Legal aid is also known as public funding and it means that the government will pay for your legal expenses.
EVERYONE at the Police Station is entitled to a FREE advice no matter what the offence, what you earn whether you are there voluntarily or having been in custody.
If you are interviewed at the Job Centre, at your house or anywhere else it is likely you will be covered under legal aid but please contact us if you are unsure and one of our friendly members of staff will be happy to assist you.
Whether legal aid is granted at the Magistrates’ Court depends on a two-fold test. Firstly, is it in the interests of justice to grant funding? This will usually depend on whether the offence could be punished with imprisonment, but can also rest on whether there are any special characteristics about you or the circumstances, which render it necessary for funding to be granted. Second comes the means test. If you receive certain benefits (JSA, ESA, Pension Credits, for example) then you will automatically pass the means test. If you work and earn less than around £275 per week (less some allowable deductions), then it is likely you will qualify for legal aid.
At the Youth Court legal aid can be obtained for nearly all cases, it is based on the youths income not the parents and isn’t dependent on risk of prison.
All cases that get sent to the Crown Court will be serious enough to qualify for legal aid. However, you may need to contribute a monthly amount to the Legal Aid Agency depending on your income.
To find out whether you are eligible for legal aid and what documents you will need to apply please call our office and speak with the Legal Aid Supervisor on 02392 486886.
You can also find more information on the government website https://www.gov.uk/guidance/work-out-who-qualifies-for-criminal-legal-aid
Alternatively you can email our office and we will aim to reply as quickly as possible