Coronavirus response

The present state of emergency means that much of the information in the Community Law Manual does not currently apply. You can find up-to-date legal information in our new section Coronavirus and the Law.

Legal aid

Legal help when you can’t afford a lawyer

What this chapter covers

  • Criminal legal aid
    How to apply, how it’s decided whether you’ll get criminal legal aid, whether you’ll have to pay any of it back and what you can do if you’re refused
  • Other legal assistance in criminal cases
    Two other legal help schemes: talking to a lawyer for free when you’ve been arrested (Police Detention Legal Assistance scheme (PDLA)), and having a duty lawyer represent you
  • Civil/family legal aid
    Getting legal aid in non-criminal employment disputes, including: how to apply, how it’s decided whether you’ll get legal aid, whether you’ll have to pay any of it back, and what you can do if you’re refused
  • Other resources
    Where to get more information
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