Everyone including persons detained or charged with an excepted offence can be granted legal aid under the Duty Counsel Scheme. In other words you are entitled to an Attorney (Duty Counsel) for any criminal matter for which the police takes you into custody.
A Duty Counsel is an Attorney who will make representation on your behalf at a Police Station or Lockup. A Duty Counsel can be provided even if you intend to get your own Attorney at a later stage. Duty Counsel services are free and requires no form to be completed.
For matters in court, you may request an Attorney of the Judge, at the Legal Aid Council or a Legal Aid Clinic. You will qualify for legal aid if the court or any other person authorized by the Legal Aid Act decides that you are unable to afford legal representation.
Committal Proceedings – A Committal Proceeding (formerly Preliminary Enquiry) is an enquiry, which is done at the Parish Court level, to see if there is sufficient grounds/evidence for a case to be sent to a jury at the Circuit Court.
Offences requiring Committal Proceedings (Prelim)
The Committal Proceedings does not establish guilt or innocence, it is not a trial.
Matters requiring Committal Proceedings include:
Murder: gun (only gun offence that requires Prelim) – Parish Court Division of the Gun Court (not High Court Division of the Gun Court).
Murder: knife/machete/stone etc.
Wounding with Intent/Felonious Wounding
Assault Occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm
Rape (Attempted Rape)
Sexual Intercourse with a person under 16 years old
Breaches under the Law Reform (Fraudulent Transactions) Special Provisions Act (Lotto Scamming)
Breaches under the Proceeds of Crimes Act (POCA)