Times When You Should Have Your Attorney’s Number on Speed Dial
Depending upon what may be at stake, there are certain situations when you should definitely consider hiring an attorney, including if and when:
You are arrested. While this might seem obvious, some people fail to consult with a criminal defense attorney when they are arrested or taken into custody. This is your constitutional right, and as you’ve heard hundreds of times if you watch Law and Order reruns, “You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.”
You are served with any type of legal document. First, read the documents that have been served upon you, and then call an attorney. The attorney will help you prepare the requested reply, give you legal advice, ensure that all deadlines are met, and attend any court hearings with you to speak on your behalf.
You are entering into a contract. A business attorney should review any contract that has the potential to have a substantial impact on your finances, time or responsibilities to ensure that your interests are protected.
You are involved in an accident. Just as you are required to contact law enforcement after an accident that resulted in personal injury or property damage, you would be wise to consult with a personal injury attorney, particularly before giving any statements to insurance adjusters or signing any settlement agreements.
You are not being paid for the hours you have worked, including overtime. Under North Dakota law, it is illegal for any employer to willfully refuse to pay the wages due and payable, or falsely deny the amount due with the intent to annoy, harass, oppress, hinder, delay, or defraud an employee. An employment lawyer can help you collect the compensation you are owed.
You need a will and/or estate plan. Some people make a will without the assistance of an estate planning lawyer, but if you own property, a business, or have small children, a lawyer’s services may be warranted, at least to answer your questions and make sure that your will or estate plan is legally binding.
Your family status changes. If you are going through a divorce, assistance from a family law attorney can be critical, particularly if you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement regarding child custody, visitation, support, or property division.
While you may be able to deal with a legal issue without hiring a lawyer, remember the old saying, “When you represent yourself, you might have a fool for a client.” For outstanding legal advice in a wide variety of practice areas, contact O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss online or call 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002 (toll-free) today.