Defendant charged with death by careless driving acquitted at Lewes Crown Court following hugely significant work by the defence to prove other factors were in fact to blame for the fatality which occurred en route to the Goodwood Revival in Sussex last year. On legal aid this work would not have been possible. The CPS expert concurred with the defence that the charges should never have been brought . The defendant was awarded a defendants costs order although recent legislation means that such a costs order could not be granted from Oct 2012. Cases like these are now a potential travesty following Ken Clarke’s interference with legislation that had worked successfully in the interests of justice for 25 years . The same proposals were defeated by the Law Society during the Blair parliament in a judicial review supported by Clarke!
The upshot of this is that if you are accused of a crime you may have legal aid(subject to a financial contribution), but your lawyers will receive about 1/10 of the actual market rate or you pay privately and stand a better chance of justice, but at a significant financial cost.