If my 17 year old daughter called 911 after my husband smacked her for mouthing off, should we contact a lawyer?

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If my 17 year old daughter called 911 after my husband smacked her for mouthing off, should we contact a lawyer?

The cops came and gave him a citation for infliction of physical injury on a child. DCFS was contacted and interviewed my husband and daughter. He is to appear in court. He has no prior issues. We really can’t afford one. Do we need to ask for public assistance? What are we up against?

Asked on July 5, 2014 under Criminal Law, Utah

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you *definitely* want an attorney. Not only are there criminal charges pending, but this sort of thing can lead to being monitored by your state child protective services organization, which can often impose requirements (e.g. counseling) on you. You can ask for public assistance  (e.g. a public defender or legal aid), but depending on your income level, may not qualify--those resources are for the truly destitute, so unless you are at that level, you will probably not get a publically paid for attorney. However, even if you don't, you still want a lawyer when facing *any*  criminal charges--it's a worthwhile investment.


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