LEGAL AID


Micalia01Hi, I am Micaila Williams. If you have committed or been accused of any criminal offence we at Law for Life can help you every step of the way. We provide straight talking, affordable and practical advice from specialist Solicitors and Barristers as well as full representation at the Magistrates’ or Crown Court.

We can also provide you with any forms/documents you need to complete the case together with DIY guides if you choose to represent yourself . Feel free to contact us now for more details.


 AM I ELIGIBLE FOR LEGAL AID?


INTERESTS OF JUSTICE – Generally, the more serious the charge or more serious the possible consequences if you are convicted and sentenced for the offence, means the more likely your case will meet the IOJ test.  The main factors that court take into consideration are:-

  • It is likely that you will lose your liberty (be sent to prison or be committed to a Mental Hospital)
  • You are already on a suspended sentence or a community order that means you are likely to be re-sentenced for the original offence
  • It is likely that you will lose your livelihood
  • It is likely that you will suffer serious damage to your reputation
  • A substantial question of law may be involved
  • You may not be able to understand the court proceedings or present your own case
  • You may need witnesses to be traced or interviewed on your behalf
  • The proceedings may involve expert cross-examination of a prosecution witness
  • It is in the interests of another person that you are represented

INTERESTS OF JUSTICE – APPEALS – If legal aid is refused on the grounds that the case does not meet the IoJ test you (through your Solicitors) can appeal by adding new information to the original application OR writing a letter to the court requesting an appeal.  The magistrates will then decide whether or not to grant Legal Aid.

MEANS TESTING The means test looks at your income, family circumstances (number and age of any children) and importantly essential living costs like mortgage or rent.

Generally, if the household income (total of your gross income and partner’s gross income taking into consideration family circumstances) is below £12,475 you will be eligible for legal aid.  Between £12,475 and £22,325 requires a full assessment and over £22,325 would ordinarily fail in the Magistrates’ Court but would allow an Income Contribution in the Crown Court.

The table below is designed to use a quick reference tool by Solicitors to get an indication of the likely outcome of a means assessment based on a set of generic family circumstances and incomes.  It is advisable to seek guidance from a Solicitor before placing reliance on this table but it is included to give you an idea of the figures involved.

 

Total Gross Household income Applicant Applicant & Partner Applicant & Child (5+) Applicant & Child (2+) Applicant, partner & two children (aged 8 and 12)
£12,475 PASS PASS PASS PASS PASS
£15,000 Depends on outgoing PASS PASS PASS PASS
£19,000 Depends on outgoing PASS Depends on outgoing PASS PASS
£22,325 FAIL Depends on outgoing Depends on outgoing PASS PASS
£25,000 FAIL Depends on outgoing Depends on outgoing Depends on outgoing PASS
£29,000 FAIL Depends on outgoing FAIL Depends on outgoing PASS
£37,000 FAIL FAIL FAIL Depends on outgoing Depends on outgoing
£43,500 FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL Depends on outgoing

 

AUTOMATICALLY ELIGIBLE FOR LEGAL AID If you fit ANY of the following criteria, you will automatically qualify for free legal aid:-

  • Are under 18
  • Receive specific state benefits, which are:
    • income support
    • income-based job seeker’s allowance
    • guaranteed state pension credit
    • income-related employment and support allowance

You will still need to complete the paperwork with your chosen Solicitor but the process will be much simpler!

GETTING LEGAL AID Whether you wish to use Law for Life or another firm of Solicitors, it will be up to your chosen Solicitors to complete all the necessary paperwork.

BEEN REFUSED LEGAL AID? If you have been refused Legal Aid there are really 2 choices for you.

1) Pay privately for representation and help.

We at Law for Life provide competitive affordable quotes for providing high quality advice and representation so please contact us and take advantage of our free 10 minute chat.

2) Do it yourself

We at Law for Life realise that this can sometime be the only option for you, so we have tried to produce some straight talking, simple guides to help you conduct your defence.  Just search for the area of law you require help with and you should be able to find a relevant guide.  And, if there doesn’t seem to be anything relevant contact us and take advantage of our free 10 minute chat.