Selecting a language will automatically trigger the translation of the page content.

Is a lawyer required in a criminal trial?

Verified 24 juin 2020 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

Lawyers are not always obligatory in criminal courts. In some proceedings, the law requires it. Even when the lawyer is not obligatory, accused like the victim, civil party may request that a lawyer be appointed ex officio or that a lawyer be appointed with legal aid..

Warned

When the accused is of age, the lawyer is not necessarily obligatory. It all depends on the type of procedure.

Obligation of the lawyer according to the procedure

Procedure

Lawyer required?

Immediate appearance

Yes

Delayed appearance

Yes

Pre-conviction appearance

Yes

Quote, direct quote

No

Convocation by judicial police officer

No

Convocation by report

No

Court of Appeal

No

Court of assizes

Yes

Court of Cassation

No

Who shall I contact
Lawyer ex officio

If the accused does not know a lawyer, he may request one official in the following situations:

Before the hearing, the appointment of the public defender shall be made by the bearer of the Bar Association. At the hearing, the request must be made to the presiding officer.

Public defenders are not free of charge and must be paid by the accused whom they defend, depending on their income and the complexity of the case. If the defendant does not have sufficient income, he may apply for legal aid..

In all criminal proceedings concerning a minor, the lawyer is obligatory.

Who shall I contact
Lawyer ex officio

If the accused minor (or his legal representatives) does not know a lawyer, he can ask for one official..

Before the hearing, the appointment of the public defender shall be made by the bearer of the Bar Association. At the hearing, the request must be made to the presiding officer.

Public defenders are not free of charge and must be paid by the minor whom they defend or his legal representatives, depending on their income and the complexity of the case. If they do not have enough income, they can apply for legal aid..

Victim, civil party

The victim, civil party does not have to have a lawyer.

If she wants one and does not have enough income, she can apply for legal aid..

Who shall I contact
Lawyer ex officio

If the victim civil party doesn't know a lawyer, she can ask for one official..

Before the hearing, the appointment of the public defender shall be made by the bearer of the Bar Association. At the hearing, the request must be made to the presiding officer.

Public defenders are not free of charge and must be paid by the victim they defend, depending on their income and the complexity of the case.