2. Is there any financial screening before I can obtain legal representation from the Duty Lawyer Scheme?
No financial means test is required if (1) it is your first court appearance or (2) you are charged in Juvenile Courts.
However, if you wish to have legal representation for subsequent court appearance, you need to go through the means test and fill in a statutory declaration of means. You may be required to produce documents showing your financial status such as:
- bank book;
- salary slips;
- rent receipts;
- mortgage repayment schedule;
- salaries tax assessment, etc.
In order to pass the means test, your gross annual income should not exceed $197,040 (i.e. $16,420 per month ). However, if the Administrator of the Duty Lawyer Service is satisfied that it is in the interests of justice to do so, he may grant legal representation even though you cannot pass the means test.