At the Castle Partnership, we have been representing clients either privately or with the benefit of legal aid since our formation in 2001.
We hold a contract with the Legal Aid Agency which enables us to assist those who qualify for legal aid under a Representation Order. For more information about this, please see the section below headed Legal Aid.
For those who do not qualify for legal aid, either due to the nature of the case or their financial circumstances, we offer a competitively priced service. This will frequently be the case for motoring offences. For more information about this, please see the section below headed Private Funding.
INTERVIEWS UNDER CAUTION AT THE POLICE STATION
If you have been arrested or been asked to attend the Police Station voluntarily for interview under caution, we can arrange representation and advice at the Police Station free of charge regardless of your means or the nature of the case. This is a 24-hour service, 365 days of the year. If you have been arrested you can ask for us at the Police Station. If you have been asked to attend the Police Station for a voluntary interview, please call us.
As indicated above, everyone is entitled to free and independent advice at the Police Station regardless of their means. This applies where you are being interviewed by the Police under caution.
If you have been arrested you should ask the Police to contact us. This request should generally be made to the custody sergeant when you arrive in custody, but you can ask for a solicitor at any time whilst you are detained.
The Police may also contact you and ask you to attend the Police Station voluntarily to be interviewed. If this happens, please contact us and we will arrange for representation. Our representative will meet you at the Police Station.
If you are charged with an offence you can make an application for legal aid to cover the costs of representation in Court.
We can make the application on your behalf to the Legal Aid Agency who will grant the application if two criteria are met. The first of these is that the case meets the “interests of justice” test, and the second is that you qualify financially.
If you are on benefits you will meet the financial criteria, but we will need to know what benefit you receive and we will need your National Insurance number. Applicant who are working, but who are on a low income, may need to provide proof of their financial circumstances, such as wage slips, bank statements etc.
We can help you through the process to ensure that Legal Aid is granted if you qualify. If your application for Legal Aid is unsuccessful, we can represent you privately under our fee scheme.
Legal Aid is available in the Crown Court and the application process is the same as indicated in the Magistrates Court section above.
Legal Aid is granted for most cases in the Crown Court regardless of means. However, the Legal Aid Agency will carry out an assessment of each applicants financial circumstances and unless you are on low income it is likely you will be asked to pay a contribution to your legal costs.
We can help you through the process and help you decide whether it is better for you to apply for legal aid and pay the contribution or pay privately.
We recognise that facing Court proceedings can be a stressful time for our clients. Uncertainty about costs and legal fees can add to that stress. We will always advise clients about the potential availability of legal aid for their case where it is appropriate.
There will be some cases where legal aid is not available. This could be where the clients financial circumstances make him or her ineligible, or where the circumstances of the case do not meet the Legal Aid Agencies “interest of justice” test. This test is rarely met, for example, for most road traffic offences, such as Drink/ Drug Driving, Careless Driving, or Failing to Stop After an Accident.
We aim to provide competitive fees and clarity in our fee structure. There will be circumstances where we are required to tailor our fees to meet the needs of an individual case, but broadly speaking our fees will be as set out below. You will be advised of your fee at the outset of your case and will be provided with an invoice. In the event we do have to amend a fee, you will be advised in advance so we know that we have your agreement before any liability is incurred.
The above fees do not include VAT or disbursements. Disbursements can include Counsel’s fees, Forensic or Expert reports or travel costs.
Attendance at the Police Station where a senior Solicitor is specifically requested – £500.00
Pre-Court Meeting with a Solicitor (approx. 45 ins to an hour) – £200
Attendance at Court *(Guilty /Not Guilty Plea/ Sentence/ Mention) – £400 per item
Trials- We will give you an individual quote for your trial as early as possible in the proceedings. It will be based on an hourly rate of £200.00 per hour.
*This fee does not include travel. Travel time and disbursements will generally be charged for all Magistrates Court attendance other then Guildford. This will be approximately £50 for Basingstoke and Staines, more for other Courts.
Initial meeting with Solicitor -£200 to £500 depending on complexity, based upon an hourly rate of £200 per hour.
Guilty Pleas- £1,500 to £5,000 depending on complexity.
Trial – Our fee will be based upon an hourly charging rate of £200 per hour. We will give you an individual quote for your trial as early as possible.