Do I need a lawyer and can Legal Aid help?

In this age of the internet, when to stop asking ‘Dr Google’ and making an appointment with an actual GP can be a difficult step. After all, the internet is full of great, free information, and you can quite often get the reassurance or the advice you need without ever looking beyond your smartphone.

It’s the same for your legal issues. At some point in our lives, just like we need a trip to the doctor, there’s something that only a lawyer will know. But ‘Dr Google’ can still come to the rescue with a range of great advice that can actually work – saving you the cost of having to pay for a legal service.

So just like when you finally say ‘enough’ and head to an actual doctor, when do you reach the point of closing that Google window and seeking actual legal advice?

It’s a complicated question, and no set of clear rules for the answer.

A no single legal issue combined with your exact set of circumstances is identical to another, but also no set rules for when you really need legal help, it can be really difficult. However, as the law is complex and confusing, there really are times in which you should be seeking legal advice.

1. Signing a contract

Even if it’s a simple contract, signing one is a big step as it contains an issue to the four corners of that piece of paper. Are you sure the terms are fair and the document is legal? Once you actually sign, it could be too late.

2. Running a business

Having an ordinary job is one thing, but running a business whose success and income you need to rely on is quite another. Have you set it up right? Are you exposed to risks, fines or failure for getting something even slightly wrong? Is there some crucial legal information you need that you’ve completely forgotten about? Getting legal advice can help.

3. Settling an estate

The settling of an estate is an emotional time for everyone, especially when you need to consider potential investment benefits or the minimisation of tax consequences. A lawyer can help focus on the legal stuff so you can get on with what’s really important.

4. Family law issues

Separation and divorce is hard, and even if you’re handling it with care it can become immeasurably more difficult in the absence of a clear-headed expert. Involving a lawyer can make those decisions and disputes about investments, debt, living arrangements and children so much easier to handle.

5. Locked in a dispute

Particularly in family law issues, disputes that seem impossible to solve without professional help are extremely common. Child living arrangements and dividing up property and money are the most common issues, but expert dispute resolution can mean decisions are made that save everyone the cost and heartache of an ongoing drama.

6. Employment issues

As an employee, we have all felt aggrieved one at time or another. But some people are actually treated beyond the confines of the law, such as wrongful termination. A lawyer can assess the situation from both points of view and decide if there is a legal cause to pursue.

7. Money problems

We all know how important money is. So when you run aground and feel swamped by debt and hounded by the potential of bankruptcy and losing everything, a lawyer can open doors with preliminary information and options that you didn’t think existed.

8. Criminal law issues

Getting arrested by the police or being charged with a criminal offense can catch a huge amount of people off-guard. Criminal law is one of the most complex hot-beds of legal contention, given the potential penalties involved and the lives affected. A lawyer gives advice, guidance and options, so that every single angle is covered in a serious area of law.

9. Involved in a lawsuit

Sometimes, resolving a dispute amicably simply fails, and there is no other recourse than either filing a lawsuit or finding yourself at the receiving end of one. With a lawyer at your side, your personal, financial and even physical interests are protected in the best way possible.

As a general rule, as soon as you feel that your legal issue has swollen into areas that you don’t fully understand, it might be time to seek some professional advice. Delaying for too long could be the difference between tackling and containing a minor issue and letting a little bit of smoke develop into a raging fire.

If in doubt, try Legal Aid Perth

Did you know that in many cases, and particularly those that are particularly complex or serious, Legal Aid is an option? In a nutshell, Legal Aid Perth can:

1. Pay for your lawyer

As we’ve established above, having a great lawyer in your toolbox can be the difference between a swiftly resolved or ideally managed situation, and one that can spiral irrevocably out of control.

A grant of Legal Aid can actually foot the bill, whether it’s a lawyer from Legal Aid itself or legal representation from the private sector.

2. Give you legal advice

To determine if it’s an option for you, you’ll have to go through the process of applying for legal aid. The outcome could be that a lawyer is fully paid for, or you might be asked to make a contribution yourself.

If applying for legal aid runs aground, Legal Aid Perth might still be able to get you the help of a duty lawyer or provide some legal advice.

3. Answer questions

If you are going to rely on Dr Google for the answer to your legal question, do yourself a favour and head to Legal Aid Western Australia instead. In one easy place, a huge range of considered answers have been posted on just about every legal area imaginable (https://www.legalaid.wa.gov.au/find-legal-answers).

4. Point you elsewhere

If the Legal Aid option really is unavailable, there are other organisations out there that can help you with your issue. There are Community and Aboriginal Legal Services and Centres, the Law Society of WA, Law Access, and a range of other options from a long list (https://www.legalaid.wa.gov.au/get-legal-help/other-places-you-can-get-legal-help).

It’s important to realise that, as helpful Legal Aid Perth can often be, there is a limit to the information, advice, assistance and representation that is offered. Sometimes, considering your personal situation and your legal problem, heading straight to the office of a great lawyer is the only viable or wise option.

Even the most independent of people need help. When the pipes in your bathroom go bang, or your mobile phone won’t work, there can be no option other than to call in the professionals. Getting legal help at precisely the right moment is much more important than a swift call to the plumber, and yet it’s still something too much people put off until it’s too late.

Getting legal assistance simplifies seemingly complex issues, relieves stress, enforces your legal rights, maximises your chances of a positive outcome, and so much more! DTS Legal is passionate and concerned about whatever your legal matter might be – no matter how minor or serious it is in your mind. To check out the comprehensive range of specialist areas covered, head over to DTS Legal  right now, or get in touch to ask a question or call at +61892722799 to book a consultation. We can’t wait to help!