At Elmhirst Parker we pride ourselves in understanding that every criminal law problem is different and every client who finds himself in conflict with criminal law is an individual and not just a file or a number. He or she will probably be extremely worried about the situation and all our clients are given the best possible advice and assistance in a personal but also a professional manner.
Our criminal department is headed by Keith Haggerty, the most experienced and well established criminal lawyer in the area and who has specialised in criminal law for more than 15 years and for whom no job is too large or too small, from initial police enquiries, through the whole of an investigation and subsequently dealing with Magistrates Court or Crown Court work or even matters that go to the Court of Criminal Appeals in London.
Problems of this nature often arise with no forewarning, at any time of day or night and often need urgent attention. Keith’s 24 hour contact details are available in every Police Station and Court in the area (and beyond) so he can be contacted at any time on request. We also have a network of support agents available to cover any emergency.
If you foresee a problem of this nature, please feel free to contact Keith either via this website or the office.
Legal help is available free of charge at any time of day or night for anyone who finds himself (or herself!) under arrest or in Police custody or even attending a Police Station or being interviewed as a “volunteer”. Legal aid is often available for people charged with criminal offences but a recent change to legal aid regulations means that the availability of legal aid in these circumstances is now dependent on two tests. Firstly, the offence needs to pass the “interests of justice test” which means that the involvement of a solicitor is reasonable due to the case’s seriousness or complexity or other aspect requiring the involvement of a qualified solicitor. Subject to this test being passed, the Government, via the Legal Services Commission, has dictated that people who it believes can pay for their own legal defence, should do so without legal aid. There are some fixed formulae for financial eligibility in these circumstances which can often be complex but in brief, people in receipt of basic benefits (income based Job Seeker’s Allowance, Income Support or Guarantee Credit) automatically qualify for legal aid.
People in receipt of other benefits or with low incomes or with a number of dependents to support may also qualify and for people who fail the means test there are, in some circumstances, regulations to allow the means test to be relaxed in cases of financial hardship.
If you need to discuss legal aid eligibility in connection with a pending or forthcoming case, please feel free to contact us.