One often asked question is “Do I need a lawyer” and, if so, “when“?
To be honest, if you’re asking the question, then the answer to the first question is almost certainly ‘yes‘, and ‘yesterday‘ to the second.
Although on the TV a lawyer can pick up a case in the morning and go straight off to do a trial, in practice this is no longer possible (it doesn’t stop people trying unfortunately). Apart from the simplest of cases, there will be disclosure to be obtained from the the CPS, witnesses to be spoken to, and investigations to be undertaken. If you speak to a lawyer the day before your trial, then sure they will do their best. And sometimes their best will be enough to win, but not always.
To give yourself the best chance to win, get in early. Not only will this give enough time to prepare the case to put yourself in the best possible position to win, it will actually probably be cheaper. That sounds counter-intuitive, but if there’s an urgency then diaries will need to be rearranged, etc, etc, and it is likely that you will be charged more.
The worst thing that can happen is you’re told it’s too early – come back in a month, or when you’re charged by the police, or something like that. You probably won’t have to pay for that either.