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If you would like any further information regarding criminal law, please complete our short enquiry form below;
If you are charged your eligibility for legal aid is then tested. We will assist you in the completion of a CDS14 and/or CDS15 and submit this to the Magistrate’s Court. The Court will then determine whether or not you are eligible for legal aid.
The Court does this by judging firstly whether the case is in the Interest Of Justice (they take into account any previous convictions and the nature of the offence and the risk of custody), and secondly will means test you based on your income, outgoings and any assets you may have.
Overall, about 50% of those applying for legal aid at the Magistrate’s Court will get it, and about 75% of those will get it at Crown Court.
If you are in any of the following categories you will automatically qualify for free legal aid:
- You are under 18 years of age;
- You are in receipt of income support, or income-based job seeker’s allowance, or guaranteed state pension credit or income related employment and support allowance.
- If you want to see if you are eligible, go to www.legalservices.gov.uk/criminal/getting_legal_aid/eligibility_calculator.asp
If you are not eligible for legal aid we can of course still defend you, just on a private paying basis. This will involve a payment on account of our costs upon opening your file, and then monthly payments thereafter to fund ongoing work. We will advise you of the charges as we go along.
Remember, if you are subsequently found not guilty, you can apply to reclaim some or any of your defence costs from central funds which we will assist with.