Regardless of how large or small your criminal matter is, we will give you the help and support you need. Convictions for minor criminal offences are not trivial; they can lead to damaged reputations and difficulties in finding employment.
Our criminal law defence team will provide advice and representation from the very beginning of your contact with the criminal justice system. We provide police station representation 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Many of our solicitors are multi-lingual and if they are not fluent in your first language (should it not be English), they will swiftly arrange for an interpreter.
As solicitors accredited in criminal law by the Law Society of England and Wales, we can provide you with the advice and representation you need to ensure you have a strong defence.
Please contact us on 0207 281 1001 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are my rights if I am arrested?
Regardless of whether the police have a warrant or not, if you are arrested you have the right to a solicitor. Many criminal prosecutions fail due to procedural impropriety. Our team are trained to identify any flaws in the arrest process and will use them to your advantage.
Upon arrest, you should be cautioned with the words:
“You do not have to say anything but, it may harm your defence if you fail to mention, when questioned, something which you later rely upon in Court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence”.
The advice you receive at the police station can have a profound effect on the outcome of your trial. Even if you believe you are completely innocent and a terrible mistake has been made, it is crucial you have a solicitor to represent you. Police officers are trained to obtain information from people and can easily cause you to say something that would never be uttered if a criminal defence lawyer were to advise you.
Will I be entitled to bail?
Whether you will be granted bail or not depends on several circumstances, including the seriousness of the offence for which you have been charged. If you have committed a minor criminal offence, you are likely to be granted bail, but it can be refused if the court has grounds to believe you:
- will abscond
- commit further offences
- interfere with witnesses or try and pervert the course of justice
- you should remain in custody for your own protection, or if you are a child, your welfare
You have a greater chance of being granted police or court bail if you have received advice and representation from an experienced criminal defence solicitor. It is likely that if you are granted bail, certain conditions may be imposed – our lawyers can explain these to you clearly, so you do not risk additional arrest and charges for breaching your bail conditions. Those who speak English as a second language or who have learning disabilities are especially vulnerable to this occurring; therefore, we take extra care to ensure the terms and conditions of bail are clearly understood.
What is the difference between a summary offence and an indictable offence?
A summary offence is a minor offence. Examples include most driving offences, common assault, and certain public order offences. Most carry a sentence of fewer than six months in prison or a fine These offences are tried exclusively in the Magistrates’ Court and are heard by a District Judge or three Magistrates.
If you choose to plead guilty, the sentence will be passed immediately. If you plead not guilty, a date for trial will be set. After a summary trial, an appeal can be made to the Crown Court.
Indictable offences are serious criminal offences such as murder, rape, and manslaughter. They can only be tried in the Crown Court (although they will begin in the Magistrates’ Court) and if you plead not guilty, you will be tried before a judge and a jury.
Either way offences include theft, handling stolen goods, drug offences, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, fraud etc. These can be tried in either the Magistrates’ Court or Crown Court.
If you are charged with an ‘either way’ offence, our criminal defence solicitors will advise you on the best way to proceed.
Will all evidence against me be presented to the court?
Our role is to provide you with a robust defence and protect your interests. Under English law, you are innocent until proven guilty and the burden of proof is on the prosecution. They have to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that you are guilty of the crime charged. As criminal defence lawyers, we will prepare your defence and part of this process is examining the evidence the prosecution has against you and ensuring that which is inadmissible for being unfair or hearsay is excluded by the court from proceedings.
Do I have a right of appeal if I am found guilty?
It is an integral part of the criminal justice system that those found guilty of committing a crime have a right to appeal the decision. If you are tried in the Magistrates’ Court, you can appeal to the Crown Court. For either way offences heard in the Crown Court, an appeal can be made to the Court of Appeal Criminal Division, although leave of the court will need to be obtained.
Appeals can be made on matters of law, fact, or both and on conviction, sentence, or both.
By instructing our team, you can be confident that if there are grounds for an appeal, we will advise you on them and ensure you have full knowledge of your rights. We understand the criminal justice system inside out, and you can be confident that your defence will be expertly presented, and the optimal strategy determined.
To find out more about our criminal law services or police station representation, please phone our office on 0207 281 1001. You can also email us at email@example.com.