Funding, appeals, breaches and challenging orders.
We have the lawyers to advise, prepare and present a case at all stages. If it is complex or serious then we have the experience and resources. If it is related to criminal law, then ask us how we can help and how the work can be funded
Representation if a police officer interviews under caution is always free of charge.
Representation for free, under legal aid, at the Magistrates depends on the household means being assessed at less than about £12,475. A defendant with a listed passported benefit always meets the means criteria. However legal aid is also dependent on the interests of justice meriting it’s grant. If a loss of liberty is at risk then that test is met, but other factors might include whether a person’s reputation or livelihood at risk? Or is the case going to need a lawyer’s specialists skills? A consultation with us at Trinity Advocates will help you work out if you may be eligible. If you are not we can talk over what private terms might be. Only if we cannot secure legal aid then a private fee will be charged. For example, usually a single appearance at a first Magistrate hearing, with an office consultation beforehand might be charged at around £250 plus VAT. Any quote will depend on the amount of work needed, any extras needed (such as assistance from an expert witness) and whether the matter will require a trial or additional hearings. This list is not exhaustive.
This is a link to the Ministry of Justices explanation about legal aid means testing: You may be better off talking it over with one of our lawyers. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/criminal-legal-aid-means-testing
Representation for free or subject to monthly contributions under legal aid at the Crown Court is easier to be eligible for after a means assessment. However, if legal aid is granted and the defendant loses their trial or pleads guilty at the Crown Court, then that defendant’s capital can be taken into account if the Legal aid agency seeks to recover all or some of the costs of their legal representation.
Here is more information from the Ministry of Justice, but again, it might be better if you ask one of us directly. If you are granted legal aid at the Crown Court and you are not comfortable with the demands for contributions (which can seem unfair) or with the risk of being ordered to repay for representation at the end of the case, then the alternative of being represented under private terms can be considered instead or a hardship application can be made to the Legal aid agency to argue for reconsideration of any contribution calculation. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/work-out-who-qualifies-for-criminal-legal-aid
Being experts in criminal law means there are several different sorts of matters we can help you with. They include the following, but call us if you want to know more about how we might help if it involves the police, an investigatory body or any criminal court:
Road Traffic Matters (e.g. speeding, drink drive, unfit through drugs)
Driving bans have a big impact on a household: Bans can follow because at any one time a driver has 12 or more current license points or because a specific offence merits a ban of itself. Sometimes a lawyer can argue special reasons not to ban (maybe claiming the offence was committed in an emergency situation) or they can seek to establish that exceptional hardship will follow a ban based on getting 12 points or more (also called totting). Talk to us for free about the options.
Appeals to the Crown Court against Magistrates decisions (Sentencing or Conviction)
Any appeal has to be entered within 21 days of the conclusion of the Magistrates hearing and failed appeals can result in not just more costs, but the Crown Court imposing a worse penalty. A talk with one of our criminal lawyers will help you establish the chances of successful appeal, the risks and how to fund any such action.
Seeking to vary Court orders after the appeal time is over – As covered earlier in this site, on sentence the criminal courts can make orders that have a big impact on your life, making criminal day to day activity the rest of us take for granted. We can advise you if you are entitled to challenge an order, maybe because sufficient time and good behaviour has passed to justify making such an application or maybe because circumstances have changed. Arrange to talk to us about varying restraint orders, sexual harm prevention orders or criminal behaviour orders if you think the time if right for that.
Breaches of an order – On any breach of a court order, either you are at risk of a punishment or of the order being made worse. We can advise you on the merits of challenging the alleged breach, the risks of the breach and how to fund a lawyers help. We will often help our clients if they think they are going to get in trouble for a breach. Sometimes a call from us to someone professional who enforces the order, such as to a probation officer, can help smooth things out and avoid breach proceedings all together.