Communtity Law Manual | Criminal Courts | Getting legal help: Legal aid and other help schemes

Getting legal help: Legal aid and other help schemes

Overview

Different schemes provide free or partly free advice and representation from a lawyer if you can't afford to hire one yourself:

  • Under arrest: The PDLA scheme – Lawyers who are rostered under the Police Detention Legal Assistance (PDLA) scheme are available to give you free legal advice if you've been arrested by the police or held by the police.
  • First day in court: Duty lawyers – The duty lawyer is available at the courts to give you free legal advice on the first day of your case.
  • Ongoing cases: Legal aid – The legal aid scheme pays some or all of the cost of hiring a lawyer for the whole of a criminal case, if you can't afford to pay for a lawyer yourself. You may have to pay back some or all of your legal aid.

This section also gives some advice on ways to find a suitable lawyer.

back to top

During the Covid 19 response, most Community Law Centres are still giving free legal support by phone and/or online.

Please find the contact details of your nearest Community Law Centre here to access their services.

We’re updating legal rights information during COVID 19 response right now and will have that information available on our website soon. Watch this space.

For now, you will also find out useful information on our Community Law Manual Facebook page.

The distribution of resources from our Online Bookshop are on hold until further notice.

Page Reader Press Enter to Read Page Content Out LoudPress Enter to Pause or Restart Reading Page Content Out LoudPress Enter to Stop Reading Page Content Out LoudScreen Reader Support