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Criminal Legal Aid

If you have been charged with a criminal offence and are due to appear in court, you can apply to the judge for legal aid on the day. You will have to fill in a financial means form. If the judge says that you are eligible, you will be assigned a solicitor there and then.

Solicitors in the Legal Aid Board do not provide Criminal Legal Aid.

If you have a query about legal aid in a particular case you should contact the court Clerk or Registrar. All other queries in relation to Criminal Legal Aid should be directed to the Courts Policy Division of the Department of Justice and Equality who are responsible for the administration of the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme.

Garda Station Legal Advice Revised Scheme

The Legal Aid Board has been responsible for the administration of this Scheme since October 2011. The Garda Station Legal Advice Revised Scheme provides for legal advice to detainees in Garda Stations. Solicitors may also claim a fee for accompanying detainees to Garda interviews if requested.

The Scheme is subject to specific terms and eligibility criteria

Legal Aid – Custody Issues Scheme

The Legal Aid – Custody Issues Scheme does not deal with Child Custody cases which fall under the area of civil legal aid.

The Legal Aid Board has been responsible for the administration of the Legal Aid – Custody Issues Scheme (LA-CIS) since June 2012. This Scheme provides, in certain circumstances, for legal representation in certain types of cases like Extradition, European Arrest Warrant, High Court Bail Applications (and Bail appeals to the Court of Appeal), Habeas Corpus and certain types of Judicial Review.

The Scheme is subject to specific terms and eligibility criteria.

Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) – Ad-hoc Legal Aid Scheme

The Legal Aid Board has been responsible for the administration of the CAB Scheme since January 2014. The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) Ad-hoc Legal Aid Scheme provides for legal representation in certain cases which do not fall under the Civil Legal Aid or Criminal Legal Aid Schemes. The types of cases include Proceeds of Crime cases, Social Welfare and Tax Appeals where the Criminal Assets Bureau or its Chief Bureau Officer or any member of the Criminal Assets Bureau is the Respondent and / or Defendant.

The Scheme is subject to specific terms and eligibility criteria

District Court Counsel Scheme

This Scheme provides for the use of counsel in a District Court case. Permission for the use of counsel under the Scheme is granted by the judge.

The Scheme is administered by the Department of Justice and Equality. All queries should be directed to the relevant Court Clerk/ Registrar or to the Department of Justice and Equality’s Courts Policy Division . 

Criminal Legal Aid Panel

The Criminal Legal Aid Panel for Solicitors and Barristers is maintained by the Courts Policy Division of the Department of Justice and Equality. Practitioners wishing to register on the panel should contact that office for further information.