Criminal law is one of the most extensive areas of law in the UK.
And if you have recently been arrested for breaking any part of it, whether it is a DUI or even murder, you will want the right legal team on hand to defend you.
However, few people (if any) have experience relating to criminal law, much less looking for the right legal team to defend them. So, when meeting (or calling) criminal defence solicitors, what are some of the core pieces of information that you need to know? What questions should you be asking? Read on for a quick guide to ensure you get the right legal team to defend you.
How long have you practised criminal law?
You will need the best criminal solicitor that you can afford and, as such, you will want one that has been practising law for as long as possible, and has an impressive amount of letters after their name!
Consider the following option; you are being charged with murder and have the choice of choosing between 2 solicitors to defend you. One has over 20 years of practising criminal law in the UK, whereas the other has 2 years. Which would you choose if it is your freedom on the line?
How will you handle my case?
This is a vital question to ask, as it will show you their level of expertise in dealing with cases like yours.
Of course, they are representing you, and as such, you should want to know what is happening every step of the way and whether or not your defence team thinks that your case will go to court.
How often have the cases you are defending gone to trial?
When looking into criminal defence solicitors, you will have undoubtedly heard about those who have been able to settle their cases out of court. This is important to know when looking for a legal team to defend you, as you will not want the case to go to court if it can be avoided. Going through the courts will cost money, take more time and you will have to speak in your defence.
Do you have a specialised area in criminal law?
It seems logical that a criminal defence solicitor should be able to defend a range of different areas relating to the law.
But, criminal law varies in severity, from areas such as DUI’s to murder. So, when you meet with your criminal defence team, even if you are in a police cell, you should aim to ask them which areas of criminal law they specialise in.
What will you need from me?
When your criminal defence team needs something from you, they will usually tell you within the first meeting. Please note that this may differ if there is a change in the case, such as the prosecution wishing to change the charge that they are putting forward. So, if your criminal defence team is told that the charge has been changed from manslaughter to murder, for example, they may need more information from you or different information.