4 Steps to Securing a Calgary Defence Lawyer Through Legal Aid

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Unsure about Legal Aid in Calgary? An experienced defence lawyer gives you four easy steps to qualifying and obtaining the legal help you need.

Being charged with a serious crime is a scary experience for anyone in Calgary. It gets even scarier when you feel that you cannot afford to partner with an experienced Calgary defence lawyer to help with your case. Fortunately, Calgary's Legal Aid office is there to help the most economically disadvantaged members of our community get the legal help they need when they have been charged with a serious crime.

Here are four easy steps to take to get the financial assistance you need from Calgary Legal Aid so you can raise the best defence possible against your charges in Calgary criminal court.

1. Make Sure Your Charges are Covered by Calgary's Legal Aid Office
Though Alberta Legal Aid and its Calgary office exist to help those with limited resources, Legal Aid has limited resources, too. To put those resources to their best use, Legal Aid only offers assistance to Calgary citizens who have been charged with a crime that carries the potential penalty of a jail term upon conviction.

Virtually all indictable offences and some summary offences are eligible for assistance, but any crime that carries only a monetary fine and/or community service requirement as a penalty will not be eligible for assistance.

2. Determine Your Income Eligibility for Calgary Legal Aid
In addition to the seriousness of your criminal charge and the potential for a jail sentence upon a conviction, there are income limitations on Calgary Legal Aid eligibility, as well. If you earn above the income threshold—which varies depending on your household size and is subject to change on a regular basis—you do not qualify for financial assistance from Legal Aid, no matter what crime you have been charged with.

3. Contact an Experienced Calgary Defence Lawyer
If you meet both of the eligibility requirements listed above, you can contact Calgary's Legal Aid office directly, but a better option may be to find a Calgary defence lawyer who you trust and want to work with first. Your lawyer can then help you get in touch with Legal Aid, complete the necessary paperwork, and get the financial assistance you need to secure the legal help you deserve.

4. Make Necessary Contributions to Your Calgary Legal Defence
Depending on your financial situation and need, Legal Aid may offer full or only partial assistance with your legal fees. In addition, many recipients of assistance from Legal Aid are required to make ongoing payments after their case, in order to repay some or all of what they received as aid in their defence. This ensures that there are sufficient funds available to assist others in need in the future, just as others' payments will help fund your Legal Aid assistance.

Everyone deserves a fair chance in Calgary's criminal justice system, and your financial situation shouldn't be a barrier to getting the professional legal help you deserve. Calgary's Legal Aid office helps make this a reality for many in Calgary who are already struggling. To learn more and to start working on your defence today, please contact my office for a free consultation.

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