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Gizzy11's avatar

Is it wrong to give someone legal advice when in the past you have helped people get out of jail wit the advice I gave them?

Asked by Gizzy11 (111points) August 18th, 2019

I have spent alot of time incarcerated and I studied alot of law. I got tired of seeing people get mistreated by the system and decided to do something about it. I started studying law and reading law books. I got pretty good because I started filing motions and appeals for people because I wanted to help someone. I actually got a few people out if jail on appeal. I still have people ask me for legal advice and I would really like to help them but I don’t know if it’s right but I know I can help them. What should I do?

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10 Answers

nerdgirl578's avatar

Are all of these people you know in jail even though they’re innocent or are you just trying to get people out of jail because you can?

Dutchess_lll's avatar

You can get in a LOT of trouble for practicing law for other people without a license. I would advise you to stop.

SEKA's avatar

I’d suggest that you become a lawyer or at a minimum become a paralegal where you can still help albeit not from the front line!!!

KNOWITALL's avatar

As long as it doesnt get you in trouble, of course keep helping. I’m thinking Andy in Shawshank btw.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

What if the “advice” you give them results in a more severe jail sentance?
Andy was actually experienced and educated in his field @KNOWITALL. He wasn’t doing things on a “hunch.” Plus he’s a fictional character filing fictional tax returns.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Well, even if Andy were real, he was doing what was his profession before incarceration, so still not a good example.

You can advise all you want, if you collect no compensation, don’t appear in court as legal counsel, don’t provide any legal documents.
Law libraries are accessible to everyone. There is no reason you couldn’t help someone understand where to look, or help understand legal speak.

Best case scenario, you help them find all the wheretofores, and albeits, and hiring an attorney will be cheaper because the busy work has been done. All the more important if they have a public defender, because they have super heavy caseloads, and they’d rather make a deal than study another case. Having your own case laid out for them to look over is a huge step in the right direction. Just always be aware of your boundaries, and don’t go past them.

If you really know your stuff, maybe you should get licensed.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

She said she started filing motions and appeals for people. Hell I filed my own motion in the early 90s. You just have to make sure you’re using the right legal terms or it could become a nightmare.
I would never dream of putting someone else’s life at risk because I didn’t really know what I was doing, no matter how small the risk.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I think, @Gizzy11 that you need to very upfront with whoever you talk to and repeat constantly “I am not a lawyer and this isn’t legal advice”. Otherwise, as others have said, you’re skating on very thin ice.

It’s great to help others, especially in jail, but it needs to be crystal clear to them that you’re not a professional.

Dutchess_III's avatar

They need to sign something that says they understand. If it’s just a verbal thing, they could deny any conversation took place.

seawulf575's avatar

I agree with @elbanditoroso. Any advice you give should include such a disclaimer statement or something like “Talk to your attorney and see if you could….x” with x being whatever advice you are giving.

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