If you are involved in a legal situation, you may be experiencing some stress and worries. The feelings of tension can be compounded by bewilderment over the legal process. Empower yourself and take charge of the situation by arming yourself with knowledge. Being aware of the options available to you and the steps to take can help you to stay calm and in control.
Review the Information
No one wants to be notified of an impending court date or summons. They are, however, common if you are dealing with an issue such as child support, claims, or a dispute over a contract or property.
The first step that you should take is to review all documents and information and familiarize yourself with the case. Determine if the reason behind the summons is valid, and what your involvement is. Are you being summoned to resolve an old debt or finalize child support and custody arrangements? Have you been accused of a crime? You could simply be called as a witness and need to give testimony or a deposition.
If you have been involved in an ongoing court case, you can request a copy of the transcript completed by the court reporters Phoenix. This can provide you with background information so you know where the case currently stands. It’s also helpful for any legal counsel that you have.
Arm Yourself With Knowledge
After you have identified what is happening and confirmed that the notice is valid, you should prepare yourself by gaining as much knowledge as possible. You can contact the court and ask questions about what to expect and what documentation or resources you should bring with you. Verify the date and time of your appearance so you arrive in time.
Prepare any paperwork that you have been notified to bring. Take along a notebook to any meetings and to the courtroom itself so you can write down important information. Dress appropriately and be respectful to all parties involved.
You can also reach out to the party that filed the claim or lawsuit in some cases. If the issue involves an outstanding debt that you may have forgotten about or were unable to pay previously, speak with them and see if an agreement can be reached and the issue settled out of court. You may be able to pay the balance owed or set up a payment plan and have the lawsuit dropped.
Seek Legal Counsel
Hiring a good lawyer is one of the best things you can do if you find yourself facing a legal matter. Whether you are being charged with something you have not done, or need to resolve a past infraction, your counsel can advise you on the correct way to handle the entire process and give you advice.
Their job is to speak on your behalf to present evidence and refute any wrong claims. Work with your lawyer and be honest and thorough. They should know all of the details of the situation so they can gather the resources they need, identify relevant witnesses, and come up with the best plan of action.
Be Prepared for Likely Outcomes
Your lawyer can help you to prepare for what to expect. You may be facing a fine or a stricter sentence, depending on what the complaint is. It is possible that you could accept a plea bargain before the case goes to trial, or if an agreement can be made during an initial hearing. A lawyer can help to mediate and come up with a solution that both parties can agree to out of court.
If you are unable to resolve the situation in advance, make sure that you appear for the court date. Not showing up can result in a warrant for your arrest, or having the case resolved in the other party’s favor. It’s best to face the situation to get it resolved.
Once you know more about what is expected from you and how to handle it, you will feel much more at ease with the situation. Legal matters can be challenging, but with the right help and information, you can work toward a positive outcome and resolve your situation through the proper channels.