Garda Station Legal Advice Revised Scheme
Under the Garda Station Legal Advice Revised Scheme, free legal advice can be provided to people detained under certain legislation in Garda stations, providing they satisfy a means test. The Minister for Justice and Equality established the original Garda Station Legal Advice Scheme in 2001. In 2011, the Legal Aid Board took over responsibility for the administration of the scheme. The Garda Station Legal Advice Revised Scheme commenced on 15 August 2014 and replaced the original scheme.
The Garda Station Legal Advice Revised Scheme applies to those detained in a Garda station in relation to the investigation of certain types of offences. You must be legally entitled to consult a solicitor and you must be unable to pay for the consultation yourself.
The offences the scheme applies to are:
- Offences under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act 1939 as amended
- Offences under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 as amended
- Offences under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996 as amended
- Offences under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007 as amended
Those detained under Sections 16 and 17 of the Criminal Procedures Act 2010 or Section 42 of the Criminal Justice Act 1999 can also apply for legal advice under the scheme as if detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.
Under the scheme, fees are paid to a solicitor for:
- Telephone and in-station consultations
- Attendance of the solicitor at a formal interview between the Gardaí and the detainee
- Attendance of the solicitor at an identity parade
The number of consultations the scheme will cover you for depends on the legislation you are detained under.
The scheme also covers payments to a solicitor who attends an extension hearing held in the District Court where the Gardaí apply to extend the time limit for holding a suspect under the Offences Against the State Acts, under the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996 or under the Criminal Justice Act 2007.
The scheme covers the cost of consultations with a solicitor if you cannot afford to pay for the solicitor. When you apply you will have to complete a statement of means. The scheme is confined to those who are in receipt of social welfare payments and those whose annual earnings are less than €20,316.
How to apply
If you are detained in a Garda station and want to apply for the scheme you should complete form GLAS 2 (pdf). The form is available in Garda stations, from your solicitor and from the Criminal Legal Aid Section of the Legal Aid Board.
Your solicitor submits his/her claim for fees at the end of the detention period to the Legal Aid Board.
Further information on the scheme is available on the Legal Aid Board's website.