This factsheet tells you in what circumstances you are entitled to be represented by a lawyer, how to find a lawyer, and how the costs of the lawyer will be met if you cannot afford to pay. It will also tell you what a lawyer will do for you.
Only a lawyer entered in the register of lawyers maintained by the Czech Bar Association (CBA) may defend a person in a criminal case.
If you do not choose a lawyer you must defend yourself.
In some cases, you are obliged to have a defence lawyer and the court will appoint a defence lawyer for you if you do not choose one within a specified time limit. The following are situations in which a defence lawyer is required:
It is the accused person who pays for the lawyer’s services. If the court appoints a lawyer for you, the state pays for the defence. The state also pays if you are entitled to a free defence.
Payments for the services of a defence lawyer are specified by a contract between you and your defence lawyer or by the Act on Lawyers’ Fees (if you don’t have a contract).
If you do not have enough money to pay the costs of your defence, you are entitled to a reduced fee or to a free defence (both referred to as 'free defence'). A judge, or the chairman of the court will decide your application, based on information about your financial situation. This application must be submitted by you during the preparatory process through the public prosecutor or during the court proceedings.
You may be awarded a free defence even without such an application if the evidence suggests that it is appropriate.
The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.
Member States in charge of the management of national content pages are in the process of updating some of the content on this website in the light of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. If the site contains content that does not yet reflect the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, it is unintentional and will be addressed.