For anyone accused of a crime or motoring offence, having the advice and professional support of a qualified lawyer is essential. However, if you are not eligible for legal aid, the prospect of private fees can be daunting. One solution to this is to instruct a lawyer on a fixed fee basis.
Cases in either the Magistrates Court or Crown Court can often take much longer to conclude than originally expected. It is especially common for Courts to list more trials than they have available court rooms, meaning that cases get adjourned again. As well as being frustrating for everyone involved, it can mean that you have been charged for a lawyer attending a hearing that wasn’t effective.
An alternative to simply paying your lawyer on an hourly rate is to agree a fixed fee to cover the costs of a case. The advantage of this is that there are no nasty surprises if a case is adjourned or runs on for longer than originally estimated.
Any lawyer looking to charge fixed fees will have to inform you that if you are successful in defending the case against you, you may be able to recover the costs of your defence. However, these costs are limited to the rates that nominally apply to legal aid work. Therefore you could still be out of pocket even if you are cleared of all allegations.