What Can I Do If I Can’t Afford An Attorney?
The Constitution of the United State states that a person who is charged with a crime that might lead to imprisonment is entitled to legal representation. If the individual can not afford to hire an attorney than a court-appointed attorney will be provided. This attorney is typically either a private attorney paid using county funds or a public defender.
In case other than criminal cases where there is a risk of imprisonment, you are not entitled to a free attorney under the Constitution. However, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t still free or low-cost legal assistance available. Some of the options available include finding a private attorney that takes some case pro bono, legal aid organization, or other non-profit organizations that provide legal assistance.
What is a Pro Bono Attorney?
You may be able to find a community-based program pro bono program that offers free legal assistance. These are typically small organizations with limited budgets. Typically to qualify you must be very low income (less than 125% of the poverty level) and your case must have merit and be likely to succeed. Often people are turned away due to the organization’s limited resources. South Texas College of Law Houston also offers a free family law clinic and is a good example of a community based pro bono program.
What is Legal Aid?
What Other Assistance Is Available?
Another option is to contact a lawyer referral service that has attorneys that take clients of modest means. Attorneys accepting client of modest mean have agreed to reduce their fee to service these individuals. Texas Lawyer Referral Service does have a modest mean program is assist those looking to retain an attorney but you may not be able to pay the full cost of the attorney representation. Again the attorney has the right to accept or refuse each case at his/her discretion.