Patrocinio a spese dello Stato: free legal assistance
Patrocinio a spese dello Stato is the possibility of having free legal assistance. In Italy both Italian and foreign citizens have the right to get patrocinio, but some requirements must be met, such as income. Patrocinio can also be requested in the event of a negative outcome of the request for international protection.
If you need a lawyer but do not have sufficient financial resources, you are entitled to the “patrocinio a spese dello Stato”, which is legal assistance covered by the Italian State. The patrocinio a spese dello Stato, generally called “gratuito patrocinio“, provides you with an “avvocato d’ufficio” for free.
The avvocato d’ufficio can be requested for any type of civil, criminal, administrative and tax law. It can also be requested to appeal the negative outcome of your international protection application.
Who can apply
To apply for the gratuito patrocinio you must have an income of less than 11,746.68 euros. This amount also includes the income of family members living with you.
How to apply
You can find the list of avvocato d’ufficio on the website of the Ordine degli Avvocati of your city. Once you have identified a lawyer, you can contact him. He will help you apply for gratuito patrocinio.
Or, if you have not identified a lawyer, you can contact the Ordine degli Avvocati of your city directly. To find information on the Ordine degli Avvocati of your city you can do this online search: Ordine degli Avvocati + name of your city (for example: Ordine degli Avvocati Bari).
It is possible that the procedure for requesting the gratuito patrocinio varies slightly depending on the city.
The gratuito patrocinio is not automatic. If you do not meet the exact requirements to obtain it, whoever examines your request can reject it. This is why it is important that you are assisted by a lawyer in your request.
If your gratuito patrocinio request has been rejected, you will have to pay the lawyer for his work on your case.
If you are not satisfied with your “avvocato d’ufficio“, you can request to change lawyer.
Here are some websites of the Ordine degli Avvocati: