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Resources & Referrals

The Court cannot give you legal advice or refer you to a lawyer.  If you are seeking advice on California law, you should consult with a lawyer licensed by the State Bar of California.  This website provides summary information and educational materials as a public service, but they may not apply to your particular circumstates.  Remember, this website is not intended and cannot take the place of advice from a lawyer.
Filing or defending a criminal case in court can be very complicated. There are many rules and procedures to follow, and the courts differ in how some things are done. Also, many cases require immediate kinds of actions that a person with little or no legal training may be unaware of. If you are provided legal assistance through the Public Defender's office, or any other court-appointed counsel, the Court will make a determination of your ability to pay all or part of the costs. If the Court finds that you can pay, it may make an order for you to pay the costs. This order has the same force and effect as a civil judgment. The Court may also order that you return for additional hearings to determine your ability to pay the cost of a court-appointed attorney after your case is concluded.
  1. Where Can I Find Legal Help?
    Timely legal advice can stop small problems from becoming larger ones. If you need legal help, look in the Yellow Pages of the telephone book under "Attorney Referral Services," "Attorneys," or "Lawyers." In addition, many local bar associations sponsor free legal advice clinics.

  2. Local Legal Aid Links
    1. Legal Aid Society of Alameda County

      Need a lawyer? Check out ACBA's Lawyer Referral Service.

      You may qualify for free clinics given by our Volunteer Legal Services Corporation.

      Having a fee dispute with your lawyer? We offer a Fee Arbitration Program.

      Get Small Claims Court help from our Small Claims Advisor.

      Find low-cost mediation and arbitration in our ADR Placement Service.

      California Courts Self-Help Center. This site is intended to help you find learn about California law, work better with an attorney and represent yourself in some legal matters. This site does not provide legal advice.
    2. Bay Area Legal Aid

    3. Free Volunteer Legal Services

    4. East Bay Community Law Center

    5. California Rural Legal Assistance

  3. Other Useful Links
    1. The Judicial Council

    2. The Equal Justice Network - List of national sources for free legal services.

    3. Legal Services Corporation - National list of legal services programs and locater.

    4. Legal Services of Northern California - California's website for poverty law issues includes links to an extensive list of legal referrals

    5. Legal Aid Society - California website with "I-Can" program (a self-help type program)

    6. Public Interest Clearinghouse - California clearing house on public interest issues.

    7. Find Law - Free legal research on full range of legal issues.

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