Do you know what criminal defence will look like if the government's legal aid proposals are introduced?
Most members of the public simply have no idea. Why should they? Many will never be troubled by the Criminal Justice system. But if they are, or their relative or friend should inadvertently get caught up in something that leads to criminal charges, they should know the following:
- The state that chooses to prosecute them will also choose their lawyer. Individuals will have no choice whatsoever in who represents them, if they seek legal aid. Although the government encourages us to choose which hospital or school we use, when our liberty is at stake, choice is denied. The state will allocate the lawyer.
- The lawyer allocated will have obtained his/her contract to do the work by bidding at the cheapest price.
- If your case is a short trial in the crown court you should know that your advocate is paid the same whether you plead guilty or there is a short trial,( the latter of course involving much more work).
- If your household disposable income is over £37,500 you will no longer be eligible for legal aid.
- If, for any of the reasons above, you choose to instruct a lawyer privately and you are acquitted, you will only be reimbursed from the state by a fraction of the costs.
- Please sign a petition to avoid the above at epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/48628