Top Ten Reasons to Hire a Lawyer
Created by FindLaw’s team of legal writers and editors | Last updated October 22, 2018
Not every legal matter requires the use of an attorney. Fighting a speeding ticket and going to small claims courts are two examples. However, in many other situations involving a legal dispute, challenge, or deal, you may not wish to change the risks of going it alone without the advice of an experienced lawyer who can help you out. In fact, while good legal representation may not be cheap, it can help get you out of a number of sticky situations, such as a bad divorce, lost job, or DUI violation.
While each person’s legal situation is different, there are times when you really should hire a lawyer. In fact, failing to work with an attorney in certain instances can lead to broken agreements, lost claims, or even prison time. Below are the top ten reasons to hire an attorney.
1. The Law is Complicated
If you’re not a lawyer you probably have no business acting like one in certain instances. Even experienced lawyers typically do not represent themselves in court. Also, attorneys tend to specialize in one or more legal practice areas, such as criminal defense or tax law.
A solid case can quickly unravel without the help of a trained and emotionally detached attorney. Similarly, failing to hire a lawyer when starting a business, reviewing a contract, or embarking on other endeavors with potential legal ramifications can result in otherwise avoidable pitfalls.
2. Not Having a Lawyer May Cost You More
What’s at stake? A criminal case may determine whether or not you spend time behind bars, while a civil case could hurt you financially. Besides, there are many civil attorneys who don’t actually collect a dime from you unless they win your case. Also, you may be able to claim legal fees as a plaintiff in a civil case, so hiring a lawyer can actually save or make you money.
3. Lawyers Know How to Challenge Evidence
Without the proper legal training, you may not be able to know whether a key piece of evidence against you was improperly obtained or that the testimony of a witness contradicts an earlier statement. And did the crime lab properly handle the evidence every step of the way? Your attorney will find out and possibly have that evidence suppressed.
4. Filing the Wrong Document or Following the Wrong Procedure Could Ruin Your Case
If you’re not an attorney, you may struggle with the deadlines and protocol for properly filling out and filing certain legal documents. One late or incorrect filing could derail your case, delay a given legal procedure, or worse – have the case thrown out altogether (and not in your favor).
5. They Have Access to the Witnesses and Experts You’ll Need on Your Side
Attorneys depend on an extended network of professionals to help their clients ‘ cases. Most non-attorneys don’t personally know the types of professionals who can help with discovery or challenge evidence or testimony by the opposing party.