Providing Advice on Criminal Allegations

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If you have been accused of a criminal allegation, before you speak to the police or any other investigator, you should always first speak to a lawyer. The best advice is always to say nothing to the police until you have received competent legal advice from a criminal defence specialist. Even if you know you are innocent, and can prove it, anything you say at the early stages of case can have a major impact later on if you are charged.

Most criminal allegations will start with an investigation by the police. Some allegations may be investigated by other government bodies such as a local council, the MHRA, the FCA or SFO. Regardless as to whether you believe the case against you is weak, the best advice is always to ensure your rights are protected by instructing an expert criminal defence solicitor. A criminal solicitor will be able to advise you whether you should answer questions, say no-comment, or provide a prepared statement.

If you are being detained by the police an expert criminal solicitor will be able to make representations for your earliest release. Your solicitor will also be able to advise you whether you should comply with searches, and will assist you with identification procedures, if identity is an issue in your case.

Once a case has been investigated by the police, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will usually be asked to review the evidence. A criminal solicitor can be essential at this stage, pointing out the weakness in the evidence, with a view to have a prosecution dropped, or caution or community resolution issued.

If someone is charged or summoned to Court, their first stop will be at the Magistrates Court. A criminal defence solicitor will be able to advise a suspect whether their case will be sent to the Crown Court, whether they should elect a Crown Court trial, or opt to keep their case in the Magistrates Court.

Usually only the most serious criminal allegations will end up in the Crown Court, although relatively minor allegations can also be prosecuted before a judge and judge if suspect elects a Crown Court trial. A criminal solicitor will usually instruct a criminal defence barrister , or solicitor advocate, to represent a client in the Crown Court.

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