prosecutor is willing to drop right then, then you will save some time, but I wouldn't expect it to happen.

Customer:

Is the prosecutor in the court room during the hearing?

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

Yes.

Customer:

Because my husband plans to be at the hearing as well and request that charges be dropped then as well.

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

He can do that, but, like I said, don't be surprised if the prosecutor doesn't drop charges right then.

Customer:

Okay. So if my husband calls the prosecutor in the morning and is able to request charges dropped and is told that they may be or will be, then I wouldn't need to request a lawyer, right? Then another question...if he is unable to speak with the prosecutor in the morning and has to wait until the hearing, would he have a chance to make his request before I had to ask for a lawyer and get a new court date? I'm sorry to ask so many questions. I've never been to court before and I have no idea how the proceedings work at all.

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

If the prosecutor tells your husband that charges will be dropped, then you don't need a lawyer. If he can't talk to him before the hearing, the prosecutor will not have a chance to drop charges during the hearing. He will have to wait until after the hearing to do that, so it is in your best interest to request a lawyer. In other words, if you don't get word from the prosecutor BEFORE the hearing that charges will be dropped, you will need to ask for a lawyer.

Customer:

And after I request a lawyer...then I will be able to request that the EPO be changed? Or would my husband be the one to ask that the EPO be changed?

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

Your husband will need to make the request. Your lawyer can help make that happen.

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

Does that fully answer your questions?

Customer:

Kind of.

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

If there is something you need clarification on, I'm glad to answer.

Customer:

I was just hoping to be able to go in there tomorrow and get it all done and over with. I'm not completely sure what an appointed lawyer is going to be able to do or answer for me during the hearing. I've heard that the court appointed lawyers aren't the best lawyers available.

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

I can't change the process, I can only answer your questions honestly. I understand that you want it over with tomorrow, but, unless you want to plead guilty without a lawyer, it probably won't be. I would advise against pleading guilty without talking to a lawyer first, but that decision is yours to make.

Customer:

Okay. Thank you.

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

Great. If I've answered your questions, please click the "Accept" button. Good luck to you and your husband.

Customer:

Alright. Thanks.

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