Right to free legal advice and aid

You can sometimes get free legal advice and representation as a victim of crime but only for certain types of cases. For example, you are entitled to:

  • Free legal advice if you were a victim of human trafficking.
  • Free legal advice if you were a victim of rape or certain sexual offences.
  • Free legal representation if you were a victim of rape or certain sexual assaults when the defence want to introduce evidence on, or cross-examine you in relation to, your sexual history. This means that there will be a barrister and solicitor in court who is there to represent you and your interests. This will be paid for by legal aid.
  • Free legal representation if there is a hearing about your counselling notes in certain sexual offence trials. You have a right not to disclose your counselling notes. However, if they are relevant to the trial, they may be shown to the defence if you agree to it. If you do not agree to showing the defence your counselling records, the judge will hold a court hearing to decide whether they are relevant. If the judge finds that the notes are relevant, the relevant parts of the notes will be released to the defence.

You are entitled to be represented at this hearing through free legal aid.

For more information on legal aid see the Legal Aid Board’s website.

I was a victim of crime Victim's rights Criminal court proceedings Who is who

Support services Useful contacts Glossary

Top Map Exit