The Virginia State Bar Association operations Access to Legal Services, a committee charged with assisting those in need with legal options and assistance. While not everyone qualifies for the services offered by Access to Legal Services, many do. If you're facing a trial and in need of criminal defense in Virginia, all you need to do is called the Virginia State Bar and inquire about the program.
The program offers both pro bono and reduced fee attorneys for those in need. In fact, the service actually encourages Virginia legal professionals to donate a certain amount of time every year to pro bono consultations and cases. In addition to this, the group works with law students, nonprofits, and other groups. Here are just a few of the programs Access to Legal Services offers.
One of the most popular services offered is the Legal Aid online website, available at www.valegalaid.org. This site features public forums, information on various laws and programs, and information on criminal cases and attorneys. Under the section on criminal defense, you'll find links to public defender's directories, where to find assistance in your city or neighborhood, and more. This is, in fact, one of the best places to look for lawyers since all attorneys listed with Legal Aid Online have been screened and have not been the subject of any major complaint or investigation. You know you're hiring a professional when you go through the site.
Access to Legal Services also offers a number of trained translation professionals and information in several different foreign languages. If an individual doesn't speak English or doesn't have the vocabulary necessary to deal with the courts, this service will provide them with a legal representative who speaks their language or a translator who can work with them and their attorney. This service is absolutely vital to anyone who isn't able to understand the specialized vocabulary that is so often used in criminal cases.
The Virginia State Bar and Access to Legal Services will also provide you with information about any attorney. They can tell you if the attorney has ever had any complaints filed against them and verify other background information. A call to the bar is always a good idea before you hire any legal representation.