How reliable is the internet in getting answers to legal questions? 4 Things you should know about how lawyers help
Most likely, you have just posted something on a public online forum, a board if you will, a message board and that means either you or someone you love has potentially some legal troubles or problems in the state of your North Carolina and you’re looking for answers.
As much as I appreciate people asking honest questions and we want to provide honest answers to them, frankly, the online venue just isn’t, I guess, really the best way to do that.
I understand why people want to ask questions, they’re afraid of getting a bill from a lawyer, they’re trying to get back on information, they don’t want get the hard sales pitch and I understand that.
I also understand that sometimes people just don’t have the financial resources and they’re having to research things online because they feel like they have to handle the matter themselves in court.
A couple of general comments.
Online, you’re never going to get a full or complete answer because the people answering your questions don’t generally know all the facts and you can write out a 20 page summary online and I’d still, as a lawyer, would want to ask you more questions because you may focus on one thing and we may think something else is more important.
The second point is that yes, you can handle these things by yourself but if you’re looking at the questions and posting questions, look at some of the prior ones and some of the prior answers and you will see a surprisingly, in fact, maybe shocking, number of inquiries where people are saying, “How do I undo this? It’s been so many years, how do I fix this? Can I do a motion for appropriate relief? Can I undo a ticket that I paid off?”
I see it day after day after day.
In some instances, you just can’t.
The third general point I want to go over with you is that while it may look easy and you may have had some anecdotal conversations with, I always say Uncle Freddie, “I’ll just go to court and say this and I’ll do that,” and I know in our culture nowadays that we just try to do everything online by ourselves and think we could handle it by just using our cellphone.
That’s not how court works.
That, specifically, not how criminal court works and there is a reason why lawyers go to law school and study as hard as they do and there’s a reason why there’s a bar exam at the end of that, it’s frankly very hard, and there is a reason why we go to training every year to keep current.
As much as you may not understand that that there are just sometimes where you should really seek out the guidance of an attorney, even if you want to try to handle it yourself.
That’s why, at least in our firm, we offer a free confidential consultation. It’s not wasting our time.
I don’t feel bad about providing information to people and I’m not going to twist your arm and try to sell you into retaining our services.
It is as a duty and responsibility as a professional and this is a profession, the law profession, I think it’s to share information where we may and to counsel people.
Because we’re not charging you for the consultation, maybe we can explain how different things work.
I promise you, if there are ways or times where we think you should just handle, for example, there are some traffic tickets that are pretty minor, we’ll tell you, “Hey, you should just do this one yourself,” or “You can handle this yourself,” or “This will or will not affect your insurance and you may not need a lawyer.”
Traffic is a good example because people just assume it’s no big deal and then they get that letter from the DMV.
Traffic is also a good example where it is like an iceberg, you see the top of it but below, it’s much, much larger, there’s a whole lot more going on.
I see posts on these public LISTSERV, these directory listings from very reputable national companies and there’s this assumption, and that’s my fourth point, that the system is always there just to make it easy on you and that you should just pick up a phone and get something handled.
That’s just not the case.
I recently saw a posting saying, “I want to use my PJC,” and that’s a little bit, again, not trying to be disrespectful, but putting the cart before the horse, you should not assume that just because you’ve heard of the term, that you’re entitled to one.
It’s not like something you keep in your wallet and you pull it out and you say, “Okay, here’s my one get out for free jail card.”
I had a person yesterday said, “I talked to my cousin and he said I get a PJC in a Driving While Impaired.”
No, you can’t. Appreciate your time in posting a question. I’d ask you to look at the answers.
You’re going to see, in this particular venue that you’re looking at, you’re probably going to see most of the answers most of the time being this, talk to a lawyer.
This is serious. It’s complicated, talk to a lawyer. It’s so common that it’s almost, as a professional, you just take your standard iPhone and you have it in a notepad and you just copy and paste and say, “Talk to a lawyer.”
Again, we’re here to help. We’re here to provide information and if we can help you, please give me a call, 704-342-HELP.
If we can point you in another direction, if you’re in another jurisdiction, maybe we don’t go there, we do travel to another state but there’s some matters that’s just not smart or wise financially for us to go there.
Maybe we can refer you to someone.
Give us a call, I look forward to hearing from you.
Reference 2018 : 1710I – 4 Things you should know about how lawyers help