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Free legal aid and how the system works

  • 11-03-2022 9:47am
    Registered Users Posts: 5,835 ✭✭✭Damien360

    A general question really. If I was hypothetically caught for aggravated robbery or dealing drugs on a medium scale and am a taxpaying worker in a decent job and the court case was coming up, would I be better off quitting or getting fired from that job to avail of the free legal aid considering the cost of a paid solicitor ?

    I can see the very obvious wealth of some local crooks but they get free legal aid due to unemployment status. But they do work, although not as far as the taxman is concerned. Do the courts only look at your current legal income with regard to provision of free legal aid ? If you pump all the dirty money into your home, is that excluded from examination of wealth ?How do the rules work ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,021 ✭✭✭Claw Hammer

    If you have a good job, don't commit aggravated robberies or deal in drugs and you will be alright.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,208 ✭✭✭Lenar3556

    It is largely at the discretion of the judge. If he is satisfied that the person would not be in a position to fund the cost of a solicitor then free legal aid is likely to be granted.

    The prosecution may bring such other trappings of wealth to the judges attention and this would be considered in deciding to grant or not.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    How could they prove the person had the dirty money if there are no records of employment or tax etc?

  • Registered Users Posts: 78,082 ✭✭✭✭Victor

    They have a 5-bedroom house in a nice neighbourhood with two BMWs in the drive and they take an average of 3 sun holidays per year.

    I think they primarily look at income, not wealth.

  • Registered Users Posts: 434 ✭✭tooka

    If someone is being prosecuted for an offence that could mean prison time legal aid is granted regardless of the persons job status or the income

    the only time legal aid is not granted is usually motoring offences like speeding, drink driving, etc. but If the offender is a person of special status they will get legal aid

    civil legal aid for divorce is very hard to get and very badly funded and most solicitors will not touch due to the poor rates and the length of the cases

    what you find with legal aid is there are a few solicitors who handle it all and the vast majority of solicitors are not interested, to make money from legal aid it’s all about volume.

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  • Posts: 0 Esme Young Rose

    If your name is Seánie Fitz and you have oil mines in Africa, you can probably get free legal aid for a High Court case to protect your millions, but if you're a man who earns more than €18,000 nett per year (i.e. the vast majority of men), you'll just have to find the €30,000 nett plus (i.e. you have to earn c. €60,000 gross to pay the lawyers) to separate/divorce your wife you'd be better off not working.

    But then the bastard salary protection, sick pay and all the other insurances you've been paying into ensure you're still able to earn more than that €18,000 per year when you're out sick. All that stuff we were told about being responsible, working, planning for the future and all the rest.

    So, no, you're just going to have to pay the obscene legal fees that the mafia which is the legal industry's monopoly determines. Legal reform in Ireland: not even the IMF and EU could implement it.

    PS: The Legal Aid limits have not been increased since 2006, 16 years ago. The legal system in this state is so ineffably rigged against citizens.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Thing is that seeking a divorce from one's spouse isn't likely to mean that you'll end up in jail.

    Ironically, if, instead of seeking the divorce, you simply killed him/her, then you'd probably be eligible to get free legal aid for the subsequent criminal trial!

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 10,540 Mod ✭✭✭✭Robbo

    You're confusing criminal legal aid with civil legal aid. Both of which are hopelessly underfunded and dysfunctional in their own ways but thank you for your general purpose rant.