Do You Need a Lawyer?
Restraining Orders: The court systems in both New Hampshire and Vermont are set up so that you don't need a lawyer to file for an emergency or temporary restraining order or even for the final order hearing. (See Restraining Orders - General to learn more.) However, if you think your abuser may have an attorney or if you are also dealing with divorce, custody, immigration or other issues, you may wish to try to find an attorney to help you. You can also visit the New Hampshire family court or Vermont family court web pages to read their recommendations on whether you need an attorney for family court proceedings:
WISE Advocates: A WISE Advocate may be able to accompany you to court or to answer questions about the court process, but WISE Advocates are not attorneys and cannot provide you with legal advice on your specific situation. A WISE Advocate may also be able to help you find legal help from some of the legal services organization listed below, but WISE does not have lawyers on staff and cannot guarantee access to legal representation.
For help deciding whether you need an Attorney, or finding an Attorney to represent you:
Finding free or low-cost legal services:
- In New Hampshire
- In Vermont
If you have been arrested or charged with a crime:
If you have been arrested for a crime related to the abuse you have experienced, it may be especially important for you to consult an attorney.
In both New Hampshire and Vermont, people charged with serious crimes may be entitled to an attorney if they cannot afford one. Only certain crimes and certain income levels will qualify for a court-appointed public defender.
For more information on public defender programs:
Legal Information Websites:
- National (with state specific information)
- New Hampshire
Other Helpful Links:
As you look through the pages of this section, please keep in mind:
Internet Safety: There are many ways for an abuser to track your computer or internet use. In many cases, it may be safer to use a computer that your abuser has never had access to, such as a computer in a public library, community technology center, or at the home of a trusted friend. To learn more about protecting yourself while using the internet, visit the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence Internet Safety Page.
Disclaimers: This website was created strictly for informational purposes and in no way should be construed to constitute legal services, advice or representation. Please consult an attorney in your state for legal advice pertaining to your particular situation.
Many pages on this website include links to other websites. All links will open a new window and direct you to an external website. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and appropriateness of the links included, WISE does not assume responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided on an external website. Any links to external websites should be construed only as intended to imply potential interest to the reader, not as a referral of any kind.
If you notice a broken link or you would like to request that a link be removed or updated, please let us know!