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Superlative representation in criminal matters for both individuals and companies at fixed costs.
Being accused of a crime and facing criminal charges is traumatic enough without having to worry about what it may cost to defend yourself. Follett Stock can now take away the worry of unknown costs. Led by managing partner Chris Lingard and barrister Alan Robertshaw, our experienced advocacy unit allows us to offer expert representation in criminal matters on a predictable costs basis.
Follett Stock offers representation at all levels of criminal proceedings from the Magistrates Court to the Crown Court to the Court of Appeal.
Traffic and Magistrates Court cases are priced on a fixed fee basis.
Crown Court matters are costed using a menu based fee system. Each aspect of the proceedings is separately priced. Using this approach we can provide you with a full breakdown of the costs of every aspect of the proceedings so you will know in advance the most you will have to pay.
Costings for Crown Court are dependent on the nature of the offences charged.
Representation will always be by specialist barristers or solicitor advocates.
For more information please call us or send us a message using the box to the right of the page.
The stress of being subject to criminal proceedings is often amplified by the confusing terminology used. Below is a short glossary of some of the terms you may encounter.
Plea in mitigation
Even if you have pleaded guilty you are allowed an opportunity to persuade the court to treat you as leniently as possible. This will be done by drawing the judge’s attention to any factors about the office itself or your personal circumstances that may make the court take a more merciful view on sentence. This is a plea in mitigation. You can make one whether you’ve pleaded guilty or been found guilty after a trial.
Normally where a person is convicted of drink driving the court has no option but to disqualify that person for driving for at least 12 months. However there is an exception to this; special reasons. Special reasons are (as the name suggests) factors relating to the office (not the offender) that means the court need not ban you. As all situations are unique there is no definitive list of what may amount to special reasons but they can include instances where the driving was the result of an emergency or that the vehicle would not have been driven very far etc. We can advise you as to whether the circumstances of your particular case could amount to special reasons.
As you may know, when you get 12 points on your licence you would normally be disqualified from driving. However, sometimes a ban can be avoided if you can show that a disqualification would be particularly hard on you. Bans are meant to be a punishment and the mere fact that you could lose your job or have difficulties getting children to school are not usually seen as ‘exceptional’ consequences. However there may be consequences that would have a much greater impact on you personally than an average member of the public. We can advise as to whether the circumstances of your case could give rise to exceptional hardship.
Appeals to the Crown Court
Generally speaking if you are convicted in a Magistrates Court you have an automatic right of appeal to the Crown Court. This does not mean a trial by jury. The hearing will be conducted by one Crown Court judge and two magistrates. You can appeal against either conviction or sentence or both.
If your case ends up at the Crown Court the first major hearing will be the Plea and Case Management Hearing (“PCMH”). As the name suggests this is where you will formally state whether you are guilty or not guilty. The court will then make direction for how your case is to be dealt with (e.g. listing for a trial, putting the matter over for pre-sentence reports etc.)
Brief Fees and Refreshers
This is how barristers (counsel) charge for their work. A brief fee generally covers all the work needed to prepare for a trial and for the first day of the trial. If the trial lasts for more than one day each day’s payment is called a refresher. This terminology is a throwback to the days when barristers liked to pretend they weren’t interested in such sordid matters as being paid. (not sure about the last sentence!)
Appeals from the Crown Court
Unlike the magistrates court there is no automatic right to appeal a decision of a Crown Court (such as a conviction by jury). Permission to appeal must be obtained and there are only limited grounds for appealing (merely not liking the result does not provide a ground of appeal).
In the event of a conviction courts are now encouraged to ‘deprive’ those convicted of the fruits of their crimes. These provisions are, however, very Draconian. ‘Benefit’ is defined as any property (including money) that the defendant ‘obtains’ even if they don’t get to keep it. So if you look after some stolen jewellery for a friend for a few days you will be deemed to have benefited by the value of the jewellery; even if you gave it back to your friend. The court can then seize any and all of your assets to pay for this. Sometimes confiscation proceedings can be brought even if you have not been convicted of any crime. It is then up to you to prove that any property in your possession was not the proceeds of crime.