There are a number of people, who seek out free legal advice, because of a lack of ability to pay the fees it would take to ask a lawyer for advice and representation concerning the legal issues at hand. The program for free legal aid was created so that those with limited resources available to them could still have access to the legal system. Without access to free or low cost services, a number of people would be without access to the legal system. There are ways to locate no cost or low cost legal assistance in your local area.
How do you find free legal aid?
The phone books yellow pages will give you listings so you can ask a lawyer if they do work pro bono or have affiliations with legal aid programs. The local court house might also have a list of attorneys that meet the criteria you need. Checking with legal aid associations can also assist you in locating a lawyer that will help you with your case at no cost to you provided you meet the criteria they have set for such matters. Word of mouth is another option if you know someone has utilized legal aid that is free of charge in the past you can ask them about the process.
Asking friends and family not only helps increase the chances of finding out about the services in your area, but they can help you to figure out exactly what questions to consult a lawyer prior to deciding if they are going to be able to adequately handle the situation for you. Those with an income that is at or below one hundred and twenty five percent of the federal poverty level can obtain free legal aid.
What you need when applying for free legal advice
Prior to your visit to consult a lawyer about legal services you will need to gather some items for the visit which include Proof of identification. This can be a passport, birth certificate or drivers license. Documentation that is related to the case. Such as divorce papers, separation agreements or court orders. Any documentation you have would be helpful when going to consult a lawyer about the aspects of the case. Free legal aid requires that you show proof of the financial situation. These can include check stubs from welfare or work income, employment insurance statements; anything that you have to prove how much you make. Expense should also be shown in order to see if you qualify for free legal advice. Receipts for items such as the mortgage/ rent, canceled checks for items such as car payments, the bill for car insurance and statements for any credit cards will all fall into the area of expenses.
When is Free Legal Aid Provided?
In order to obtain legal advice you should consult a lawyer, but there are certain cases when you can obtain free legal advice. Family and civil cases are commonly where free legal aid is given. Public defender services can be applied for through the court if you find yourself dealing with a criminal case and are not able to pay for representation by an attorney. When you ask a lawyer about representing you to file a lawsuit that you intend to ask for monetary damages in free legal aid is not typically given. In the event of these cases, a percentage of the award or a fee is taken in order to represent you in the claim process. Making sure that you are aware of and have all the required documentation prior to the initial visit will make the entire process of obtaining free legal advice simpler.