Do I Need An Attorney In Justice Court?

Daren Brown
By Daren Brown | March 21, 2019
The justice system is full of nuances. Perhaps nothing proves this statement more than Justice Court. A presiding judge and a court clerk rule and process cases for everything from civil matters, to juvenile delinquency, and small claims. It’s a lot to get your head around on a good day. If you are wondering whether or not you need an attorney in Justice Court, know this, advice and guidance from an experienced attorney will only serve to better your case.

How Can I Succeed in Justice Court?

Clients often take it upon themselves to take a crash course in state law when they bump up against the Texas Court System. They mistakenly think that simply “boning up” on pertinent statutes will adequately prepare them to plead their case unrepresented. As a result, they bite off more than they can chew, miss important details, and often fail to meet the burden of proof that’s legally required.

Success in Justice Court requires a finesse and knowledge base the average person doesn’t have. For instance:

  • Texas has the second highest car accident rate in the country. The only state to exceed that rate is California. This means the penalties for DUI’s and DWI’s are strict and severe.
  • Define the difference between a comparative fault state and a no-fault state. Demonstrate how this definition could affect the outcome of your case.
  • How does the law define a “family member” when filing for an Order of Protection?
  • Under what circumstances can an Order of Protection or a petition of divorce be expedited?
  • What fees are involved in collecting a judgment?

These are just a few of the areas where procedural requirements come into play.

Timelines also need to be followed to the letter. Things like:

  • When you can file for divorce and how long the average divorce takes
  • What you have to do to resolve a CPS case and when you have to do it
  • How long an Order of Protection lasts
  • The statute of limitations on a personal injury case
  • The expiration date on an Order of Judgment

An attorney has knowledge of intricacies and requirements you may not be aware of.

Will I Be Treated Fairly?

Don’t expect your lack of knowledge to win you any grace with the courts.  Every person, represented or not, is charged with providing the same evidence as lawyers do. They also have to follow the same rules and procedures regardless of their level of legal training. That’s why proper legal representation is highly recommended in Justice Court cases.

Even if you choose to go against legal advice and you wish to represent yourself in court; at least consult with an attorney about the details of your case.  Stockard, Johnston, Brown & Netardus, P.C. in Amarillo, Texas is a versatile choice. The firm can outline the ramifications that you face and help you develop a legal stratagem to avoid those ramifications.

You always have the option to forego proving your own case and hiring the firm to counsel and represent you.

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photo credit: elycefeliz via photopin cc

Topics: Law