01603 499999

Will I get Legal Aid at the Police Station?

Yes, and it's not means tested, though interviews held under caution, but not by the Police, are not usually covered. Generally, you'll have to pay for these yourself.

What about Legal Aid in the Magistrates' and Crown Courts?

For Magistrates' Court cases you will get Legal Aid for solicitors’ fees provided that you pass a means test and a merits test, both set by the Court. Legal Aid is available for most Crown Court cases provided that your annual disposable household income does not exceed £37,500 but you may have to pay a contribution.

How does private funding work?

We estimate the likely costs of the legal case with you. Our Client Care Information and Terms of Business document clearly sets out our solicitors’ fees. Like every other firm of solicitors, we will require payment of our solicitors’ costs prior to the completion of the case, either in full or by way of staged payments.

If I’m earning too much or my case does not pass the means test – what’s meant by ‘private representation’?

It simply means that you pay us to give you legal advice and represent you – it’s as straightforward as that. If you are pleading NOT GUILTY and you win, the Court generally, but not always, pays some of your legal expenses (about 10%). It’s also worth checking insurance policies (home and motoring) as they will often pay us to represent you.

How do you set the rates for your legal advice and legal representation?

Our rates reflect the fact that we are specialist criminal defence and road traffic solicitors. If you win, you generally get back some of your legal expenses when the Court makes a Defendant’s Costs Order. You are still responsible, however, for the shortfall between what is claimed and what is paid out by the Court (about 90%).

We at Belmores do not believe that this is fair - to be found not guilty yet still have to pay - but that has been the position since 2012 when the Government changed the provisions.

You say you are available 24/7. Does that mean I get a call centre or answer machine when I ring out of hours?

No that’s the last thing you need when you are in trouble and urgently need legal advice. In so far as is humanly possible, one of the directors – either Simon Nicholls or Dave Foulkes – will personally take your call, unless you specifically wish to speak to another member of staff. During normal office hours (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday) our highly experienced and dedicated staff will receive and process your call.

You’re based in Norwich, but do you take on cases outside of Norfolk?

Certainly. In fact many of our clients come to us on personal recommendation, and we will go anywhere people need a solicitor for legal advice.

Are you any good?

We let our results and our clients’ satisfaction speak for themselves. For an impartial opinion, however, you can rely on what legal publications like the Legal 500 and the Chambers Law Directory say about us on our website’s ‘About Us’ page.

What sort of motoring offences do you deal with?

Everything, including speeding; using a mobile phone while driving; no insurance; due care; failing to stop after an accident; drink or drug driving; dangerous driving; aggravated vehicle taking; causing death by careless or dangerous driving; overloading; drivers’ hours and tachograph offences.

I am suspected of committing a motoring offence. What should I do?

Contact us. The sooner we are involved the better.  Even at the roadside if it is safe to do so. The tactical decisions made at the outset often dictate the outcome. So, if you have been stopped by the police, or if you have received a written notice of intended prosecution, contact us.  Representing clients in their cars with the Police present, conducting an interview, is getting more commonplace.

If I get 12 points will I lose my licence?

Not necessarily. Two Premiership footballers and numerous other motorists are still on the road having successfully argued ‘exceptional hardship’ with our help.

I am accused of speeding. Will you be able to keep me on the road?

We may well be able to secure your attendance on a ‘speed awareness course’ as an alternative to prosecution. If that is not possible a fixed penalty may be an option. If you have to go to Court, we will aim to keep you on the road, if that is required, or go for a short ban if that is preferred. Each case is different and, together, we will need to consider the precise circumstances and decide what is best for you.

Drink-driving cases. Will I be banned?

In the vast majority of cases, if you are convicted of driving with excess alcohol, the answer is ‘yes‘. However, keeping the length of the disqualification to a minimum is where our expertise counts. Failing to provide a breath specimen is now being seen as a serious offence in its own right.  So, if you are facing prosecution for a drink-drive offence, contact us.

How much will it cost?

For serious cases you may qualify for Legal Aid subject to means. In the event of a Police interview under caution you will be eligible for free advice under the Legal Aid Scheme.

In most cases, we will agree a fixed fee for our advice and representation, payable in advance of any Court hearing. Typically, our fee will be a few hundred pounds, plus VAT, but the amount will depend on the amount of work we do for you.

If I win, will I get my costs back?

Keeping you on the road is our priority. If you are acquitted, or if your case is withdrawn or discontinued, we may be able to get the Court to pay a proportion of your legal costs, but it will by no means cover your outlay.

My case is not in Norfolk. Will you be able to deal with it?

Certainly. It may not even be necessary for you or us to attend at Court. If we do need to attend, we will agree a fee with you in advance. We have dealt with hundreds of cases in Courts in different parts of the country.

Tel: 01603 499999 | Fax: 01603 499998 | DX: 5232 Norwich 1 | Email: info@belmores.co.uk

For out of hours please contact one of our directors

Registered office: 40 Crown Road, Norwich, Norfolk NR1 3DX | Belmores Solicitors is the trading name of Belmores Limited, authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority ID 525368 and registered in England and Wales No. 6940545 | Copyright 2018 Belmores Solicitors. All rights reserved. |Download our Equality Document|GDPR Privacy Policy
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