Applications for Legal Aid in relation to Crown Court proceedings are now subject to a financial eligibility test.
Previously, Legal Aid for cases in the Crown Court was granted automatically, but it was subject to a means test which resulted in some people being required to make contributions towards the costs of their defence.
However, the new changes mean that persons assessed under the means test as having an annual disposable household income of £37,500 or more will be ineligible for Legal Aid in the Crown Court and will be required to fund their defence on a private basis unless it can be demonstrated that they cannot afford to pay privately for their particular case. Those who fall below that threshold will remain subject to the current arrangements which may still require a financial contribution.
There will, however, be an opportunity to re-apply for Legal Aid at any time during Crown Court proceedings should financial circumstances change.
Should you have any queries about this, or if you require assistance with any criminal charge, at either the Magistrates’ Courts or the Crown Court, you can contact our Criminal Defence team by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or, if you require urgent assistance outside office hours, by calling our emergency number which is 07876 687 587.