Why An Attorney Is Always Better Than A Do-It-Yourself Approach In Legal Situations
Do you have a loved one incarcerated somewhere, and not very sure how to search for them? An online prison search tool can help you.
Also, know that you are not alone. The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the whole world. The latest statistics available from the Bureau of Justice informs that in midyear 2017, the number of jail inmates in the U.S. totaled 745,200.
That is not the total number of incarcerated people, however. At the end of 2017, 1,489,363 people were in U.S. prisons, says the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Interface With The Law
That is when it is necessary to take the critical decision: to hire an attorney or to represent yourself. It is possible to be in a legal situation without being in prison also. A civil claims trial, for instance. The issue is the same.
The dilemma of do-it-yourself (DIY) vs. hiring an attorney can face you even in a purely personal situation. Like making a will, for instance.
We’d strongly recommend that you hire an attorney in a legal situation. There are unknown pitfalls you might stumble into otherwise.
Here are some tips about why DIY is not a very clever idea. Not even if you’re a lawyer yourself, except in petty civil cases, or fighting a speeding ticket.
Never DIY In A Criminal Case
Rupert Myers, a barrister cum writer based in the U.K. mentions in an article in The Guardian that representing yourself in a criminal court is a bad idea even when you are innocent. That naivety could get you convicted while the actual culprit walks out of court free.
The fiasco can start from not knowing the lingo to use in court, to not knowing when exactly to insist on evidence. It is never easy to understand all the procedural intricacies either.
Suppose you’re an experienced law practitioner yourself. Even then you should get represented by an attorney. Personal involvement robs one of the neutrality necessary to understand all the aspects of a case, experts say.
If you are thinking expenses at this point, let us point out that a mess-up in the criminal trial could land you up behind the bars even when you are innocent. That’s more expensive, surely!
Also, there are public defenders that you can use for representation if you find hiring your personal defense lawyer beyond your economic means.
When You Need An Attorney in Civil Legal Situations
These civil situations qualify for a non-DIY situation, experts advise.
- If it is a difficult divorce or child custody case, the emotional quotient will inevitably be high. It is best to have an attorney represent you. That’s the best way to ensure that your emotions don’t cloud your chances of winning the case.
- If you have faced discrimination at your workplace, or you’ve been fired unjustly, it pays to hire an attorney. Such cases involve both federal and state laws. Never easy for an untrained amateur to delve into all of that. No matter how brilliant you are in your analytical abilities.
- If someone has sued you, remember that the other side will have a lawyer in all probability. Hire one for yourself as well. That’s your best option not to suffer significant losses in money or property.
- Injured in a car accident that was not your fault? The other person’s insurance agents will try their level best to settle it out of court for the minimum possible amount. Don’t even talk to them. Let a seasoned attorney experienced in car crash cases do the talking.
In fact, it is best not to talk to anyone other than your attorney. Beyond answering the questions the police will ask you to register your case, that is.
- For wills, trusts, and business startups - drawing up the documents under professional legal advice is the only way to avoid legal disputes and complications later.
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