At Owen White & Catlin Defence we understand how stressful it is if you or someone close to you is charged with a criminal offence and ordered to attend court. You may have many questions and concerns about what will happen during the process and the possible outcomes. Our Criminal Defence Solicitors are here to provide clear information about going to court, and to take preventative action without delay so that you have the best chance of achieving the most favourable outcome. We take a proactive approach to every case to ensure the impact of any court hearing on you and your loved ones is reduced as far as possible. Contact our Criminal Defence Lawyers today for expert legal advice and court representation.
Which court will I have to attend?
You will be notified of the location of the magistrates’ court you must attend, as well as the date of your hearing. Almost all criminal law cases in England and Wales start in the magistrates’ court; depending on the seriousness of the allegation against you, your case may be referred to the Crown Court. We will advise you at the first hearing at the magistrates court as to whether this is the case in your circumstances.
What is the court process?
You and your solicitor will be able to review the prosecution’s evidence against you before you enter your plea. If you admit you are guilty of the charge(s) against you, no trial will follow and your case will go to sentencing – either straight away or on another date.
If you plead not guilty, a trial will follow where the prosecution will first present its evidence and then you and your legal team will set out your defence. Witnesses may be called by both the prosecution and defence, and cross-examination may take place.
The process you will be involved in will depend on the court your case is heard in.
If you are to appear before a magistrates’ court, there will be no jury. The case will be heard by up to three magistrates or one district judge.
If your case is referred to the Crown Court, a judge and jury will be involved in deciding the outcome of the trial. The jury is responsible for deciding if you are guilty or not, while the judge decides how you should be sentenced if you are found guilty.
What are the possible outcomes of my case?
If you plead guilty, or are found guilty by the magistrates, judge or jury, you will be sentenced. The magistrates’ court can give a range of sentences, up to a maximum six months’ imprisonment, up to £5,000 in fines, a community sentence or a conditional discharge to those found guilty. If the magistrates’ court feels its sentencing powers are not sufficient for a particular case, it can be sent to the Crown Court where a greater sentence can be imposed.
If you are found not guilty, you will be acquitted of the charges against you, and no further action will be taken.
Things to be aware of when going to court
You must turn up in good time for your trial and you must be dressed appropriately. If you fail to turn up to court on the date of your hearing, this is treated as a separate criminal offence for which you could face a prison sentence, a fine or both.
Contact our Criminal Defence Solicitors in Feltham
Finding the right Criminal Defence Solicitor is crucial to the success of your case. At Owen White & Catlin Defence, our Criminal Defence Solicitors and Barristers are determined to achieve the best possible outcome. Unlike large “production line” criminal law firms, we offer a bespoke service tailored to your case and personal needs. To us, you are not just a case. We know that you need more than just advice.
We invest time in getting to know our clients to deliver excellent results. If you or a loved one has been accused of an offence or arrested, please contact us as soon as possible.