Magistrates Courts and Crown Courts
f you have been summoned to appear before the Magistrates, you may be confused by all the documentation that you have received. In addition to the requirement to attend, you may have received details of offences which are not clear or you believe they have made a mistake regarding the evidence.
We can assist you in putting all of the elements together in a way which is understandable and less intimidating.
Depending on the seriousness of the matters alleged, cases can usually be dealt with in your absence (if they are admitted) and we can simply reduce your instructions into a letter which can be forwarded to the Magistrates on your behalf.
If you are required to attend, then in certain circumstances, we can attend in your place. This can be particularly important if the Magistrates are giving consideration to imposing penalty points on your licence or a disqualification.
Only if the case may go to the Crown Court, or your case is contested (and you wish to have the matter tried) are you required to attend Court personally. In that instance, you may be concerned about how you will present your case. Again, we can advise you on the procedure and presentation of your case.
You may be seeking advice because you are not happy with a sentence which has been handed down by the Magistrates and would like some advice on your prospects of succeeding in relation to
We can provide advice on the merits of any appeal, and act for you in relation to any appeal against your conviction, sentence or both. Ordinarily, any appeal should be lodged within 21 days of the date you were sentenced.
There is a standard form to be completed in most cases, which we can draft on your behalf. We are experts at advising not only on the prospects of succeeding but on potential costs involved and sentence.
Your case may be sent to the Crown Court for trial either because:
the offences are 'indictable only' (i.e. those which can only be heard by the Crown Court and usually the most serious offences) or
It is a case which can be heard in either the Crown Court or the Magistrates Court (an ‘Either Way’ offence) and they do not believe their powers are sufficient (or you have indicated that you want a jury trial).
Alternatively, your case may have been sent to the Crown Court for sentence after the trial (or plea) in the Magistrates Court.
It sounds complicated but in practice, you will receive careful guidance leading up to your hearing. If you are worried about the cost, then we can advise you whether you are eligible to receive legal aid (and signpost you to another solicitor) and/or offer a fixed fee.