Everyone accused of a crime is entitled to having legal advice and assistance. Sometimes criminal defence representation is funded by the state through the Legal Aid scheme. There are cases where legal aid is not available though, and the defendant may have to consider paying privately for a specialist advocate.
Why Do I Need a Criminal Defence Lawyer?
Criminal cases are complicated. They involve assessing evidence, carefully questioning witnesses, and presenting arguments in Court.
While you don’t have to be a lawyer to do these things successfully, experience and training mean that being represented by a specialist advocate could make a huge difference to the outcome of a case.
Having clear advice from the start of the case will identify whether you should be admitting the offence and focussing on the best possible sentence, or fighting all the way to a trial to defend the allegation in full.
A good criminal defence lawyer will tell you what you need to know, not what you want to hear.
Why Would I Need Private Representation?
The reality is that professional services have to be paid for. If the Legal Aid Agency won’t pay for your defence, the responsibility falls to you.
For cases in the Magistrates’ Court, Legal Aid is granted if the case passes the “Interests of Justice” test and you pass the means assessment. This can mean that even for a case where a prison sentence is possible, someone earning a salary of £22,000 will not receive Legal Aid.
In the Crown Court, all cases will be so serious to pass the “Interests of Justice” test. However, you may have to pay contributions towards the costs of your criminal defence representation.
As the pages on this site show, some offences are more complicated than others. We know that even the simplest allegation can have significant details capable of changing the outcome.
If we agree to take your case on privately, we will prepare every aspect of the case and advise you about every step. Personal attention from a specialist advocate.
How Much Will Criminal Defence Representation Cost?
This will depend on a number of factors:
- Where the case is heard
- Whether the case will be in the Magistrates’ Court or Crown Court
- How many hearings will be needed
- How much evidence will have to be considered
- Whether the case will be a trial or a guilty plea
- How many conferences (meetings with your lawyer) will be needed
If you want to discuss the fees for a specific case, Contact us and we can begin to provide a quote.
Why Should I Instruct a Barrister Privately?
Barristers are specialist advocates. They are usually instructed by solicitors to conduct hearings and represent clients at trial.
In addition, many barristers have experience of both defending and prosecuting cases. This additional experience gives an added perspective on how to present a case in court.
But instructing a barrister directly doesn’t mean paying extra. Barristers are self-employed, and tend to have lower business overheads than a firm of solicitors. This means that specialist representation could be more competitively priced than you think.
Can I Recover My Fees If I’m Successful?
If you successfully defend a case in the Magistrates’ Court, or if the prosecution discontinue a case against you, you are entitled to apply for a Costs Order from Central Funds.
However, sometimes the level of costs has to be determined by the Criminal Case Unit (CCU). This process is called taxation.
To date, all of our claims for defendants’ legal costs have been approved by the CCU.