The criminal law is a huge area covering everything from road traffic to murder, from corporate fraud to terrorism. Even a single criminal offence can have a huge range of seriousness such as theft varying in value from minor shoplifting to major bank fraud. We have experience in courts ranging from the magistrates courts to the European Court of Human Rights dealing in a huge range of types of offence and allegation.
Proceedings usually start at an investigation stage and you would be well advised to get advice as early as possible particularly at interview under caution. If charges are brought these are usually initiated at the magistrates court who dependent on the seriousness of the case either retain the matter or send it on to a crown court.
Generally speaking however offences can be classified into three broad ranges of seriousness;
Summary only offences: these matters can only be heard before the magistrates court. This group includes most road traffic offences and most minor assaults.
Either way offences : this group of matters can either be heard in the magistrates court or the crown court depending on the seriousness of the allegation . The defendant also has the right to choose jury trial in many circumstances.
Indictable only offences: these cases can only be heard in the crown court (‘on indictment’) and includes murder, rape, arson and robbery.
Due to changes in the legal aid scheme John Copland and Son can no longer offer legally aided criminal representation. We are still able to represent individuals on a privately funded basis.