In some cases, your attorney may recommend that you perform community service to improve your chances for a successful outcome in your case. In other cases, you may be ordered by a court to complete community service. If you are doing community service as part of an official court ordered program, you may be required to do so through a community service coordinator at the courthouse. In that case, follow that person’s instructions about where and when to do community service.
If you are doing community service on your own or as part of an informal agreement with the State, you probably need to arrange your own community service. See below for five good options. But make sure that where ever you complete your community service, you are following the advice of your lawyer, and the agreement that you have with the State.
If you’ve been asked or ordered to complete community service, you should be sure that whatever letter you get for your lawyer or the court has the dates on which the community service was performed, and the total number of hours completed. In addition, you should make sure that the letter is written by someone who provides contact information (so that a court can verify that the community service was performed) and is on letterhead (so that it is official).
If you’re in Wake County and need to perform community service, some possibilities include:
- The Food Bank
- The Helping Hand Missions
- Habitat for Humanity Re-Store (Raising Money for Homes for Low Income folks)
- Cause for Paws (Charity for Animals and Pets)
- SPCA (Animal Shelters)
These – or other – charities and governmental agencies may be willing to allow you to volunteer with them. Before performing any volunteer work, you should first discuss this issue with your lawyer to make sure that your volunteer work will help (and not hurt) your case. In addition, you should make sure that the charity or non-profit is aware that you are performing your volunteer work for a court-recommended purpose so that they are aware they should give you a letter after you’ve completed your volunteer hours.
You should never talk to people at the charity about the facts of your case. If they ask, you can have them talk to your lawyer. Some of these charities may require you to have a letter from the court or from your attorney requesting that you be allowed to participate in community service at that location. Other organizations may require you to waive liability in case you are injured. Talk to your lawyer about getting a letter drafted that will enable you to participate in community service.