For the last fifty years, anyone living in this country who could not afford to pay for representation in court was entitled to some form of legal aid. However, thanks to recent cutbacks and new regulations forced through, this is no longer the case. Unless you’re in some very special circumstances, you’re now on your own. Is this a bad thing? Most definitely. It’s almost certain that a small quantity of innocent people will now end up spending years behind bars simply because they couldn’t pay for a decent defense. Also, those on the receiving end of crime or other issues could find it hard to get justice thanks to the new measures.
With that in mind, the article you’ve stumbled across this afternoon has been compiled with the intention of highlighting exactly what the changes mean for the average US citizen. We’ll try to cover all the most frequent eventualities to let you know how you’ll be affected. Don’t get us wrong, all is not lost and there are still plenty of ways you can sort out legal matters. It’s just that you’re going to struggle a little more.
In the past, government funded legal aid would have allocated thousands of dollars to both parents when involved in a child custody battle. However, nowadays more emphasis is being placed on family law mediation. That means you might not even have to attend court at all. You will be encouraged to come to an arrangement with the other party with the aid of a trained professional. In truth, this is a positive move as it means your kids won’t have to suffer so much stress. If your case still goes to court due to conflicts, you may need the services of family lawyers or a child custody lawyer to advocate for your rights and your child’s welfare.
Personal injury claims
While you can no longer get legal aid to take a private company to court, there are still plenty of reputable “no win, no fee” specialists around who’re willing to help you out. Firms like Meltzer Taylor offer competitive packages aimed at ensuring you always get the compensation you’re entitled to, regardless of how long it takes to reach an agreement with the guilty party. Legal aid has been stopped for this because government officials believe too many people are making claims. However, they fail to realise that’s just because too many business owners are being negligent.
If you’ve been accused of a crime you didn’t commit, you’re going to want the best possible legal defense, right? Well, that might be difficult now you’ll get no help from the government. Even so, the constitution still stands, and that means you will be provided with a lawyer by the state. That doesn’t always work in your favor though as these legal professionals are often the least skilled in the industry. If they always produced positive results for their clients, they’d work for a top law firm and make a much better wage.
So, as you can probably see, the changes in legal aid are going to have a huge impact on the poorest people in this country. How bad will it get? That remains to be seen.