Funding Your Case
If you are arrested for an offence and detained at a police station you are entitled to instruct a Solicitor from JSPS to advise and represent you free of charge.
A member of our team is always available to assist you 24 hours a day on the emergency numbers.
Legal Aid in the Magistrates Court is only available if the court determines that you satisfy a merits test, and a means assessment.
To pass the merits test the court must be satisfied as to the complexity or seriousness of the offence charged.
If you are under 18, or in receipt of state benefits or if you are not capable of funding your own case then you are likely to meet the means requirements.
Our Solicitors will be happy to advise you as to whether you are likely to be granted Legal Aid in your case.
If your case goes to the Crown Court for trial you will automatically qualify under the merits test for Legal Aid. You will then be subject to a means assessment. After this assessment you may have to pay a monthly contribution towards the cost of your defence to the Court. This could be from your income while the case is ongoing and/or from your capital, if you are convicted.
You will not have to pay towards the costs of your case if you are under 18 when you make your application or if you receive a state benefit.
At the end of your case, if you are found Not Guilty then any payments you have made will be refunded with interest. If you are found Guilty, you may have to pay towards your defence costs from any capital assets you may have.
If you are found to be ineligible for Crown Court funding due to your means we can of course assist you on a private fee basis.
Again our Solicitors will be happy to advise you on Crown Court Legal Aid means requirements.
In the event that you are not eligible for Legal Aid we will be happy to represent you as a private client at competitive rates which can be provided on request.
Should you be found Not Guilty at the conclusion of the proceedings, we will assist you to apply to the Court for a Defence Costs Order where applicable and when received, will seek your fees to be reimbursed by the National Taxing Team out of central funds. Please be aware that your costs may not be refunded at our private rates in full. Please also note, that as from 1st October 2012, you are no longer entitled to a Defence Costs Order following a Trial in the Crown Court.
Our Solicitors will adise you on whether you would be eligible to apply for a Defence Costs Order at the outset of your case.