Court Proceedings

What to expect

Every case starts in the Magistrates Court. How the case is managed at the first hearing will depend on the nature of the sexual offence charged.

Some minor criminal offences can only be tried in the Magistrates Court (summary only). The most serious offences can only be heard in the Crown Court (indictable only). Other cases can be heard either in the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court (either way). When charged with an either way offence the Magistrates will decide whether it can be tried in the Magistrates Court. Where they deem it suitable for summary trial you will have the right to elect Crown Court trial. Most allegations of a serious sexual nature however are sent to the Crown Court to be tried even when they can be tried ‘either way’.

The first hearing is a Plea and Trial Preparation Hearing (PTPH) where you will enter your plea. If pleading not guilty the Judge will set a timetable for managing the case and a trial date will be set.

At trial the Judge deals with matters of law and a jury of 12 people will decide, having heard all of the evidence, whether a person is guilty or not guilty.

What we do

If a case progresses to Court we have the expertise, resources and strategic knowledge and contacts to ensure nothing is left to chance in terms of preparing for trial.

At every stage of the proceedings we are investigating too, to take the case apart piece by piece and to build a strong defence around you.

We have successfully represented numerous clients charged with rape, sexual assault, child abuse, possession of indecent images and other sexual offences. From the very first appearance at the Magistrates Court through to trial we provide advice so that you are fully informed of all stages of the Court process. We ensure all lines of defence are fully considered and investigated so that you have the best possible defence. We are rigorous in pursing the best result for our clients.

Our Advice

The criminal legal system is based on a fundamental principle that the burden of proof rests with the Prosecution. Whilst it is the Prosecution that must prove the case so that the jury is sure of guilt it is often vital that a positive defence is put forward and this requires experienced solicitors with the knowledge and resources to ensure all possible defence evidence and material is strategically considered and put forward in a timely manner. Allegations of a sexual nature require a specialist approach and we can provide that.

Once we are instructed we will manage every aspect of the case. There can be wide ranging, complex issues in sexual offences cases, which can include complex family relationships, forensic evidence, expert phone and social media analysis, all of which require meticulous analysis. We are at the forefront of criminal defence, consistently utilizing ground breaking legal and human rights arguments on behalf of our clients.