Jeremy Kaschinske 2014-01-29 23:39:51
Family Law Attorneys and Criminal Defense Attorneys Need to Work Together Jeremy Kaschinske is an attorney with Halberg Criminal Defense, Minnesota’s largest and most experienced criminal defense law firm. Jeremy has spent his entire career defending those accused of various crimes, from first time DWI offenders to federal conspiracy and embezzlement charges. Jeremy received his law degree from Hamline University School of Law and his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. He is active in his hometown Chaska Rotary Club and enjoys time with his family, the Green Bay Packers, and golf. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 612-DEFENSE Issues in family law cases and criminal proceedings often overlap and the results in one case may have serious implications for the other case. Because of this interdependence, family law attorneys and criminal defense attorneys need to join forces in order to better serve the common interests of their clients. For example, allegations of domestic abuse may lead not only to criminal charges and a “no contact order” but also to a change in custody or restrictions on parenting time. Let’s say a mother in a custody case was temporarily ordered to have supervised parenting time on a weekly basis, but in her criminal case for domestic assault, she was ordered to have no contact with the children. If the family law attorney is unaware of the no contact order, they may inadvertently cause a violation of such order – possibly leading to further criminal charges. Of course, this could all be avoided if both attorneys are sharing information with each other. Similarly, negotiations in a dissolution case may break down if a client is convicted of a criminal offense, so the line of communication between the attorneys needs to be open as soon as the client is charged. Without this cooperation, the criminal defense attorney could unwittingly undermine the client’s interests in the family law case or vice versa. Rather than advising the client to accept an offer to plead guilty, a criminal defense attorney may argue for a “continuance for dismissal” where there is no admission of fault. Essentially, the client is placed on probation for a certain period of time, sometimes with conditions (no use of drugs/alcohol, domestic abuse evaluation, anger evaluation, counseling, etc.). If they successfully complete the requirements, the charges are dismissed at the end of the probationary period. The family law attorney can then use the progress made by the client while on probation to further the client’s position in the custody case. As a final example, consider a woman seeking an “order for protection” against her boyfriend following an assault that occurred. A hearing is held to determine whether an order should issue and the boyfriend makes incriminating statements on the record regarding the facts of the assault. As a result of these statements, if he hasn’t been charged criminally yet, he now likely will be. And if he has already been charged, the prosecutor can obtain a copy of the transcript and use the statements against him in the criminal case. If the family law attorney had simply consulted with the criminal defense attorney, the boyfriend could have asserted his Fifth Amendment right to be free from self-incrimination and avoided helping the state bring an assault case against him. When family law and criminal defense attorneys cooperate with each other and coordinate their efforts, they can both more effectively represent their mutual clients.
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