All people (regardless of earnings) are entitled to free representation at the police station. Please contact us to discuss your case if you are attending the police station on a voluntary basis. If your are arrested then make sure your legal rights are protected by asking for us at the police station.
In the magistrates’ court legal aid may be available if you are financially eligible (the “means test”) and if it is deemed to be in the interests of justice for you to be granted legal aid (the “merits test”).
If you are under 18 years of age you will automatically be financially eligible. Please see the table below for financial eligibility for adults:
The following are examples of when a case might warrant legal aid:
- You are under the age of 18.
- It is likely that you will go to custody.
- It is likely that you will lose your livelihood.
- It is likely that you will suffer serious damage to your reputation.
- A substantial question of law is involved.
- You may not be able to understand the court proceedings or present your own case.
- Witnesses need to be traced and statements taken from them (this may be relevant if you need an expert in your case).
- The proceedings may involve expert cross examination of a witness (this may be relevant if the police/prosecution are relying on expert witnesses).
- It is in the interests of another person that you be represented (examples may include if the case is a domestic violence allegation).
This list is not exhaustive and one should always seek professional advice in relation to eligibility.
Legal aid in the crown court
All persons are entitled to legal aid in the crown court unless your household income is greater than £37,500 per annum, however, if your income exceeds £12,475 you will probably have to pay a contribution towards your legal aid.
If your household income is greater than £37,500 please contact us to discuss the matter in further detail.
Recovering legal costs
If your case is successful you may be entitled to reclaim your legal costs. This can only be done at legal aid rates. In the crown court a defendant can only reclaim costs if they have made an application for legal aid which has been refused.
If you are not eligible for legal aid, or choose not to apply, then we are happy to represent you on a private client basis. The majority of our clients prefer that we represent them on a fixed fee basis and we are happy to have a free initial telephone consultation with you to discuss your case and the costs of representation.