Last updated: December 12, 2013
The law is complicated, period. Having a lawyer is such an advantage that the Supreme Court has ruled that the State must provide criminal defendants with legal representation if they cannot afford their own attorney. So how can the judge expect you to hold your own against Mr. Slick with the fancy Italian suit across the aisle?
Fortunately, many legal aid organizations exist in Daytona Beach and throughout Florida to help people like you, providing free representation for low-income or otherwise vulnerable individuals. I recommend contacting Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida due to their years of expertise and wide range of practice areas, but FindLaw has created this guide to the key legal aid societies near Daytona Beach to help you find exactly the lawyer you’re looking for.
Good to know: Community Legal Services is one of the oldest and most reliable legal aid providers in the Daytona Beach region. They serve 12 counties in mid-Florida on civil matters including consumer protection, education law, domestic violence, elder advocacy, family law, housing law, public benefits, tax controversy assistance, and veteran assistance. If you don’t know which legal aid society to contact first, Community Legal Services is an excellent choice. Check out whether you are eligible under their income and residency guidelines.
Good to know: The Florida Justice Institute is based in Miami but they specialize in just a few specific legal issues, especially prisoner’s rights and discrimination. If you need help in these areas, it may be worth your time to contact the Justice Institute for their expertise, instead of the more all-around Community Legal Services.
Good to know: The Bar Association regulates the conduct of attorneys in Volusia County. They also promote the profession by keeping a directory of all lawyers in the region, sorted into categories for easy browsing. If you do not qualify for any legal aid societies, turn to the Bar to recommend low-cost legal representation.
Good to know: Americans for Immigrant Justice can help you with any immigration related issues you encounter, such as asylum, residency and citizenship. They have specialized programs for detention, deportation, domestic violence, and human trafficking.
Good to know: The Immigration Clinic is run by law students, but supervised by licensed attorneys and professors. They can help you with most standard immigration issues, and since they are closely supervised by fantastic legal minds, you know their work will be high quality.
Good to know: The Domestic Abuse Council is dedicated to helping battered women escape the cycle of domestic violence. They offer temporary emergency shelter for women and children, including food and hygiene items, and transitional housing to empower women to become self-sufficient. They also provide free courtroom advocacy to guide you through the injunction or restraining order process. If you are in an abusive relationship, call their crisis hotline 1-800-500-1119 right away for immediate assistance.
Good to know: Since the government is required to provide low-income individuals accused of a crime with legal representation, it is very rare when a private organization handles such matters. The Volusia County Public Defender represents indigent defendants whenever their liberty is at state. At your arraignment, ask the judge to refer you to the Public Defender’s Office to see if you qualify for their services.