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Do You Need a Lawyer in Pennsylvania?
There are a variety of reasons you might need to find a lawyer in Pennsylvania, from facing criminal charges to filing a lawsuit or even just buying a house.
If you are facing criminal charges, it is extremely important to be represented by skilled legal counsel. Not only can retaining an experienced criminal defense attorney increase your chances of a favorable outcome if your case does go to trial (improving your odds of attaining an acquittal), but also if you opt to negotiate a plea deal or to plead guilty, a lawyer can ensure you are treated fairly within the boundaries of the law.
On the other hand, if you are looking to file a legal claim of any sort, it is equally advisable to find a Pennsylvania lawyer familiar with your type of legal matter. Attorneys have spent years (if not decades) of their lives in pursuit of the knowledge and skills necessary to best represent their clients in court proceedings. Legal jargon, obscure precedent, existing and newly passed statutes and other elements of the legal process demand that a professional lawyer is always capable of seeking the best possible outcome.
Can I Represent Myself in Pennsylvania?
While representing yourself in court can sound like a good idea on the surface, particularly given the relative cost of retaining legal counsel, it is almost universally considered to be a poor idea. No amount of quick research can act as a substitute for the skills and experience that lawyers attain through working several years in the court system.
How Much Does a Lawyer Cost in Pennsylvania?
An average range for attorney's fees in Pennsylvania — at least when billed by the hour — can be anywhere between $150 for lawyers just getting their start in the business to $600 for more prestigious individuals or firms.
In Pennsylvania, per-hour attorney fees have a tighter average of $200 to about $350 per hour, with criminal defense lawyers being less expensive to retain than intellectual property lawyers or labor lawyers.
In certain cases, including the common practice of personal injury law, attorneys may waive a per-hour or flat fee in favor of a contingency fee. If you are injured in a car accident in which another driver is absolutely determined to have been at fault — or admits fault — a personal injury lawyer will generally work for a percentage of your eventual settlement.
What Types of Cases Does a Pennsylvania Lawyer Take?
In Pennsylvania, as in other states, nearly every sort of offense can be charged against defendants. Driving while under the influence, simple or aggravated assault, drug-related felonies and misdemeanors and fraud or financial crimes are common types of cases to see in the court docket.
A lawyer in Pennsylvania might cover criminal cases, civil disputes and divorce proceedings as well.
If you are considering retaining a lawyer, either as a plaintiff or as a defendant, make sure that the attorney(s) you are working with fits both your budget as well as your specific needs for your unique casework. While some lawyers do have a broad and general knowledge of law as a whole, most attorneys and firms specialize in a particular category of law.
How to Find a Lawyer in Pennsylvania
To find a Pennsylvania lawyer, you might have to first consider your budget. Lawyers' fees can sometimes be high, and so you'll need to do some research to guarantee that you can afford the attorney you'd like to retain.
More research will also be needed, via Google and from trusted contacts, as well as via the Pennsylvania Bar Association, to get an idea of the lawyer's experience.