New legal aid service offers early resolution for criminal cases

LSS is introducing a new criminal law service with fewer eligibility requirements so that we can serve a broader range of clients who wouldn’t normally qualify for legal aid.

On May 15, 2019, LSS is launching a new Criminal Early Resolution service that will provide a lawyer to clients who might otherwise have to represent themselves on matters that don’t require a trial. The financial eligibility limit is $1,000 higher than for a standard representation contract, and there’s no requirement that the client face a risk of jail.

Currently, LSS denies service to 1,200 criminal applicants a year because their incomes are over the financial eligibility limit or they don’t face jail. We expect, however, that client demand for the new service will exceed that number once people learn about it. This means significantly more people will have access to lawyers for legal advice and assistance through the court process.

The Criminal Early Resolution service is ideal for clients who don’t qualify for standard legal aid representation services but whose cases can’t be resolved by duty counsel.

Benefits of this new service include legal representation for clients, early resolution for clients, and elimination of unnecessary court appearances.