Things to consider when choosing court representation for criminal defence
Most people facing criminal charges in England and Wales will appear in either Magistrates' or Crown Court. Both courts offer defendants legal representation; however, it is important to choose representation carefully as it will impact the results of your trial, from an innocent or guilty verdict to what punishment you might be given. While not without its flaws, there are some things to consider when selecting court representation for criminal defence.
At Edward Hughes we will ensure you understand your rights and will aid your defence to the best of our ability.
What is the Magistrates' Court?
Most criminal cases begin with an appearance at one of a number of Magistrates' Courts around England and Wales.
The court consists of either one or three magistrates who will preside over your case and decide whether you are guilty of an offence. It is important to understand that even if you plead guilty, it is up to a magistrate to determine what sentence should be applied. If you are charged with an offence in Scotland or Northern Ireland, your case will be heard at Sheriff Court level.
What Can I Expect in a Magistrates' Court Hearing?
The purpose of a magistrates' court hearing is to decide whether you have committed a crime and how you should be punished.
Magistrates require no legal qualifications or experience and are fully trained for the role instead, as such, cases heard by the Magistrates' are usually relatively minor. However, a district Judge will preside over more lengthy and complicated cases.
Our role at Edward Hughes is to ensure that you are fully prepared for your hearing in order to achieve the best possible outcome.
What Can I Expect if My Case Goes to Crown Court?
The Crown Court is where all major criminal cases are heard, from very serious offences such as murder, rape and GBH, to more minor cases such as sexual assault and theft. In a Crown Court trial, there are 12 jurors who will listen to all of the evidence and decide whether you’re guilty or not guilty. The judge will also be present throughout.
The type of representation you need at Crown Court differs, as these types of cases will more often than not, be of high-profile, serious crimes. With this in mind, should your case be going to Crown Court, you will need to appoint either a Barrister or a solicitor who has obtained the relevant qualifications.
Choose Edward Hughes
Edward Hughes Solicitors are located in Rhyl and Colwyn Bay, North-East Wales and boasts experienced criminal defence solicitors who are accredited in Criminal litigation by the Law Society. Call today 01745 343661 for advice on your legal representation or send a message on the form below.