Police Station Attendance
We offer a FREE OF CHARGE Police Station service available 24 hours a day and 365 days of the year. If you are arrested and detained at a Police Station, please call our 24 hour emergency number: 0121 766 7474 or inform the Police that you require representation from Hussain Solicitors.
You are also entitled to advice and assistance in the investigations class of work (subject to a means test) which is limited to £300.00 and a limit of only two hours work if proof of means is not provided. Representation at the Police Station or court is not covered within these limits.
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Magistrates Legal Aid Costs
If you are granted Legal Aid, our costs will be paid by the Legal Aid Fund. If your case is tried or heard in the Magistrates Court, you will be means tested. If you are on a passported benefit i.e. Income Support, Income Related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Income based Job Seekers Allowance or Guarantee State Pension Credit you will automatically be eligible for Legal Aid so long as your case satisfies the Interests of Justice Test and this will be determined by the Court.
If you do not qualify for Legal Aid in the Magistrates Court and have paid privately, you will have your money returned to you if you are found Not Guilty and a Defence Costs Order is made. In this situation we will be able to claim the Defence Costs f or your representation from a fund known as Central Funds. This is however capped at Legal Aid hourly rates. If our fees are not fully met by the Defence Costs Order, you may be liable for the balance.
Crown Court Legal Aid Costs
If your case goes to the Crown Court for trial, you will pass the Interests of Justice test. However, in order to qualify for legal aid, you also need to pass the means test. As of the 27th January 2014, in the Crown Court, your household disposable income must be under £37,500 in order to be granted legal aid.
If your annual household disposable income is £37,500 or more you will not be eligible for legal aid and will be required to pay all of your legal costs privately. If this happens, we will contact you to agree payment and rates. If you are eligible for legal aid, then the means test will consider your income and capital assets and you may be liable for contributions towards costs either during the proceedings or at the end of the case. This could be from your income while the case is ongoing and/or from your capital if you are convicted. The financial eligibility threshold does not apply to appeals or committal for sentence cases.
You will be asked to provide evidence of your income and assets. If you do not, your payments could be increased which would result in you paying more towards your defence costs. If you do not tell the truth on your legal aid application about your income, assets and expenditure you could be prosecuted. The first payment will be due within 28 days of the case being sent or transferred for trial You must tell the Court of any changes to your financial circumstances during your case because a change may affect the amount you have to pay towards your defence costs.
If you don’t think that you can afford to pay, or you think that a mistake has been made, you can ask for a review of the amount the Court has told you to pay. In certain cases an application for a review on the grounds of hardship can be made.
You will not have to pay towards the cost of your case if you are under 18 when you make your application or if you receive any of these following benefits: income support, income-based job seekers’ allowance, guaranteed state pension credit or income related employment and support allowance.
At the End of the Case
If you are found Not Guilty at the Crown Court and you have paid all defence fees on a private basis, then they may be refunded in full. This is because the Crown Court ca only make a Defence Costs order capped at Legal Aid hourly rates. Any shortfall in our fees not recoverable under the defence costs order will be taken from the payment made by yourself to us and the residual balance, if any, will be returned.
If you have made payments on a contribution order towards your legal aid and you are found not guilty in the Crown Court, any contribution payments you have paid will be refunded to you with interest. If the Legal Aid Agency has taken enforcement action against you, any costs of this can be deducted from the refund. If you are found guilty, you may have to pay towards your defence costs from any capital assets that you have. This would apply if:
- You have £30,000.00 or more of assets, for example: savings, equity in property, shares or Premium Bonds; and …
- Any payments you have already made have not covered your total defence costs.
You will be told at the end of your case if you have to pay a payment from Capital.
We may be able to give you preliminary advice (again depending on your means) under the Legal Advice and Assistance Scheme which does not pay for representation in Court but will include advice upon completing and submitting an application for a representation order. If you are Legally Aided, you will still be responsible for any order, which the Court makes upon conviction in respect of Prosecution costs.
The Court or Legal Aid Agency may provide a report on your financial position to the Trial Judge and your legal representative with a view to making a Recovery or Defence Costs Order for up to the full amount of the Defence Costs met by you during the course of the case against you.
Cost In Non-Legal Aid Cases
If for any reason Legal Aid is refused or is not available we will advise you of the likely costs of paying privately for representation and agree with you hwo such costs are to be paid. This firm’s professional charges are calculated mainly by reference to the time spent in dealing with the matter and hourly rates currently £200.00 per hour. This is the rate charged for attendances upon yourself, witnesses and any other person attended in connection with our case. This rate will also be charged for preparation. Letters written and telephone calls made upon your behalf will be charged at the rate of £20.00 plus VAT.
These rates are reviewed periodically, but in a straightforward case, we may be able to agree a fixed fee for the case. Value Added Tax (VAT) will be payable upon our costs and the VAT Rate is currently fixed at 20%. However, it is often possible to agree a fixed fee for any work and this can be discussed by contacting our offices, It is normal practice to ask clients to make payments on account of costs and disbursements. In a case, which cannot be concluded quickly, we will deliver bills to you periodically as the case proceeds. This assists you to budget for your costs as the case proceeds.
Accounts should be settled within 21 days. We reserve the right to charge interest on bills which are not paid within that time period at a rate stipulated by the Law Society. You will understand that in the event of an account not being promptly paid, we reserve the right to decline to take any further action in connection with your matter.