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Getting caught up in the criminal justice system can be a very daunting experience. Perhaps you are facing prosecution for an offence that carries a lengthy jail sentence or facing the prospect of losing your driving license.

Many people believe that only guilty people are prosecuted, this is unfortunately not so read our article on crime statistics if you need more details. You may feel isolated, it can be difficult to discuss the situation with family and friends, who want to help but don’t know what to do. Add in the perceived stigma of the situation, the feeling of helplessness and this can be a very stressful life event.

The wheels of justice grind slowly, prolonging the stress of the situation. It can be years from arrest to trial and if found guilty, the sentence and / or confiscation of assets will take longer. One can liken this to death by a thousand cuts.

Whilst this does not appear in the top 10 list of the most stressful things in life, it should.

Who can you turn to for help? The obvious answer is a criminal law solicitor. He will be able to discuss your case in depth and will be able to advise you, in advance of each stage, what the next steps are; the likely outcomes and the choices you need to make. You will build a bond with your solicitor that will assist you to navigate the difficult period. He will forgive you at the end of the case if you do not want to publicly acknowledge him and he will be pleased to see you get back on track with your life. Your solicitor will create a team around you, which includes a barrister and for serious cases Queens Counsel. All will be working for you.

Your solicitor who handles your conveyancing, family or business matters is NOT the best choice of solicitor now. Only those solicitors who specialise in criminal matters are able to keep abreast of changing legislation and police procedures.

And unfortunately, as in other walks of life there are lots of different levels of ability, from mediocre to superb. Do not wait for the verdict to decide if your team did a good job? Remember, if they don’t, YOU AND ONLY YOU will pay the penalty. The legal team will still receive their payment from you or the legal aid system.

Victims of wrongful conviction who want their cases reviewed, must present fresh evidence or fresh arguments to have their cases referred to the appeal court. This means that if evidence of innocence was available at the original trial, it will not constitute grounds for referral. As a claim of innocence is not enough to have anyone review your case, then the quality of your legal team and their representation on your behalf is important from the first moment you are caught up in the system.

If you have been arrested and do not have a solicitor already appointed, you can have the assistance of the duty solicitor. The Duty Solicitor is someone who is trained to support you during a police interview. If the matter proceeds further, then you need to find the right solicitor for your case. You may feel comfortable with the duty solicitor you have already used, however, what do you know of his expertise and training to proceed further in the case? This is the point to make an informed decision before the matter proceeds further.

If you are being funded by legal aid and you lose confidence in your team during the preparation stage, you may not be able to change solicitors and may find yourself locked into the team you have already instructed.

All the above means that you need to take the time to research and appoint the best solicitor and legal team for your case, right at the start of your matter.

This website has been created to assist you in making an informed decision about the legal team you instruct to support you. The solicitors, queens counsel and barristers on this website are all criminal law specialists and are the most experienced and skilled in the country.

The listings on the site are by invitation only and includes only solicitors firms who have been granted ‘VHCC Accreditation’ by the Legal Services Commission, (a department of the UK Government responsible for making legal aid payments to solicitors), which means their firm has been audited and found to have the expertise, skills and experience to handle the most difficult and involved cases.

The barristers are the most senior in the country, with at least 10 years experience in this work. Generally your solicitor will want to help you choose the best counsel for your case and will provide an experienced appraisal of your choices.

Queens Counsel are the most experienced and skilled advocates in the country. They are instructed under legal aid only for the gravest cases, like murder. Your solicitor will advise you if your case is likely to warrant a QC and will make representation to have one appointed for you. The final decision rests with the court.

Don’t leave the outcomes of your case to chance, use this website to research your charges and choices, build a shortlist of the solicitors you feel most confident with and start to feel you have some control in the situation. You may consider instructing a solicitor in another area to protect your privacy, this is commonplace in Crown Court cases and most solicitors will attempt to support you regardless of the geography, although selecting a firm in Devon for a case in Liverpool may be stretching things.

If you have any difficulties navigating your way through the website, please contact us via the web form on the contact page or through the telephone number provided at the top of the page.

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