From advising over the phone for a speeding fine through to standing up in court on behalf of those accused of serious offences, a criminal solicitor performs a varied and high pressured role.
Criminal solicitors are an essential part of the legal system and, for some people, can make the difference between liberty and imprisonment.
A criminal solicitor acts as an adviser and invariably works with a barrister on a case. They are used in all branches of law but in defence cases, a criminal solicitor analyses and prepares evidence, offers advice, creates a defence strategy, and fights for an appropriate punishment for their client.
The key responsibility of a criminal solicitor in a defence case is to ensure a fair trial is given to their client and achieve the best possible outcome, whether it be acquittal or a reduced punishment.
When should I contact a solicitor?
As soon as you are aware that you are being accused of an offence you should contact a solicitor. Whether you are innocent or guilty of a criminal offence (and this includes traffic offences), you need the support of a specialist criminal law solicitor.
If possible you should contact a solicitor even before you speak to the police or go to a police station. The solicitor will tell you what to expect and the rights that you have.
Should I have a solicitor if I have to go to the police station?
it is important that you have the support of a solicitor as soon as possible. You can ask the police to contact your own solicitor. If that is not possible ask for a duty solicitor.
Wherever you are being questioned by the police can be a very nerve wracking experience. Your solicitor is there to make sure your rights and interests are protected.
What type of crime would a criminal defence solicitor work on?
From first degree murder to a minor traffic offence, criminal defence solicitors work with all matters in criminal law.
They also work on cases involving robbery, burglary, theft and handling stolen goods, forgery, fraud and proceeds of crime, regulatory offences, and breaches of a court order.
How can a criminal defence solicitor help you?
Criminal solicitors work from the start of a case and obtain all the necessary details of the allegations made against you. They will take into consideration your detailed instructions and will gather evidence in support of your defence. This can involve anything from forensic evidence to the interviewing of key witnesses. Finally, criminal solicitors will usually research similar cases, the statutes and procedural rules that may be beneficial when preparing your defence strategy and presenting it in court.
What do they do if my case goes to trial?
Your criminal defence solicitor will prepare your defence strategy by analysing all of the evidence put for and against you. Your solicitor will also look for opportunities which could limit the prosecution’s evidence or even dismiss your case and will ensure these are implemented if possible.
If you are found guilty, they will strive for a fair sentence or punishment and will try and make sure the judge, jury or the bench of magistrates are aware of your remorse, personal circumstances and rehabilitation potential in relevance to the case.
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