By lotsofquer - 8 Jun 20 8:27 PM
This is more about the process than police specifically but this seemed like the best fit category.
I'm only at the start of the process (arrested, bailed, RUI) however I had worked out that roughly the end to end process was something like the below. This is for sexual offences if it makes any difference.
However I've received an invitation to the magistrates court with three charges listed on it. I haven't been invited to the police station for interview. I've briefly spoken with my (legal aid) solicitor who said simply that I gave my statement (no comment as advised by the duty solicitor) when I was arrested. I was also expecting a long list of charges based on the devices they took away however all three charges listed relate to why I was arrested and nothing more.
- Release under investigation
- Invited for interview
- Possibly invited for second interview
- Invitation to magistrates court to plead guilty or not guilty
- (Either referred to crown court or remain in magistrates court at this point)
- Pre sentence report
- Register and any other orders
I'm a little confused about it all and am presuming that they haven't been through the devices yet which would mean additional charges down the line presumably?
I still haven't told anyone yet although was planning to tell my best friend over the summer - as was expecting it to take a bit longer than it has and with the virus/lockdown going on. I mentioned this to my solicitor who said that I mustn't tell anyone or if I have to only someone I completely trust. (similar to what a lot of people on here said when I posted asking for advice on how to tell friends/family - which was essentially leave it to the last possible minute - but different to my therapist thoughts).
Not really sure I have any particular question other than I would be interested to hear others experiences of the process.
I also mentioned to my solicitor about paying for legal fees for 'better' representation to which the response was that it's the same representation and we use specialist barristers for these kinds of offences regardless. I have questioned for some more details around this when I've sent off the charge letter and bank statements (so they can apply for legal aid) although I'm not sure what response will come back. I'm conflicted about whether or not I should pay for someone who specialises in these types of offences only or my current solicitor - who I believe specialises but works for a larger firm. I had resolved that I would pay for a specialist but given the short list of charges and the reassurances from my current solicitor I'm now a bit stuck on this decision again.
Any advice would be appreciated.
By punter99 - 13 Jun 20 10:27 AM
When you go for sentencing, the CPS and your defence barrister will each present their arguments to the court, saying what they think the judge should consider, when deciding your fate. The CPS will highlight all the worst things they can find, from the evidence they have got. They want to portray you in the worst light possible. It's your barristers job to do the opposite, and show the judge your best side. Character witness statements are very helpful, but anything from your life that is positive, can be used too.
You should arrange to have a talk with your barrister, before the sentencing date, so they can get to know more about you, as a person. What they use in court, will depend, on your circumstances. Basically, anything that they think will help, to get you a reduced sentence.