The Sixth Amendment of the Constitution guarantees the right to an attorney if one has been accused of a crime. It also states that one will be appointed an attorney if they are unable to afford one. Not only can you be appointed an attorney if you need one and cannot afford one, but you can also get free legal help.
There are federal grants that provide funds to law offices. People who are low-income can get free legal help from a law office that has received a federal grant. People who have a civil case can also get legal help. This includes divorce and landlord tenant issues. Additionally, people who have issues related to unemployment, social security and domestic violence can also get free legal help.
Most law offices that provide legal help will only help you if your income is below a certain level. Other law offices will take all of your assets into consideration. Your income will not matter. You can do an internet search for legal services in your area. You can also find this information in a phone book.
You can get help regardless of whether you are a citizen or a permanent resident. However, you may not be able to get help if you are an undocumented immigrant.
You may be able to get help from a non-profit organization that has employed legal assistants or lawyers. If you are unable to get the service for free, then you may still be able to get help for a low-cost. Seniors, disabled individuals, low-income tenants, mentally-challenged people and victims of domestic violence are examples of people who can get help from a charitable organization.
These organizations are not funded by the government. They are typically funded by donations. That is why help from non-profit organizations is typically limited. Furthermore, these organizations are typically busy and under-staffed.
You may have to call an organization several times in order to get an answer. If there are no funds available, then you will likely be placed on a waiting list. Keep in mind that if you have to pay a fee, you will still be charged less than you would if you were to get help from a private attorney.
You can find information about non-profit organizations that offer legal help by looking in your phone book. If an organization is unable to provide you with assistance, then they will likely direct you to someone who can.
Law School Clinics
Law schools have programs that are run by law students and professors. Law students are given academic credit for providing their legal services. It is typically free for the communities to get legal help from one of these clinics. Some law school clinics provide you with help in a specific area of law such as housing representation and criminal defense. You should contact the law school in your area in order to find out whether they can provide you with free legal assistance.
More courthouses are providing people free legal assistance. They have staff who have been specifically trained in order to deal with these issues. Contact your local bar association in order to find courthouses in your state that will help you with this issue.
If you are unable to get free legal assistance from a courthouse facilitator, then they will likely be able to help you file paperwork. They will also be able to connect you to other people who can help you.
Low-Cost Legal Programs
You likely will not be able to get free help from any program or organization if you make too much money. Even if your income is only a few dollars over the set limit, it is still likely that you will not be able to get free assistance. There are still programs that will help you for a low price.
There are telephone hotlines that will charge you by the minute. There are also programs that will charge you a sliding scale fee based on your income. The New York Bar Association is an example of a program that provides people with legal referral services. There are many other bar associations that provide the same types of services.
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