Legal aid is means tested. It is administered by The Legal Aid Agency. If granted, the cost of your representation will be free however, in certain circumstances subject to a means assessment you may need to pay a contribution towards your case. It must also be deemed in the public interests of justice for you to qualify for legal aid.
We will apply for legal aid on your behalf free of charge.
At the Magistrates Court you automatically get legal aid if you under 18 years old or in receipt of qualifying benefits such as income support, ESA, Job Seekers allowance, Universal Credit, State Pension Guarantee.
If however you are in employment, you will need to provide us with proof of the following (and your partners if applicable):
- Up to date wage slips for the last three months
- Up to date bank statements for the last three months
- Details of any outgoings you have in terms of rent/ mortgage, Council Tax, child maintenance payments and savings.
If you are granted legal aid in the Magistrates Court and you case is sent to the Crown Court for conclusion, your legal aid will automatically be extended. If you do not qualify for legal aid in the Magistrates Court and your case is sent to the Crown Court for conclusion, then you may be eligible to apply for legal aid just in respect of the Crown Court proceedings. This will be means tested and you may be asked to make a contribution.
What if Legal Aid is refused?
If legal aid is refused because you are not financially eligible or do not meet the interests of justice test, then we can provide a tailor made, fixed fee quotation for the entirety of your case from initial advice to representation. We can also provide early stage advice on your case and funding free of charge either in person or via telephone.
If you are acquitted as a privately paying client, you may be entitled to recover some or all of your legal costs.