When you are facing a situation that requires the assistance of an attorney, you may be concerned that you don’t have the financial resources needed to get the help you desire. Fortunately, there are many ways you can qualify for free legal assistance, commonly referred to as legal aid. Rather than sit back and let circumstances dictate how a case against you will play out, keep these tips in mind that may allow you to qualify for the free legal assistance you need to get your case resolved.
Domestic Violence Victims
If you are in a situation where you have been a victim of domestic violence or have a justifiable reason to be in fear for your safety, you have the right to qualify for free legal aid. Whether you work with a public defender or an attorney who offers their services pro bono, they can help you gather evidence of the abuse done to you and advise you on how to file for restraining orders in court.
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Accused of a Crime
Should you be accused of a crime and tell the court you cannot afford an attorney on your own, you can qualify for free legal aid by having the court appoint an attorney to you on your behalf. Thus, if you have been arrested and charged with a crime, you can always count on having legal representation from the very start of the process.
Declared Indigent by the Court
In certain situations, you may be able to provide evidence to a judge that you cannot afford legal representation. If successful, the judge can then declare you to be “indigent,” meaning the court is satisfied that you do not possess the financial resources needed to obtain adequate legal counsel.
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Civil Rights Issues
Should your case focus on an alleged civil rights violation, you may actually have an easier time obtaining representation from legal aid lawyers. More often than not, private attorneys or advocacy organizations will elect to take on such cases for free, often due to the fact that the attorneys believe the case could eventually become a class-action lawsuit.
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If you are part of a community organization that is involved in a situation that centers on such issues as housing, drug abuse, neighborhood crime, employment discrimination, or other similar issues, it may be much easier for you and your organization to obtain legal aid assistance. At many legal aid clinics, attorneys have a particular interest in helping in cases involving socioeconomic disparity, environmental issues, or other high-profile topics of interest.
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Disabled Military Veteran
If you served your country in the military and became disabled during your time as a soldier, you can qualify for free legal assistance on a variety of matters. The most common include questions surrounding rent assistance, child visitation, employment discrimination, healthcare disputes, and so forth. However, eligibility requirements can vary depending on such factors as household income, so be sure to check with your local veterans group to make sure you do indeed meet the necessary requirements for assistance.
If you are considered to be an immigrant, you will almost always be entitled to receiving help from legal aid organizations in your area. This is especially important for people in these situations since they rarely have the financial resources nor the in-depth knowledge needed to obtain experienced legal counsel on their own. From private attorneys who specialize in immigration law to legal aid organizations that focus primarily on immigrants, it is possible to obtain legal help for such matters as deportation hearings, applying for various types of visas, work authorizations, and much more.
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No matter what type of legal situation you may be facing, never let the lack of financial resources keep you from obtaining legal counsel that is experienced and knowledgeable about your legal issues. Whether you are facing jail time for criminal charges, need help with a discrimination lawsuit, or are trying to keep from being deported, always know there is free legal help available for you and your case. By being proactive and contacting both private attorneys and various legal aid organizations, you can find the legal help you need to ensure your rights are always protected
About the Author:
Kim Hemphry is a passionate expert in the areas of Legal Matters, learning and education. She has been featured on over 50 leading Legal and education sites and is a modern thought leader in the field. More about her interests and articles on her site – http://kimhemphry.com/