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If you've been charged with a criminal offence, legal aid can help with the costs of legal advice from a solicitor or representation at court.
Criminal legal aid is usually granted if:
- you're likely to go to prison if convicted
- you're likely to lose your job if convicted
- you can't follow what's happening in the trial because of a mental or physical disability or English isn't your first language
- you're being kept in custody until a trial
- you want to appeal against a decision a criminal court made about you
- you've been charged with a serious offence on petition under solemn procedure (this means it's likely there will be a trial with a jury)
You'll also have to show that you can't afford to pay your legal costs yourself, or that paying them would be unfair to you or your family.
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