Nyman Gibson Miralis, the leading criminal defence firm in Sydney, with an Accredited Specialist in Criminal Law and many solicitors who only do criminal matters, is perfectly placed to do Legal Aid matters such as local court committal hearings, district court trials, supreme court trials, appellate work in the Court of Criminal Appeal, district court sentence matters, district court appeals and any bail application that needs to be made.
As your chosen legal aid lawyer, we give each and every matter the effort and preparation required to achieve the best result.
The legal aid solicitor that looks after your matter from our firm takes control of the case from the moment aid is granted and has the responsibility of providing timely and accurate legal advice to you so that decisions can be made about how the case is to be run, committal hearing, bail application, briefing counsel and appearing at a jury trial.
Many of our legal aid trial clients are in prison having been bail refused because they are charged with serious offences such as sexual assault, murder, arson, break enter and steal, malicious wounding, manslaughter, drug supply, drug importation, child pornography, indecent assault, kidnapping, home invasion and fraud.
It is necessary to visit clients in prisons such as Long Bay, MRRC (Metropolitan Remand Centre), Parramatta Gaol, Parklea Correctional Centre, Goulburn Gaol, Bathurst Gaol, Lithgow Gaol and more. We also have the facility to have a video link prison visit directly from our office to many prisons.
You might think that for legal aid that Sydney is the only place that we will instruct at criminal trials. In fact, there is nothing unusual about our firm being asked to do a criminal trial in a country area. The following are a list of some of the District Courts and Supreme Court locations that we attend.
How Do You Apply For Legal Aid?
A form needs to be completed. We can provide you with the form and assit you in completing it. You will need to provide supporting documentation such as bank statements, rent receipts, pay slips, and Social Security papers. If you nominate our firm or one of our lawyers, we can also sign the form and forward it to the Legal Aid Commission for approval. We prefer that you consult with us prior to making the application for a grant of aid if you want us to act.
Can You Discuss Your Case With A Solicitor?
Yes. Unless it is an urgent matter, your first conference with our solicitor is free whether or not you make an application for legal aid. If you have an urgent matter, we will advise you of any costs that may be involved so that you can choose whether to proceed.
Can You Nominate Your Preferred Lawyer or Firm?
Yes. The lawyer nominated must be a Panel Member approved by the Legal Aid Commission (LAC). The LAC determines whether or not you will have the solicitor of your choice. Sometimes in-house legal aid lawyers will retain your case and sometimes your case will be assigned to your nominated lawyer.
Can You Have A Criminal Barrister of Your Choice?
Sometimes. In matters where a criminal barrister is to be briefed, such as a legal aid trial, the Public Defenders Office must first be approached to see whether a Public Defender is available. If none are available, then generally the legal aid solicitor can select a trial barrister. In certain cases, Senior Counsel (SC) or Queens Counsel (QC) specialising in Criminal Defence can be briefed.
Can We Appear For You In A Trial Anywhere in NSW?
Yes. The Legal Aid Commission has certain restrictions that may apply to the funding of travel costs and accommodation, however we are still able to be nominated as your preferred trial lawyer. See our list (above) of district courts that we can attend. We believe that people in rural or country areas should not be disadvantaged in any way, such as choice of lawyer. Although there are lawyers in country areas, some people want to ensure that they have a lawyer who is truly independent of their community.
Will You Visit Clients in Gaol?
Definitely. We regularly attend gaols across the Sydney metropolitan area as well as some country gaols. We also have the facility to conduct an audio visual visit from our office to some prisons.
Is Legal Aid Subject To A Merit Test or a Means Test
Yes – to both. Your case must have merit and you must be eligible under the means test to be granted legal aid. Sometimes you might be asked to make a financial contribution towards your legal costs as part of the grant of aid.
Why Do We Do Legal Aid Cases?
Simple – everyone has the right to competent legal representation. We have a dedicated team of criminal defence lawyers including an Accredited Specialist in Criminal Law who have successfully won a number of very high publicity legal aid trials as well as a great number of trials that did not attract publicity. We have experienced solicitors who have stopped matters from going to trial by winning committal hearings – without the benefit of the assistance of counsel. Our solicitors are passionate about criminal law.