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Frequently Asked Questions 

These answers of frequently asked questions are provided for your reference only. Here are answers to some common questions. Please visit our contact form if you need more information. The lawyers at John Best Law in Washington County can help!

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Should I be represented by a lawyer?

This is the first question you should ask yourself. In some cases you may be able to handle the problem without hiring a lawyer. If the issue is simple and can be handled without the advice of a lawyer then you may be able to find the forms and resources to help you online. However, if the situation involves a major problem like being involved in a lawsuit, custody dispute, or being charged with a crime you probably need a lawyer.

What kind of Lawyer do I need?

Lawyers can focus in one or several areas of the law. General practitioners often have a broad range of legal issues that they can assist you with. If your legal issue involves a specialized area of law like criminal, family, real estate, bankruptcy, taxation or patent law then you may be better off to contact a lawyer for that specific area of law. If your legal issue is somewhat simple and basic then a general practice lawyer should be able to help you.

How much do lawyers charge?

There are several different types of fee arrangements including hourly, flat fees, and contingent fees. Hourly fees are calculated by multiplying the amount of hours an attorney works on your case by the attorney’s hourly rate. Contingent fees are fees that allow the attorney to receive a certain agreed upon percentage of any judgment amounts received by you. A flat rate places a set price for the services an attorney will provide to you. Attorney fees are usually calculated without including court costs and filing fees that are usually paid up front by the client.

What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

A misdemeanor is a crime that is punishable by up to twelve months in the county jail and/or a monetary fine.  A felony is a more serious crime that is punishable by more than one year in state prison. 

What are my Miranda Rights?

A Miranda warning must be given by police to individuals who are in custody before they may be interrogated. The basic warning is:

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney and to have that attorney present during questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. Do you understand these rights?"

Whether Miranda warnings were required or given in a sufficient manner can be complicated issues that require an attorney to litigate.

How long does it take to get divorced in Wisconsin?

Tipically a person cannot obtain a divorce until at least 120 days have passed from the date both parties receive notice that a divorce action is pending.  Traditional divorces can take as long as necessary, but most divorces are wrapped up within 12 months.  If there are bitter custody or property disputes, it is not unusual for the process to last an additional 6-12 months beyond the standard one year mark.  In Collaborative Divorce, it is not unusual for the divorce to be finalized around the 6 month mark.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is an alternative, during divorce, for finding solutions to issues such as child custody and spousal support. A mediator is neutral and does not represent either party. In Divorce Mediation, the mediator facilitates the discussions between the two parties by assisting with communication and providing information and suggestions to help resolve differences. Mediation can save time, litigation, and money, and is confidential and fair to all concerned.


Call or contact West Bend Lawyers at The Law Office of John A. Best for your initial consultation. We can help.