Brisbane Legal Aid Criminal Lawyers

Book a Complimentary Consultation with an Accredited Specialist in Criminal Law

Cavanagh Gillies Lawyers is a Legal Aid Queensland Preferred Supplier for criminal matters before the Brisbane District Court and the following Magistrates Courts:

〉   Brisbane Magistrates Court.

〉   Holland Park Magistrates Court.

〉   Richlands Magistrates Court.

   Sandgate Magistrates Court.

〉   Redcliffe Magistrates Court.

〉   Cleveland Magistrates Court.

〉   Wynnum Magistrates Court.

Legal Aid will pay the costs for us to represent you if you qualify for legal assistance and an application to appoint us as your lawyers is approved.

Mitchell Cavanagh, a criminal lawyer with 20 years’ experience, will represent you if we are assigned a grant of legal aid.   Learn more about Mitchell here.

We are happy to discuss the availability of legal aid funding if you call us or send a web enquiry.

We can refer you to another Preferred supplier if you have a case before another court.

Can I get legal aid?

We can quickly assess your case and circumstances and let you know upfront if legal aid funding is available for your case

Legal Aid has limited resources and cannot afford to fund every case.  Tests are used to determine whether a person is eligible for aid.

The tests include:

The Means Test.  You will need to provide proof of your income and disclose all your assets in your application.  If your income or assets are greater than the scale you may be refused assistance or required to pay a contribution.

The Merit Test.  Legal Aid does not provide assistance for all cases in the Magistrates Court. For example, funding for a plea of guilty is only available if there is a risk of imprisonment or some other special circumstance.

Legal Aid generally provides funding for all matters before the District Court.

You can read the Legal Aid Queensland: Can I get legal aid? brochure here

PLEASE NOTE. We do not act in family law legal aid matters.

How do I apply for legal aid?

We can help you through the process of lodging an application for legal aid.  As a Preferred Supplier we can lodge your application online.

You will need to complete and sign a Legal Aid Application Form.

Legal Aid requires the following proof of income documents:

  • Bank statements for the past three months for all accounts.


  • Payslips for at least the last four weeks.


  • A letter from your employer stating your income.


  • A Centrelink income statement

What if I can’t get legal aid?

We will help you with your options.

Sometimes legal aid is refused because a Duty Lawyer is available and can handle the case.  In some Magistrates Court plea matters the outcome will be about the same if you appear self-represented without a lawyer.

Unfortunately there are still many people who cannot afford the full cost of legal representation who don’t qualify for assistance because of the strict tests Legal Aid must apply.

If you fall in this gap we will discuss the possibility of a discounted fee arrangement for us to run the case or assist you manage your case.

We provide a scale of fees if you want to learn more about the cost of our services.

Access our scale of fees
book a complimentary initial consultation with an accredited specialist