We represent our client from the very early stages of the proceedings at the Magistrates Court. We know from experience that the requirement of having to attend the Magistrates court can be exceptionally stressful for our clients. The presence of an experienced and trustworthy lawyer at least in part reduces the stress of the proceedings. In addition, we have found that our Polish speaking clients have benefited greatly from having a lawyer who speaks their own language.
The Magistrates Court is always the first court which a person charged with an offence is sent to for a first appearance. It is then decided whether the case will be tried in the Magistrates Court or sent up to the Crown Court. The decision regarding which court a case will be tried in will depend on the seriousness of the offence. The more serious offences are sent to the Crown Court, whilst minor matters are dealt with in the Magistrates Court. There are also a group of offences which can be tried either in the Magistrates Court or in the Crown Court. In these circumstances, the client can decide which court he wishes to be tried in. The lawyer at court advises him on the basis of all the evidence and instructions as to which court would be the most suitable venue.
Trial in the Magistrates court are not decided by a jury. They are decided by either a District Judge or a Bench (usually of three lay members of the community who have undergone training as Magistrates).
We know from experience that prosecution witness often give false accounts when giving evidence. Our role is to undermine and attack their credibility during cross examination. We fight fiercely to ensure that we achieve a just result for our clients, fair treatment in the criminal justice system and, of course, an acquittal.