Does my family member need a lawyer? It's a good idea for a person who has been charged with a criminal offence to get legal advice as soon as possible. If you can't afford a lawyer, there are services available that are free. The person who has been arrested should put their lawyer on their contact list and visit list. This means they can contact their lawyer directly, instead of asking family members to contact the lawyer for them. Doing this can help reduce the stress of communicating from prison.