While not every legal situation requires the expertise of an attorney, it’s important to know when that time comes. Failing to consult an attorney at a crucial moment can expose you to consequences that you might not otherwise face. This guide will help you know when you do need professional legal help.

 

You Might Lose Your Freedom

If you’re facing a misdemeanor or felony criminal charges, you should definitely consult a defense attorney as soon as possible. Even if you have been charged with a DUI, a lawyer may be able to get your charges dismissed or reduced before you go to court.

 

You Have Been Seriously Injured

Insurance companies send adjusters to accident victims to insist that they don’t need to file a claim, or they will offer a quick cash settlement to get the claim processed faster. In either situation, the insurance company is trying to save money at your expense. When you hire a personal injury attorney, you’ll have a lawyer working for you who knows how to obtain a fairer settlement on your behalf.

 

You Own a Business

It’s often recommended that business owners should keep an attorney on retainer. Even if you don’t follow this advice, you should continuously work with the same lawyer or law firm to ensure your business’ legal needs are met. You may need to have contracts drawn up more often than you realize. Additionally, there may be conflicts with your employees, disputes with partners, or liability claims brought by customers, and all of those situations will require the expertise of an attorney.

 

Your Marriage Has Ended

If you don’t hire a lawyer to help you handle a divorce or custody dispute, you’ll start your legal battle at a serious disadvantage. Your ex-spouse’s attorney can make claims that you’re a bad parent or abusive partner, and, without an attorney of your own, you may not know how to effectively dispute those charges. Without proper legal representation, you could lose your assets, be compelled to make unfair support payments or lose custody of your children.

 

Many attorneys offer free initial consultations, and others offer discounts on their services to make up for the initial consultation fee. The reason these first meetings are often free or discounted is that the meeting is used to evaluate your case. Taking advantage of a free consultation will help you determine if a lawyer really can help you.