Norfolk Law Firms

Norfolk Law Firms

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Norfolk Law Firms

A brief guide to Norfolk law firms

Regardless of the cause, at many points in your life you may begin considering the necessity of obtaining an attorney’s services. Norfolk law firms offer specialized expertise that can handle many different kinds of legal problems. While no two cases are exactly the same, here are some general guidelines to follow when seeking legal representation.

The structure of Norfolk law firms

Some attorneys work on their own and are known as “solo practitioners.” Many lawyers practice as part of a larger Norfolk law firm. These businesses are owned by “partners,” attorneys who divide the profits among themselves after paying their salaried staff members. Most Norfolk law firms employ two types of attorneys:

• Litigation lawyers review and create legally binding paperwork.

• Transactional lawyers present an argument on behalf of a client in court.

Norfolk law firms may only have a few members or have many employees. Large businesses will typically employ paralegals to help manage paperwork under an attorney’s supervision.

Criminal court

The most serious legal situations occur when someone is charged with a misdemeanor or felony by the police or a government agency. If convicted, a defendant may face a large financial penalty or jail time. Because of the seriousness of this legal process, all defendants are entitled to free legal counsel if they cannot afford to pay for assistance from a Norfolk law firm.

The criminal prosecution process begins with an arraignment hearing. At this time, the prosecution formally presents the charges against you. Afterwards, a Norfolk law firm representative can help guide you through the rest of the hearing:

• A plea bargain may be offered if you agree to plead “guilty” or “no contest.” If you decide plead “not guilty,” a court date will be scheduled. An attorney can help you decide how to respond.

• If bail has been set, an attorney will request that the amount be lowered.

When a court date is set, the pretrial process begins. During this time, Norfolk law firms will be required to regularly share any information they plan on presenting in court with the prosecution. In return, they will review the evidence that has been assembled against you. After reviewing the prosecution’s case, a Norfolk law firm may conclude that there is not enough evidence that could be reasonably be expected to lead a conviction and file a motion to dismiss the charges against you. A similar motion may be filed to dismiss any evidence which has been improperly obtained.

In the courtroom, Norfolk law firms will present the strongest possible argument on your behalf. At any time before a verdict is issued, it is possible for the prosecution and defense to present a mutually acceptable plea bargain agreement to a judge for approval. If you are found guilty, a lawyer will be present at your sentencing hearing to make the case for a lenient punishment.

Civil court

People who have a civil complaint filed against them are not entitled to free representation from a Norfolk law firm. Civil litigation requires both parties to either represent themselves or pay for an attorney’s services. The goal of most such lawsuits is to obtain financial compensation related to:

• An accident or injury caused by another person or a defective product

• The violation of a contract between two businesses

• Underpayment of worker wages

• Workplace sexual harassment

• Landlord-tenant disputes

Norfolk law firms representing both parties will conduct extensive negotiations through the pretrial process with the goal of crafting a mutually acceptable financial settlement.

If you are the victim of domestic abuse, you must file a complaint with the public prosecutor. Should that office decide not to file criminal charges, you may want to contact a Norfolk law firm that can help you go to civil court.

Family court

When a couple decides to get a divorce or two former spouses have a dispute related to child custody or similar issues, they may have to go to family court. Two spouses who can cooperate in drafting a separation agreement will not need to pay a Norfolk law firm to help them through the divorce process. This written document must detail how the couple plan to handle such issues as:

• Alimony payments

• Payments of jointly incurred debts

• Child custody arrangements

• Child support payments

• Visitation rights of the non-custodial parent

• Division of jointly owned property

When consensus cannot be reached on any of these issues, a mediator can act as a neutral third party during negotiations. If no resolution can be found, one or both spouses may choose to hire a Norfolk law firm experienced in handling divorce cases. This will greatly increase the cost of separation.

Hiring a Norfolk law firm

No professional relationship should begin in haste. If you decide you could benefit from the advice or representation of an attorney, figure out exactly what kind of specialized assistance you need and how much you are able to pay for it. Next, ask friends, family and co-workers for referrals to any Norfolk law firms that have successfully represented them and have experience with your kind of problem.

It may be necessary to meet with several attorneys before finding you feel will be trustworthy and competent. Prepare for all initial consultations with any Norfolk law firms by finding out who you will be speaking to and examining their disciplinary records online. Arrive with all documentation that has a bearing upon your case. An attorney may need to ask many additional questions before they can give a reasonable assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Answer any queries honestly and in as much detail as possible.

During your initial consultation, it is important to obtain a detailed, written estimate of how much you will be expected to pay to a Norfolk law firm for their assistance. Any attorney you speak with must explain any charges you do not understand.

 

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