Having a court-appointed lawyer is a right that is stated in article 119 of the Spanish Constitution, subjecting its free nature to the level of resources of the person who requests it. The law that governs this right is the Free Legal Aid Law. The right to free legal assistance is part of the fundamental rights to effective judicial protection. You have to know that NOT EVERY OFFICIAL LAWYER IS FREE!!! Unfortunately, many people think that having a public defender means not having to pay for their services, but this is not necessarily the case. In this article we will explain in which cases this is the case.
Free justice in criminal proceedings
This right is given in processes in which the intervention of a Lawyer and a Solicitor is mandatory (both ex officio, never one private and the other ex officio), or if it is not, when the court deems it necessary, likewise reports experts, not having to pay deposits to appeal, etc. It includes legal assistance in the police and before the judge (in the early stages), as well as during the processing and prosecution of the process, and the execution and appeals.
For a series of special victims such as those of gender violence, minors, people with disabilities, terrorism and white slavery, assistance will always be free.
What happens if I am arrested and given a public defender, but I exceed the income threshold?
Since many times when we are arrested or we see ourselves before the judge for the first time we do not have any known lawyer to call. The procedure then, is to call a court-appointed lawyer and fill out the Free Justice application. But sometimes it can happen that we exceed the legal scale and they do not grant it to us. In these cases, we must pay the public defender for his services as if he were a private attorney.
If I have a public defender, can I change to a private one?
Yes, at any stage of the procedure or trial you can switch to a freely appointed lawyer (the private lawyer of your choice).
What steps do I have to follow to get a public defender?
1) You must submit the form to the Bar Association in your area, requesting to be a beneficiary of Free Justice.
2) To the application you must attach documentation that justifies your economic situation as well as accrediting the income of your family nucleus.
3) Finally, you must explain your case, for which you seek the assistance of a lawyer, or if you are the defendant, communicate all the details of the procedure that you have.
How long does it take to grant me the public defender?
After the presentation of the request within a period of fifteen days, Lawyer and Solicitor are provisionally appointed. On the other hand, your request will be sent to the Free Legal Assistance Commission, which will meet to decide if you meet the legal requirements to be granted it. If the resolution is favorable, you will not have to pay the professionals who will represent you in court.
What happens if they do not grant me the public defender?
You will have to pay the fees that have accrued with the actions to date and decide if you want to continue with the same lawyer and solicitor or if you choose others.
Who has the right to a public defender?
The law understands that, in criminal proceedings, Spaniards, nationals of European Union countries, foreigners from other countries, will have this right for their defense.
On the other hand, the victim of a crime may request the court-appointed attorney to act as the private prosecution..
What income do I need to have to get a public defender?
You must have in annual computation and per family unit, resources that do not exceed some of the following thresholds:
a) Twice the public multiple-purpose income indicator in force at the time of making the request, in the case of persons not integrated into any family unit.
b) Two and a half times the public multiple-purpose income indicator for people in a family unit with fewer than four members.
c) Three times that indicator in the case of family units made up of four or more people, or being of a large family.
d) Finally, if it is a member of a large family of a special type, the right may be recognized for people whose resources and income, even exceeding the above limits, do not exceed five times the public income indicator for multiple purposes.
If you are still not clear, here is a calculator to see if you have the right to Free Justice.
We hope we have resolved your doubts about How to get a public defender with this article. If you need a paid lawyer (of free appointment) call Audacia Abogados and solve your problem.