Código de Processo Penal Comentado | Flavio Meirelles Medeiros

Article 32º CPP – Poverty of the Author.

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Art. 32. In private action crimes, the judge, at the request of the party who proves his poverty, will appoint a lawyer to promote the criminal action.
    § 1. A person who cannot pay for the expenses of the process will be considered poor, without depriving himself of the resources indispensable for his own support or that of his family.
    § 2. A certificate from the police authority in whose jurisdiction the victim resides will be sufficient proof of poverty.


Legal assistance as a duty of the State:  According to the CF,  the State will provide full and free legal assistance to those who prove insufficient resources  ( article 5, item LXXIV of the CF ). Complementary Law  n. 80, of January 12, 1994 , organizes the Public Defender’s Office of the Union, the Federal District and the Territories and prescribes general norms for its organization in the States. Article  3 -A of that law deals with the objectives of the Public Defender’s Office. Article  4  deals with institutional functions, including providing legal guidance and defending those in need, at all levels.

Poverty and proof:  Poor is the person who cannot afford the expenses of the process, without depriving himself of the indispensable resources to support himself or his family. According to article 4, paragraph 1 of Law no. 1,060/1950, the declaration of poverty on the part was sufficient for granting the benefit of legal aid. This provision has been revoked. However, the new  CPC, in article 99 , contains a similar provision. Therefore, a declaration of poverty by the party is sufficient for the granting of the benefit, with documentary evidence being waived.

Procedures:  The party can go directly to the Public Defender’s Office to obtain a lawyer. You can also, which is unusual, address the judge, who will forward the party to the defender. If there is no defender in the county, the judge will request an appointment from the OAB. Otherwise, the judge may appoint a lawyer. There is also the possibility for the party to look for a private lawyer on their own, who agrees to work in the legal aid system. In this case, the lawyer will only be able to demand the defeat of the opposing party. This lawyer, when petitioning, must apply for the benefit of legal aid for the plaintiff. It is suggested, as a precaution, that the complaint be accompanied by a declaration of poverty signed by the plaintiff.

Costs:  The party is exempt from paying the costs in advance ( article 806 ).


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