Legal Aid Lawyers – Engaging a skilful lawyer can greatly impact the outcome of your case, which may improve your livelihood. Despite this engaging a skilful lawyer may be costly. At George Sten & Co Criminal Lawyers Sydney we are able to apply for Legal Aid funding on your behalf. If granted this funding may provide you with good quality service at an affordable price.
You may be eligible to receive legal aid funding for your matter. For successful applicants Legal Aid NSW provide a sum of money toward your legal fees. This allows you to elect your own representation while receiving government assistance.
To receive this funding you must pass criteria prescribed by Legal Aid NSW. At George Sten & Co Criminal Lawyers Sydney we are able to apply for this funding on your behalf by providing you with the forms, information and guidance required.
Criteria for a grant of legal aid
Legal Aid NSW has four criteria when deciding whether to grant legal aid assistance.
Legal Aid Jurisdiction
The Legal Aid NSW’s jurisdiction test considers whether Legal Aid is available for your location and type of matter. It is highly likely this test will be passed where you are using our services. We are able to advise you if you are unlikely to pass this test.
Legal Aid Means test
This test considers your income and assets. It is aimed at finding whether your financial circumstances justify your receipt of government assistance. If you currently receive Centrelink benefits it is likely you will pass the means test. Legal Aid funding may also be given if you are employed and your income and financial position pass this test.
You may not be required to pass this test if you are:
Only seeking criminal law advice or your matter does not involve a large amount of legal work;
Legal Aid NSW has a means test calculator to indicate your likelihood of passing this test. This is available at http://lacextra.legalaid.nsw.gov.au/meanstestindicator/. You should note that this calculator is only a guide and you should contact us to discuss your options regarding a formal application.
Legal Aid NSW must then assess your matter to determine whether it is the type of matter they usually fund. In making this decision Legal Aid NSW considers:
Any benefit you get if you receive Legal Aid funding;
Disadvantages to you if Legal Aid funding was refused; and
Whether you have a reasonable prospect of success.
As Criminal Law specialists we can provide you with expert advice regarding this test. Talk to one of our Legal Aid Lawyers today.
Availability of funds test
Provided the first three tests are successful Legal Aid NSW may refuse a legal aid grant if insufficient funds are available. This may depend on the complexity and volume of funding required to progress your case.
Where you have been granted Legal Aid funding your solicitor must be appointed to a Legal Aid NSW panel. At George Sten and Co we are represented on the Legal Aid Commission’s Serious Criminal Law Panel and the General Law Panel. Legal Aid NSW therefore recognises us as an exceptional firm eligible to receive their funding.
We are also able to provide you exceptional service. The Daily Telegraph has reported we are in the top 5 firms receiving income from Legal Aid NSW. This means we are trusted lawyers with Legal Aid NSW and the wider community as a whole. We are therefore known for our outstanding quality of work and level of service.
Choice of barrister
In certain circumstances we may require to brief a barrister in your matter. In these circumstances we must first approach the Public Defender’s office to see if they have a barrister available. If they do not have a barrister you may select a barrister of your choice. We are able to assist you with this process and with any applicable Legal Aid funding applications.
Legal Aid Lawyers Sydney
At George Sten & Co Criminal Lawyers Sydney we exclusively practice Criminal Law. As Criminal Law specialists we are able to provide quality advice in a range of matters. We are also open 24 hours a day to provide you with high quality advice in urgent circumstances.
Given our previous success we are able to expertly make a Legal Aid Application on your behalf. This may give you the best chance of receiving funding for your matter. Receiving this funding is likely to substantially reduce your legal costs without compromising the quality of your representation.
If you live in Sydney or other parts of NSW and think you may be eligible for legal aid and haven’t applied yet, George Sten & Co Criminal Lawyers Sydney may be able to help you with your case. For further information please call our Criminal Defence Lawyers in our Sydney office on (02) 9261 8640.