Legal aid can help you pay for some or all of your legal costs. You may be able to get legal aid if you’re on a low income and your problem is serious. For example, you could get legal aid if:
Some solicitors offer legal aid for certain types of cases.
Find a legal aid solicitor
You can get legal aid for:
All criminal cases qualify for legal aid, except for certain minor offences such as speeding.
You can get legal aid if:
You can get legal aid if you believe you’ve been unlawfully discriminated against.
You can get legal aid if you disagree with a special educational needs decision about your child.
You can only get legal aid for appeals on a point of law to the:
You may be able to get legal aid in other exceptional cases, if you can show that being refused legal aid would infringe:
Whether you’ll get legal aid will depend on:
Means testing works out if you’re financially eligible for legal aid. It means that the following are considered when deciding whether you can get legal aid:
There are two types of legal aid: for civil and for criminal cases.
All applications for legal aid for criminal cases are means tested. But some applications for legal aid for civil cases are not means tested, for example care cases and Mental Health Tribunal cases.
Civil (non-criminal) cases are often private disputes between people or disputes about government or local services. You can check if you're eligible for civil legal aid on GOV.UK.
If you cannot get legal aid, you may still be able to get free legal advice.
If you’re arrested and taken to a police station, legal advice is free. Ask the police to call the duty solicitor, or another named solicitor if you know one.
If you’re going to be interviewed by the police, it’s important that a solicitor is there to advise you before and during the interview.
Any legal advice or representation you need after you leave the police station is means tested.
Not everyone is able to get criminal legal aid, and in the Crown Court you may have to pay towards some or all of your legal costs.
Find a solicitor in England and Wales using our free website
Choose your legal issue and enter your location. Select ‘more search options’ and tick ‘accepts legal aid’.
Some legal advisers and family mediators can also offer legal aid. Find legal aid advisers or family mediators on GOV.UK