Legal Aid for Criminal Law
We are contracted with the Legal Aid Agency to provide legal advice and representation at the police station and court.
Free and independent legal advice in police interviews
Advice and assistance is free of charge for anyone being interviewed by the police.
Kings Solicitors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Magistrates’ Court legal aid
If legal aid is granted for your case in the Magistrates’ Court, then the advice and representation that our solicitors provide is free of charge to you. The Legal Aid Agency will also pay for any additional expenses such as an expert’s fee.
The legal aid decision involves two tests.
The first is the interests of justice test. The Legal Aid Agency will take into account a number of factors such as the risk of prison or loss of your job on conviction, or whether the case involves a complicated point of law.
The second test is a means test. The Legal Aid Agency will take into account your family income and expenditure when deciding whether you are entitled to legal aid. In certain circumstances you may receive a state benefit that automatically means that you are entitled. In other circumstances, we will need to provide evidence of your income to make sure that all of your relevant financial circumstances are taken into account.
Crown Court Legal Aid
Legal Aid is available for defending Crown Court proceedings. It will always be granted on the merits of the case although like the Magistrates’ Court, it is subject to a means test. The test is different, however, and the income threshold is set much higher. As a result, Crown Court legal aid can be granted with or without a contribution from your monthly income.
Even if you do not have to pay an income contribution you might have enough capital such as savings or equity in your property to mean that a contribution is collected from these sources at the end of your case. This will only happen of you plead guilty or are found guilty after trial.
The benefits of legal aid at the Crown Court are:
- If you win your case any contributions will be returned to you;
- If you are not entitled to legal aid and win your case then you will be able to apply for a proportion of your fees to be repaid from central funds; and
- It is likely to make your representation by litigator and advocate more affordable, particularly if your case involves a long Crown Court trial or involves the instruction of expert witnesses