Last updated: November 22, 2013
Everybody in South Carolina knows that Myrtle Beach is the place to visit when you’re looking for a good time on the coast. And when they get here, most people know to look for the Boardwalk, Myrtle Waves, or one of the many other local attractions. When you’re surrounded by this much potential for fun, it’s easy to forget that sometimes we may run into trouble. FindLaw presents this guide to MB’s free and low-cost legal services which are here to help you during unexpected hard times.
There are a few ways to start your search for free and low-cost legal help. First, consider contacting South Carolina Legal Services. This is a fairly large organization, and it is the local leader in assisting clients with low incomes. Second, you can always contact the South Carolina Bar, the organization of attorneys that works to advance the profession while seeking justice. In addition, the Public Defender is an excellent resource for people with low incomes who have been accused of committing a crime. Read on for more information and tips.
SCLS is a “statewide law firm” that offers legal help to South Carolina’s residents with low incomes. It is the most prominent organization offering free and low cost services in the state. The organization only helps with non-criminal matters. SCLS staff typically work in discrimination cases, tax law, immigration, domestic violence, education law, and public benefits. Many services are available in Spanish. They also have a Statewide Intake Office which you can call toll free at: (888) 346-5592.
The South Carolina Bar holds free legal clinics in various locations across the state. In Horry County, you can periodically find a clinic in the North Myrtle Beach Library. Check either the Bar’s clinic schedule or the Library’s event schedule for more information on specific clinics.
The South Carolina Bar has other resources that may help local residents in their legal issues. For example, the Bar offers free publications that are available on the internet and can be saved and printed from your computer. The Bar also broadcasts its phone bank activity for as a part of the Ask-a-Lawyer program. At a specified time, members of the public may call the television station to speak to an attorney. Visit the website for more details.
The Bar Association provides free referrals to local attorneys who are experienced in matters similar to yours. The service typically places clients with lawyers working in personal injury, criminal defense, employment, and family law. You’ll have to pay the referred attorney $50 for a 30 minute consultation.
In a criminal case, asking for an attorney as soon as you have an opportunity is sometimes a good idea. If you do, you will not immediately consult with one, but police officers do have to stop interrogating you until counsel is present. As far as PD's go, it takes about three weeks from the time you apply for services until you are assigned an attorney.