Crown Court Representation
The Crown Court usually deals with more serious offences such as murder, rape, robbery and very serious assaults. These are known as “indictable only” and can only be dealt with in the Crown Court, although they start in the magistrates’ court.
Some offences, for example theft, fraud, less serious assaults, and the possession or supply of drugs are known as “either way” and may be dealt with in either the Crown or the magistrates’ court, depending on their level of seriousness. In some of these cases, you can choose where you wish to be tried and we will advise you about this.
In the Crown Court, trials are heard by a judge and jury, otherwise by a judge alone.
All Crown Court cases start in the magistrates’ court.
The Crown Court also deals with appeals against decisions of the magistrates’ court. Appeals here are heard by a judge and two lay magistrates.
Legal Aid for Crown Court Cases
Legal Aid is automatic for most Crown Court cases. However, currently around 1 in 4 defendants have to contribute towards their defence costs.
There is a Means Test and you may have to pay a monthly contribution to the Legal Aid Agency. If you are acquitted, this is repaid. The calculation can be complicated but we can advise and help you fill in the Legal Aid Application Forms.
If your legal aid application was made on or after 27th January 2014, you will be ineligible if you have an annual household disposable income of £37,500 or more.
The Legal Aid Agency have created this Criminal Eligibility Excel Calculator to give you an indication of your eligibility for legal aid support before any means test is carried out at court.
You can find a guide on how to use the calculator here.
Private Representation for the Crown Court
If you are not entitled to Legal Aid we can represent you privately. Our fees are reasonable, agreed with you in advance and there are no hidden extras.
The Prosecution will always be represented by an experienced barrister or higher courts advocate and so it makes sense to be represented by your own lawyer. We have many years’ experience of Crown Court cases of every type, and we have access to the most experienced barristers and higher courts advocates on your behalf.
If you would to talk to a solicitor about Legal Aid or private representation in the Crown Court, call us or fill out a contact form.
0808 250 7430