Am I Entitled to Legal Aid in Scotland

Your legal aid lawyer can inform you of the potential cost of your case, and the Scottish Legal Aid Board will inform you if you have to pay anything for it. You will only receive instructions on whether or not you can get legal aid – you will not receive a final decision until you speak to a consultant. Legal aid is a fundamental part of the Scottish legal system and society. It makes access to legal representation and advice from a lawyer more affordable for those who need it. The type of legal aid you are seeking depends on the type of legal aid you need (you can discuss this with your lawyer): This can help you get legal advice from a lawyer, such as information about your rights and options, or help with negotiations and paperwork. There could be additional costs, for example, if your case is lost, you may have to pay your opponent`s legal fees and expenses. Ask your lawyer about possible costs. You will be asked general questions about your legal problem, income and savings. You will be told where to get legal advice. Anyone detained in Scotland offers free legal advice. Legal aid Assistance to defence lawyers may include advice and assistance as well as legal aid in criminal matters. The help you can get depends on: a legal aid lawyer will help you apply and you can find details about legal advice firms in your area through our Find a Lawyer tool.

You need to be able to prove your income and all the money you have in bank or savings accounts. Ideally, you should bring this documentation with you to your first appointment. Legal aid is the general term for schemes available to assist persons with the costs of legal advice or representation. The programmes are managed by the Scottish Legal Aid Board. If you win your case and receive money or property, you may have to use some or all of the money to pay for legal aid for your legal costs. Find out if you can get legal help for civil assistance. Your legal counsel will usually request legal aid on your behalf. Qualified lawyers are not the only professionals who offer legal advice as part of their practice, although only lawyers have the right to initiate legal proceedings and represent you in court.

Accountants advise on taxation and corporate law, for example, and banks can make wills or act as executors in estates (although they may charge more for these services than lawyers). You usually have to show that you can`t afford to pay for this help. You may have to pay money for the legal fees in your case or reimburse the fees later. Examples of cases covered by legal aid in civil matters are cases involving: you are likely to be entitled to legal aid if you can prove that you cannot afford legal aid. You can check if you are entitled to legal aid using the Scottish Legal Aid Board`s support tool. However, it is always best to confirm your eligibility with your lawyer. The legal help you seek depends on the help you need. Your lawyer will tell you which funding to apply for and help you with the application process. It is important to wait until legal aid has been granted in civil matters before asking the lawyer to do anything. The award cannot be backdated and therefore does not cover the costs of work done prior to its award. In an emergency, a lawyer may apply for immediate legal aid, which can be used to cover the delay in issuing the legal aid certificate. The amount of disposable income you have determines whether or not you are eligible for legal aid.

It is possible that, although you are entitled to legal aid in civil matters, you will have to pay a contribution. If you have passed the retirement age (60 for both women and men), there is an additional allowance. If the police contact you to participate in an interview with the police, simply call our 24-hour number for immediate free legal advice. If necessary, we can arrange one of our experienced legal aid lawyers for Scotland to come to the police station. If the legal issue you have is not on the list of case categories, a lawyer may offer you a diagnostic interview or other legal work up to a maximum price of £35. If, during this initial work, the lawyer identifies an important issue that is on the list of case categories, you can seek full advice and assistance if you are financially eligible. You can check what is in the list of case categories attached to this document. There are seven public defence law firms (PDSOs) in Scotland: Ayr, Dundee, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow, Inverness and Kirkwall. Their lawyers can advise and represent legal aid clients in all types of criminal cases at any level of court across the country. The legal aid system provides publicly funded legal advice and representation to those who need it most. It is an essential element of access to justice. Some lawyers provide up to half an hour of legal advice for free or at a fixed price.

This can be useful if you want to get an idea of whether you have a case that is worth defending or prosecuting. It is not income-dependent and is accessible to everyone when the lawyer offers the service. Lawyers and companies wishing to provide legal assistance in criminal matters must be registered with SLAB and comply with the Code of Conduct for Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters. If you have powers under the Adults inCapacitated Act (Scotland) in relation to the property, financial affairs or personal well-being of a person with a legal disability and the application for legal aid relates to a proceeding under the Act, the income and assets of the person with a legal disability will be assessed to determine eligibility. Your personal resources will not be taken into account. Below is an explanation of some of the situations and circumstances in which a member of the public may be eligible for legal aid. If you are receiving income support, an income-related jobseeker`s allowance, an employment and income-related support allowance, or a universal loan, you are eligible for free legal advice and assistance, unless you have savings in excess of the limit. For more information on legal assistance, including pdso, you should contact an experienced consultant from your local citizen advisory office.

It is possible to transfer lawyers if you benefit from legal aid. However, the Scottish Legal Aid Board will consider whether it is appropriate in the circumstances to authorise such a transfer. The Scottish Legal Aid Board will assess your situation and if it is reasonable to switch to another legal aid lawyer, they will approve it. An example would be if you moved to another part of the country. The Code protects persons in need of legal assistance in criminal matters by ensuring that lawyers comply with all their legal, ethical and professional obligations. If you receive money or property as a result of legal advice or assistance, or if the money or property is saved by the intervention of the lawyer, you must first pay the lawyer`s fees. In some cases, the lawyer`s fees cannot be deducted from the award, for example if the money is alimony or government benefits. You should check with the lawyer to find out if the fee can be levied on the money or property you may receive before deciding whether or not to pursue the case. Law firms offer cheaper or free legal assistance to people who may have difficulty getting legal advice. Many offer walk-in services and appointments where you can informally discuss your housing problem. Legal aid can help cover the costs of legal advice, family mediation and representation before the courts. Legal aid can help you pay legal fees if you can`t afford them.

Your eligibility is based on factors such as your income and savings.