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What to expect

You focus on your life as we focus our expertise on your case.

If you’re being investigated or face charges, you can’t just hope for the best. You must get professional legal advice. We will listen to you and advise you what to do. As a very simple guide, this section covers some of the basics about what we’re dealing with.
Police investigations
Things to consider

First, there are ‘no off the record’ conversations with the police. When the police are investigating they will interview anyone under suspicion. This interview will take place either voluntarily or when you have been arrested and detained at a police station. The interview will be ‘under caution’ which means that anything you say can be used in evidence against you.

Anyone facing an interview under caution has the right to independent legal advice. Seeking legal advice doesn’t mean you are not co-operating it means you are taking advice to protect and promote your legal interests which you are fully entitled to do.

If you’re on police bail, it means they haven’t made a decision whether or not to charge. However there might be conditions about what you can/can’t do during this time.

How we will help

We represent clients under police investigation and work to avoid our client’s being arrested. We will attend the police station with you and make representations to the police or the Crown Prosecution Service to try to avoid you being charged. If you are on bail we can advise on whether your bail conditions can be varied or should be challenged.

Court Proceedings
Things to consider

If you’ve been charged with a criminal offence or have to attend court it’s important not to lose heart or believe that the system is somehow working against you. This is just the beginning of a process and certainly doesn’t mean that you will be convicted. It’s our job to defend you.

All cases start with a hearing in the Magistrates’ Court, and it’s here where the Magistrates’ will decide if your case can be heard there, or needs to move to the Crown Court. We will provide you with clear advice on what will happen and the decisions that are likely to be made.

If you plead ‘not guilty’ a trial will have to take place. If your trial takes place in the Magistrates’ Court then it will be before a District Judge or a panel of Magistrates. If your case is transferred to the Crown Court you will usually attend at least two hearings in the Crown Court before the trial takes place. The trial Judge will deal with matters of procedure and the law, but a jury will decide the verdict.

How we will help

We will advise you at every stage and guide you through the Court process and defend you in court. We are experts in case preparation and if there is any way to challenge a case before it gets to trial, we will.

Appeals
Things to consider

If you have been convicted or sentenced we can advise you on the appeal routes available and the chances of your success.

If you have been convicted before the Magistrates’ Court you can appeal to have your case reheard in the Crown Court, with all evidence presented.

If you were convicted before the Crown Court you have no automatic right of appeal. However, if grounds are found as to why the conviction is ‘unsafe’, they can be set out in writing to the Court of Appeal. There, a single Judge will consider the merits of your appeal and decide if your case should be argued before the full Court.

How we will help

Appeals are complex, but we know the system and can give you clear advice. We also have the drive to push on after trial and will do everything we can to overturn unsafe guilty verdicts. We will reassure you at every stage, whilst being entirely straightforward about your chances on appeal.

There are time limits to appeal and so it’s important to get advice straightaway. That said, the fact that your time limit has expired doesn’t mean you have no right to appeal.

Courts Martial
Things to consider

A Court Martial can take place inside or outside of the UK and the procedure resembles that of the Crown Court. A Court Martial has the jurisdiction to try any service offence including criminal offences. It is presided over by a Judge Advocate who is an independent civilian Judge. Both service personnel and civilians can face a trial before a Court Martial if subject to service discipline.

Anyone being investigated by the military police has the right to seek advice from criminal defence solicitors and for a solicitor of their choice to be present during interview. As with any criminal case, anyone facing these proceedings needs to get advice from a specialist in criminal law.

How we will help

We can advise service personnel on criminal matters and can travel anywhere to help – nationally or internationally.

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