Legal Advice Costings Explained
In England and Wales, everyone is entitled to ‘free and independent legal advice’ whilst at the police station in person if the police wish to question you in respect of an allegation of crime. This is a publicly funded service and is covered by the legal aid scheme regardless of your income.
You have the option of nominating your ‘own’ solicitor or the ‘duty’ solicitor, which is usually arranged by the police via a defence solicitor call centre. Irrespective of your chosen option it is still ‘free of charge’.
If the police arrange the duty solicitor, you are unlikely to be informed as to who will be attending or how good they will be.
In our experience, people tend to wish to use and consult with their own lawyer before the police station attendance. That’s where we come in.
The benefit in this is that you know who will be attending with you, and you will be able to get some initial advice beforehand to prepare yourself for the interview appointment.
You can also choose to pay for the service and have your case handled on a private ‘fixed fee’ basis. You can request an office appointment and work to be undertaken pre-interview, such as obtaining disclosure from the officer, taking statements and the securing of any evidence that may support your defence.
In addition to this post-interview, written representations can be made to the crown prosecution service for them to consider when deciding whether or not to prosecute you.
These are not options available under the legal aid duty scheme at the police investigation stage.
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