Interviewer: What point should people contact you for help, is it literally as soon as possible?
Attorney Churak: What’s going to happen is that usually you’re arrested right there on the spot. Very rarely is an at-large warrant issued. On the infrequent occasions that a warrant is issued, the person comes in at a later date and I’ve seen them come in months after the fact and file a criminal charge and get an at-large case.
So if it’s at-large and you have a warrant out for you, many times you don’t even know you have a warrant out for you, but if there’s been an incident and your significant other says, “I’m calling the police and you leave,” and you’re not arrested that night, go talk to a lawyer the next day or as soon as possible.
This is because chances are there’s going to be a criminal case filed against you, and sometimes the lawyer can avoid you having to go to jail. An attorney may be able to arrange a bond right out at the courthouse instead of having to spend a day or two at the Bexar County Jail waiting to get released on a bond.
The other situation is, if you’re arrested, the officers are going to transport you to jail. You’re going to bond out. You’re going to have a court date within 30 days, so start hiring a lawyer as soon as you are able.
Interviewer: Are these kinds of cases expensive to defend or no more so than any other kind?
Attorney Churak: It’s a serious offense. Like other serious charges, there are major implications if you’re convicted in one of the family-violence cases, so attorneys must charge enough for the preparation of a good defense.
Interviewer: Who typically comes to you for help? Is it just the person that’s been arrested or is it their family?
Attorney Churak: Most of the time, it’s the person who’s been arrested. Sometimes, if it’s a younger person, it’s the mother and the son or the mother and the daughter. Sometimes it’s the husband and wife and in that case, it is the actual complaining witness along with the accused. It does depend on the situation.