It Can’t Happen To You… But What Do You Do When It Does?

You are a fine upstanding citizen right?  You pay your bills, follow the rules, and do everything you can to not step out of line.  There isn’t a chance in the world you could end up on the wrong side of a legal situation… WRONG.  One thing I have learned over the years is sometimes the best of intentions can still land you in a scary legal situation.  Sad but true.

I am one of those people that tries to see how someone ended up in the situation they are in.  Sometimes a child abuse situation may be the result of the parent being totally at wits end and no one would help.  We all know child abuse is wrong.  But we also know so many other things:  Perhaps the person would be considered weak if they sought assistance; perhaps they sought assistance and were denied – too rich, too poor etc… You get the point.  I can’t condone child abuse – We adopted three children from the hands of abuse of others.  There is always a story about how they got to that point though.

First things First

Do you have enough income to hire an attorney?  If not, you can get a court appointed attorney.  However, I highly recommend not going that route if you can help it.  They end up carrying so many cases and no one gets the resources they need.  It isn’t their fault – it is how the system is designed.  The best option is to hire your own attorney.

You want to hire someone who has experience in what you need.  That experience can speak volumes.  Even if it is just experience with that particular judge – seriously that is very important.

How do you find someone experienced?

Start your search on the internet which is the quickest resource at everyone’s fingertips.  Websites for reputable law firms like Tampa criminal lawyer will always have an area on their site dedicated to what they specialize in and a bit about their legal team.  If you are accused of child abuse – then you absolutely need an attorney who has experience in that area.  Call and see if they are accepting new clients.

Next steps

Bring any documentation you have to your first appointment.  Often that first appointment is just to lay the groundwork and you will want everything you have to portray as accurate a picture as possible.  Is the attorney paying attention to what you are saying?  Do they look like they understand your side of “the story”?  You will want any paperwork you have, court paperwork, bail paperwork, photos, timelines and more.

Expect the first meeting to be interactive – bring a notepad and expect to take notes.  You will want to review the notes and conversations afterwards.

Always be honest.  Your attorney cannot help you if they are caught by surprise in the courtroom.  Don’t leave them guessing and second guessing.  Be prepared to listen to what they say your realistic options are?  You may have one opinion when you walk in but the attorney may feel otherwise.  You want an attorney you can trust and they should work to help build that trust.

Learn to let things go and give your attorneys the reins.  The trust is really a requirement to help get you through this.

Good Luck!


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