Many purchases and other endeavors require the aid of lawyers, financial consultants, inspection agents, bankers, and more. A criminal defense attorney may negotiate in criminal court for their client to have an ignition interlock device installed in their car, in place of a jail term. Or, credit card debt may lead to serious financial trouble that calls for some legal advice. In fact, even tenants can turn to legal advice if their landlord unfairly kicks them out of their residence, or if they spot health hazards such as exposed asbestos or mold growth. In what other scenarios might you want to get some solid legal advice?
Many Americans face criminal charges every single day, and many of these crimes involve the road and motor vehicles. It is an unfortunate truth that while most drivers are safe and responsible on the road, some are not. Some drivers are impaired with drugs or alcohol, or in rare cases, they hit someone or something on purpose. Drunk driving, or DUI, is a common and serious crime that calls for some legal advice on the accused’s part. What do the statistics show? Each year, some 1.4 million Americans are arrested for driving drunk or under the influence of drugs, and all these drunk driving cases cost the U.S. $51 billion every single year. It is also believed that 50-75% of all drunk drivers are operating on a suspended license.
A drunk driver has impaired coordination, judgment, and reflexes, and this makes them drive erratically and sloppily on the road, increasing the chances of hitting another car or a pedestrian. Police officers do their best to spot and pull over drunk drivers, but they can’t arrest them all, so other drivers should be on the lookout. It may also be noted that just the act of driving drunk is a major offense, whether or not that drunk driver caused any property damage or injuries. Such injuries may range from heavy contusions to broken bones, concussions, and damaged internal organs, or even worse.
Suppose you have been arrested for drunk driving and now face criminal charges. You may struggle in a court of law alone, so you may seek out legal advice from criminal defense law firms. In fact, since drunk driving is such a common offense, many criminal law firms specialize in such cases. You can find these law firms online or through ads, and consult the lawyers working at those firms (this may or may not incur a fee) and hire one whose expertise and experience are to your liking. With such legal advice and counsel on hand, you can navigate a court of law more easily, and your lawyer can argue to have some charges dropped or changed or lesser ones.
No outcome can be guaranteed here, but in some cases, heavy penalties such as jail time or losing your license may be exchanged for lighter fines and having an ignition interlock device installed in your car. This is a popular compromise, and some courts might also require you to undergo court-mandated rehab. Bear in mind that tampering with or damaging the ignition interlock device may result in heavy penalties. And if you so choose, you may have a fake plastic cup fitted over the device’s breathalyzer tube, to disguise it as a convenience store drink. Some people do this to avoid any embarrassment or stigma of using a car breathalyzer.
To continue the topic of car accidents, a victim who suffered bodily injuries from a car incident may want to take legal action against the at-fault party. In some cases, you may have suffered from permanent injuries that will prevent you from performing paying work in the future, which is a serious blow to your financial life. Your medical bills may also be quite high, not to mention the costs of repairing or replacing your car. But pursuing litigation alone may prove difficult, so you can get legal advice from personal injury attorneys. You can find them online and consult various lawyers (there might be a fee), and hire one for your case.
A lawyer can help you in all sorts of ways. For one thing, the legal advice they offer is based on experience with traffic laws, and a lawyer’s legal advice will clarify many points and arguments that you wouldn’t figure out on your own. Also, your lawyer will have a clear and objective view on the case, while you may be too emotionally charged and subjective to build a solid case alone. During litigation or court, such legal advice can also help you overcome complications such as if the at-fault party’s insurance company is refusing to cooperate or if they try to stonewall you. Your attorney’s legal advice can also see you through complex cases where there are multiple parties, and blame must be assigned and compensation money distributed fairly.
Marriage is one of the oldest and most universal institutions in the entire world, and divorce is the legal end of a marriage. Today in the United States, it is believed that around 40% of all marriages end in divorce, and the spouses may hire divorce mediators or lawyers to assist them. Many studies show why Americans get divorced, and which factors may make marriage more likely or less likely to end this way. Often, well-educated spouses divorce less often, and a first marriage faces lower odds of divorce than a second or third marriage. Regardless, divorce lawyers are still very much in demand.
Why do divorces happen? Often, a marriage ends because one spouse commits infidelity and is caught, and marriage counseling fails to save the marriage. In other cases, one of the spouses has been abusing drugs or alcohol, which can put a financial strain on the family and cause personality changes. In yet other cases, one spouse has been abusive toward other members of the household. Whatever the reason may be, one spouse will turn to divorce law firms, consult the lawyers there, and hire one. Now, they will file divorce paperwork, and the other spouse may end up hiring their own lawyers to defend their interests.
During a divorce, the spouses will listen closely to the legal advice of their respective lawyers and divvy up any assets in the relationship, ranging from a house or vacation home to a car, RV, jewelry, bank accounts, and even a privately owned business. Child custody lawyers will likely be hired if there are children under the age of 18 in the household, and while nothing is being guaranteed here, a spouse may be more likely to win custody if they have a stable income and have not demonstrated abusive behavior toward anyone. Children aged 12 and over have the option to speak to the judge privately about their living situation preferences.
Take note that legal advice can apply for your life after divorce as well. Your financial life may be much better or worse than before the divorce, and especially in cases where your income and saving are lower, you may want legal advice and financial advice to keep your household in good shape. What happens now? In some cases, your spouse moved out, and in other cases, you are the one who is relocating. Post-divorce adults are known to adjust their lifestyle during this time, ranging from selling a car for money all the way to buying a new car or getting plastic surgery or Botox injections. Often, adults who divorced will invest in themselves both physically and mentally, so they can have self-confidence and look good to the people around them. This is why they may get cosmetic surgery done, invest in Botox or other fillers, buy new clothes, or start working out and adjust their diet.
Everyone wants the security of a healthy bank account, stable income, and low credit card interest rates, or low mortgage interest rates. But suppose your financial life has taken a turn for the worse, such as if you lost your job or needed expensive surgery or had a bank levy happen? Many Americans struggle with debt, from auto loans to mortgage to credit card debt, and some people are known to take out new loans to pay off older ones, thus creating a cycle of debt. And what is a bank levy, anyway? This is a legal action when a creditor (such as the IRS or a credit card issuer) forces your bank to withdraw money from your account to help pay off an outstanding debt. Some creditors must first sue you in court and win in order to do this. The problem is that the debt is not being paid off on your own terms, and the bank levy might leave you without enough money for necessities such as rent, medications, groceries, and the like. Wage garnishing is a related concept, where the money is taken out of your paychecks to cover a debt. If this has happened to you, you are urged to get legal advice and financial advice at once and try to reverse the levy. You will have a fairly short window of opportunity, however, so be ready to act right away.
If you are not paying off a mortgage for a house, then you are probably paying rent instead. Many Americans rent their living spaces, such as young adults who cannot yet afford a house or those who don’t like the permanence of owning property. Ideally, you (the renter) and your landlord will get along and treat each other fairly, and both parties have an invested interest in keeping the other happy. Investors and owners also tend to use apps and websites to help them manage finances and maintenance for their properties and rent collection.
What might go wrong? For example, the landlord has been negligent about the repair and upkeep of the property, resulting in personal injury on your part, or perhaps your pet became injured or your own property has become damaged. Some apartments or rented houses may have serious cases of mold that can cause illness or allergies, or there are exposed nails or staples that can cut or puncture your skin, causing injury. In other cases, faulty electrical sockets or exposed wires caused an electric shock, or the building’s security is poor and a burglar was able to break in and steal your possessions. Or, perhaps the building has unsafe amounts of exposed asbestos, and you suffered illness from that. You may hire a lawyer who can give you legal advice on pursuing litigation against your landlord for negligence, often based on the value of your lost or damaged property or injuries that you have sustained.
Perhaps your landlord has evicted you for unfair reasons or is unfairly trying to force you to move out. For example, a landlord may not shut off utilities or change locks to pressure you into leaving the property, but some try this anyway, and you can take legal action in that case. Or, if you believe your landlord has evicted you for personal reasons or as discrimination, you can get legal advice for litigation against that, too. For example, your landlord tried to evict you due to your real or perceived ethnic identity/race, sex, sexual orientation, religious faith, or physical or mental disability (such as high functioning autism, among others).
Finally, you ought to consider getting legal advice for writing a legally binding will and testament for yourself, especially if you are middle-aged or over. Many Americans neglect to write a will and thus don’t have one, but this is a bad situation to be in. Some people believe that their estate is too small to bother with in a will, or they procrastinate and end up forgetting to have a will written at all. But if you pass on without a will in place, your money, possessions, or privately owned business are open to being abused by just about anyone. Your creditors may take everything you have to cover outstanding debts, or dishonest family members may take it all. This is not to be desired.
So, you can hire an estate lawyer, who will help you write down a legally binding and well-worded will, and help you decide what exactly it should say. You may choose your various possessions and sums of money and who they will go to, and this can protect you from creditors who will want to claim everything for themselves. What is more, you can appoint an adult as the guardian for the share of someone under the age of 18, until they reach their majority.