Legal Aid in the Magistrates Court

Updated on Wednesday 13th September 2017

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According to the legislation of the United Kingdom, any person who is in the prosecution for a criminal offence and is unable to fully pay for the legal services provided by a criminal solicitor in London has the right to ask for legal aid services. In some particular cases, legal aid can be free or the defendant has to pay a part of the costs. UK’s legislation established for the first time the legal aid in the “Legal Aid and Advice Act in 1949”, but before this, the document “Poor Prisoners Defence Act from 1930” set up this new concept of criminal legal aid for trials in the Magistrates' Courts. Nowadays, legal aid is under the procedures of the Legal Aid Agency

Who has the right to appeal for legal aid in the UK?

In accordance with the rules established in the Act, a person who is charged with a criminal case or a civil case has the right to ask for legal aid. Also, the legislation of UK specifies that legal aid can be solicited for most of the criminal offences. A person must know that legal aid is provided by criminal solicitors in private service and there are only a few public solicitors from the Legal Aid Agency in the Public Defender Service Offices. If you are in need of legal aid, our criminal lawyer in UK can provide all the legal help throughout the process, he can represent and counsel you in police stations or in the Magistrates' Court, our team being specialized in a wide range of criminal cases. 

Testing schemes for eligibility, according to our defence solicitors in U.K.

When a case is sent to the Magistrates' Court, there are certain testing schemes that make a person elected or not for legal aid and for sentencing in the Court. Here are some schemes of the Magistrates' Court in accordance with the legal aid:

•    if the initial test is failed, the Court will not grant the legal aid representation and the defendant must pay a part of the costs;
•    an applicant can contest a refusal for an action in the Magistrates' Court and can request that a member of the institution to review the initial test of eligibility, but only a refusal can be contested. If the decision was wrong in the first test, the procedure is retaken;
•    the Magistrates' Court permits to a defendant to ask for a reevaluation if the condition of the case modifies. In this situation, the defendant may be suitable for legal aid.

Legal aid in domestic abuse cases in UK

In cases of domestic abuse, when women and children are involved, legal representation is required in the Magistrates' Court. If you cannot afford the costs, you have the right to solicit legal aid and prepare the documentation in this matter. In order to obtain the legal aid in domestic abuse cases, the authorities need to analyze your financial situation, police declarations, and treatments received after the domestic abuse case. We remind that our criminal defence solicitors in London can offer legal advice if you are a victim of abuse or if you have been accused of domestic violence.

Restrictions in legal aid cases at the Magistrates' Court

There are cases when the legal aid cannot be granted or persons do not have the eligibility for legal aid. For example, the business crime offence cases are not eligible for legal aid in the UK. The personal injury cases which are under a different type of agreement and also the defamation situations, when charges have been imposed, cannot be eligible for legal aid in the UK, according to the laws in this matter. The particularities of the case need to be properly analyzed before applying for legal aid. Our criminal lawyer in UK is able to determine whether your case is subject to legal aid or not.

The advantages of legal aid in UK

Persons accused of serious offences in the UK have the right to be legally represented in front of the authorities. An attorney can explain your rights and if your case is eligible for legal aid. We remind that you can be released on bail if you have been arrested and kept in police custody, with proper legal advice and representation.

For a better understanding of the legal aid granted in the Magistrates' Court, we invite you to watch the video below: 

Our lawyers can provide more details about the legal aid in UK if you are involved in a criminal case. If you want more information or you are in need for legal aid, please contact our team of criminal solicitors in London.


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