Kyles-Legal-Practice-Blog

At Kyles Legal Practice we offer a free consultation with all perspective clients no matter what the case may be in relation to. Our lawyers will discuss with you at this time the various methods of funding that are available and that may be appropriate in your case.

Legal Aid

(i) Police Station Representation

In the Police Station every detainee is entitled to Legal Aid representation regardless of their financial circumstances. As a firm we are a part of the Criminal Defence Service and as such the costs of assisting you with your case whilst at the Police Station (wherever it may be) will be paid for from public funds. This covers all the advice we provide from the outset of your instructions to help you up to the point at which you might have to appear at Court if you are charged.

(ii) Legal Aid at Court

In the Magistrates’ Court Legal Aid is “means” and “merits” tested. If you qualify you pay nothing towards your defence. If you are in receipt of certain state benefits (Income Support, Income-Related Employment Support Allowance, Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance or Guarantee State Pension Credit) or under 18 years of age you will qualify upon the “means” or financial test that must be applied.

Kyles Legal Practice promise to assist you to submit an application to the Court for Legal Aid or for what is known as a “Representation Order” in appropriate cases.

In order for you to receive a Representation Order, the Court has to be satisfied that it is in the interests of justice that you are represented by a lawyer.

The application is also means tested and we will advise you as to what documentation and/or information we require to complete your application.

It is important that you provide this information and assist ourselves in the preparation of this application. It is also important that you keep us and the Court aware of any changes in your circumstances. Failure to do this or failure to provide us with further instructions can result in your representation order, once granted, being withdrawn. If this were to happen it would leave you without public funding for your case.

You should also note that should you lose your case, you might have an order made against you requiring you to pay towards the prosecution’s costs.

If your case were to be considered as so serious in nature that it can only be appropriately dealt with by the Crown Court then everyone is presently automatically eligible for legal aid once you have completed the necessary application form(s) as above; however you may have to pay a contribution towards the costs of your defence depending on your means (which may be refunded if you are found not guilty of all charges).

The contribution asked for could be from your income while the case is on-going and or from your capital assets if you are subsequently convicted.

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.

You will not have to pay towards the costs of your case if you are under 18 when you make your application or if you receive any of the following benefits:

  •  Income Support
  •  Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Guaranteed State Pension Credit or
  • Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance.

You may have to pay towards the costs if your monthly disposable income is above a certain level; in particular if you have a household disposable income of more than £3,398 a year (£283.17 a month).

If this is the case, you will receive a Contribution Order from the Court and you will have to make payments as required under the Order. The first payment will be due within 28 days of your case being committed, sent or transferred for trial to the Crown Court. You must tell the Court about 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 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.

If your disposable income is more than £3,398 per year, the actual amount is divided by 12 to get a monthly figure. If your monthly disposable income is more than £283.17 you will be asked to pay 90% of this each month for five months or you can pay the whole amount upfront. If you’re late paying, you will be asked to make one extra payment.

For example if your annual disposable income is £3,000, your monthly contribution is £0.00 given that your income is below the threshold set by law. However, for example also, if your annual disposable income is say £4,800, your monthly disposable income is £400 and so your monthly contribution would be £360 and your total contribution from income is £1,800 (5x £360) or £2,160 if you pay late.

At the end of the case if you are found not guilty, any payments you have made may be refunded with interest at 2%. If you paid late or not at all and action was taken against you, the costs of this action will be deducted from the refund. If you are found guilty, you may have to pay towards your defence costs from any capital assets you may have.

This would only apply if:

  • You have £30,000 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 make a payment from capital.

If you are not eligible for Legal Aid, or the Court refuse to grant Legal Aid because the case is not considered serious enough (for example speeding offences) we will be able to represent you but this would be on a privately paying basis. We will discuss our fees with you and you will never pay anything unless you have agreed to it in advance. If you are found not guilty we can apply for some but not all of your legal costs incurred back.

We appreciate that this subject is difficult to understand and so should you require any clarification upon this issue please do not hesitate to get in touch and take advantage of our free initial consultation.

Legal Expenses Cover

It is a little known fact that many individuals either by design or default have household contents insurance policies or motor insurance policies that also in certain cases provide for the payment of your own and the other side’s legal costs.

We promise to make enquiries on your behalf to determine whether your case could in fact be covered by any such policies that you may be in possession of. If it is found that an insurer can fund your case, even though the insurance company may be paying, our principle duty is to you.

We would be happy to consider your policy documents and advise you on whether you can take advantage of such an arrangement.

Private Funding

At Kyles Legal Practice, our bespoke 24 hour criminal department promises to provide first class legal advice and representation to individuals and their families across the full spectrum of criminal law matters including all types of Road Traffic offences.

At Kyles Legal Practice, we will provide you with an estimate of our likely costs, and will usually ask for some money on account. Our computerised case management system will automatically track the progress of the funding of your matter, which means that we can provide you with a regular and accurate costs summary.

For more information about how we can help and fund your case please do not hesitate to get in touch upon 0191 257 1051 or alternatively email office@kyleslegalpractice.co.uk

Motoring Law

No matter where in England and Wales you may live or no matter where your motoring case may be at, at Kyles Legal Practice we offer to all our perspective clients a free legal consultation with one of our qualified and experienced barristers or solicitors so that you can discuss openly and in confidence the circumstances of your case.

Our lawyers will discuss with you usually initially by telephone or alternatively via video conferencing facilities the various methods of funding that are available and that may be appropriate in your case.

At Kyles Legal Practice, we offer the following fixed fee legal services in relation to offences that are alleged to have occurred under the Road Traffic Act:-

Initial Advice

For full advice by telephone or email, always confirmed in writing with in two working days, and beyond then the free consultation referred to above, we would propose to a fee of £200.00 including VAT.

For the fee of £200.00 including VAT this would include:

  • A detailed consultation with you;
  • Time spent considering and perusing any documents that may require opinion upon;
  • detailed advice on the law and how in relation to your case specifically it impacts upon you;
  • a detailed letter of advice setting out the legal position and your options.

In appropriate circumstances and for an additional fee of £200.00 including VAT we can offer to you the following:

  • draft a plea in mitigation and send it to the relevant court; and
  • draft a letter asking the prosecuting authority to discontinue the case or substitute a lesser charge.

Representation at court

We offer a number of different fixed fee packages of legal advice and assistance as follows:-

(i) £99.00 – Guilty Plea – Local Court arrangement

If you are scheduled to appear before either Middlesbrough or North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court and your initial intention is to plead guilty to the offence then for the fixed fee of £99.00 we can represent you at Court to mitigate and argue on your behalf that the sentence that should be imposed should be the minimum that the Court can permit and pass in law. We will upon attending Court ask the Crown Prosecutor for a copy of the case papers relating to your case and we will discuss the merit or otherwise then with you as to whether it remains appropriate for you to plead guilty as you had originally planned.

We are able to offer this specially discounted fixed rate to you as those particular Court’s are whereby we often already have lawyers at and so no additional costs such as travel, mileage and parking or any other item will be added to your bill which can increase the costs of representation ordinarily.

(ii) Full Representation – £450.00 – limited to hearings other than a Trial

Should you wish to have a lawyer at Court to represent you elsewhere within England and Wales and at a scheduled hearing say to mitigate or to argue mitigating circumstances or special reasons for not disqualifying you then in those circumstances our fixed legal services fee would be £450.00 including VAT.

In asking for and accepting this level of legal service, you would agree to your instructions being taken by either email, telephone or if appropriate via video conferencing (Skype, Facetime etc) and as part of the fixed fee service on offer you would accept and consent to having only one conference with your advocate on the actual day of the hearing itself.

For an additional fee, subject to application, you can choose to have a face-to-face conference with your lawyer in advance of the hearing but we stress that this will increase the costs of your legal representation subject to your circumstances and geographical location.

(iii) Representation at trial – £850.00

Should upon advice or alternatively should you have already entered a Not Guilty Plea and asked for the matter to be listed for trial then for a trial before a Magistrates Court our fixed fee for representation at trial would be £850.00 plus VAT for the first day and £165.00 for each subsequent day.

This level of service is appropriate for those individuals who do not require a face to face meeting with their legal advisor and who are otherwise confident to communicate then by other means; this includes email, telephone and video conferencing. This fixed fee level of service is based on instructions being taken from you and/or any witnesses by email or telephone and with you then meeting your legal advocate on the first day of any trial immediately prior to it.

For an additional fee, subject to application, you can choose to have a face-to-face conference with your lawyer in advance of the hearing but we stress that this will increase the costs of your legal representation subject to your circumstances and geographical location.

(iv) Crown Court work

If a Road Traffic Act offence were to be so serious as to warrant the case being transferred to the Crown Court then often your legal expenses can be paid for by your insurers. In other cases where appropriate we would always advise and assist to make an application for Legal Aid and advise you upon the merits or otherwise of making such an application.

Legal Aid or state funding is readily available to every person whose case is to be heard before the Crown Court and this is regardless of their income. However, depending on your financial circumstances and means, you may be called upon to pay a fixed contribution each and every month but this contribution would be repayable with interest if you were to be acquitted following a trial or discontinuance of your case.

For more information about how we can help and fund your motoring related case please do not hesitate to get in touch upon 0191 257 1051 or alternatively email office@kyleslegalpractice.co.uk