Fired corporate employee holding her belongings in a cardboard box, as her boss orders her out of the building.

When Should I Hire a Lawyer?

The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees criminal defendants the right to a lawyer. If you don’t have the money to retain an attorney, Washington state will appoint you a public defender at no cost to you.

Most people agree that if charged with a crime, they need the help of a criminal lawyer. Aside from criminal matters, however, there are other situations where you may wonder if you should hire legal counsel.

Injured senior man and his accountant worrying about the cost of medical bills.

The attorneys in our firm are former prosecutors who now work as defense lawyers. We can help you if you’ve been accused of a misdemeanor crime or felony. We also represent clients in civil cases, such as personal injury and employment issues.

Here are a few scenarios when you may need the advice of a civil or criminal lawyer in Vancouver, Washington:

Times When You Should Hire a Lawyer

You need help if someone’s carelessness causes you an injury. You may also need legal advice if you’re wrongfully fired from work. An attorney can help you avoid problems or help you deal with them after they occur.

Consider hiring an attorney in these situations:

  • An accident where someone is hurt or property is damaged
  • When you’re involved in a contract dispute
  • When you’re buying or selling real estate or a business
  • When getting a legal separation or divorce or involved in a child custody case
  • When you are accused of or are the victim of harassment at work
  • Planning your estate or will
  • Have a tax problem
  • Are accused of a crime

How a Lawyer Helps

Most lawyers offer a free consultation during which they’ll assess your situation. An attorney will determine if it’s worth your time and money to hire legal representation.

If your lawyer believes it’s to your advantage to take action, they will move into an in-depth evaluation of your circumstances. You’ll have a legal expert working on your behalf. The lawyer may investigate, interview witnesses, prepare documents and plan a strategy. Your attorney takes care of every aspect of your case. You’ll participate by providing information and materials as needed.

In some circumstances, after a consultation, a lawyer may determine that you don’t need representation or may refer you to another attorney better suited to your case.

Most criminal cases require the help of a lawyer, but some don’t. For example, many people choose to handle a traffic violation on their own. Some people also handle minor disputes on their own.

If you need a lawyer, contact our Vancouver, Washington office. We offer a free 30-minute consultation.

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