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Need some guidance on a criminal accusation? A brief introduction by an ABV criminal solicitor
27 Nov 2020

In criminal law, like other areas of the legal system, there are categories.

And, like other areas of the law, these categories determine the type of crime committed, the seriousness of the crime and offer a baseline to the type of sentencing that should be given if the defendant is found guilty.

As you can imagine, as criminal law is the broadest in the UK, these categories are equally vast and can encompass an array of offences, some of which may not initially seem linked. However, when you are arrested or charged with a criminal act, it is important to hire a defence that not only understands the categories, the guidelines and the definition of these acts but also knows how to defend against them!

And, at ABV Solicitors, our criminal solicitor is capable of doing just that! With our in-depth knowledge of the criminal act and a wealth of experience defending the accused, we can guarantee all of our clients an aggressive defence tactic, alongside offering general advice and guidance at each step of the way. Perfect!

So, what are some of these categories and criminal offences? Our criminal solicitor answers below. Enjoy!

Summary offences

When you are charged with a summary offence, your case (should it go to trial), will be overseen at a magistrates court, provided it has not been linked to a more serious offence. Regardless of the seriousness, if you are charged with a summary offence, contact our criminal solicitor for advice.

Summary offences include almost every type of driving offence, with the exception of dangerous driving or those involving a fatality.

Common assault, with a minor injury, also falls into this group and all summary offences carry a maximum of 6 months imprisonment, but certain cases can be reduced to 3 months.

Either way offences

This offence type can either be tried in a Magistrates Court or the Crown Court; as this category ranges in seriousness, the court chosen would be based on the offence committed.

Including offences like burglary, theft, possession of drugs, affray and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. The Magistrates Court may decide to send the case to the Crown Court if it is concluded that their sentencing powers are too minimal to serve a suitable punishment.

Indictable only offences

And finally, the most serious of these 3 categories is the indictable only group.

These can only be dealt with in the Crown Court and carry much heavier sentencing powers than the Magistrates Court.

Offences such as murder, manslaughter, robbery, rape are included in this category, along with terrorism.

If you are charged with an indictable only offence, it is required in the UK that your case will first be seen in the Magistrates Court, but will then immediately be referred to the Crown Court to be overseen by a judge and a jury.

If your case proceeds to trial, then your innocence or guilt will be determined by a jury and any subsequent sentencing will be served by the overseeing judge.

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