I have worked in the human services field for years and I am well aware of the fact that most people don’t know that there are legal aid services available. When people need legal advice they can turn to a variety of legal aid services. Most of the states in the US offer legal aid services to people who cannot afford to pay for lawyers. In each state there is a different division of legal aid services, they may be located by regions, counties or cities. It is good to know that legal aid services include many different services.
Usually when you need to have an attorney answer a specific question over the phone, you don’t have to pay for their services. However, you should be very careful and absolutely sure that you are speaking with the right guy. For example, if you need a legal advice about a crime you shouldn’t talk to a real estate attorney and in case you need information about taxes a criminal attorney won’t help you. It is vital to know that each area of legal service is divided into areas of expertise.
In case talking over the phone is not good enough, then you will have to hire the attorney to help you solve your case. This is when you can turn to the legal aid services in your state. You can get legal advice and representation at a discounted price or sometimes completely free of charge if you are not able to pay anything. There are states which provide public defenders for criminal cases. Sometimes these services are divided into separate offices. In some states legal aid services handles only civil matters and family court cases. For instance, the legal aid service in my city offers help for divorces for women who are victims of domestic violence. The local office also protects the civil rights of vulnerable adults.
Maybe you are wondering how legal aid services can be free of charge. This is possible when the attorneys working on the case do the work pro bono which means that they donate their time to represent the person in court. Sometimes local or state governments hire attorneys to provide services to individuals in the community. It is great that there are legal aid services because this is the only chance that the poor will be able to protect their rights and will get legal advice. However, when you turn to the local legal aid services office you should be ready for long waiting as the attorneys working there have very heavy case loads.
Before any attorney in such offices provide you with whatsoever legal service you will have to give your financial information in beforehand to insure you qualify for legal aid services. There are different income guidelines for the different states. If you go to one of the offices for legal aid services you will also be informed if they can take the particular case that you need legal representation for or not.