Apply for criminal legal aid

If you’ve been charged with a criminal offence, you can:

You should apply for legal aid as soon as you have been charged or received a summons to appear in court. Do not wait until your first day in court.

Fill in a criminal legal aid application

To apply for legal aid, you’ll need information about your income, assets, financially dependent children, and the case you’re involved in. You can get help from a lawyer, court staff, or legal aid staff.

The application form you will need depends on the type of offence you have been charged with.

Criminal legal aid application forms

What information do you need to apply for criminal legal aid?

You need to take your court summons with you when you go to see a lawyer or apply for legal aid. This is because it contains information that needs to go on the legal aid application form.

You will also need to provide the following information:

  • your address and phone numbers where you can be contacted at home and/or at work
  • your date of birth
  • the offence you have been charged with (this will appear on your court summons)
  • the place where your case is being heard and your next court date
  • your income for the last 12 months (include wages, benefits, ACC payments)
  • details of any savings or debt you have (such as hire-purchase payments)
  • details of any major assets you own (such as a house or car)
  • how many financially dependent children you have.

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