Nearly everyone has a point in their life where they need some sort of legal advice. If you’re lucky, you have enough money that you can pay a lawyer for their time. Sadly, not everyone is in this position. The good news is that whether you need answers to a few legal questions involving how to care for an elderly parent or need a good defense lawyer for an upcoming trial, California does have free legal assistance programs.
Every American should know that if they find themselves on the wrong side of the law, they’re entitled to a defense attorney. There’s a well-known line in the Miranda Rights that states, “if you can’t afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.” The reason the line is in the Miranda Rights is so that you understand that getting a good lawyer on your side is an extremely good idea. It doesn’t matter if you are or aren’t guilty of the crime you’ve been charged with, you should have a lawyer in your corner. Even if you plan on pleading guilty they can advise you of your rights and even help negotiate a plea bargain. A court-appointed lawyer is better than no lawyer at all.
Legal Assistance and Advice
While the courts are required to assign a court-appointed lawyer to you if you’re charged with a crime, no one is obligated to provide you with free legal assistance. The good news is that there are several organizations scattered throughout California that have created programs that will provide you with either free or low-cost legal advice and assistance. If you contact an organization that doesn’t have the experience needed to help with your specific issue, they’ll likely provide you with the contact information of a group that does.
The biggest problem with using free legal aid programs is that they are usually only found in cities. Individuals who live in rural areas and small towns will usually have to look in more heavily developed areas when they need free legal counseling.
Don’t ever think that a lack of money makes it impossible for you to get your legal questions answered. There are resources out there that are far more reliable than posting your questions on social media sites and hoping for the best.