If you have not been involved in a court process before, it is possible you will get confused at some stage. Whether it is a criminal or civil matter there are legal rules to comply with which can make things a little confusing.
While Court staff can provide information and access to forms, they are not able to provide legal advice. See the ‘What our Staff can and cannot do for you’ brochure for further information.
The Legal Services Commission of South Australia provides legal advice, legal representation and community legal education and can help you in the areas of criminal law, family law and civil law. If you do not have you own legal representation we encourage you to access their services.
You may also be able to get legal advice on the day you are in court from the duty solicitor. The duty solicitor is a lawyer who is at the court to give free legal advice to people attending court that day. Duty solicitors are available at most criminal court sittings, mainly to assist people who have been arrested overnight, or who have not been able to obtain legal help beforehand.
The Legal Services Commission of South Australian has also prepared the Law Handbook Online which provides an overview of the law in everyday language. This service should be used as a starting point only and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice.
Other organisations you could contact include:
Community Legal Centres
These are independent non-profit organisations that provide free legal advice to the public. The centres have solicitors, support staff and legal advisors who can explain your rights and discuss your options with you. Visit their website at http://www.saccls.org.au/ for more information.
Legal Advice Clinics
Law students from Adelaide University, Flinders University and University of South Australia run legal advice clinics that provide free legal advice.
See the Adelaide and Flinders Universities Magistrates Court Legal Advice Service (MCLAS) and University of South Australian Legal Advice Clinic for more information.
The Self-Representation Service helps people who are representing themselves in the civil jurisdiction of the District and Supreme Court. The service provides clients with advice and assistance with legal tasks. The service is located on Level 1 of the Sir Samuel Way building and is operated by JusticeNet SA. It is independent of the government and courts. Visit www.justicenet.org.au for more information.