This site is operated by the National Lawyers Guild, S.F. Bay Area Demonstrations Committee, the group of legal workers, activists, and lawyers who provide legal support for progressive and radical protests and actions in the Bay Area.
What We Do
We’re the folks who answer the legal support hotline, dispatch the legal observers in the lime-green hats, and organize NLG volunteer lawyers to advise and defend demonstrators and work on getting those held in jail released.
Are you PLANNING A DEMO OR ACTION?
Please fill out our online Legal Support Request form. We are currently supporting many actions all around the greater Bay Area and really need your request as soon as you start organizing!
You got ARRESTED – What happens next?
- Make sure we have your info! We’ve setup an online form to help us collect important information from arrestees. Please fill it out if you haven’t already called us with all of your information. It’s at arrestee-form.nlgsf.org. (Don’t worry – we absolutely will not share your info with anyone except your attorney).
- Please check your citation for a court date. This date is called an arraignment, during which the District Attorney can formally bring charges against you. Note – the DA decides your official charges, not the cops who arrested you. The DA could decide not to charge you at all, or could give you different charges than those the police put on your citation.
- We may not know the DA’s decisions about charges prior to the initial court date. In SF and Alameda County, typically, the majority of people arrested at demonstrations are not charged, or if you are charged, the charges are often reduced. If the DA does file charges, we will try to schedule a future court date and discuss strategies for your defense. If charges are not filed, they have a year to bring misdemeanor charges against you. Charges are much more likely if you were arrested on suspicion of a property crime or if you were arrested in another county.
- Sometimes the DA’s office or court will send people info directly about their case (notice that it was reduced to traffic court, etc.) If you should receive any notices in the mail, let us know! Do not respond to any of these notices without getting legal advice.
- It’s your choice to either go with our volunteer attorneys, hire your own attorney, use a public defender, or represent yourself. Whichever option you choose, please keep in mind that your case is your responsibility! Remember: we’re all volunteers. We are trying to track hundreds of cases – help us out by staying on top of yours!
- Check back here for updates.
We Need Your Help!
- We only have info on a small number of the folks who have been arrested. Please spread the word, and encourage folks to fill out the form or call the hotline with their info. (We prefer folks fill out the form to keep the hotline free).
- If you are able, please help us continue the legal support work by donating to the National Lawyers Guild. The attorneys, hotline workers, and legal observers are all working for free, but it costs money to pay the NLG’s small staff, accept calls from jail, send out bright green hats to legal observers, and brew coffee for our overnight hotline shifts!
You were INJURED or saw police misconduct
Go to this page to report police misconduct and for more information.