Some people think they can handle small legal matters on their own, without legal advice from a licensed attorney. Two areas of the law where this belief is common are traffic law and estate law. The benefits of hiring a lawyer in these areas, however, are great while the risks of going without one are even greater.

Everyone makes mistakes. Most people are likely to end up in traffic court at some point during their driving careers whether it’s because of speeding ticket or being involved in a collision. If this happens to you in Salem, a qualified traffic lawyer can help reduce the consequences of your mistake.

For example, if you are charged with reckless driving in Salem (which is considered as a Class 1 misdemeanor), a local attorney who knows the ropes can get that charge reduced to “Improper Driving” just by talking to the judge and convincing him or her that the driver was not as culpable as to deserve the reckless driving charge. Improper driving is not a misdemeanor and carries a maximum fine of $500 – much less than what you could owe if convicted of reckless driving. A traffic lawyer can reduce the consequences of many other traffic violations as well.

A lawyer who is experienced in the area of estate law will also give you invaluable advice. The Virginia Bar Association recommends that every competent adult have a will. Some people may believe they can draw up a will on their own, but there are far too many detailed requirements for a will in Virginia to trust anyone but a practicing Salem estate lawyer to advise you and make sure that your estate is in order. In fact, the Virginia State Bar also says that only a practicing attorney from reputable practices like The Law Office of Matthew T. Schottmiller, PLLC is qualified to provide you with the advice necessary to make sure that your will and other estate documents meet all legal requirements and avoid common pitfalls.

If you are in Salem, an estate lawyer from the area will know the local and state rules and be able to ensure that your documents are all in order. Hiring a lawyer to assist with your estate planning will provide peace of mind while you are alive and ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes upon your death.

Don’t try to tackle these difficult situations on your own. Make sure you have a good lawyer by your side.

Article IV. – Operation of Vehicles, MuniCode
Wills in Virginia, Virginia State Bar

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