Tactical Representation of Victims in California Domestic Violence Cases
For a number of years, I have been representing victims in domestic violence cases. If you think it sounds strange for a career defense lawyer to represent victims, let’s take a closer look:
There’s a fight at home. Husband and Wife are arguing about money, kids, drinking, cheating, you name it. In a fit of rage, Wife calls 911. The cops come out and arrest Husband. A felony arrest, almost every time. Bail in Los Angeles: $50,000. In Ventura: $20,000.
By morning, tempers subside. Husband is home now but is 2 to 5 thousand dollars poorer, and wife regrets calling the cops because she had no idea the can of worms she was opening up. Detectives are calling the house. Department of Children’s Services wants to do an in-home visit, a court date is coming up and Husband and Wife don’t know what to do. All they know is they want the tidal wave to stop, so they call me.
I can only represent one person in this incident. Normally, I would represent the suspect in the case. After all, I’m the criminal defense guy. But the client wants to know what can be done now. How can we be proactive? The answer is that we can have Wife hire her own lawyer, whether that’s me or someone else. Wife or the alleged victim in the case has rights and they often don’t understand their own rights. The cops don’t tell you. The DA don’t tell you. DCSF will tell you that if you let him back in the house, you won’t see your kid for a long while.
If wife hires her own lawyer, that lawyer can be independent of the suspect’s/husband’s lawyer. As an independent lawyer, your lawyer can tell you that you actually have ZERO obligation to talk to the cops. You have ZERO obligation to communicate with the District Attorney or their “Victim’s advocate”. You have Zero obligation to cooperate with a criminal prosecution.
In theory, a crime victim may want to cooperate with a criminal case. In theory, a battered woman may need help from cops or victim services. In reality this may not be the case. If you simply want to be left alone, that’s your right. If you don’t want to talk to the cops, I can help you. If you want to do everything in your power to see that Husband is not convicted, call me. I can help advocate for you.
They say that the District Attorney represents the people. They say the victim’s advocate represents the victim of a crime. The truth is that the DA is a prosecutor, seeking at best, justice and at worst, conviction, jail and more. The victim’s advocate is simply an agent of the prosecution. They are another nail toward the coffin of conviction.
Victim’s are ALWAYS free to hire their own advocate. With the help of someone like me, we can work together to help fashion your desired outcome in a case. Maybe you don’t want Husband to go free. Maybe you want him to stop drinking or take anger management classes. Maybe you want to help him avoid jail time. I have well over 25 years of experience navigating the criminal justice system. Put my experience to work for you.
If you or someone close to you has been arrested for domestic violence in Los Angeles or Ventura County, I would be happy to speak to you about how I can help. Don’t hire a lawyer who tries to promise you the world or one who tries to scare you to death. Don’t talk to the paralegal or case manager. Talk to THE lawyer who will be handling your case. Don’t hire a lawyer who says he has offices all over California. Don’t hire a friend who says he is doing you a favor. Hire a veteran criminal defense lawyer who does this every day. Call me and we can talk about it:
Attorney Jeffrey Vallens (818) 783-5700 or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org