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Magistrates Court

The Magistrates Court is the Court people first have to go to when facing a criminal case. There are a number of ways in which a criminal case can start in the Magistrates Court. These include:

- Receiving a Court Summons, which is a letter sent to the address of the accused

or

- Being charged with an offence at the police station and being either released on bail until they have to attend Court or kept in a police cell overnight until they are produced before the Court.

Looking for a criminal solicitor to represent you at the Magistrates Court can be a daunting task. When you are going through Court proceedings the language used in Court can seem strange, complicated and intimidating.

We have an experienced team of solicitors who will advise and represent you throughout the course of the proceedings and fight your corner whatever charge you face. We will guide you through the Court process, explaining your options and advise you as to how the case will develop at every stage.

The Magistrates’ Court has the power to deal with two categories of offences:

1. ‘Summary only offences’: These offences can only be dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court. These are usually the most minor of offences. Examples include common assault and the majority of motoring offences.

2. ‘Either way offences’: These include medium level seriousness cases including theft, burglary, assault occassioning actual bodily harm, most drug related and most sex offences. Either-way offences can also be dealt with at the Crown Court.

We have a depth of knowledge and experience in dealing with all matters in the Magistrates Court.

We attend all the local Magistrates Courts on a regular basis dealing with everything from straight forward adjournments and pleas in mitigation to trials.

The Magistrates Court has a wide range of sentencing options available according to the type of offence which can range from a small financial penalty up to 12 months imprisonment. They also have the power to commit sentence up to the Crown Court.

The outcome of your case may depend upon whether or not you are legally represented so if you find yourself in the Magistrates Court, for whatever reason, one of our experienced Crime Team will be able to advise and represent you.

Taking over your case

Many of our clients approach our firm to represent them in the Magistrates’ Court having been unrepresented at the police station or represented at the police station by another firm of solicitors. If you would like our firm to take on or take over your case then please contact us on 01323 644222 and request to speak to one of our solicitors in the Crime Team.

Legal Aid

We are able to offer representation free of charge in most circumstances through public funding. Wherever possible we will try and secure a Legal Aid Representation Order to ensure that we can provide you with free legal representation in the Magistrates’ Court. In certain circumstances, where free representation is not available, we are able to offer competitive private rates and fixed fee representation.

For further details on how you could obtain Legal Aid please visit our website page ‘Funding Your Case’. Alternatively you can contact our Crime Team on 01323 644222.