“When is time to hire a defense attorney?” is a question many of our clients have no doubt asked themselves prior to contacting us for services. This question isn’t always easy to answer, which is why John Kirby Law in San Diego has created the following summary, broken down into two categories: “When you should hire a defense attorney”, and “When you might not need a defense attorney”.
When Jail-time is a Possibility
We’ll start with the easiest one first. If jail is even a remote possibility, you need a defense attorney. Even though there’s a very diverse range of crimes for which jail is an option (from tax fraud to vehicular homicide), a defense attorney is essential.
You Could Lose a Large Amount of Money
If you’re facing a lawsuit that could cost you a good deal of money if you lose, you want a defense attorney by your side to turn the tide in your favor, or at worst mitigate the financial damages you might face.
Bodily Injury is Involved
If your case involves bodily injury, i.e. that which is caused through a car accident, someone getting hurt on your property, or someone being bitten by your dog, a defense attorney is strongly recommended. This is true even if you have automobile and/or homeowners insurance, and in circumstances where you or a relative has been injured and your claim appears strong.
The Plaintiff has an Attorney
This is another black-and-white situation. If your opponent has an attorney, you need to hire an attorney of your own. Otherwise, you’ll be at a significant disadvantage during trial.
You may have gone to law school. You might even have a law degree. Or, you might just be fascinated with the legal system. However, at the end of the day you need to accurately assess your own knowledge of the law and the system, how much time and money you want to spend educating yourself on subjects you’re unclear on, and how confident you are in conducting yourself within the decorum of the court, as well as clearly expressing yourself verbally and in writing. If you have doubts about any of these things, or you conclude that you simply can’t afford to lose the case, then you should contact our law offices serving San Diego and hire a defense attorney.
When You Might Not Need a Defense Attorney
Before we dig into this topic, a caveat: whether you think you need a defense attorney or not, it’s always a wise idea to at least consult with a lawyer, share your thoughts, and increase your peace of mind.
Minor Traffic Violations
This is a lesson most of us learned in our teens or twenties: if you get a low-level speeding ticket, parking ticket, or a citation for some other minor moving violation, you don’t need a lawyer in traffic court.
When Small Claims Court is an Option
Depending on the nature of the dispute and the amount of money involved, small claims court could be an option for you. When you opt for small claims court, a defense attorney isn’t required.
A Simple Divorce
This might be construed as an oxymoron, since many people will claim there’s no such thing as a “simple divorce”. However, if you and your ex-spouse can amicably agree on custody, money, etc., then you might not need a lawyer.
Consult an Experienced Defense Attorney
The Law Offices of John D. Kirby specialize in all manner of criminal defense matters. Whatever the nature of the charges against you, our team will design an innovative, well-constructed strategy that optimizes your chance of a satisfactory outcome. Contact us today for more information.