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email: info@sgkllp.com call: 020 7734 9700

“There is great experience across all levels at Shaw Graham Kersh, with some outstanding individuals. Their work is well considered and meticulously prepared.”
Chambers & Partners 2023

How We Can Help

At every stage of the criminal justice system, we are available to offer personal, tailored advice.  

If you have been requested to attend an interview or have notification of court proceedings, please contact us today.

If you are arrested, it is essential that you exercise your right to independent, legal advice and representation. The same applies if you are invited in for a voluntary interview under caution, which can often be presented by the authorities as an informal process to assist with their enquiries. It is not, and you will be putting yourself at risk if you are unrepresented. You are entitled to be represented by a solicitor of your choice or have one appointed.

You should keep the firm’s main number available so if ever required you can access our 24/7, 365 days a year, emergency police station representation service: 020 7734 9700.

We have extensive experience of representing clients in interview under caution, and have advised in respect of all offences, including the most serious and complex.

If you are arrested, we will attend as soon practicable to advise you and represent your interests throughout the process. 

If attending by appointment, once instructed we will contact the police to obtain pre-interview disclosure of the allegation. Subject to funding, in advance of your appointment, we will meet with you to take your instructions, explain the law and procedure and prepare you for the interview. Preparation includes advising on the strength of the evidence disclosed, any available defences, and whether you should answer questions, exercise your right to silence, or provide a written prepared statement.

We will ensure that your legal and basic rights are upheld at all times and support you thereafter, during the investigation process. We can also be instructed, on a private basis, for pre-charge representation to proactively defend your case from the outset of an investigation with the aim of preventing charges being brought against you.

After the interview is complete the police will proceed either to charge, further investigate or mark the investigation for no further action.

  • Charge – confirming the offence to be prosecuted in the Court system
  • Further investigate – the police may require further time to complete their investigation. This may involve contacting potential witnesses, and obtaining downloads from computers, phones and other electronic devices. If the interview involved an arrest, then the police will grant bail providing a date on which you are required to return to the police station. Bail may be accompanied by bail conditions, such as not going to a particular place or not contacting named people. 
  • No Further Action – where the police decide there is insufficient evidence to support a prosecution, they mark the file for No Further Action bringing the matter to an end unless unexpected new evidence surfaces. 

In each case we will advise as to whether it would be appropriate to make written representations to the police seeking to dissuade them from mounting a prosecution.

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At the conclusion of the investigation stage the police, in conjunction with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), will determine whether you are to be charged and will face prosecution, and if so, for what offences.  

Facing trial can be a harrowing experience, with much at stake. As your legal team we will vehemently defend you at trial whilst offering support as you navigate the process. We can advise on all matters concerning the Court process to ensure that you fully understand the process, what is happening around and to you, and the decisions that need to be taken in your case. Our reputation and experience having been established in the field of criminal defence. We thoroughly prepare cases and work closely with specialist counsel, who are carefully selected to meet the clients’ needs.

Where appropriate, we can engage in post-charge representations with the aim of persuading the CPS to discontinue a case before the commencement of the trial.

All offences charged start with a hearing in the Magistrates Court, but more serious offences will be tried in the Crown Court.

Summary only offences

Some offences can only be heard in the Magistrates Court. These are called Summary offences. These offences are either non-imprisonable or attract a custodial sentence up to 6 months maximum.  Examples include minor driving offences, common assault, using threatening words and behaviour, and low level shop thefts. 

Indictable only offences

Indictable only offences are those which are so serious they can only be dealt with in the Crown Court.  Examples include robbery, section 18 wounding with intent, and murder.  At your first appearance on an indictable only charge you case will be formally sent to the Crown Court. 

Either way offences

Either way offences, such as burglary, assault, Actual Bodily Harm and many drugs offences, can be heard either in the Magistrates’ Court or the Crown Court.  In these cases the prosecution, and sometimes the defence, will tell the court where they think the case should be heard, less serious cases being appropriate to stay in the Magistrates’ Court and more serious cases being better dealt with at the Crown Court. 

The court will then decide where the case should be heard.  You have the right to choose to be tried by a jury at the Crown Court where the magistrates say that the case can remain in their court.  In certain cases, you may have a better chance of acquittal in the Crown Court but the case may take longer to conclude and with potential costs implications.  We will advise and assist you in making this decision.

Where the magistrates accept that your case can be dealt with in their court, and you agree, then your case will proceed at the Magistrates’ Court.  If your case is allocated to the Crown Court, either at the Court’s direction of because of your decision to be tried by jury, the procedure will then follow that detailed below.

A Youth Court is a special type of Magistrates’ Court for people aged between 10 and 17. The Youth Court is not public and only those involved in the hearing may attend. Serious cases such as Grievous Bodily Harm, murder, or significant drug supply, will be sent to be tried at the Crown Court.  

Your first appearance will be at the Crown Court, usually 28 days after your case was heard in the Magistrates Court, for a Plea & Trial Preparation Hearing, if you are pleading not guilty or a Plea & Sentence Hearing, if you have indicated that you will be pleading guilty.  If you are pleading not guilty, a trial date and timetable for the preparation of the trial will be set at the Plea & Trial Preparation Hearing. 

You have an automatic right to appeal the outcome of a Magistrates Court conviction to the Crown Court for a re-trial before a Judge and two Magistrates.

You can apply for permission to Appeal your conviction or sentence from the Crown Court to the Court of Appeal.  The application is made for ‘Leave to Appeal’.

Strict time limits apply to the above, so do not delay in obtaining independent legal advice in respect of any potential appeal proceedings.

We provide advice on Appeal for all clients who the firm represented at trial whether publicly or privately funded.

We conduct privately funded appellate work for clients who were not represented by the firm at their original trial.

For more information on any of the above or if you have been requested to attend an interview or have notification of court proceedings, please contact us today.

Contact the team

Telephone: 020 7734 9700

Laura Porteous
Senior Associate
l.porteous@sgkllp.com
Peter Walsh
Senior Paralegal
p.walsh@sgkllp.com
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