There are some people that couldn’t find a lawyer simply because they do not have the financial means to afford them. That being said, you do not have to worry as there are certain entities that will provide you with some legal services- either completely for free or for a heavily discounted price.
The Biro Bantuan Guaman is a Bar Council legal aid center in Malaysia that provides ample legal advice and representation for people in low-income communities. It is a government body that was established as a means of giving legal services to those who are in need that is generally unable to afford their own attorney.
This institution will provide legal assistance to those who are in need. They tackle all of the aspects of the law, including criminal, civil, and even Syariah Law. Despite their many offerings, they only allow legal representation for certain types of cases.
In the event that you are facing criminal charges, the BBG will only give you legal representation and advice if you plead guilty to all of the charges filed against you. Although that seems to be the case, there are some exceptions, such as only having a small criminal offense or if you are facing child criminal cases.
What Should You Do to Get Their Services?
When you are going to visit a BBG branch to get a hold of free legal services, you will need to bring the following:
- An Identification Card (not expired)
- Birth Certificate
- Your Children’s IDs (if any)
- Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
- Divorce Certificate and associated documents (if you are filing for such)
- A paper that contains details of the defendant, such as your name, age, job, employer, etc.
- Any documents that may be required by the firm
What to Do Once Inside?
Once that you have all of the documents that they require of you, you will then have to take what is known as the ‘Means Test’. The objective of this would be to let them know if you are indeed financially incapable of getting your own lawyer.
Once you’ve taken and passed the test, you will then be required to pay a small registration fee and will be required to fill up the necessary forms.
After finishing all of the forms, you will submit them to the front desk and they will give you a schedule for an interview. It could be within the same day or you may be asked to come back at a later date (that really depends on the circumstance).
In addition to passing the test, you may be required to sign a statutory declaration which will just confirm how much you earn annually. This will then be compared to their preset criteria and they will be able to determine if you qualify for free legal aid or not.
This is a perfect opportunity for you to get free legal representation, especially if you are facing charges.
Do note that you can only get such if you truly have no means to pay for your very own attorney.