Can a man get legal aid
Legal aid in England and Wales is a means by which legal services are made available to certain people who would not otherwise be able to afford a lawyer. That means people who earn over a certain amount of money, or have a certain amount in assets or savings, will not be eligible. Some people will have all their legal expenses paid, whereas others will have to pay a contribution towards their legal costs. Those who are automatically entitled to legal aid are those who are on income support, income based job seeker's allowance or guaranteed state pension credit will be entitled to legal aid.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: What is LEGAL AID? What does LEGAL AID mean? LEGAL AID meaning, definition & explanation
SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: How does a man get through the legal process when she has legal aid and he doesnt?Content:
Check if you can get legal aid
Thu 27 Dec Caroline not her real name believes a lack of legal aid led to her ending up in prison, deprived her of a life with her children and rendered her homeless.
The year-old is still trying to reverse the multiple miscarriages of justice she says she has endured. She and her husband separated after she alleged he was violent and had threatened to kill her. He complained to social services that she was neglecting their children because of a dispute over schooling. The children were taken away from her and given to the father, who obtained a non-molestation order against her.
She insisted she had always been a good mother and that the allegations of neglect were false. Realising she needed legal help, she consulted a solicitor. Legal aid funding for family law cases had just been withdrawn. She defied the court orders and went to see her children. At one stage she went to a police station and said she wanted to be arrested, staging a sit-in protest for three days. She was taken to court and released but again went to see her children in defiance of the order.
She says she was asked when brought before a judge if she had reasonable cause for defying the order. Now Caroline finds herself caught in a limbo, which cannot be fully explained for legal reasons. Although she should qualify for legal aid she is homeless , she has found it impossible to pass the means test for eligibility. Some solicitors are not willing to apply on her behalf because if you make an application and it fails you can get a black mark against your firm. Get a number of them and it affects future contracts with the Legal Aid Agency.
The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Laspo Act of was not just a bureaucratic mouthful: it was a huge piece of austerity that many thousands of people in England and Wales have found hard to swallow. As a result half of all law centres and not-for-profit legal advice services in England and Wales have closed over the past six years. In there were 94 local areas with law centres or agencies offering free legal services, the Ministry of Justice has confirmed.
By this year, , the number had fallen to just The impact was caused by a double blow because removal of legal aid eligibility for many types of cases coincided with a financial crisis among local authorities, which have been forced to withdraw support for local law centres. Even if you get legal aid, you may have to pay 'contributions', which can escalate over the course of a case.
For those who get no legal aid at all, private legal fees can run to tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds. They are known as 'litigants in person' and many find the byzantine system and procedures disconcerting and unfamiliar at best, and impenetrable and stressful at worst.
Some may lose their case because they are inadequately represented. Some may even get longer jail terms because they have no lawyer to advise them how to plea.
Antagonists in domestic disputes, divorce or custody battles often have to confront each other directly in court, rather than through their lawyers.
The department suggests that the figures may reflect consolidation where law centres have closed offices but continue to deal with large volumes of legal aid work. Another, an expert in domestic violence law, is hoping to mount a high court challenge over the refusal to grant Caroline legal aid.
Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd stepped down as lord chief justice of England and Wales just over a year ago, but he has not finished grappling with the problems inflicted on the justice system by cuts to legal aid.
Lack of legal aid and the disappearance of expert lawyers feature prominently in the more than submissions he and his fellow commissioners have received since calling for evidence in February. Without legal aid, people are being deprived of access to justice. Thomas and his fellow commissioners — including Juliet Lyon, a former director of the Prison Reform Trust — have found there is a critical shortage of young lawyers becoming criminal solicitors because the profession has become so unattractive financially.
For example, in mid-Wales, there are only 11 duty solicitors out of whom seven are over For much of his career, Thomas was a commercial barrister. He was at one stage nominated by the Department of Trade and Industry to investigate the affairs of Mirror Group Newspapers when it was owned by Robert Maxwell.
The effect has been most profound in the areas of employment, housing, social security and family law. We have gone in for cuts without rethinking how it should have worked.
The situation could have been worse, Thomas reflects. If you restored funding to the police and they caught and prosecuted more [suspects], the courts would be in desperate trouble. Since moving to a new area over the summer, Roxy has been fighting to get her son, who has autism and ADHD, accepted into the local academy at the end of her road.
Despite agreeing to accept the child during a tour of the school before she moved house, the academy later refused to accept his application, saying they had too many children with special educational needs already.
The council offered Thomas a place at a different school, which was further away. This, she says, was impossible. Now the council is telling Roxy she has to send Thomas to a PRU for children who have been excluded from mainstream education. It is twice as far away as the alternative school. And anyway, how could I get him there? Roxy, her sister Rachael and a friend have spent four months battling with the council to get Thomas into the local school. Roxy has post-traumatic stress disorder and cannot work.
Last week, however, a charity suggested this advice might have been wrong and is now looking into her case. The threat of prosecuting Roxy turned out to be baseless but it took her sister and the friend many hours of research to establish that. Restrictions on criminal legal aid have made his cases more challenging, deprived some defendants of representation and meant he sometimes takes on cases without pay.
Meyer, 40, is a partner with Tuckers Solicitors, one of the largest firms in England specialising in criminal defence. He regularly works as duty solicitor, representing people who turn up without a lawyer.
For many drink-driving or speeding cases, defendants are unrepresented. Meyer acknowledges that sometimes people choose not to have a lawyer. First-time court appearances are not means-tested for legal aid; problems arise if a defendant pleads not guilty and the case goes to trial.
At that stage, strict financial criteria kick in to assess eligibility. The figures, based on household income, have been frozen since and not updated for inflation. Few people in work therefore qualify. The number of unrepresented defendants at trial is definitely increasing, Meyer says. There has been no fee increase for inflation over the past 25 years. He does take on some cases for free, pro bono, if he knows the client and that they will not qualify for legal aid.
It feels as though successive governments have taken advantage of this. At 71, Marcus not his real name says he is too old to be a solicitor, but he has got no choice. Despite being on pension credits he is ineligible for legal aid because he owns his own flat as a leaseholder.
Marcus will have to face his freeholder in court next month. If he loses his case, the freeholder will repossess the flat and the pensioner will be made homeless.
Marcus bought his flat 15 years ago but soon realised no work was being done on the property despite the substantial service charges he had paid. Gradually, the property fell into disrepair. Unable to sell their properties because of the poor state of repair, the freeholders have now focused on Marcus.
If they win I will walk out of the court with nothing and only then will I be able to get some free legal advice. How is that just? Marcus is not alone. Sara Taylor, of Hammersmith Law Centre, is a duty solicitor at Brentford county court in west London, representing those who have been summoned to court for unpaid rent and have no one to represent them at first appearance. Because legal aid is now only available for housing problems at the point tenants or mortgage holders face being made homeless, Taylor says, problems are left until they have become far more serious.
Laspo also withdrew legal aid from most welfare cases just at the moment when confusion over universal credit payments became widespread. Benefit difficulties often trigger housing crises. Her daughter spent money caring for him. Alice has recently been switched to universal credit. Delays in the payments tipped her into debt and the council wants to repossess her home.
She has depression, asthma and arthritis. Taylor succeeds in persuading the judge not to grant a repossession order, saving Alice from losing her home as long as she keeps up with a new schedule of payments. If she had walked in they would have seen she had health problems. At the last round of contracts we were forced to compete against each other for legal aid contracts, so the government is simply driving down standards.
Billy not his real name was 13 when he was permanently excluded from school. He is autistic and had clashed with his school in multiple ways that his parents felt were clear examples of discrimination based on his disability.
Laspo removed legal aid for most educational disputes, although there is help for victims of disability discrimination. Not dissuaded, the family set out to find a legal aid solicitor, only to be repeatedly told none would take the case because no one had ever succeeded in getting a child reinstated in a school that did not want them back.
It was not easy. Tom appealed to the Department for Education, the independent review panel, the pupil placement panel, and got Billy an educational healthcare assessment. It was only when Tom got his son a hearing in front of the special educational needs and disability Send tribunal that things started to change. The case, instead of being heard locally, was scheduled at the royal courts of justice in London.
What we needed more than anything was someone who was on our side, someone who had been here before who could hold our hand and reassure us. Legal aid cuts denied us that. By this time Billy was almost He had lost 11 months of education and was struggling to cope. Billy was back at school within the week, after almost a year of exclusion.
Who Qualifies for Legal Aid?
Legal Aid A form of funding from the government for legal representation. This is means tested in most areas, with the exception of when a child is subject to care proceedings, where legal aid is available to a parent regardless of a person's income. Legal aid will pay towards the rates or fixed fees of a Solicitor A lawyer who advises people on the law and can represent them in legal proceedings. There are different types of legal aid:.
Can I get legal aid? - Family Law
Legal aid is the provision of assistance to people who are unable to afford legal representation and access to the court system. Legal aid is regarded as central in providing access to justice by ensuring equality before the law , the right to counsel and the right to a fair trial. This article describes the development of legal aid and its principles, primarily as known in Europe, the Commonwealth of Nations and the United States. A number of delivery models for legal aid have emerged, including duty lawyers, community legal clinics and the payment of lawyers to deal with cases for individuals who are entitled to legal aid. Legal aid is essential to guaranteeing equal access to justice for all, as provided for by Article 6. Especially for citizens who do not have sufficient financial means, the provision of legal aid to clients by governments will increase the likelihood, within court proceedings, of being assisted by legal professionals for free or at a lower cost or of receiving financial aid. Though legal aid aims to create more equity in the sphere of legal practices, aid offered is often limited in its quality or its social impact by economic constraints that dictate who can access these services and where the aforementioned services are geographically located. Legal aid has a close relationship with the welfare state , and the provision of legal aid by a state is influenced by attitudes towards welfare.
Legal Aid for family law matters
Everything you need to know about our criteria for granting aid. You have to apply for a grant of legal aid if you want a lawyer to represent you in court. But if you want to get legal information or advice about your problem, you can talk to us without going through the application process.
Legal aid: Who qualifies and how much help can you get?
With around , public sector jobs expected to be axed in the next five or six years Citizens Advice offices are preparing for a surge in calls for employment information. But only a fairly small minority of these workers will find that they are entitled to legal aid — so may not be able to get the help they want. It is one of those areas, like NHS dentistry and final salary pension schemes, where availability has already dropped rapidly and looks set to fall even further. In the next few weeks, the government will begin consulting on reforms to the system, and some experts say it will be a huge surprise if the situation does not get even tighter. So who can get legal aid in England and Wales?
Can I get legal aid?
Слова Стратмора внезапно были прерваны постукиванием по стеклянной стене Третьего узла. Они обернулись. Сотрудник отдела обеспечения системной безопасности Фил Чатрукьян, приникнув лицом к стеклу, отчаянно барабанил по нему, стараясь разглядеть, есть ли кто-нибудь внутри. Он что-то говорил, но сквозь звуконепроницаемую перегородку слов не было слышно. У него был такой вид, словно он только что увидел привидение.
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- Сирена заглушала его слова, но Хейл старался ее перекричать. - Ты считаешь, что мы готовы взять на себя такую ответственность. Ты считаешь, что кто-нибудь готов. Это же крайне недальновидно.
ГЛАВА 99 Фонтейн время от времени стучал кулаком по ладони другой руки, мерил шагами комнату для заседаний, то и дело посматривая на вращающиеся огни шифровалки. - Отключить. Черт побери, немедленно отключить. Мидж появилась в дверях со свежей распечаткой в руке.
Мы погибли, - прошептала Мидж.
ТРАНСТЕКСТ перегрелся! - сказал Стратмор. В его голосе слышалось беспокойство. - Быть может, Хейл был прав, говоря, что система резервного питания подает недостаточное количество фреона.
- А как же автоматическое отключение. Стратмор задумался.
Потные ладони скользили по гладкой поверхности. Он вытер их о брюки и попробовал. На этот раз створки двери чуть-чуть разошлись. Сьюзан, увидев, что дело пошло, попыталась помочь Стратмору. Дверь приоткрылась на несколько сантиметров. Они держали ее что было сил, но сопротивление оказалось чересчур сильным и створки снова сомкнулись. - Подождите, - сказала Сьюзан, меняя позицию и придвигаясь ближе.
В отношении шифровалки в АНБ сложилась своеобразная философия. Нет смысла вбухивать миллиарды долларов в дешифровальный компьютер и одновременно экономить на тех, кто работает на этой превосходной технике.
Сьюзан скинула туфли на низких каблуках от Сальваторе Феррагамо и блаженно погрузила обтянутые чулками ноги в густой шерстяной ковер. Высокооплачиваемые государственные служащие старались избегать демонстрации личного благосостояния.