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solicitors fee for criminal charge

(17 Posts)
zarah21 Sat 18-Nov-17 23:53:31

Hi all, realised my post below was really long. The gist...
I have"admitted" pulling hair and have been remorseful. It won't go to court (complainant wants to settle outside) never discussed fees with solicitor, she just mentioned the interview representation being free.
Can anyone give a rough idea of how much phone calls/emails will be (London based) and what exactly they need to do now?
Sorry, I'm clearly a rookie and fool and uneducated in this department (before anyone adds as much)
Please help

Ttbb Sat 18-Nov-17 23:58:08

It will be in your client care letter. This is the contract type document you sign when you instruct your solicitor. You will either be charged a fixed or hourly fee. If it is an hourly fee your solicitor should be able to give you an indication of how many hours they expect the work to take and this will give you an idea of cost in total.

zarah21 Sun 19-Nov-17 09:46:09

Oh right thanks @Ttbb so I haven't had any letter or anything. confused communication(believe it or not had been via text) I asked if representation at police station is free she said yes, all people who have an interview under caution shoot an arrestable offence are eligible for legal aid. I said I was worried about costs but she said, let's not worry about that now. Let's just focus on your interview. I feel I have been played, should I have asked for this letter? I assumed she would talk progression/costs after this initial stage. But now that I admitted offence and won't go to court I'm not sure what she "needs" to charge me for.

zarah21 Sun 19-Nov-17 09:49:39

I want to add I have never, ever been in trouble so all this is new to me. I tried to be pro active in getting information but never heard of this letter. The woman I am in comms with is the actual partner of the firm, does that mean an email will cost more from her or is that stuff usually set rate? Spray, I'm just panicking.

MrsBertBibby Sun 19-Nov-17 10:08:33

If the police have confirmed NFA there is nothing more for your solicitor to do.

Is the victim looking for financial compensation? That would be a civil claim, you need a Personal Injury lawyer for that.

zarah21 Sun 19-Nov-17 10:14:24

@MrsBertBibby Nope my legal rep advised that I admit to the offence (I had an altercation but it wasn't on cctv and claimant left out a lot of facts (that our OHs entered into a scuffle and I pulled her off my OH) they are looking to reduce to common assault and restorative justice or caution.
Do you think the legal rep had me admit even though there was no actual hair pulling evidence so they could draw this process out knowing if I didn't admit then the police would have to NFA the file? Therefore no fees?

zarah21 Sun 19-Nov-17 10:16:12

I don't know what she wants, he said she didn't want to go to court. (He said that before my interview to the legal rep) Probably because she had failed to disclose full facts perhaps.

zarah21 Sun 19-Nov-17 10:27:39

@mrsbertbibby I'm more annoyed that they did not do their best for me. I was not on cctv looking hair, the detective said he had seen a picture of scalp missing hair, but he did not have it to show me. She did not seek medial assistance and went to police station 24 hours later. My rep received all this info in the disclosure. Why did she advise me to admit to receive rest. Justice?! I'm so hurt by this whole experience.
If I am cautioned can I still not accept it?

zarah21 Sun 19-Nov-17 10:29:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bendyandtheinkmachine Sun 19-Nov-17 11:15:11

A caution is only administered if you admit you are guilty and there is enough evidence to charge. You cannot be given a caution if you plead not guilty.

Hauntedlobster Sun 19-Nov-17 11:39:26

Are you able to have a look at the lawyers website for fees? I think you might be able to put up a good argument against payment if it’s sky high and she hasn’t followed appropriate process.

Sounds like a mess, not sure you’ll be able to retract a guilty plea now? I’d just go with it and get it over and done with now as painful as that may be.

zarah21 Sun 19-Nov-17 11:51:19

I am on tape crying, the whole situation had made me ill. When I got a call the week before saying I was wanted at the station on alleged assault allegation but he could not discuss her injuries,I thought f@ck!! What had I done? I thought maybe she broke her coxic when she landed after I pulled her. Or slipped a disc. I've thought all sorts. So I was emotional (awful snot all over type of hysterical emotional) I never out right said, yes it was me. I mean, yes, it probably was when I pulled her off of him and I said as much but I can't remember and the cctv didn't show her picking up hair from the floor either. (I should of said that on tape but again head was bashed and I was wanting to appear remorseful, if I questioned everything, I too, thought that wouldn't help)

zarah21 Sun 19-Nov-17 12:04:41

Thanks @hauntedlobster you know what, you are right! I feel I will have to. I'm just annoyed that I went to get proper advice and they ill advised me. And without her advice I'd be on a NFA. Can't actually believe the turn of events. I'm not a bad person, I've been in bits! And now it will effect my career over hair pulling? I even asked when she said admit it, what I have no defence?? But the girl never mentioned the fight between out OHs. This has hurt me bad. we've been planning a family, was going to try early next year and I just feel like such a horrible waste of space human being. They have no idea, this is punishment enough. I'm gutted.

zarah21 Sun 19-Nov-17 12:11:01

Ps no fees on website. Thanks so much for your advice though. Means a lot.

Hauntedlobster Sun 19-Nov-17 12:14:38

Had you been drinking? IS it worth speaking to another lawyer for advice. I mean surely if there’s ctv showing it you can put in s counter claim or whatever?

Sorry to be nosy, but what on earth were they scrapping over?!

SoxonFeet Sun 19-Nov-17 12:27:14

All police station attendances are covered by legal aid so there is no charge for their attendance at the police station at all. Some firms do charge for post attendance phone calls but some don't, they offer it as part of their package of representation. It sounds like this firm won’t charge you as they would have advised you on their charging rates otherwise. The solicitor is probably waiting on an outcome before sending a letter so that you know clearly what happened and what the result is. Again not unusual.

I’m slightly surprised you think your not guilty if you admitted assaulting this lady (hair pulling is an assault), regardless if she also was violent back. You admitted it to the legal representative and they would have explained that you can do one on three things - answer all questions and put any potential defence forward, answer no comment or do a prepared statement. You admitted the offence and the legal rep clearly thought you may be eligible for a caution/restorative justice, hence their advice. I can see nothing wrong in the way they have represented you, especially in light of your admissions to them. You mention the legal rep should have pushed for further proof of hair pulling - the police already have a complainant who says you pulled their hair, and you then admitted to this - why do you need more proof?

Also it’s not up to the complainant as to the progression of the investigation - it’s down to the CPS lawyers who decide on charging decision (or sometimes police for low level matters). If the complainant indicates that they will not be assisting the police investigation that doesn’t help the case but it won’t prevent the police from prosecuting you.

As to ongoing fees I assume that your lawyer will wait to see if you are charged before discussing fees. You may or may not be eligible for legal aid or may be partially eligible for legal aid with partial contributions.

I personally think you should raise any concerns with your legal team, but most clients cannot remember the details of the explanations provided to them at the time, which is why they get confused and most criminal lawyers will be happy to clarify things further - I think your criticism of them is unfair but I can see you are confused having never been in trouble before.

zarah21 Sun 19-Nov-17 12:45:06

Thanks @soxtonfeet I understand and thank you for reassuring me that she advised as best she could. I still don't remember hair pulling and didn't admit to such but their was a todo which I admit to. As @hauntedlobster advised I am going to accept what I get and draw the line! Thanks @soxtonfeet re charges advice too, most appreciated.

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