Not every single legal situation requires a lawyer. Fighting a speeding ticket or going to small claims court, are just some of the examples of situations where a lawyer is not always necessary (depending on the circumstances). However, there are often instances when a lawyer is imperative to the legal circumstances with which a person is facing. While legal representation may be expensive at times, the price paid to an attorney is often less than the price that would be paid without an attorney. Every legal situation and set of facts is different; however, there are some specific circumstances that unquestionably require legal representation.
Failing to retain an attorney could result in breached agreements or even prison time (in the criminal context). Some of the most common reasons for hiring a lawyer include:
- Tax problems
- Buying or selling a business or real estate
- Accidents involving death or personal injury
- Divorce and child custody
- Criminal matters
- Arrest by law enforcement
- Damage to personal property
- Starting a business
Consulting with a lawyer to see if you will benefit from their services is one of the first things you should do whenever faced with a legal challenge so that you are aware of as many of the potential results as possible. Some lawyers limit their practice to one specific type of law while others diversify their practices and handle many different types of cases, so finding an attorney that fits your needs is crucial to your specific circumstances. Sometimes getting a recommendation from someone who has been through the same situation is the best way to find a lawyer (or at least starts the search).
When to Speak with an Attorney
Statutes of limitation vary state to state; however, if you believe you are under some form of legal action or you plan on taking legal action, you should consult a lawyer sooner rather than later to ensure that your claim remains viable. Talking to a lawyer early on provides you with more time to take action and to know if you have a legal basis for a potential claim.
Not Hiring a Lawyer
If you chose to represent yourself and not hire a lawyer, you may struggle with the court proceedings. There are strict deadlines and filing procedures for the paperwork and incorrectly filling out and filing certain legal documents can delay the legal procedure. This can also lead to the case being thrown out completely with things not ending in your favor.
Whether you are just looking for legal backing or have committed a serious offense, it is important to know exactly when you should consider hiring a lawyer. Remember, every legal situation is different and scheduling a consultation with a local lawyer will give you a better idea of whether you need to hire a lawyer.