A quick guide to funding your case

Criminal legal advice from Martin Murray & Associates is offered through both private and publicly (Legal Aid) funded casework. Don’t worry: the way we’re paid makes no difference. You’ll enjoy the same efficient, professional representation however we’re remunerated.

How our work for you is funded will depend on the nature of your case.

Police Station and other Criminal Investigations

If you’re in custody at any UK Police Station, you are entitled to legal advice and assistance free of charge.

This includes an appointment (made in advance) for an interview with a police officer or other investigating officer e.g. Customs & Excise.

Please contact us in advance of any pre-arranged appointment so that we can arrange the best representation. If you’re arrested without prior notice, ask for Martin Murray & Associates when you arrive at the Police Station.

Duty solicitor or nominated firm?

The custody sergeant will ask if you have a preferred firm of solicitors or if you wish to speak to a duty solicitor.

Choosing a duty solicitor may not guarantee the level of specialist expertise you require. We strongly recommend you nominate Martin Murray & Associates. You have the legal right to request we represent you, and our attendance and advice is completely free of charge.

If the Police imply anything to the contrary, note the details, insist on our services, and tell us what was said when we arrive. We are a firm with a criminal contract and all Police Station cases are funded by the Legal Aid Agency.

You’re also entitled to speak to a solicitor on the phone free of charge. If circumstances warrant a formal police interview, you can speak to us in person or private before it takes place. The police can only delay your right to speak to a solicitor in exceptional circumstances.

Release pending further enquiries

Your right to free legal advice during a criminal investigation continues even if you’re released from the Police Station or other place of interview and asked to return at a later date. This often occurs if there’s a need to make further enquiries.

If, for any reason, were not involved in the initial arrest/interview, please contact us to ensure that you are suitably represented on the day you are due to answer your bail. You won’t normally need to pay for this.

Cases subject to means testing (e.g. Benefit Agency)

In some cases, for example, Benefit Agency Interviews, access to funds for representation will be means tested. You may still be eligible for free legal advice if you are on benefits or on a low income. If you aren’t eligible, you can pay us to represent you privately. Our rates are competitive and reasonable and you may not need to pay the whole sum at once. Please contact us for a quote or to discuss any aspect of an investigation you are currently subject to.

Criminal Proceedings

If you’re charged or summonsed with a criminal offence, it’s often better to be represented at Court by a solicitor.

A professional lawyer will ensure that you’re treated fairly by the Court and that your defence is presented properly. This is particularly important if you are at risk of losing your liberty, but also if you want to contest other important matters – for example, charges that may result in a driving ban. Whatever your case entails, we are ready to advise and assist you.

Legal Aid

Firstly, the LAA must agree your case passes the ‘interests of Justice Test’. To decide they look at:

  • Whether or not you are at risk of custody.
  • If you are currently subject to a Court Order
  • If you are at risk of losing your livelihood or your reputation is at risk
  • If a substantial question of law is involved.
  • If you do not speak English or may have difficulty understanding the Court Procedure for other reasons.
  • If witnesses need to be traced on your behalf or if expert witnesses need to be cross-examined.


Secondly, your application will be means tested. If you receive a qualifying benefit you will pass the means test. If you receive any other types of benefit, or have a low income, your case will be assessed by the Means Testing Team at the LAA. For further guidance regarding the means test, please contact us. You’ll find further information at www.legalservices.gov.uk

Privately Funded Cases

If you are not eligible for Legal Aid you can pay our team of solicitors, solicitor-advocates, barristers and accredited representatives privately to assist you and prepare your defence.

Whatever the nature of your case we’re happy to discuss alternative funding arrangements; our rates are highly competitive and flexible payment may be possible. If your case is successfully defended, it may be possible to recover some or all of your costs from the Court. We prepare this application on your behalf and lodge it with the appropriate Court. To discuss the options open to you, please contact us for a quotation.

Family/Civil Proceedings

Civil cases may be privately funded or, in certain circumstances, Legal Aid may be available. For more details, see the family law page.

Emergency Police Station Advice

Call: 01753 551313
(Monday – Friday 9.00am – 5.30pm)

Call: 01753 600101
(At all other times)

Serious Crime Panel

Members of the VHCC & Serious Fraud Panel

Family & Matrimonial

Members of the Family Law Panel