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Representing all general crime cases

General crime covers a range of offences from swearing in the street right up to murder and every other offence you can think of in between.  It is what we deal with successfully every single day. What nearly all of them have in common is the suspect is usually formally interviewed before a decision is made to prosecute.

Police Station Assistance

Remember you do not have to be guilty to need professional legal help at a police station. The fact you are being spoken to formally in a police station is reason enough for you to want to make sure you make the right decision about  whether it is in your interests to speak to the police or not.

Even though you may be innocent  do not forget the police  would not want to speak to you unless they believed you had done something wrong. No matter how rich or poor you are representation when being interviewed by the police is free and is a right that you can insist on. This is the case whether you are under arrest or attending as a volunteer.  Moreover, even if the police want to interview you at your own home you still have the right to legal representation at your home for  that interview and that representation is also free.

Guilty or innocent why would you not have free representation from an expert when it is offered to you. It is like having a plumber offer to do plumbing work for you for free and turning them down because you think you can do a better job yourself!


Other investigatory assistance

Agents of the state other than the police are also tasked with investigating criminal offences. The most common examples of these are Trading Standards officers investigating trading standards offences, The Department of Work and Pensions investigating benefit fraud, Revenue and Customs investigating tax credit fraud and you local authority investigating housing and council tax benefit fraud.

Normally you will be asked to attend the local office of whichever government agency wants to speak to you.  Don’t think that just because you are not at a police station that the interview is not a serious matter. How you conduct yourself in that interview may have a significant impact on the rest of your life.

You have a right to have us attend with you when interviewed and  our vast experience in these types of investigation is invaluable and having us assist  means you can be confident  that  you have made the right decision about how to respond in that interview.

You may be eligible for free representation in non police interviews away from the police station. We will advise you whether you are. If you are not we charge a fixed agreed fee that is sufficiently low compared to the benefit you get as to make the decision to pay for our time and expertise a simple one. 

Magistrates Court

Virtually all criminal cases begin in the Magistrates’ Court.   About 90% of those cases will be finalised there too although some transfer to the Crown Court for trial or sentencing.

Expert representation is very important for anyone facing proceedings so that they understand the court process and the strength of the evidence against them and can make the right decision on whether or not to plead guilty. Lack of representation can put you at a serious disadvantage.

Moreover it is not only criminal offences that are dealt with in the magistrates court.  Many what are called civil applications are also dealt with there. The most common of them are applications for:

  • Criminal Behaviour Order
  • Domestic Violence Protection Order
  • Sexual harm Prevention Order
  • Sexual Risk Order
  • Football banning Order

If you are made subject to any of these orders the impact on your freedom can be significant and the consequences for breaching them very harsh indeed.

Don’t worry like with all other matters dealt with in the magistrates court we are very experiences in dealing with these applications and will be able to assist you in dealing with them adequately.

Crown Court

The Crown Court deal mainly with the more serious offences.  Having the right representation in these cases is of crucial importance. In many cases the wrong decision in the Crown Court can result in you serving many years in prison.

What is important is detailed, thorough and tenacious preparation of your case. We are well equipped to do this and are also able to help you decide whether you require a barrister to conduct your defence or whether you would be better with a solicitor-advocate from the firm.

Whatever your problem please contact us as we are happy to help.

Key stages of criminal litigation

Once you have been charged with an offence or have received a summons or postal requisition you will know what date the court proceedings will commence (the ‘first hearing date’). All cases start in a Magistrates Court, regardless of severity. However, the more serious cases will often end up being dealt with in the Crown Court, either for sentence following a guilty plea or for trial should a not guilty plea be indicated.

The evidence that the prosecuting authority relies upon is what we need to consider before advising you as to the strength of evidence against you, what evidence we should obtain to strengthen your case, what plea is appropriate and any likely sentence in the event of conviction. That evidence is usually served upon us by email in the event of a Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) led prosecution. Such evidence is rarely made available to a defence advocate until 24 hours before your first hearing date and sometimes not until the day of the hearing itself. In the event of prosecution led by an agency other than the CPS (such as by the Local Authority, Probation Service, HSE, Trading Standards, IRS, DWP, Fisheries, DEFRA etc.) we can request the evidential papers as soon as you instruct us, so please contact us without delay.

It is not possible to provide certainty as to when a case will conclude, as the timescale depends upon many factors, including the capacity of the court seized with your case, but as a general guide, matters dealt with in a Magistrates Court are generally resolved within 3 to 6 months of the first hearing date, Crown Court cases are generally resolved 4 to 12 months from the first hearing date.

If a guilty plea is entered at the first hearing date and the Magistrates Court deals with sentence, then cases are often resolved upon that day.

Key Stages are:

  • We receive your instructions, agree and arrange a means of financing your case.
  • The evidence is obtained from the prosecuting authority.
  • Advice is given as to the evidence, appropriate plea(s) and likely sentence.
  • The first hearing takes place and your plea is indicated.
  • In the event of a guilty plea to all charges where the Magistrates retain jurisdiction, you will be sentenced on that day or your case adjourned for one more hearing (probably within 5 weeks) for sentencing to take place.
  • Following guilty pleas to all matters, should the Magistrates send your case to the Crown Court for sentence, you will be notified of the date when you must attend the Crown Court by the Magistrates.
  • In the event of a not guilty plea to any matters charged, your case will be adjourned for trial. Assuming that trial will take place in the Magistrates Court, the Magistrates will tell you when your trial will take place.
  • Should the Magistrates send your case for trial to the Crown Court for trial or you elect Crown Court trial (where possible) then the Magistrates will provide you with a date when you must first appear in the Crown Court.
  • The court may impose a timetable when certain steps must take place, such as filing any applications (such as evidence requests), statements or expert witness reports. That is known as the court issuing ‘directions’.
  • After that first hearing we will contact you to discuss your evidence in more detail and discuss any strategy issues. We will make contact with any potential witnesses you may wish to call to give evidence upon your behalf to take a witness statement from them.
  • With your assistance, we will aim to comply with any directions made by the court in accordance with the timetable they set and otherwise prepare you case for trial.
  • On the day of trial you will receive representation.
  • In the event of acquittal, your case will end.
  • In the event of conviction you will then receive representation at sentence and advice about appeals.

We can help you with...

Representation at the police station  Defending criminal proceedings
Theft & Burglary  Cybercrime & Data Theft  Criminal Restraint & Confiscation
Drug Offences  Sexual Offences  Harassment  Murder & Manslaughter

Contact us today to organise a free consultation