Asking for help is hard- no one wants to admit that they need help. Whether you are charged with a criminal or traffic offense, file for a divorce, or other civil claim, trying to navigate the court system on your own is much like trying to learn a new language- you can probably do it, but you are going to fail much more often than you will succeed. Couple those failures with the fact that you do not get unlimited attempts to get everything just right (remember, real life does not come with a reset button!) before the Court issues a ruling, and you can easily see how overwhelming even a "simple" matter can become. When your rights and liberties are at stake, wouldn't you want to know what you are getting into? No one buys a car nowadays without researching- heck, no one buys or does much of anything without researching on the internet! So, why should you do anything different when you need legal help?
The good news is there are people to turn to- your local attorney! There are lots of options, and there is no "one size fits all" attorney. Most attorneys offer free or low cost consultations, and if you or the attorney don't feel like you are the right fit for each other, there is no obligation to choose that attorney. Feel free to "shop" your attorney- make some calls, do some office visits, pick the attorney that not only will work for you, but will work with you. Choosing an attorney is an expensive decision, and one that should not be made lightly.
When should you contact an attorney? At the point where you are asking this question, you have reached the point where you need to contact an attorney. And that's okay- every attorney is also known as "Counselor", and each attorney I know does their job because they want to help people. So go ahead, shop around, meet some attorneys, and get the help you need.