Where to Start?
Canada’s laws affect us every day because they are the rules for how we live in our community. Governments create the law, police enforce the law, and courts apply the law. In court, a judge or a jury makes a decision about a legal problem. The problem can involve people who cannot resolve a disagreement, or the government charging someone with a crime. Judges make decisions based only on the facts of the case and the law that applies to those facts.
Sometimes, everyday issues can become legal problems. Car accidents, contract disputes and workplace injuries are examples of an issue that could become a legal problem.
If you have an issue that is a legal problem, you probably need some help to learn about your legal rights. You may need a lawyer and you may need to learn more about the law. Legal Help in BC is a great place to start.
This guide provides information that will help you to understand your options when it comes to dealing with a legal problem. It was written for people who can’t afford to hire a lawyer or can only afford limited services from a lawyer. If you can afford to hire a lawyer, this guide can help you to. You will how to prepare, so that you get more value for your legal expenses.
If you do not have a lawyer, you will have to prepare your case and do the research to represent yourself. You will need to learn about the court system, the specific laws in your case, what you and the "other side" must prove, what defences you have, and how to build legal arguments for your case.
If you are representing yourself, you have a lot of work to do. This Legal Help in BC will help you get started. And there’s information in other sections on this website that provide more specific information. If you want to jump ahead, you can check the sections for Crime, Family and Lawsuits. If you have an issue with a government agency or professional organization, see AdminLawBC.ca.
The Legal Help in BC Guide includes information:
Types of Legal Problems
There are many different types of laws that apply to different types of legal issues. In British Columbia, the laws that affect most people are: criminal law, civil law, family law and administrative law.
As you can see, there are specialized laws that relate to different kinds of problems. What type of problem do you have? What area of the law is it?
Depending on your problem, your case may be heard in the BC Provincial Court, the Supreme Court of BC or one of the many administrative tribunals. To learn more, see BC’s Justice System.
Last reviewed: March 2016
IMPORTANT: This page provides legal information, not legal advice. If you need legal advice consult a lawyer.
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