What to Do If You Can’t Afford a Lawyer
When it comes to dealing with a legal matter, such as a criminal case, divorce or lawsuit, hiring an attorney can be very expensive. This can be especially problematic if you’re already struggling financially or have no money to begin with. Fortunately, there are many options available for those who find themselves in this situation. Whether it’s free legal advice, court-appointed lawyers or even lawsuit funding, this article will explore what to do if you can’t afford a lawyer.
Most courts have set up legal aid committees that give free legal help for those who can’t afford to hire a private attorney. In some cases, the court will appoint an attorney for a criminal case (or other type of lawsuit). To qualify you will need to provide proof that you are below a certain income level. The best way to find out if you are eligible is to call the court or speak to someone directly and ask them.
If you don’t qualify for legal aid you can also try contacting your county bar association and finding out if they have a lawyer referral service. If they do, it is often possible to schedule a phone appointment with a local lawyer for a low fee or sometimes even at no cost. Some law schools have volunteer programs as well.
Another option is to ask friends and family if they have any recommendations for a lawyer. You can also look in the newspaper for advertisements and online listings for attorneys. Ultimately, however, it is important to choose an attorney you feel comfortable with and are confident will represent your interests. Having a lawyer that you can trust is incredibly important and will make all the difference in your case’s outcome.
If all else fails you can always try representing yourself in court. While this may save you some money on attorney fees, it can be a dangerous proposition. Representing yourself can require many hours of research and the ability to understand and explain complex legal concepts and legal jargon. It can also be extremely challenging to gather and present all the evidence required for your case.