Even though every criminal case starts off in the Magistrates Court, the more serious of cases, such as murder, rape and robbery, will be transferred to the Crown Court. This is due to the Crown Court having greater sentencing powers. Whatever the case, we will fight for your best outcome.
WHY CHOOSE HAYGARTH JONES?
At Haygarth Jones Solicitors, we can advise and guide you through the Court process in a way that is tailored to your particular case and puts your best interests first.
We represent clients in Crown Courts in the North West and across England and Wales. We have vast experience in representing people facing a wide range of prosecutions.
If you have been accused of committing an offence which has been referred to the Crown Court then we can advise you through the process and help build a strong defence with the help of Barristers. We have close links with Barrister's Chambers and will carefully choose a Barrister on the basis of their experience and dedication to the case/client.
HERE TO HELP
We understand that facing criminal proceedings can be a stressful and worrying time for anyone, especially if your case is in the Crown Court as if you are found guilty, this could have life changing consequences for you. That is why you need expert representation to advise, guide and defend you through the Court proceedings.
At Haygarth Jones Solicitors, we provide a complete service, assisting and preparing all aspects of your case on your behalf. We will undertake a detailed preparation of your case to ensure that we are trial ready. This will include one-to-one appointments with your Solicitor/Barrister, taking a proof of evidence (statement) from you and any witness you may have that helps your case and perusing all the evidence that is received.
Legal Aid is mostly automatic at the Crown Court, however there are certain clients who may have to pay a monthly contribution towards their defence costs. This is due to Legal Aid being means tested.
If you do have to pay a contribution, and are acquitted following a trial at the Crown Court, then this money will be repaid to you. If you are found guilty then you will not be reimbursed.
If you have an annual household disposable income of £37,500 or more then you will not be eligible for Legal Aid and would need to instruct us on a privately paying basis.
The Legal Aid Agency have created a Financial Eligibility Calculator for Criminal Legal Aid were you can quickly check if you would pass the means test.
If you are not entitled to Legal Aid then we can still represent you on a private basis. This will be a fixed-fee so there are no hidden charges and our fees are assessed on the complexity of the case and the amount of time it is likely to take. The fee will not include the costs for instructing a Barrister or for any disbursements such as medical or expert reports.
CROWN COURT PROCESS AND PROCEDURE:
The most serious cases are heard at the Crown Court which are 'either way' or 'indictable only' offences.
The first hearing in the Crown Court is known as the Plea and Trial Preparation Hearing (PTPH). This is where you will enter your plea. If you enter a 'not guilty' plea then the Court will give directions for the progress of the case and also set a trial date.
Prior to your trial, we will undertake a detailed preparation of your case to ensure that we are trial ready. This will include one-to-one appointments with your Solicitor/Barrister, taking a proof of evidence (statement) from you and any witness you may have that assists with your case and perusing all the evidence that is received.
A trial at the Crown Court is heard before a Judge and a jury made up of 12 people. These people are selected at random and the Judge is there to advise the jury on the law.
Throughout the trial process, both the Defence and Prosecution will present evidence which can be cross-examined by either side. Once the Court has heard all of the evidence, both sides will give their closing speeches, the Judge will sum up the evidence and advise the jury of the relevant law and then the jury will retire to consider their verdict.
If you are found 'not guilty' then your case will be concluded and you will be free to leave Court. If you are found 'guilty' then the Judge may sentence you immediately, however in most cases, sentencing will be adjourned for the preparation of a presentence report by the Probation Service which will assist the Judge in identifying the possible sentencing options.