Legal Aid vs. Rowbotham Application: What's Best for YOUR Calgary Defence? Part 1

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Confused about options for your defence? A Calgary defence lawyer explains the difference between Legal Aid and Rowbotham Applications.

When you find yourself facing a serious criminal charge in Calgary, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Understanding the charges against you, trying to deal with the Calgary Police and Crown prosecutors involved in your case, the impact of your charge and/or arrest on your family and your career, and all with the constantly looming potential of spending months or years of your life in jail if convicted.

Add in the often prohibitive financial burden of partnering with an experienced Calgary defence lawyer, and things can get even more stressful. Even if you know about the ability to get financial assistance through Legal Aid or a Rowbotham Application, you might be confused about your options and how to pursue them.

Fortunately, help is available. In most cases, you can actually find a Calgary defence lawyer to work with who can help you navigate the Legal Aid and/or Rowbotham Application process, and can help you file the proper paperwork to get the assistance you're entitled to. You can also read on to learn the basic differences between Legal Aid and a Rowbotham Application, and learn how to get started in funding your defence.

All Calgary Rowbotham Applications Start with Legal Aid

Both Legal Aid and Rowbotham Applications exist to help those in Calgary who have been charged with a serious crime—a crime where, if convicted, the accused is likely to serve time in jail—yet who are unable to pay for their own defence lawyer. Both programs use public funds to compensate Calgary defence lawyers for their services, and you may be required to pay back some or all of the funds paid out on your behalf in the years following your case.

The process for both Legal Aid and Rowbotham Applications also starts the same way: applying to Legal Aid. Rowbotham Applications are only available to those in Calgary charged with a serious crime who have already been denied assistance from Legal Aid. You can be denied if you earn more income than the Legal Aid threshold for a household of your size or for a number of other reasons; even if you know you will not meet Legal Aid's income requirements you must apply there first and wait for your denial before you can move on to a Rowbotham Application.

Both processes take time, so it's a good idea to start a Legal Aid application as soon as possible after your charges are officially laid against you. It is possible to file a Rowbotham Application after your trial has started in a Calgary court, if necessary, but you'll save yourself a great deal of stress and dramatically improve your defence if you have your lawyer and your finances in place long before your trial begins.

Get the Help You Need TODAY: Contact an Experienced Calgary Defence Lawyer

If you or a family member has been charged with a serious crime, don't wait any longer to get the help you need. An experienced Calgary defence lawyer can help you start the Legal Aid and/or Rowbotham Application process immediately, and can start working to build your defence today. For a free initial consultation, please contact my office.

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