If you plead not guilty to a summary criminal matter (i.e. a ‘complaint’ brought by the Procurator Fiscal) then you must apply for Summary Criminal Legal Aid (CRLA). This is both assessed upon an applicant’s financial means and in the interests of justice. There are a number of factors to be taken into account and one of our experienced solicitors will apply for Criminal Legal Aid on your behalf.
Should you be in the unfortunate position of facing a more serious criminal charge (i.e. a charge which may in due course result in a jury trial in either the Sheriff Court or the High Court) then you can apply for solemn legal aid. This is again assessed both on means and whether it is in the interests for the Scottish Legal aid Board to pay for your defence. The application is now made directly to the legal aid board, and we will carry out this application on your behalf.
In certain cases legal aid is automatically available regardless of means or the interests of justice i.e. in ‘domestic’ prosecutions, ‘youth court’ cases and ‘drug court’ cases. There is another form to fill in and we will advise you whether you will be able to apply for this type of legal aid or not.
In all cases where SLAB require your financial details, they will also require vouching of your means. This means you will be required to produce a copy of a wage slip, benefit awards letter or bank statement. Bringing such documentation with you to your appointment saves time later and will allow the process to be completed quicker.
We at Thompson & Brown Solicitors have extensive experience of applying for all types of Criminal Legal Aid throughout the entire range of criminal cases, from the most serious crimes in the High Court to more minor matters where the police may issue a fixed penalty. We understand that you are likely to be far more anxious about appearing in court than applying for legal aid, and we will assist you with this process out the outset, allowing you to concentrate on receiving advice upon any criminal charges you are facing.
We offer a free assessment of whether or not you qualify for Legal Aid. All of our offices offer Legal Aid, to find out more contact one of our Glasgow Solicitors, Falkirk Solicitors or Fife Solicitors by filling out the form below, clicking send to submit and we will contact you, or alternatively contact us on the appropriate number above.