Knowing when to hire a lawyer, or when to deal with things on your own is not an easy decision. Our lawyers have put together this guide so you can get a better idea of when you might need legal advice, or whether you can get by without the expense associated with this.
You should note that the answer is not always simple. There are some circumstances in which the answer is always a yes, but other times it might be a case of evaluating several factors.
When should you hire a lawyer?
These are some instances in which it is essential to hire a lawyer:
You are in over your head
This is going to be down to your feelings and how comfortable you feel representing yourself. This level of comfort, naturally, will vary from person to person, depending on how well you know the law, how much information you have access to, how much effort you are willing to put into educating yourself, and whether or not you feel comfortable standing up in a courtroom and arguing your case. If you aren’t sure of any of these things, you should probably hire a lawyer.
If you face prison time
If you are charged with an offence that could result in serious prison time, we’d always suggest you hire a lawyer.
If you could be fined a lot of money
If there is a chance you could lose a lot of money as a result of an offence, we again suggest you hire a lawyer.
If bodily injury is involved
This may be as a result of a car accident, an injury at work, or an injury sustained by a pet of yours. No matter what the cause, we suggest you hire a lawyer for cases such as these. If it is yourself or a family member that has been injured, then you may be able to hire a lawyer on a ‘no win no fee’ basis, in which case they will take payment from the compensation you obtain.
When you might be able to represent yourself
Provided you feel comfortable with this decision, below are some of the instances that could lean more toward self-representation.
Most people who go to court for parking tickets will represent themselves. There is plenty of information online that will enable you to do this effectively.
If you are both in relatively mutual agreement about the divorce and are unlikely to be arguing over custody or property debts, then you might be able to handle your own divorce and save yourself the legal fees.
Basic business matters
With a little bit of research, you should be able to learn how to deal with things such as Employer Identification Numbers, forming an LLC or partnership, and creating basic contracts and forms. This can be particularly helpful if you are a new, small business, as it can free up money to invest in your business’s future.
If you have any doubts about your ability to represent yourself, we would suggest you consult a lawyer. If you want to speak to us about any legal matters, we are more than happy to help.