When is the best time to hire a lawyer?
Do I need a lawyer to start a business?
Do I need a lawyer to help with my claim against an insurance company?
Do I need a lawyer for my divorce?
Do I need a lawyer to form a corporation or other business entity in Florida?
Do I need a lawyer to fight a DUI in Florida?
Do I need a lawyer when I get a traffic ticket in Miami or Fort Lauderdale?
Do I need a lawyer if the police think I committed an illegal act?
Do I need a lawyer if I'm going to conduct business internationally?
Do I need a lawyer if I failed to appear in criminal court or if there is a bench warrant out on me?
Do I need a lawyer if I have been accused of violating my probation?
Do I need a lawyer if my visitation rights with my kids are being disregarded?
Do I need a lawyer if my spouse is going to move my kids out of state?
Do I need a lawyer if a person or business owes me money and isn't paying me?
Do I need a lawyer if my spouse is beating me up?
We, at the Law Offices of Eric A. Kay, P.A. have assembled a network of some of the best professionals in the South Florida area with the goal of providing you with a one stop solution for most of your legal needs. No matter what legal issue you are facing, call us at 954-330-8994 and we will provide you with a free initial consultation. If the nature of your legal requirements are not within the scope of our areas of concentration, we will in most cases still be able to help you find a great attorney who has the right training and experience for you.
When is the best time to hire a lawyer? [top]
Almost without any exception, you should call a lawyer at the first thought that you have a legal matter to deal with. In many, if not most cases, early engagement of qualified legal representation will save you both time and money later.
For instance, if you are somehow involved in a criminal matter in the Miami or South Florida area, you don't want to make statements and provide anything to the police that may come back to hurt you in the future. The same thing is true when you are dealing with an insurance claims adjuster or even in a business dispute. Give us the facts so that we can help you plan an effective strategy that will provide the best results possible.
Finally, when planning an international deal, opening a business locally, or starting a divorce, we can help you to prevent future catastrophes by being involved early, to help you put effective strategies in place right away.
Do I need a lawyer to start a business? [top]
When starting a business in South Florida, you are faced with a complex set of issues including what business permits will be applicable, what taxes may affect your business, what decisions to make as to corporate structure, and what terms should be included as to contracts with product and service providers. We can help you before you even have your first customer. The money you spend up front and advice you receive will often pay huge dividends later.
You can start a business in South Florida or elsewhere without an attorney, but the result might be similar to building a house without a contractor. Eventually you may get it right, but the process is likely to include a great deal of time and frustration due to fixing mistakes along the way.
Do I need a lawyer to help with my claim against an insurance company? [top]
When you are injured in Florida and need to talk to a claims adjuster of any insurance company, whether it is your insurance company or the insurance company of the person or entity that caused your injury, you are dealing with someone whose job it is to keep the value of your claim as low as possible.
Call us ASAP and let us advise you on the real value of your case and help you to maximize the eventual compensation you are entitled to.
Do I need a lawyer for my divorce? [top]
In the State of Florida you can get a divorce without a lawyer. And if you have limited assets or liabilities and no children, it may be an acceptable decision to proceed without an attorney. Even in this scenario however, you may want to retain an attorney to help you to finalize an uncontested divorce as this will usually save you a great deal of time and effort, setting your mind free to concentrate on the road ahead.
However, if you have substantial assets or debts, or if one spouse is the major breadwinner, or where there are minor children involved, you should hire a lawyer AS SOON AS, or even prior to, your decision to divorce. It is generally a bad idea to have your unhappy spouse lawyer up before you do.
Do I need a lawyer to form a corporation or other business entity in Florida? [top]
If you have spent a substantial amount of time studying the benefits of various types of business entities, consulted at length with your CPA or other financial advisor about the tax and other financial considerations specific to your case, and believe that you have a clear understanding of the rules you must follow during and after incorporation as a "C", sub S, or LLC, then you can probably get by without legal consultation.
However, there are significant legal complexities to even sole proprietorships and simple partnerships that left unattended, can cause great loss in the future. In other words, you can set up any of these entities without a lawyer, but often, you should not.
Do I need a lawyer to fight a DUI in Florida? [top]
Absolutely! When you are charged with a DUI, depending on your history, you are facing loss of your driver's license, loss of a great deal of money, and your liberty could be at stake. While you can legally represent yourself, you may be giving up legal defenses that could result in a reduction or even dismissal of the charges. Let our experience help you. We will analyze the facts of your case and aggressively contest the evidence against you, to provide you with every advantage to minimize the impact on your life.
Do I need a lawyer when I get a traffic ticket in Miami or Fort Lauderdale? [top]
Most citizens just pay their tickets or go to traffic school. Depending on the circumstances, a ticket can be very expensive, and can cost you additionally later in higher insurance premiums. The cost of involving a lawyer in Miami or Fort Lauderdale to fight your ticket is generally quite low and will commonly save you money. In many cases the sanctions imposed by the Court will be reduced, and we also obtain dismissals for many of our clients based on procedural defects with the citation. Our initial consultation is free, so you should at least call us for advice when you receive a ticket or traffic citation.
Do I need a lawyer if the police think I committed an illegal act? [top]
The police are not your friends when it comes to a criminal investigation. When police question you, it is for the purpose of collecting evidence against you, and not to consider all the merits of why you may be innocent. They are in the business of closing cases and not determining why you should be given the benefit of the doubt. If the police want to question you about a crime, whether at the scene, your home, your place of work, or at the station, invoke your right to counsel and call us immediately.
Do not give the police a statement until you speak with us. Anything you say can and will be used against you. Whether you are innocent, wrong place at wrong time, or guilty, don't help the very people who are trying to arrest you to do just that. After hearing the individual facts of your case, we will give you experienced direction on whether to cooperate and how much to say. In most cases, we will do all of the talking for you.
Do I need a lawyer if I'm going to conduct business internationally? [top]
If you are currently buying products or services from another country, selling your products or services to a business in another country, or entering into financial dealings that cross national borders, it is likely that these transactions will be subject to the laws of a foreign jurisdiction.
Likewise, when you or your business enters into an agreement or contract with an offshore individual or other entity, your ability to enforce that contract and/or the enforcement measures available to the entity with whom you have contracted may be governed by the local law of that foreign jurisdiction. As such, you should always consult with a lawyer regarding these issues and protecting your rights.
Do I need a lawyer if I failed to appear in criminal court or if there is a bench warrant out on me? [top]
While you can represent yourself in these situations, it is strongly discouraged as your freedom is at risk in either case. You may also be subject to substantial monetary penalties. We can help by arguing the pertinent facts of why the court should exercise leniency and allow you to remain out on bond, rather than placing you in jail or financially penalizing you. Call us today for a free consultation to discuss your options.
Do I need a lawyer if I have been accused of violating my probation? [top]
If you have violated your probation and are either already incarcerated or in danger of being returned to jail or prison, you need a lawyer. We will be able to help you determine the best course of action to defend against the allegations. We have helped a large number of defendants to be reinstated on their probation, rather than face the jail or prison time recommended by their probation officer or the prosecuting attorney. Give us a call to discuss the allegations and your options. Our goal is to keep you from landing behind bars.
Do I need a lawyer if my visitation rights with my kids are being disregarded? [top]
It depends on the facts. Is your spouse deliberately keeping the kids away? Is the situation recurring? You don't want to stir the pot if it is an occasional slip or test. But if your rights are being violated, you can always call to get an opinion about what your next steps should be.
Do I need a lawyer if my spouse is going to move my kids out of state? [top]
Relocation of minor children in Florida to a location outside of Florida must be approved by a local court if the parties do not agree. Typically, most courts rightfully believe that a child is better off with the benefit of having contact with both parents on a normal basis. Thus, if one parent desires to move a minor child to another state or country, and both parents currently reside in Florida, the court will apply a set of statutory factors in order to determine whether such a relocation is in the best interests of the minor child or children involved. These statutory factors are numerous and you should have a lawyer familiar with the standards that the court will apply on your side. If your spouse has already left the jurisdiction with your children and not applied for permission from the court, you may be entitled to an emergency pickup order to return your children. Call us for more information today.
Do I need a lawyer if a person or business owes me money and isn't paying me? [top]
If the amount is small, you should probably try small claims court first. If the debtor has no money or other resources to repay, and is unlikely to have any resources in the future, it may be futile. However, for amounts over $5,000 you may in many circumstances find it quite advantageous to contact us for help in collecting the money owed to you.
Collection is a three step process. First we can attempt to impress upon them that you are serious through the use of a lawyer demanding the sum from them. If this initial process is not successful, we can proceed to sue the individual or business and obtain a monetary judgement against them. If this sum is still not paid, through our collection partners we can determine the availability of cash and other assets to seize in order to repay you. While these matters can be handled without counsel, your interests are best served with competent and experienced legal representation on your side.
Do I need a lawyer if my spouse is beating me up? [top]
Physical abuse is something that should never be tolerated. If you need help, you may consider visiting the domestic violence intake unit for your county and filling out paperwork to obtain a restraining order. While each county has procedures in place to help victims of domestic violence proceeding without an attorney, proper legal representation can have a far reaching effect on protecting your interests. Having a skilled attorney on your side will help you to understand all the options available, and often give you a better chance of prevailing in court by properly presenting your evidence where the cases are typically "he said, she said" matters where the sitting judge has to make a credibility determination as to the parties involved.