can I get free/low cost legal assistance before I go to court?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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can I get free/low cost legal assistance before I go to court?

I am being investigated for a criminal charge and I have no idea what to do while I wait for them to put the case together. They seized equipment from my home. Where can I look for assistance? Everything says I have to wait to get to court and use a public defender but I have no idea what to expect.

Asked on December 7, 2018 under Criminal Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You apply for a public defender in court, typically at your first appearance. That is effectively the only way to get free legal assistance (though, note: it is not guaranteed; you must meet the income criteria to qualify), unless your are fortunate enough to know or meet an attorney willing to help you for free or a reduced rate.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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