Legal Aid for Criminal Defence
The City Solicitors are pleased to provide representation in criminal matters under Legal Aid. Legal Aid also known as public funding is a Government scheme which provides payment to your lawyers for representation in certain cases.
Legal Aid funding is available to certain individuals depending on the case and your financial circumstance. The
Legal Aid Agency considers a variety of factors when determining whether an individual qualifies for public funding for their case.
Means Testing: The Legal Aid Agency will take into account various factors to determine whether you qualify for legal aid to cover some or all your defence cost through means testing. It takes into account income, family circumstances, e.g., number of children and essential living costs, e.g., mortgage or rent.
Eligibility also depends on the type of case and where it’s heard. Interests of Justice: All individuals must also pass the Interests of Justice test (IoJ) to qualify for legal aid. When deciding whether to grant legal aid to an individual, the legal aid agency will also take the case's merits into account.
This may involve consideration of the nature of an offence and whether a custodial sentence might be likely, as well as whether an individual has previous convictions.
Passporting: There are some circumstances when an individual will automatically be awarded Legal Aid to pay for their defence costs regardless of the means test and if they have passed the Interests of Justice Test. This is known as “passporting”. These applicants are those individuals, who automatically pass the means test because they are on either Income Support, Income based job seekers allowance, Income based Employment and Support Allowance or Guarantee State Pension Credit. Our lawyers will help you determine if you may be eligible to apply for funding, and where appropriate, we will assist you in making an application for Legal Aid. Please contact our offices in order to discuss legal aid options further.