What is Criminal Legal Aid?

If you have been charged with a criminal offence and you do not have the sufficient means to fund your case, we at Emery Johnson Astills can make an application to the Legal Aid Agency on your behalf. If your application is successful the Legal Aid Agency will provide public funding for your case.


The application consists of two tests (1) an interest of justice test and (2) a means test. In order for your application to be successful both of these requirements need to be satisfied. At Emery Johnson Astills we can assist you with this.


Interest of justice test

Under this test, the individual must show that it is in the interests of justice that he receives public funding to cover the cost of his legal representation. The factors that are taken into account include the following.


  • If the proceedings were decided against the individual, the individual would be likely to lose his liberty, livelihood or suffer serious damage to his reputation,
  • If the proceedings involve a complex area of the law,
  • If the individual is unable to understand the proceedings,
  • If the proceedings involve interviewing or expert cross-examining of witnesses.


The means test

This test looks at the individual’s financial circumstances. A consideration of benefit entitlement and any income received will be reviewed.


If you need advice regarding any of the issues discussed within this article, please contact the Criminal Law Team at Emery Johnson Astills on 0116 255 4855.