Legal Aid for Criminal Defence
Legal aid is always available to cover the cost of a solicitor at the police station, regardless of a personís financial means.
Receiving Legal aid in the Courts is dependent on your means. We will assess your circumstances and tell you if you are eligible to receive legal aid, if you are then we can represent you on a legal aid basis. Contact us to assess your circumstances.
The system at present is all or nothing; if your means are below a set level then the legal aid is paid for in full. There is no provision for cases to be part funded by legal aid and part by contribution from the defendant.
Will I get first class representation on legal aid?
The representation you get will be no different to that which you would get if you were paying privately. The same solicitors do both legal aid and privately funded work, as do the barristers we would brief on your behalf.
Funding a defence case privately
For some cases, even cases where the result may impact severely on the applicant, such as Drink Driving, the court are unlikely to grant a representation order, regardless of means. This may change in cases where the alcohol level is very high, but if your job depends on having a driving licence even a low reading can spell disaster.
If you have been charged with a road traffic offence, legal aid is unlikely to be available. The means testing of legal aid in the Magistrates court means that some fairly serious charges will not be covered by legal aid.
In these cases we can advise of the likely cost of representation. We will also keep you updated of how much the case will cost as it progresses through the system. Many cases can be concluded in one hearing so the quantification of cost is straight forward.