Defendants (criminal proceedings)


Getting independent legal advice is very important when you are involved in some way with the criminal process. The factsheets tell you when and in what circumstances you are entitled to be represented by a lawyer. They also tell you what a lawyer will do for you. This general factsheet tells you how to find a lawyer and how the costs of the lawyer will be met if you cannot afford to pay.

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Finding a lawyer

If you are suspected of involvement in a crime you have the right to consult a lawyer. If you are charged with a criminal offence you have the right to be represented by a lawyer in court proceedings. At all times you have a right to have the services of a lawyer of your choice.

Communications between lawyer and client are privileged. They are held in private and cannot be disclosed except with your consent.

Paying for a lawyer

If the crime you are charged with carries a sentence of more than a year you have the right to legal aid which is available for all stages of criminal litigation.

If you are a legal aid applicant the court will decide whether the grant of legal aid is justified, acting on the basis of a socio economic report prepared by the welfare office at the direction of the court.

If you are entitled to legal aid you have the right to choose a lawyer from a list prepared by the Cyprus Bar Association. You may find relevant information about the list of lawyers at the registry of the court where proceedings against you were instituted. If you do not choose a lawyer from the list, the court may appoint a lawyer for you.

It is a criminal offence to make a false statement about your financial circumstances in order to obtain legal aid. If you commit such an offence you will be liable to refund the State the legal aid received and the court may issue an order to that effect.

If you have a complaint against a lawyer for breach of the rules of conduct, it may be submitted to the disciplinary board of the Cyprus Bar Association.

Related links

Legal aid information from the  Ministry of Justice and Public Order

Cyprus Bar Association

Last update: 16/11/2020

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