In Ireland, if you are accused of a crime your constitutional right to legal representation is applicable. However, if you can't afford a criminal solicitor, it becomes the State's responsibility to ensure that you have access to criminal legal aid solicitors to represent you. Keenan & Conmpany Solicitors can represent you under the Legal Aid Scheme.
Legal aid is provided for under the Criminal Justice (Legal Aid) Act, 1962. Criminal legal aid solicitors, unlike civil legal aid, are free if you qualify for legal aid and no financial contribution is necessary.
Rules for criminal legal proceeding
The majority of criminal cases in Ireland are initiated in the District Court. You are entitled to apply for criminal legal aid at this stage. Keenan & Company can assit you in making an application for criminal legal and we can represent you for your case.
If a defendant is not legally represented, it becomes the obligation of the judge of the district court to inform you that you may be entitled to legal aid. If you desire to be legally represented but don't have the means to afford a solicitor, the judge will have to see if you qualify for the provision of free legal aid.
How Do I Apply for Legal Aid
If you are charged with an offence please contact us and we can let you know if you will qualify for legal aid or not.
The Court will take a number of different factors into account in determining if you qualify for legal aid
- Your income, if you are not working it is likely you will qualify for legal aid
- Your outgoings such as rent, mortagage, general living expenses
- number of dependants
- nature of the offence which you are charged with
Cases in which the legal aid is not granted
Cases, where a judge might refuse to grant access to legal aid are:
- If the judge feels that the offence is not very serious, like a violation of road traffic law such as speeding
- If the judge feels that you possess enough means to afford a criminal solicitor of your own.
If your case is forwarded to a higher court for proceedings, the criminal legal aid solicitor assigned to you in the district court will also represent you in the Circuit Court or Central Criminal Court, you will also have the benefit og having a barrister assigned to represent you alongside a solicitor if you are sent to a higher court,
Having legal representation for such cases is necessary to ensure you are facing a fair trial and get a favourable outcome.
Contact Keenan & Company and arrange a consultation with qualified solicitors to discuss any legal issue that you’re currently facing.