Crown Court Procedure

While each case starts at the Magistrates Court for your first appearance if your case is either sent by the Magistrates Court to the Crown Court, or you choose to elect trial in the Crown Court, depending on your plea and the complexity of your case, the proceedings and the time of the proceedings will vary.

The first hearing date in the Crown Court after your Magistrates hearing is usually within 4 weeks and is called a plea and trial preparation hearing. It is on this occasion that you are then required to enter a guilty or not guilty plea and for your matter to either be adjourned for sentence or for a trial to be fixed.

If you plead guilty in the Magistrates Court and your case is committed for sentence to the Crown Court as the Magistrates do not feel that their sentencing powers are sufficient, you would normally expect to be sentenced within about 4 weeks from your first hearing date. Due to current listing  issues due to Coronavirus, it could take slightly longer if you are on bail. If you are in custody, the Courts will try and deal with your case as quickly as possible.

Crown Court trials are usually listed within 4-5 months of your first hearing at the Magistrates Court, however, this will very much depend on the complexity of your case and whether you are in custody or on bail. Custody cases are currently taking priority and the courts are currently trying to list custody trials sooner rather than later. If you are on bail, your trial may not be listed for approximately 6 -8 months.

If you are in custody, your trial will need to be listed within what is called a custody time limit, which you are given at the first hearing date.  This is a date to focus the Prosecution and Courts minds to try to ensure your case is listed for trial and is ready to proceed.

Further tailored advice can be given once we know the details of your case and how the matter will proceed, as this will very much depend on the complexity of your case and other relevant issues. This is of course something that we can advise you further on once you have the first hearing date or have been charged.

We can also discuss your eligibility for legal aid or private rates for each case once you are charged.

We know that appearing before the Court for any matter can be a daunting experience. We ensure that we work with you to assist you and progress your case and keep you informed at all stages. We have a very experienced team of Solicitors who can guide you through your case, and instruct Barristers for your trial to work with us and yourself to ensure you have the best advocates representing you. We have links to a number of Barristers chambers in London who also specialise in criminal work, covering all types of matters from thefts, frauds and serious assaults to various sexual offences, murder and supplying drugs.

If we can assist you or you would like to know more about the procedure please contact us either by email at [email protected] or by telephone on 01702 662957 .

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