Being in a position where you need legal representation can already be stressful. However, this stress is multiplied when you don’t have the funds to afford any lawyers or solicitors. What are you supposed to do now? Without proper legal representation, you can’t fight your case and will ultimately lose out in court.
Thankfully, you’ll be glad to know that it is possible to get free legal representation from qualified and experienced lawyers. In the UK, you’re able to get something known as ‘legal aid’ to help meet the costs of legal advice and representation during a court case. Not everyone is eligible for legal aid, and you can find out the eligibility criteria on the government website.
Applying for, and claiming, legal aid is fairly straightforward. More often than not, people need free legal representation in criminal cases. For example, someone has accused you of a crime, and you need a lawyer to represent you and present your side of the story in court. Here, it makes sense to find a lawyer that can help you out at a moment’s notice. Fortunately, most lawyers offer 24-hour criminal defence services, so they’re always there when you need them.
Proving You Qualify For Legal Aid
To get the free legal representation, you must prove that you qualify for legal aid. This involves bringing evidence to your solicitors such as your bank statements showing all your income and savings. You must bring as much evidence as possible, from both you and your partner if you have on. You’ll also need to show any benefit statements and bring your national insurance number too.
Of course, you also have to supply evidence relating to your criminal case, like any court documents you’ve received. If you’re not looking for legal representation with regards to a criminal case, and are looking for a family law specialist, etc. then you still must provide evidence relating to that case. For example, marriage certificates are a common piece of evidence in divorce cases.
Get Free Advice On The Phone
As well as getting free legal representation via legal aid, you can also get free legal advice over the phone. A lot of solicitors offer a 30-minute phone call where they’ll hear your story and tell you the best course of action.
What’s more, if you’ve been detained at a police station and are taking in for questioning, you can get free legal advice via a phone call – if your offence isn’t too serious. Speaking of which, it makes sense to get your free legal representation down to the police station before you answer any questions. By law, you’re allowed to wait for a lawyer before you’re interviewed by officers.
So, even if you have no money, and can’t afford to pay for legal advice, then it’s still possible to get high-quality legal representation. It’s worth mentioning that solicitors will check that you qualify for legal aid before offering their services for free. Typically, free representation is saved for people that really need it. If you have enough money but are trying to avoid paying for legal help, then the chances are you won’t get free legal representation.