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Criminal Solicitors in Manchester – Legal Aid

Criminal Solicitors in Manchester – Legal Aid

Our criminal solicitors in Manchester provide their legal services to persons who have been accused (falsely or for real) of a serious crime, or to the victims of serious crime cases. Criminal law covers a wide range of situations, from assault, fraud, theft, business crime, sexual crimes, high-risk drug cases to murder.

 Quick Facts  
 When can a criminal solicitor represent you? 

 Criminal solicitors are a category of lawyers who can represent clients in legal matters pertaining to criminal law, such as:

– financial crime;

– white collar crime;

– extradition;

– international crime;

– manslaughter, etc.   

 What does criminal law cover? 

 Criminal law covers a wide range of legal matters that are regulated under the Criminal Law Act 1977 (where a person is charged for a crime, brought to a police station, prosecuted by authorites and brought in front of criminal courts). 

 Ways in which criminal solicitors can help clients  

 – our criminal solicitors in Manchester for legal aid can provide legal representation to clients since the moment in which they have been brought to a police station;

– the lawyers will hear the testimony of the client and will provide the most suitable legal course for the case;

– the solicitors will offer legal representation in front of the competent courts;

– if legal aid is involved, the lawyers will not charge fees to the client (or charge just a percentage, based on the circumstances of the client).   

 What is legal aid?   Legal aid refers to the procedure through which a governmental agency will pay for the fees of a trial, including lawyers’ fees, if the client is not able to do so (in some cases, the client will be 100% exempt from any payment, and in others, he/she will pay a percetage of the costs).  
Minimum requirements to qualify for legal aid  

 The applicants for the services of our criminal solicitors in Manchester for legal aid must pass the means test and the Interest of Justice test, these 2 tests assessing basic variables such as:

– the age of the applicant;

– his or her income;

– financial situation (mortgages and other types of constant life costs);

– if the person already receives a form of financial assistance from the goverment, etc.   

 Automatic (by default) right to legal aid (yes/no) 


 When can a person directly benefit of legal aid? 

A person can address our criminal solicitors in Manchester for legal aid when the person’s age is below 18 years old and when he or she receives some type of governmental financial assistance, such as the Universal Credit (UC) or Income Support (IS).  

 Means test – definition 

 The means test analyses the financial situation of the applicant:

– the household income;

– the capital;

– equity.

The procedures for the means test are implemented as per the Criminal Legal Aid (Financial Resources) Regulations 2013.  

 Laws on legal aid in the UK 

– The Criminal Legal Aid Regulations 2013;

– The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012. 

Institution in charge with legal aid matters    The Legal Aid Agency 
When can legal aid be denied to a person?  

When the person has a household income above the maximum threshold regulated by the law (an annual disposable income above GBP 37,500).   

 Where is legal aid applied?  

For criminal cases, one can apply for legal aid in magistrates’ courts and in Crown courts.  

Interest of Justice test – definition  

Interest of Justice analyses the applicant’s merits and circumstances, on matters such as:

– previous convictions;

– the nature of the case (the accusations brought to the person);

– the risks of being held in custody (the more serious the case is, the likelihood of receiving legal aid increases).  

 Appeals available for legal aid (yes/no) 


 Situations in which one can automatically pass the Interest of Justice test 

– when the applicant has an age below 18 years old;

– when there are previous convictions;

– for retrials;

– when the case is transferred to the Crown court, etc. 

A part of the services that are guaranteed under the national law refers to providing legal aid to persons who are involved in criminal cases.

Legal aid in UK is granted to those who are in the need of legal representation and who are not able to afford the costs associated with this (the fees of the lawyer in Manchester, the fees of the legal institutions, the costs for the issuance of various documents needed for the trial and so on).

In this particular situation, one is entitled to address to our criminal solicitors in Manchester for legal aid. The legal aid, which is generally offered as a partial funding, is not provided by our Manchester law firm, but persons in need can complete the procedure through the help of our team.

What are the stages of a criminal case in the UK?

Whether a client will receive legal aid or not, the stages of a criminal case will follow the same route. The stage where the client can apply for legal aid entails the following:

  1. the person is accused of a criminal offence and arrested based on its legal grounds;
  2. then, the person is brought into police custody;
  3. here, the person has the right to receive free legal advice from our criminal solicitors in Manchester;
  4. if the person can’t hire his or her own lawyer in Manchester, he or she will be represented by the attorney who was randomly appointed to offer legal assistance, as all persons have the right to receive the services of a lawyer;
  5. the lawyer will determine the parameters of the case and will help the client apply for legal aid if necessary;
  6. if this is so, the case will be addressed to the Magistrate Court of the Crown Court and the courts will establish the grounds to obtain legal aid.

Please mind that the legislation in the UK grants the right to make an appeal on the decision of the court to grant or not to grant legal aid to a person charged with a criminal offence. However, this possibility can be established on a case-to-case basis.

Considering this, we invite to you request more information on this subject from our criminal solicitors in Manchester. Meanwhile, it is necessary to know the basic events that will take place during a criminal case charge.

Once the person has been arrested and received legal representation, the police is obligated to initiate an investigation on the respective case. The investigation involves the gathering of evidence, which can include seizing of property or arresting other people who can be connected to the case.

The case will be heard initially in the Magistrates Courts – all criminal offences are initially heard in these courts and only those who are more serious will be later on transferred to the Crown Courts. Our solicitors in Manchester city centre have the necessary legal expertise to represent clients in either courts.

What is an interview under caution?

An interview under caution happens when the accused person is in police detention. There, the person has to provide answers to the police concerning the crime for which he or she is accused of. In this stage, the accused person must first receive the assistance of criminal solicitors in Manchester.

The assistance and the presence of a lawyer prior to the police interview are required so that the accused person can be sure that he or she will receive fair treatment from the justice system, regardless of the context of the charges.

During the interview under caution, the accused person will talk only to the lawyer in Manchester, and during this discussion, the lawyer, who knows the implications of any legal procedure, will advise the client on how to answer the police questions, if it is better to plead guilty or not, etc.

The lawyer will also want to gather as much information as possible concerning the reality of charges and the ways in which the client was involved in the unfolding of the events.

How can one qualify for the services of our criminal solicitors in Manchester and legal aid?

If you are in the situation of being represented in a criminal case, our team of Manchester solicitors can provide you with legal representation from the moment when you are held in the custody of a police station located in this region.

Our lawyer will want to receive as much details as possible regarding your situation and if you want to apply for legal aid, additional details must be provided by you to our law firm.

Here, one has to offer clear evidence on his or her income. Only in the case in which the income of the person is below a certain threshold, then the right to legal aid will be offered to the person. For this, a means test has to be concluded, as well as an Interest of Justice test.

The manner in which legal aid will be received will vary based on the court where the case is heard. For instance, passing both tests is compulsory when the case is heard in a magistrate’s court. If the case is heard by the Crown Court, the person can still receive legal aid, but at the same time, it is required to make a contribution for the costs of the trial.

The ability to receive legal aid can be influenced by a set of factors. For instance, a person can receive the services of our criminal solicitors in Manchester and legal aid without completing any formalities. This is the case of those who receive income support or a state-based pension.

In order to qualify for the services of our criminal solicitors in Manchester and legal aid, a set of other requirements can apply. Receiving the legal services of a lawyer is a right guaranteed under the local law, regardless of the nature of the case; however, legal aid can be influenced by the following:

  • one can receive automatic legal aid if the age of the applicant is below 16 years old or under 18 years old and the person is enrolled in full-time education;
  • one can receive legal aid if the annual income is of less than GBP 12,475 (calculated as gross annual income);
  • any income between GBP 12,475 and GBP 22,325 will be subjected to the means test, which can result in the right to receive legal aid or not;
  • provided that the income is above GBP 22,325, the person is not entitled to receive legal aid;
  • legal aid is calculated for a wide range of legal cases – in the situation where the applicant needs legal aid for matters regulated by the criminal law, the right to this financial assistance can be granted if the person’s annual disposable income is less than GBP 3,398.

In what situations can clients request the services of our criminal solicitors in Manchester?

Manchester law firms can offer legal services for criminal charges for a wide category of situations. Such services are divided into the following 4 major categories:

  1. business crime;
  2. fraud crime;
  3. serious crime;
  4. general crime.

Serious crime cases can refer to many situations, which include terrorism, manslaughter, human trafficking, drug trafficking, kidnapping and others. Our team of lawyers in Manchester can offer the necessary legal support and legal representation to those charged with any of these offences.

Of course, our team is ready to represent those who are the victims of these types of criminal cases. Our lawyers can present the rights of those accused with a criminal charge and the legal options to address the case.

Usually, cases pertaining to criminal law involve the participation of many other specialists, such as forensic specialists, doctors, accident reconstruction specialists, accountants, scientists, etc., due to the complexity of the case. Our law firm in Manchester collaborates with reputable specialists, who have provided reliable evidence in different cases.

Law regarding criminal solicitors in Manchester and legal aid

If you need the services of criminal solicitors in Manchester, you will be judged in accordance with the rules applied by criminal law. Legal aid in this case is granted in accordance with the stipulation of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishing of Offenders Act 2012 and the Criminal Legal Aid (General) Regulations 2013.

The decision to grant legal aid to a person accused of a criminal offence falls under the jurisdiction of the Legal Aid Agency. Please mind that the agency has numerous teams, that will analyze and review the applications of criminal offenders in need of financial assistance. The applicants must address to a specific team, depending on the criminal offence that they are charged with.

For instance, those charged with criminal finance will address to the Criminal Finance Team. If you need further advice, please contact our Manchester law firm as soon as possible. Our team can take over your case and offer the services of our criminal solicitors in Manchester and legal aid.

We also invite you to address our immigration solicitors in Manchester if you want to relocate here. Our team is specialized in areas of law as well, therefore, if you need assistance on employment matters for instance, do not hesitate to address our employment lawyers in Manchester.