Many people wonder, when do I need a lawyer? A lot of people associate hiring an attorney with a high cost. Although you do have to pay for hiring a lawyer, the risks are much higher if you do not hire one. Depending on your charges, you could end up with high fines, probation time, or even jail time. Even if you are on the plaintiff side of the legal system, you could face losing your legal case. You have the best chances of a reduced sentence with hiring a lawyer. Hiring a lawyer gives you the following legal advantages.
A better understanding of the legal system
Unless you are employed in the legal system or have been through the system many times before, it can be extremely confusing. The laws are consistently changing and one area of law is drastically different than another. For example, if you have dealt previously with employment law issues, you will find that the criminal law area is much different. Working with an attorney helps you navigate the legal system and choose the best outcome for you.
Statute of limitations concerns
Statute of limitations can be a concern for some legal cases, especially if you are the plaintiff. If you are charging someone for their wrongdoing, you must file a case in a specific amount of time. That amount of time, however, varies depending on the type of legal case. It can also be difficult to get an answer regarding the statute of limitations unless you are working with an experienced attorney. Just one example of a statute of limitations is regarding breach of contracts, which is common in employment law. Per Texas law, a breach of contract claim must be filed within four years, unless the contract specifies two years. Anything over this and the case will likely be thrown out of court.
The appeals process
The regular legal system is already extremely complex and confusing and then you add in the appeal process. An appeal occurs when either a plaintiff or a defendant does not agree with the outcome of the court ruling. They might argue that they were not given a fair trial or that the required aspects of a trial date were not properly followed. There are many regulations and stipulations that state whether or not you qualify for an appeal trial. The appeals court is an entirely different courtroom than you deal with during the normal trial process. Your attorneys will guide you on whether or not an appeal is worth it in your specific case.
A reduction of sentencing
Some legal charges carry minimum sentencing requirements. This means that despite your lawyer?s skills, you will receive at least the minimum sentence. However, there is often a wide gap between the minimum sentence and the charges that you could face. For example, serving a year of probation is more ideal than spending twenty years in prison. Hiring a lawyer can increase your chances of getting a reduction in sentencing. According to a 2005 review of civil cases filed in the state courts, plaintiffs win bench trials approximately 68% of the time and 54% of the time in jury trials. A reduction in sentencing might require you to accept a plea deal and to avoid taking the case to trial, but sometimes it is better than the risk of an extended sentence.
There are many advantages to hiring a lawyer. Your lawyer is representative of you and your best interests. They are also familiar with the legal system and can be a valuable asset in reducing your legal charges. If you want to avoid jail time or severely high of fines, it might be a good idea to hire an experienced lawyer.