Get a criminal legal aid lawyer

For most criminal legal aid cases, we will choose a lawyer to help you. For serious cases, you can choose your own lawyer.

Less serious charges

After you have sent in your legal aid application you’ll get a letter telling you whether legal aid has been granted. If it’s been granted, the letter will include the name of the lawyer assigned to you and their contact details.

The lawyer assigned to you will be an approved legal aid lawyer, and may be from the Public Defence Service (external link)

Once legal aid is granted you must make the first contact with your lawyer. You must try to make an appointment with them before your first court appearance or before you go back to court.

If you are already receiving legal aid for another criminal court case the lawyer who has been representing you will usually continue to represent you on any new charges.

Very serious charges

If you face very serious criminal charges and may go to prison for a long time (more than 10 years), you can choose a lawyer to represent you. The lawyer will need to be an approved legal aid provider. You can choose your own lawyer or go to the Public Defence Service (external link)

If you don’t have a lawyer, we will assign one to you. If you don’t know whether you can choose your own lawyer, ask your local legal aid office

You can find a lawyer by:

If you have more questions about legal aid lawyers

Contact your local legal aid office if you have any questions about getting a lawyer, the lawyer assigned to you or if you have lost your lawyer's contact details.

Find out more about what to expect from your legal aid lawyer

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