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Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you find yourself in a legal conflict, it can be intimidating to hire a criminal defense attorney in San Mateo, CA. Lawyers are, unfortunately, quite expensive to hire, which can worry a lot of people. Luckily, there are many legal services available for anyone who cannot afford legal representation. This guide will explain everything you need to know on the subject.

Criminal Cases

The very first thing you need to understand is that there are two different kinds of court cases: civil and criminal. The type of case you are involved in will determine your options when it comes to hiring a lawyer. Criminal cases are when an individual is accused of a crime. This type of case almost always is preceded by an arrest. Civil cases, on the other hand, are between two private individuals who have a disagreement. There is a huge range of different reasons one person may file a civil case against another person.

If you are involved in a criminal case, then you always have the right to free legal representation. Of course, you can opt to waive your right to a free attorney so you can hire your own or represent yourself. It is never recommended that anyone represent himself or herself. Even lawyers will usually not choose to take this risky option.

Civil Cases

If you find yourself in a civil case, you will not be provided an attorney by the court. Instead, you will be responsible for finding your own lawyer. There are, however, many legal services that are offered for free. If you find yourself unable to afford an attorney, consider taking advantage of one of these options:

  • Legal clinic – The Legal Services Corporation funds free clinics throughout the country that essentially offers legal services and advice for free to anyone.
  • Legal aid firms – There are many legal firms that make use of government grants and private donations in order to provide legal representation for no charge to the client.
  • Pro bono attorneys – The American Bar Association recommends that every lawyer provides at least 50 hours of free legal services each year. This is not a requirement, but it does mean you should be able to find an attorney willing to take your case for free.

It is incredibly important that you have legal representation. It is very difficult to represent yourself, even if you have a good understanding of the legal system. In addition to the above free options, it is not too difficult to get a free consultation with an otherwise-paid lawyer.



Thanks to the Morales Law Firm for their insight into criminal law and affording a lawyer.