What If I Cannot Afford An Attorney?

There are many situations in which having legal counsel is beneficial; however, robbing Peter to pay your attorney…probably not a good idea, besides, you may not have to cover the legal fees yourself, depending on your financial circumstances. In a Criminal Case The Sixth Amendment gives you the Constitutional right to an attorney in a criminal defense.  Legal Counsel is so necessary in a criminal case that if a defendant cannot afford counsel, the State provides counsel without fee. In a Civil Case That Constitutional right to an attorney does not extend to civil matters (such as divorce, landlord-tenant dispute, or foreclosure defense).  We are fortunate in our area to have St. Johns County Legal Aid, a local non-profit agency that primarily serves the most vulnerable demographic of our population, aiding awareness of legal rights and options in matters of debt, foreclosure, housing, elder law, family law, and many other civil subjects.  Their motto is “A Wealth of Justice for Those Who Have Neither,” and they mean it. If you think you cannot afford an attorney in a civil case, contact your local Legal Aid office.  Even if you do not qualify for Legal Aid, they have a lot of […] Read More

Legal Billing

How much does an attorney cost?  It depends.  Talking to an attorney does not have to be a frightening experience, or an expensive one.  Many attorneys offer free consultations (which you can find out with a phone call to their office) or you may be eligible for Legal Aid (depending on your income level). How much and when you pay your attorney is a contract issue.  Some arrangements are retainer earned on receipt where there is a certain amount of effort and work to the case, so the money is earned if it takes the attorney five hours or fifty hours.  With other arrangements, the attorney takes a retainer against future billing, and then the client is refunded any unused part of the retainer. An attorney can review your situation and your goals to help determine if you have legal defenses available, and help you see what choices you have.  An attorney can also help you understand the legal process better so you know what the outcome possibilities are at each choice point. If you think you cannot afford an attorney in a civil case, contact your local Legal Aid office.  Even if you do not qualify for Legal Aid, […] Read More