The Crown Court deals with cases of the utmost seriousness and complexity. The sentencing powers of the Crown Court are vastly greater than those of a magistrates’ court. Therefore, expert legal representation is required to assist in navigating you through what is likely one of the most difficult times of your life.
It is vital that you instruct a solicitor as soon as possible as the preparation of your defence starts at a very early stage. Our expert solicitors will advise you from the outset on the process and the likely outcome. We will keep you updated throughout your case on what to expect at each stage.
What to expect/ The court process
If your case is to take place in the Crown Court, you will first have to go to the Magistrates’ Court as each case, no matter how serious always begins in a magistrates’ court.
Your case in the Crown Court will be heard in front of a judge and a panel of 12 jurors. The prosecution will present their case and usually will have witnesses who will answer questions put to them in their ‘evidence in chief’. The defence will also have the opportunity to ask the witness questions in a ‘cross examination’ with the aim of exposing weakness in the prosecution’s case.
Next, the defence will present their case. The Person accused may choose to give evidence and if they do, they will be cross examined by the prosecution barrister.
The judge will then speak to the jury and summarise both the prosecution and defence cases. During the course of this summing up, the Judge will direct the jury as to points of law that have arisen during the case. The Judge will also explain to the jury the burden and standard of proof; that the Prosecution bring the case and they must therefore prove it so the jury are satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt that the person accused is guilty. Any doubt should go in favour of the person accused.
Once all of the evidence has been heard, and the judge has provided a summary of the case, the jury will leave the court room and come to a decision on whether they believe the individual is guilty or not guilty. Ideally, all 12 jurors will agree on the verdict but if a significant amount of time has passed and they are unable to come to a unanimous conclusion, the judge will allow for a majority verdict. This is where at least 10 jurors all agree.
The jurors will then return to the court room and the foreman will present their decision to the court.
If the defendant is found guilty, the judge will then impose a sentence on them taking into account the seriousness of the case and the level of blame that is placed on the defendant.
Successfully running a Crown Court trial is a specialist skill that not many lawyers possess. Some lawyers place people under inappropriate pressure to plead guilty on the day of trial, others do not have a sufficient breadth of experience to effectively counter an experienced prosecutor. Each member of our Crown Court team has received extensive training brings with them the right experience and attitude to be the best person to safeguard your interests.
Our solicitors understand how daunting and stressful the whole court process can be. We will seek to put your concerns at bay by explaining the proceedings and giving you detailed understanding of your case and the possible defences available to you.
We have a number of in house barristers and solicitors with higher rights of audience who will be able to represent you in court, together with links with good quality barristers both locally and nationally. It is important that the person who stands up to represent you is the best fit for you and your case and if, having met your barrister, you are unhappy, we can find somebody who is a better fit.
Why use a solicitor?
- A solicitor will be able to prepare you on what to expect at court
- You will be the only one in court without legal experience if you do not instruct a solicitor
- You will harm your defence if you do not have legal representation
Why Watson Woodhouse?
- Our specialist solicitors have a vast amount of experience in dealing with cases in the Crown Court
- We know the court process inside out.
- We will seek to provide you with a defence to achieve the best possible result.