Legal Aid

 

We have been representing our clients 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, either free of charge or by contribution.

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 most road traffic offences, such as Drink/Drug Driving, Careless Driving, or Failing to Stop After an Accident.

 

Police Station - including interviews under caution

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 should ask for The Castle Partnership at the Police Station. 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.

Alternatively, the Police may 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 one of our representatives to meet you at the Police Station. 

 

Magistrates Court

If you are charged with an offence you can make an application for legal aid to cover the costs of representation in the Magistrates 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.  Applicants 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 private fee scheme.

 

Crown Court

Legal Aid is available in the Crown Court and the application process is the same as the Magistrates Court (see 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 to pay privately.