The Right to Legal Counsel

Under the United States Bill of Rights, no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law nor denied the equal protection of the laws. A person's right to counsel or attorney representation is inherent, this is contained in the Miranda Rights which are often said to the accused or arrested suspects.

In most TV shows in fact, as it is reflected in real life, the line, "You have the right to remain silent…" is familiar to a lot of people. But when the statement is continued, it also provides that, "You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you."

Having attorney representation is thus an extremely important aspect to every person's right of due process and equal protection of the laws. All people, whether they are the plaintiffs or defendants, whether in civil or criminal actions, would need the help of a legal counsel in order to attain justice. Going through the legal process however, entails not only attorney representation – in order to build or win a case, choosing the right lawyer is essential.

For all legal actions, there are lawyers who specialize and can adequately represent your needs. For example, as a car accident victim, you would need the services of a car accident attorney. For labor disputes or violations such as unpaid wages or overtime, an employment lawyer will also be able to represent you effectively.

However, bear in mind that all lawyers practice in their own states as states have different laws and statutes of limitations. Getting a lawyer who practices in your state is a must especially if you are serious in pursuing legal action.

Here are a few more tips to consider before choosing the right lawyer for you:

  • Consider your legal problem. As previously mentioned, it would be best to get the lawyer who specializes in the legal topic of your action. A car accident attorney may miss a lot of details necessary for victory in an employment case and vice versa.
  • Look for attorneys with legal experience – particularly those with a winning background. Ask your friends or other family members who may have faced the same legal dilemma you have if they know someone who's held and one the same case. Having a lawyer who's been around and who knows the ropes well can tip the odds of winning in your favor.
  • Compare prices and ask potential lawyers if they would agree to contingency fee basis. Instituting a lawsuit can entail a lot of money aside from your regular lawyer's fees. Take into consideration how much you can spend on your attorney representation as well as how long you can sustain payment.

Lawyers, for all their notoriety and bad press, are a very important part of the American legal system. They are the vanguards of your civil rights and without them, you will not be able to adequately defend yourself against accusations or even protect your rights.

Having legal counsel is your constitutionally-provided right while proper attorney representation is your privilege. So make sure that before you institute a legal action, you pick the right attorney.