We understand that a Crown court case can be daunting, and we are here to guide you through the process. We will advise you about your options to plead guilty or not guilty to the charge, and what sentence you are likely to receive if you plead, or are found, guilty.
Crown courts are a step above Magistrates’ courts in terms of the seriousness of an offence and the sentence that can be imposed upon conviction. The main difference of a Crown court trial is that it uses a jury of 12 people, who together decide whether you are guilty or not. If the jury decides you are guilty, a judge will then impose your sentence.
The cases usually heard at Crown court are called indictable offences, which means they will start in the Magistrates’ court and are transferred to the Crown court. Examples of these offences include murder, rape and robbery.
You may also have your case heard in the Crown court for either-way offences, such as burglary or drugs offences. In these cases, you may choose whether your case is heard in the Magistrates’ court without a jury, or in the Crown court, before a jury who decide whether you are innocent or guilty.
If you are pleading not guilty, your solicitor will assist you to understand the legal procedures and help you prepare your case thoroughly, including gathering any witness statements, instruction of experts and other evidence that will help you with your case. Your solicitor will also advise you on the evidence that the prosecution are presenting against you, and help you to choose a suitable barrister to represent you.
If you plead guilty, or are found guilty, we can help by gathering and presenting material to the court pointing out any mitigating circumstances and explanations in order to persuade the court to keep any sentence to a minimum.