If you are arrested, you have the right to legal advice from a solicitor of your own choice and to have your solicitor present during any police interview.
Legal advice in a police station is free of charge whether you are under arrest or there as a volunteer.
Legal Aid at Court
Legal Aid will continue to be available in the majority of cases, though a means test will apply and may result in some applicants being ineligible for Legal Aid.
Where Legal Aid is granted, some Crown Court cases may be subject to a contribution order from income and / or capital following a means test but Stevens Solicitors are fully committed to the Legal Aid scheme and will take the appropriate steps to deal with your case under that scheme whenever possible. However, the scheme is quite involved and standard forms issued by the court/Legal Aid Agency can be confusing. We have prepared a Question and Answer document to explain the process which can be accessed here.
If you are not eligible for Legal Aid we can discuss funding your case privately. Because your first interview is free we will give you advice as to whether you are eligible for Legal Aid and if not we will advise you on our scale of private costs to enable you to make an informed decision.
Private Client Case Funding
Stevens Solicitors and Advocates is primarily a legal aid firm and we will always advise you, the client, as to the availability of legal aid in connection with the matter upon which you are seeking advice and representation. We will advise and assist you to obtain legal aid if at all possible but, where this is not available or where you choose to instruct us on a private client basis, we will be happy to give an estimate of likely costs or quote for a specific task or tasks.
We have a detailed information sheet for private client (i.e. non-legal aid) costs which is available to download here.
It is sometimes necessary to instruct third parties/experts to prepare reports, dependent upon the nature of the case. These instructions give rise to disbursements.
If the matter is funded by legal aid an application is made to the Legal Aid Agency for payment of the disbursement.
If the matter is privately funded we will obtain a number of quotations and discuss these in advance of instructing the third party/expert. We must then be placed in funds before the report is prepared.
Examples of disbursements would include:-
Back calculations in excess alcohol cases.
Forensic reports relating to blood/DNA/fingerprints.