Most people are most familiar with legal aid when it comes to criminal cases, “if you cannot afford an attorney then one will be appointed to you”. That is not the only time that legal aid helps those in need. Legal Aid offers low cost or free legal services to those who have little or no income, they are a non-profit organization and the services they offer can differ in each jurisdiction. Let’s take a look at what legal aid does and doesn’t do.
What They Will Handle
Again this can vary by jurisdiction but these are the most common types of cases that you can go to legal aid for help with. As mentioned earlier they do help with criminal cases and that is probably where most of their cases come from. Family law is probably the second most common type of case that they deal with. They will help with divorces and helping you to secure child support. They also work with victims of domestic violence with protective orders and other types of issues that come up when a divorce concerns domestic abuse.
Legal Aid can also work closely with seniors and helping them with the number of issues that they face. These can include things like making a will, power of attorney, applying for benefits and healthcare directives. Immigration, especially in today’s political climate is another common type of case they deal with. They can help immigrants with the complicated paperwork that comes with immigration. They can help fight deportation orders and accompany you on court appearances. Here is a look at everything Legal Aid does.
What Legal Aid Doesn’t Do
Legal Aid won’t come to your rescue in every situation and there are plenty of different types of cases that they do not work with. While this may vary in each jurisdiction in most cases they will not help with any type of civil litigation or personal injury claims. While they may help with situations like unlawful dismissal they won’t help you sue because you slipped and fell on a cracked sidewalk. They don’t work with any type of business law either, you won’t get help from legal aid to incorporate your company or buy property.
Legal Aid is selective in the situations in which they will give free legal help and on top of that you will also need to qualify and demonstrate that you don’t have the ability to pay for an attorney on your own. If you are facing legal action then check with the local Legal Aid office to see if they can be of help to you.