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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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How does one apply aid? My son is on a drink driving

Resolved Question:

How does one apply for legal aid? My son is on a drink driving charge and has no means of support. He is on housing benefit and incapacity allowance (£72 per week) He is currently in a rehab centre for alcoholism and his case is due 04.03.2015. As he is not presently in our locality (Surrey), but in Bedfordshire and has severe injuries to his feet which are being treated also in Luton, we are trying to get a postponement on his case, so we don't yet know when his case will actually come before the magistrates court.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

For now please let me know what the reading was?

Customer:

224 Blood reading

Alex Watts :

Ok - did he not ask for the Duty Solicitor when he was at Court last time?

Customer:

He hasn't been to court yet it is schedules for 04.03.15 The accident triggering the events happened on 9 Oct but they took him to hospital with suspected concussion and took blood test later.

Alex Watts :

Ok, then when he goes to Court he can ask for the duty Solicitor.

Alex Watts :

He can be represented there and they will deal with the paperwork etc.

Alex Watts :

At the hearing he will have to plead guilty or not guity.

Alex Watts :

I assume he accepts he was driving the vehicle?

Alex Watts :

Will he be well enough on 4th March?

Customer:

I understand (from internet - magistrates guidelines)) that he can only get the duty solicitor if the case is likely to warrant a custodial sentence (obviously we're hoping this is not the case as it is a first offence) is this in fact not so?

Alex Watts :

Generally yes. But there are 4 bands of reading. He is band 3 of 4

Alex Watts :

He should get legal aid for this.

Alex Watts :

I assume he accepts the offence?

Customer:

Sorry I didn't see the other questions. Yes he accepts liability and will plead guilty, his ability to attend is very much in doubt at the moment on 4th march, I am in discussion with Surrey magistrates court about this at present.

Alex Watts :

If he can not attend then evidence MUST be provided to say he is NOT fit to attend Court.

Alex Watts :

The court will not accept anything else.

Alex Watts :

Therefore he should get a medical note saying he is NOT able to attend Court. It must say that.

Alex Watts :

If it does then the Court can adjourn the matter,

Alex Watts :

Otherwise if it does not say that then the Court may proceed in his absence.

Alex Watts :

But in terms of sentence the guidelines say it is a Community Order.

Alex Watts :

He will also be disqualified for 23-28 months which can be reduced by 25% if he takes the drink driving course.

Alex Watts :

But if he wants an adjournment he must provide a medical note saying he is not fit to attend Court, not unwell or unable to work but unfit to attend Court

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

Thanks Alex I think you've covered the main points I wanted to know

Alex Watts :

Yes I understand that. Can you see my response above?

Alex Watts :

Great.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you at all?

Customer:

From what you say he would have to do community service rather than have a fine imposed?

Alex Watts :

Yes I think so as the range is low level Community order to High level Community Order

Alex Watts :

So its going to be a Community order

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

Customer:

Yes thanks that does clarify the matter. Do you know what the range of hours for instance, would be between a low level and a high level community order?

Alex Watts :

Its going to be from about 50-200

Customer:

Thanks I cant think of anything else at this time.

Alex Watts :

Great. If I could ask you to rate my answer before you go today, the button should be at the bottom of the screen

Alex Watts :

If you need more help please click reply

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