Isn’t everyone who can’t afford a lawyer entitled to have one appointed, like they say on TV?

No. “Most Americans don’t realize that you can have your home taken away, your children taken away and you can be a victim of domestic violence but you have no constitutional right to a lawyer to protect you.” – James J. Sandman, president of the Legal Services Corporation

If you are low income and arrested and charged with a crime you are entitled to a public defender. There is no such right in civil (non-criminal cases). Legal aid is the term for the non-profit organizations that try to fill that gap.

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