FAQ

The two most important rights that you have whilst in custody are the right to speak to a solicitor free of charge in person and the right to have someone notified that you are in custody. If you have been arrested or someone close to you has been arrested, please call us on our 24-hour line 0151 255 1790.
It is essential to have a solicitor at the police station. A solicitor will protect your rights and ensure that you are properly treated. She or he will secure disclosure from the police and discuss the disclosure with you and the strength of the evidence in private with you prior to interview. She or he will take your account and advise you what would be the best wat to approach the interview.
Everyone is currently entitled to free advice at the police station, therefore it would not cost you to have a solicitor present with you at the police station to provide you with independent legal advice.
After your interview the police will then decide as to how they will deal with you. The police will ask the Crown Prosecution Service for advice on whether you should be charged. Your case can be dealt with in one of the following ways:
  • 1. No further action
  • 2. A fixed penalty
  • 3. A caution
  • 4. Released on police bail why they investigate further.
  • 5. Charged with the offence
You are entitled to bail unless the police or courts believe that you will fail to come back to the police station or court, or that you will commit further offences on bail or interfere with a witness. We will make representations on your behalf if we believe that you should be entitled to bail.
If you have been charged and kept in custody, you will appear before the next available court which is usually the next working day. Your first hearing will also be at the magistrates’ court. Once you get to court, if you have a solicitor the solicitor will be given the evidence that the Crown Prosecution Service have against you (if it is available) and will be able to discuss this with you privately before the hearing. Depending on the nature of the offence, your case will either be heard in the magistrates’ court or the crown court.
It is vital to have a solicitor to present at any court case. A solicitor will be able to advise you on the law and how strong the evidence the Crown Prosecution Service have is against you. A solicitor will also be able to advise on the appropriate plea and mitigate on your behalf. If you case proceeds to trial it is essential to have a solicitor to cross examine the witnesses in your case.
Criminal defence is currently funded by legal aid. There is a two-part test which needs to be passed to be granted legal aid. Firstly, your case must meet the interests of justice test. Therefore, it must be in the interest of justice for you to be represented by a solicitor. The second part of the test is based on whether you are financially eligible. On average most people who receive benefits will pass the means test.