You may hire a lawyer during the criminal proceedings. The state does not have an automatic duty to provide you with free legal aid.

Right to a lawyer

You may hire a lawyer at any stage of the proceedings. Your lawyer may be present every time you are required, or you choose, to participate in the criminal proceedings. For example, your lawyer may be present while you give testimony, during various investigative actions where your presence is required, at all court hearings etc.

State-paid lawyer

In exceptional circumstances, if you cannot afford a lawyer and you need legal aid to be able to exercise your rights and defend your interests effectively, the person in charge of the criminal proceedings can assign you a state-paid lawyer. This will only be done if there is no other way to ensure that your interests are protected in the criminal proceedings and if you have the status of a needy or low-income person.

Mandatory legal aid

Minors who are the victims of sexual crimes or violent crimes committed by persons on whom they were dependent, must have a lawyer defending their interests. If they cannot afford a lawyer, the person in charge of the criminal proceedings must assign a state-paid lawyer.


Last updated 11/11/2018