Who Are We And What Do We Do?
We are qualified solicitors and legal representatives who conduct criminal defence work in the police station, Magistrates Court and Crown Court, primarily in Staffordshire, however we do travel nationwide as and when we are requested to do so.
We pride ourselves in providing a thoroughly professional service to all of our clients. It is our clients’ best interests which are our primary concern.
Our field of expertise covers the whole spectrum of criminal defence work from petty offences through to the most serious offences such as murder. Whatever criminal offence a client is alleged to have committed the case will be treated with the same professionalism.
The firm undertakes both legal aid and private funded work. Our team of solicitors appear in the Magistrates Court on a daily basis. We have a team of solicitors who have Solicitor Higher Court Advocacy Rights who will be able to represent you in the Crown Court.
Magistrates’ Court Representation.
All cases start life in the Magistrates Court. The more serious offences are sent to the Crown Court. Our team appear in the Magistrates Court on a daily basis dealing with all types of offences. This can range from road traffic offences (e.g. Dangerous Driving) to public order offences (Affray) to dishonesty offences (Shoplifting). If a case is heard in the Magistrates Court we will have the expertise and experience to deal with it.
The type of representation can vary. If a client is admitting an offence we will represent him or her and put forward mitigation on their behalf. This in itself is an important aspect. It can mean the difference between a client being sent to prison or receiving a non-custodial sentence.
If a client is denying an offence then we will represent him or her at trial. It is vitally important that a client’s defence is properly conducted. This can involve the assessment of the strength of the prosecution case and expert cross examination of prosecution witnesses. Also, summing up the evidence to the magistrates at the end of the case can lead to an acquittal especially if the prosecution have not been able to prove their case to the requisite legal standard. Client’s often do not realise that the onus is on the prosecution to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt. It is not for the accused to prove their innocence.
Youth Court Representation.
Most cases involving youths (persons aged under 18 years) are dealt with and concluded in the Youth Court. This is also at the Magistrates Court but the cases are heard before specially trained Magistrates.
This is an area that we also specialise in. There are different sentencing powers available in the Youth Court which requires an indepth understanding.
Crown Court Representation.
We have Higher Courts Advocates within our team who can represent you in the Crown Court.
Cases that are heard in the Crown Court tend to be the more serious type of case. Some cases have to be heard in the Crown Court (Murder, Manslaughter, Robbery, GBH with Intent). These are called Indictable Only offences. Other offences known as Either Way offences can also be heard in the Crown Court (Burglary, ABH, Theft, Dangerous Driving) These can be heard in either the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court depending on certain criteria.
If a client qualifies for public funding (Legal Aid) then we will apply for this on the client’s behalf. There are different rules about the availability of legal aid depending on whether a case is to be heard in the Magistrates or Crown Court.
Legal Aid is determined on a two-fold test. (i) a means test – this is a determination of your eligibility depending on your financial circumstances; and (ii) a merits test – is your case serious enough to justify the expenditure of public money.?
We will be more than happy to discuss this with you in more detail.
Alternatively if you do not wish to apply for legal aid or if you do not qualify then we will be more than happy to represent you on a private paying basis. We offer a fixed price service for the more straight forward cases. Alternatively we can agree a payment plan to suit your circumstances. Please note however we do require payment in full prior to the conclusion of a case.