If Legal Aid is available to you then we will assist you to make an application. There are two tests to be passed before legal aid will be granted:
1. Interests of Justice Test / Merits Test
- is the case serious enough?
- are you at risk of being sent to prison?
- does the case involve a technical point of law?
- are you likely to have difficulty understanding the court process?
- will the case involve the cross examination of an expert witness?
- is it in another person’s interests that you are legally represented?
2. Means Test
- financial eligibility criteria
Many motoring offences are simply not serious enough (in the eyes of the law) to qualify for Legal Aid. This is because there is often no risk of prison. However, we at Old Bailey Solicitors acknowledge that the risk of any conviction and or the consequent loss of a driving licence can be incredibly serious to many people. Old Bailey Solicitors therefore offer a scheme of fixed fees for many clients that do not qualify for Legal Aid.
Where a fixed fee is available the fee will always be agreed with you in advance. This will be confirmed in writing. The level of the fixed fee will depend on a number of factors:
1. the number of hearings involved in your case
2. whether the case involves a contested hearing, such as a trial
3. the experience of the solicitor or advocate working on your case
In any other case we will provide you with an estimate of the costs of the case and we will usually request a payment on account. We use a computerised case management system which allows us to track costs closely and to keep our clients up to date with regular cost summaries.
If you are thinking of instructing a solicitor and want to know whether Legal Aid is available or what the likely fixed fee will be, please email us at email@example.com