Can a Victim of Domestic Assault Seek Advice From The Defendant’s Lawyer?


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Minnesota Domestic Assault Defense Lawyer

In most legal cases, the idea of a victim talking with the attorney of the accused for legal is unheard of and an utterly baffling action. A victim of rape probably wouldn’t even want to look at a defense attorney, much less get their legal advice, for example. However, domestic assault cases can be a different sort of legal beast in so many ways.

In domestic assault cases, the victim and the defendant are often family, or at least have a close relationship to each other in order for it to be a domestic assault rather than just assault. Furthermore, after the accusation is made and the victim decides to recant their complaint, the prosecutor can still decide to press on with a domestic assault case anyway. In this regard, it creates a unique legal situation for everyone involved where only the legal system wants to move forward with accusations.

The Concerns of Sharing a Lawyer

As both victim and defendant can be family, they may not want to pay twice for two different lawyers. Unfortunately, that really is the best option for both parties as well as their cases. The issue with seeking legal advice by the victim from the defendant’s lawyer is not technically a legal one, but rather it is an ethical issue.

Consider the fact that in most cases, the best possible outcome for the defendant in court would for their lawyer to demonstrate that the victim was lying about one or more aspects of the case. This diminishes their credibility and would call everything into question. However, for a victim seeking advice from the defendant’s defense attorney, that attorney can’t ethically tell them to lie on the stand. Even if that would help their case, it can be a severe ethical breach on the part of the attorney that could put their license to practice law at risk.

What to Do in This Situation?

While a defense lawyer could answer quick legal questions for clarification, when it comes to advice, most defense lawyer won’t risk the ethical ramifications by giving it. In most cases, the defendant’s attorney may not even want to meet with the victim in the room. In domestic assault cases where neither the victim nor the defendant really wants to move forward with the case, it is best to have two different lawyers for both parties. As a defendant, you want your case to have the attention it deserves and you want your lawyer focused on that win.

The victim will also want that case to be dismissed in this sort of situation. As such, it is best to seek a separate lawyer who can advise you on the best course of action to take. Furthermore, that course of action will be legally and ethically in the clear for everyone involved. Even if victim and defendant are united in what they want, being divided between lawyers is always the best route to take. Trying to split the attention of one lawyer is not a good idea.

Need Help? Contact Jennifer Speas Today

Have you been arrested on domestic violence charges? Even if you and the victim have reconciled, it is likely that if the prosecutor has enough proof, they will still continue on with the case. Minnesota comes down very hard on domestic violence in all forms, and as such, you need a defense lawyer that can help fight for your freedom.

Contact us today to see what the Speas Law Firm can do to help make sure you don’t get stuck with harsh, life-ruining punishments for a crime that even the victim might not want to press charges for.

Disclaimer: The content of this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Please contact Jennifer Speas to discuss the specifics of your case. Please read our disclaimer.