The worse thing imaginable: you have been arrested. What do you do? You have options. Joseph Sampson, solicitor at McDonnell Schroder has some suggestions.
“Don’t forget, it is likely you will be in a local court, so it’ll be a magistrate in Court, and not a judge. And just dress well – no suit.”
Joseph and the team at McDonnell Schroder have been advocates in the Court system for many years. And being locals, they understand how daunting court can be. Some court matters go back to Court four and five times before they are heard and there is a lot of waiting around.
On the first day, a “Mention”, you will need to ask for a copy of the police case, known as the police brief. This can be a smooth process but if you have decided to save money by representing yourself, delays are more common as you try to learn the system. The magistrate will help you at each stage but it often takes much longer than it needs to. A lawyer can help you keep track of the way the court runs as well as all the evidence you may need to defend yourself.
Once you have the police brief, another Court date is set to reply. Legal assistance may help you stop making any costly errors such as pleading guilty and offer excuses as to why but that will not help you with any leniency by the magistrate.