How much does it cost to use an attorney?
There are no costs involved for the victim for the actual trial in cases driven by the prosecutor. Costs are usually incurred for using an attorney. In many cases, the costs can however be covered either according to income and wealth by utilising public legal aid, legal security insurance, or the crime may be of such nature that the costs of an attorney are reimbursed by the government regardless of income levels.
The victim of crime may also obtain an attorney for handling the legal case, which is paid either partially or fully by the government. Legal aid is granted by a legal aid office. It covers all legal affairs. The amount of legal aid depends on the individual’s (or couple’s) income and wealth. Legal aid for people with a low income is free. For cases that are handled abroad, legal aid covers legal advice. Legal aid is applied for at the government’s legal aid office. More information on legal aid can be found at www.oikeus.fi
Legal aid is usually not granted, if the applicant has a legal security insurance policy, which will cover the costs. A victim of a sexual crime or serious violent crime can obtain an advisor, paid fully by the government, regardless of his/her income. Victims of domestic violence may have the same opportunity in many situations. In this case, you may turn to e.g. A private legal office.
At court, an advisor may be a solicitor, public attorney as well as an authorised lawyer with sufficient experience. Public attorneys work at state legal aid offices. The legal aid offices are usually located in the same municipalities as the district courts. Private legal firms can be found on the Bar Association website www.asianajajat.fi. Costs involved in using a lawyer should be negotiated immediately at the beginning of the task.
Finally, legal costs can be claimed from the counterparty, if the defendant is charged for the acts for which he/she is prosecuted. The State Treasury may also reimburse costs incurred for using an attorney, if other compensation is paid and it is considered that the use of an attorney was justified.