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Criminal Legal Aid

To determine whether you qualify for legal aid you must satisfy two tests a. Means Test (Financial Eligibility) and b. Merits (Interest of Justice test). If you are under 18 you will automatically qualify for legal aid.

Means Test (Financial Eligibility Test)

The basic principal here is whether you can afford to fund your legal representation. The legal aid agency will take into account your:

  • Income
  • Family Circumstances
  • Essential living costs such a mortgage and rent
  • Where the case is being heard for example, trials in the Crown Court, retrials committals for sentence

The Legal Aid Agency will take into account the total household income, outgoings, capital and equity.

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Legal Aid Threshold

Legal Aid Threshold for Magistrates Court Cases

Lower Threshold – £12475

Upper Threshold – £22325

Anyone not qualifying for legal aid may apply for a review on the grounds of hardship.

Legal Aid Threshold for Crown Court Cases

If your annual household disposable income is more than £37500 you will not qualify for legal aid. If the disposable income is more than £3398 but less than £37500 you will be responsible for a contribution towards the legal costs. If you have above £30,000 in capital and equity and are convicted you may have to contribute towards any remaining balance against your final defence costs.

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Legal Aid at Court

Any person who has been charged with a criminal offence will most certainly pass the means test if they are in receipt of:

  • Income support
  • Jobseekers allowance (Income based JSA)
  • Universal credit
  • State Pension Guarantee Credit
  • Income-based Employments and Support Allowance (ESA)

NOTE: You must also pass the interest of Justice Test i.e. seriousness of the offence, previous convictions, risk of custody. So the more serious offence the more likely the interest of Justice test will be passed.

Below there is a table Financial Eligibility Calculator for criminal legal aid.

Eligibility Calculator

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I am extremely grateful for the outstanding legal representation provided by Mr Hussain Ish and his team at Evan Moore Solicitors. Their expertise, dedication, and attention to detail were instrumental in securing a favourable outcome for my case. From the initial consultation to the final verdict, Mr Hussain Ish and his team demonstrated professionalism and unwavering commitment to my best interests.Their strategic approach, coupled with effective communication, instilled confidence and peace of mind throughout the entire process. I highly recommend Evan Moore to anyone in need of top-notch legal representation.
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