Legal Aid vs. Rowbotham Application: What's Best for YOUR Calgary Defence? Part 2

A Calgary defence lawyer continues to explain the differences between Legal Aid Alberta and Rowbotham Applications in Calgary criminal cases.

In Part 1 of this article, you learned that those in Calgary who have been charged with serious crimes yet are unable to fund their own defence have two opportunities to receive assistance in paying for a defence lawyer. The first of these is through Legal Aid Alberta, which often provides assistance to those who are likely to face jail sentences if convicted and who earn less than the established income threshold for their household size.

If you are denied assistance through Legal Aid, whether because your income is too high or for another reason, you can apply for a government-funded defence lawyer through what is known as a Rowbotham Application. You'll have to show the Calgary judge in your case evidence that you went through the Legal Aid process and were denied before they will consider your Rowbotham Application, so it's important to begin the process as early as possible.

Here are a few more things you should know about Legal Aid and Robotham Applications and how they can help you pay for your defence against criminal charges in Calgary.

Your Rowbotham Application is Approved by the Calgary Judge in Your Case

To get assistance either from Legal Aid or a Rowbotham Application, you'll need to provide information not only about your income and assets, but also about your charges. Legal Aid may deny assistance if; the penalties you're facing aren't deemed serious enough, if your income is too high, and possibly if the limited resources available make your case a low priority. When it comes to your Rowbotham Application in a Calgary criminal case, things work a little differently.

When you've been denied assistance from Legal Aid and submitted a Rowbotham Application, the judge presiding over your case will review some additional details, including the complexity of the charge or charges you're facing and your ability to represent yourself. If you're facing a serious enough crime for which jail is a likely outcome and if you're convicted, there's a good chance a Calgary judge will consider your case complex enough to warrant assistance, assuming the judge also agrees that you're unable to fund your own defence.

You Can Choose Your Own Calgary Defence Lawyer

With both Legal Aid Alberta and a Rowbotham Application you can choose your own Calgary defence lawyer to work with. In fact, choosing a defence lawyer as soon as possible after you're arrested and/or charged with a crime is typically in your best interests regardless of your financial situation, and your lawyer can also help you apply for financial assistance. Choosing your lawyer first means they can help you navigate the Legal Aid and Rowbotham Application processes to get the financial, and thus the legal, assistance you deserve.

Contact an Experienced Calgary Defence Lawyer Today for FREE!

If you or a family member have been charged with a serious crime in Calgary, don't let your financial situation prevent you from getting the legal counsel you're entitled to. Please contact my office today for a free initial consultation.