Legal Aid is a vital component of Scotland's justice system. The provision of Legal Aid ensures that people who are otherwise unable to afford legal representation obtain access to justice.

Legal Aid is met through public funds. Applications for Legal Aid are administered by the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB), based in Edinburgh.

Will I Qualify for Legal Aid?

If you are facing prosecution in a Court in Scotland, you may qualify for funding of legal costs (often in their entirety) under the Legal Aid scheme. Applications are made through solicitors who are registered to provide Criminal Legal Assistance by SLAB. McSporrans is a firm registered by the Scottish Legal Aid Board.

Any application for Legal Aid will be determined by two tests:

  1. The interests of justice
  2. The applicant's financial position

Interests of Justice

This simply refers to the seriousness of the case. The vast majority of cases prosecuted in the Sheriff Court will meet the interests of justice test. On the other hand, you may not qualify for Legal Aid if you face prosecution for a relatively minor road traffic offence in the Justice of the Peace Court.

If you have any questions about whether you might get Legal Aid, you should contact our office. We will give you free guidance about your eligibility.

Financial position

In terms of financial position, any application for Legal Aid must be supported by information about an applicant's income and expenditure; usually, a recent bank statement is sufficient. It is for the solicitor to complete the application on the basis of the information you provide.

If I am working, will I get Legal Aid?

Do not assume that if you are working, you will not qualify for Legal Aid. If you are in employment, you may still be eligible for funding, depending on the overall picture presented by your finances; the Scottish Legal Aid Board will take into account your family circumstances, housing costs, tax credits, debts and other factors.

Can I get Legal Aid if I want to plead Guilty?

Legal Aid can be made available even where a person wishes to plead guilty to a charge at an early stage in the case. McSporrans regularly provide representation to people who want to have their case dealt with efficiently and without delay. In this situation you may very well qualify for 'Advice By Way Of Representation' (ABWOR). Under this scheme, you can engage a solicitor to represent you in Court who will be paid by the Scottish Legal Aid Board.

Contact our Legal Aid Solicitors in Scotland

We are registered with the Scottish Legal Aid Board as a law firm eligible to provide Legal Aid. Our Legal Aid solicitors can advise you whether you are entitled to Legal Aid and are happy to offer a free consultation no matter what your circumstances might be.

Call us today on 0131 557 9151 (24hrs) for a free, no obligation discussion. Alternatively, request a callback or fill out our online enquiry form and we will be straight back in touch with you.

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Contact Us

Call us today on 0131 557 9151 (24hrs) for a free, no
obligation discussion. Alternatively, request a
callback, email 
or fill our our online enquiry form.

Where can you find us

Our solicitors, based in Edinburgh,
are ready to fight your corner.

45 Frederick Street

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McSporrans Criminal Lawyers Edinburgh Scotland