How Do I Know It’s Time to Hire a Lawyer For My Case?

If you think you’re about to get sued, or if you plan to take some legal action against somebody else, a prudent course of action is to go right ahead and consult with a lawyer right away.

There’s no point waiting out the clock– there are statutes of limitation (sort of like a limited window where you can still pursue a case, or a case can be pursued against you), but these vary from state to state.

So how do you know it’s time to hire a lawyer? Anytime you feel like you’ll be dealing with the legal system, whether it’s for your protection or as a means to pursue restitution for damages, consulting with an attorney should be your top priority.

In fact, your more upfront lawyers will tell you straight away if– based on your accounts– you actually do have a case worth pursuing, and if they are willing to take you on as a client.

Civil Law vs. Criminal Law — What’s The Difference?

Depending on your issue at hand, you will want to work with a lawyer who specializes in the area of law that best meets your needs.

Generally, there are two law categories: civil law and criminal law.

  • Criminal Law: Offenses that break local, state, or federal laws fall under the jurisdiction of criminal lawyers. The really serious crimes are known as felonies– and these are crimes that can land you jail time or even worse sentences. The relatively more minor ones are known as misdemeanors.If you think you’ll be facing criminal proceedings, you’ll need a good defense attorney for your case. The prosecution will be handled by lawyers representing the state or the government.
  • Civil Law: Offenses that don’t involve criminal activity fall under the category of civil law. Typically, this is where lawsuits are categorized: one party sues another because they have been “wronged” somehow, and thus, demand some compensation for that wrongdoing.Civil law covers everything from business matters, family issues, real estate transactions– just about anything that might require a contract to protect all parties involved. Note that you can bring a civil case for a criminal type of case, however it depends upon the facts and circumstances of each criminal case.

So don’t just do a Google search on any lawyer for a consultation. Different lawyers have different areas of expertise, so make the effort to ask for recommendations,

Remember: legal services generally do not come cheap. Bigger problems entail a great deal more work for everyone involved, which also means you’ll be more in need of competent legal advice.

When Would I Actually Be Needing Legal Advice?

There will be certain scenarios when you will be needing legal representation. Some of these instances would include:

  • Business startups
  • Contracts
  • Other complex business matters
  • Real estate purchases or sales
  • Wills, trusts, and estate proceedings
  • Bankruptcy
  • Immigration issues
  • Adoption of a child
  • Divorce proceedings
  • Wrongful termination
  • Discrimination in the workplace
  • Denial of Workmen’s Compensation or Disability Claims
  • Lawsuits
  • Driving under the influence (DUI)
  • Drug charges
  • Accidents, especially those with injuries or property damage
  • Arrest by law enforcement
  • Criminal charges
  • Personal injury such as car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, boating accidents, dog bites and other serious injury cases.

Are There Instances When I Will not Be Needing a Lawyer?

While it’s always advisable to have a lawyer handy, there may be some cases where you won’t be needing one, such as when you go to small claims court or when you get traffic tickets.

There may also be occasions when you choose not to contest claims against you, as it might be too costly or just not worth the effort.

A Final Word About Hiring a Lawyer For Your Case

A lawyer can present your strongest case, challenge evidence, and negotiate settlements on your behalf.

And while it’s always better to avoid legal troubles than to fix them later, we’re sometimes left with no option because of situations that are beyond our control. Lawyers do come in handy in that they provide you with a layer of protection against indiscriminate lawsuits and demands.

The law is truly complicated for mere mortals like ourselves, and you’ll find that having a lawyer on your side can help you navigate your legal issues for you.

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