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Are you entitled to legal aid?

If you do not have insurance that covers the cost of your dispute, you could be entitled to legal aid. First, you must check with your insurance company to see if your insurance covers the dispute.

In criminal cases, you cannot receive this type of legal aid. In that case, defence counsel or counsel for an injured party can be appointed to represent you.

Applying for legal aid

You apply for legal aid together with the lawyer/legal practitioner you wish to represent you. The simplest way to find a lawyer is through the Swedish Bar Association.

Before you can apply for legal aid, the lawyer/legal practitioner must provide a minimum of one hour and a maximum of two hours' consultation on payment of a set fee.

Consultation before you apply for legal aid

Consultation takes the form of a meeting with a lawyer/legal practitioner where you have the opportunity to explain the dispute and your situation. The lawyer/legal practitioner familiarises himself/herself with the dispute in order to provide advice and make a legal assessment of your need for legal aid.

In many cases, consultation could be sufficient. If you decide to proceed, you complete the legal aid application form together.

You can receive advice on all legal matters and consultation is not limited in the same way as legal aid.

Consultation fee

You pay the cost of consultation, which is a set fee of SEK 1,552 per hour (2013). The fee can be reduced to half if your income is less than SEK 75,000 per year. If you are under 18 and have no income or wealth, consultation is free.

You pay the fee to the person who provides the consultation. When you make an appointment for consultation, it is important that you agree that it is a matter of consultation under the Legal Aid Act. Remember that law firms and legal practitioner firms are not obliged to provide consultation under the Legal Aid Act.

If you need an interpreter during the consultation, this will be arranged by the lawyer/legal practitioner.

What are the rules?

Not everyone is entitled to legal aid and certain rules apply.

The main rules are:

  1. Legal aid applies primarily to private individuals, i.e. not associations, companies and similar bodies. In exceptional cases, a person who runs a business can receive legal aid.
  2. If you have legal protection cover through one of your insurances, you are not entitled to legal aid.
  3. If you have a financial base of more than SEK 260,000 per year, you are not entitled to legal aid. Your financial base is quite simply the total sum of your assets/wealth minus debts and support commitments.
  4. You will not receive legal aid if you are receiving help through public defence counsel or public counsel as it then is a criminal case or administrative matter. If it is a criminal case, you can contact the police or court directly. For more information, see the Courts of Sweden website
  5. You must be in need of legal assistance and it must be reasonable that the state contributes to your costs in the dispute. This assessment is made by the Legal Aid Authority or the court (if the matter is already before the court).

There are a number of exceptions to these rules, including the following:

  1. Generally, you will not receive legal aid if the value of the matter/dispute is less than half a price base sum.
  2. If you do not have insurance but, based on your financial situation, you ought to have had insurance, you will not receive legal aid.
  3. If the dispute is being heard by a court or authority in another country, you are only entitled to legal aid if you are resident in Sweden and there are particular reasons.
  4. In certain cases, there must be special reasons for you to be entitled to legal aid. This applies, for example, to divorce cases or if you run a business.
  5. You will not receive legal aid for simple registration matters, such as applying for legal title or mortgaging a property or to draw up documents such as a tax return, will, prenuptial agreement, estate inventory or deed of gift.

Senast ändrad: 2013-06-27