If you're facing criminal charges, the number one thing on your mind is likely finding a solution so you can avoid imprisonment. Hiring a good lawyer is one of the best measures to take when you're in this circumstance, but money may be an issue for you. Your budget may be stretched so tight that you just don't see any possible way for you to afford quality representation. Don't let finances keep you from getting a skilled criminal law attorney on your side. Use these tips to learn more about what you can do to obtain a lawyer when you're short on funds.
Contact Your Local Legal Aide Society
The first thing you should do when you need a lawyer but don't have much money is contact your local legal aide society. These organizations specialize in helping people get an attorney that will fit into nearly any budget.
The individuals who work with legal aide societies may be lawyers or paralegals who specialize in one or more branches of the law. They are interested in making the judicial system a more even playing field so that the public at large won't be left out in the cold simply because they don't have as much money as someone else.
When you call the legal aide society in your community, they will typically ask you questions about your criminal case situation, as well as your financial circumstances. Based upon the answers you give during this consultation, they can either set up a payment plan that fits within your budget, or they may even be able to issue you a micro loan that you can use to take care of your legal fees and which you can pay back over an extended period of time.
Look For A Pro Bono Lawyer
Although you may not know it, there are a number of criminal law attorneys out there who are willing to take on your case on a pro bono, or free, basis. This means that they will consult with you, research your case and represent you in court if necessary without you having to pay for it.
Pro bono attorneys may not be heavily publicized, so you'll need to be willing to call around to different law firms until you find one. Understand that lawyers who do pro bono work may receive a large number of requests each month, so you need to make your circumstances stand out. Instead of writing a basic letter, consider recording yourself on video, explaining the details of your case. Be sure to include any familial or vocational responsibilities you have which make it even more important for you to stay out of jail.
Getting an attorney to take on your criminal law case doesn't have to depend solely upon how much money you have. When you need representation, keep these tips in mind so you can get the help you deserve.
If you do have money to hire a lawyer, consider one from O'Brien & Dekker.