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Applying for public funding when prosecuted

We have a contract with the Legal Aid Agency to provide publicly funded criminal defence legal services. Everybody is eligible for Legal Aid automatically if attending a police station, whether as a volunteer or under arrest. Should a case go to court an application for Legal Aid will need to be made unless paying for advice and representation privately.

There are two parts to every application for Legal Aid.

The interests of justice test determines whether there is a good reason for public funding to be granted in all the circumstances of the case.

The financial eligibility test determines whether your means are within the limits set by the government in relation to Legal Aid. Different limits apply depending on whether the case is proceedings in the magistrates' court or the Crown Court.

For every application the following information will be needed:

  • Full name

  • Date of birth

  • National Insurance number

  • Address


If an applicant for Legal Aid is living with a spouse or partner the same minimum information will be needed relative to that person.
Claims for some types of benefits result in the financial eligibility test being passed without having to send any evidence to the Legal Aid Agency. However, evidence will be needed if an applicant and/or a spouse/partner is employed or self-employed.
If either the applicant or a spouse/partner is employed the most recent wage slip or salary advice will be needed.


If either the applicant or a spouse/partner is self-employed the most recent accounts or self-assessment SA302 tax statement will be needed.
In some instances, details of banks accounts and bank statements will be required.

This provides an overview of what is needed to apply for Legal Aid. CJH Solicitors will advise further in individual cases.

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