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What is the role of a criminal defence solicitor?
05 Jun 2020

A criminal solicitor is responsible for acting as an advisor and assigning attorneys to a case. They are used in all branches of law but in defence cases, a criminal solicitor analyses and prepares evidence, offers advice, creates and implements a defence strategy, and fights for an appropriate punishment for their client if relevant.

The key responsibility of a criminal solicitor in a defence case is to ensure a fair trial is given to their client and to strive for the best possible outcome, be it acquittal or a lesser punishment.

What type of crime would require a criminal defence solicitor?

Criminal solicitors can be used in a wide spectrum of cases. From first degree murder to a minor traffic offence, they are qualified to deal with all matters in the criminal branch of law. This can include murder or manslaughter, rape, sexual offences, offences against children, offences against a person such as ABH, GBH, common assault and drug offences.

They also work on cases involving robbery, burglary, theft and handling stolen goods, forgery, fraud and proceeds of crime, regulatory offences, and breaches of a court order. Finally, they can also be assigned to cases involving public order offences, weapon charges and motoring matters.

How could they could help you?

Criminal solicitors are assigned at the start of a case and will obtain important details of the allegations that have been made against you. They will take into consideration your detailed instructions and will, in most cases, gather crucial evidence in support of your defence. This can involve anything from forensic evidence to the interviewing of key witnesses. Finally, criminal solicitors will usually research similar cases, the statutes and procedural rules that may be beneficial when preparing your defence strategy and presenting it in court.

What happens before and during the trial?

Your criminal defence solicitor will meticulously examine and prepare your defence strategy by analysing all of the evidence put forth, for and against you. This includes preparing for cross-examination of witnesses during trial. Your solicitor will also look for opportunities which could limit the prosecution’s evidence or even dismiss your case and will ensure these are implemented if possible.

During the case, your criminal defence lawyer will present their defence strategy and work towards clearing you of all charges. If you are found guilty, they will strive for a fair sentence or punishment and will try and make sure the judge, jury or the bench of magistrates are aware of your remorse, personal circumstances and rehabilitation potential in relevance to the case. Ultimately, it is their job to support, listen and protect you as much as possible during the proceedings of the case.

What happens after the trial?

Not all cases are successful and sometimes, harsh sentences such as prisons sentences can be imposed. In the event of this, your criminal defence solicitor will discuss the potential of an appeal, taking into account your wishes on the matter. If they are advised to appeal, they will begin the process and fight for an early release.

Is a criminal solicitor right for you?

When should you contact a criminal solicitor?