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Duty Lawyer Scheme > Means Test

Duty Lawyer representation is offered to defendants charged with Standard List Of Offences on their first day of court appearance without any means testing. However if they wish to have legal representation for subsequent appearance, they must come to the Court Liaison Office to do the means test. They will be required to fill in a statutory declaration of means. The financial eligibility limit is set at a gross annual income of $223,000.

Applicants may be required to produce documents showing their financial status such as
- Bank book,
- Salary slips,
- Rent receipts,
- Mortgage repayment schedule,
- Salaries tax assessment, etc.

After passing the means test, applicants are required to pay one fixed handling charge of $620. This is the only charge any defendant has to pay, no matter how long the trial lasts.

Knowingly giving false information in the statutory declaration is a criminal offence and is liable on conviction to be sentenced to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 2 years and to a fine.

The Administrator of the Duty Lawyer Service has the discretion to waive the means test of a defendant if she is of the view that it is in the interest of justice to do so.

A defendant who fails the means test can apply to the Administrator to waive his/her means test. Such application is to be made at the Court Liaison Office. The decision of the Administrator is final.

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