Debunking Criminal Defence Myths

Debunking Criminal Defence Myths
Legally reviewed by: Kevin Waddingham Updated: In: Criminal Defence

Due to the complexities of the criminal justice, misconceptions around criminal law are not uncommon. This article aims to debunk some common criminal defence myths and reveal how a skilled criminal defence solicitor can make all the difference in a defence case.

“You Only Need a Criminal Defence Solicitor if You’re Guilty”

The criminal law legal system is adversarial, meaning that the Criminal Justice Process is a contest between the prosecution and the defence. The prosecution aims to convince the jury or judge that the defendant is guilty. On the other hand, the defence’s goal in most cases is to prove that there is reason to doubt that the defendant is guilty.

Whether or not the defendant is guilty of committing a serious crime, the prosecutor will have formed a case against them. The prosecutor will be highly knowledgeable regarding criminal law, looking at the file of evidence submitted by the police to create a solid offence against the defendant. In this situation, not having a criminal defence solicitor to bring a legally backed defence against the prosecutor, leaves your freedom or livelihood, on the line.

Whether you’re guilty or not, the Criminal Justice Process can be daunting and complex. It’s vital to have an experienced criminal defence solicitor on your side, to fight on your behalf, against the prosecutions made against you. Even if you are not guilty of what you’ve been accused of, you cannot solely rely on your innocence to clear your name when the prosecutor is actively working against you.

“Only the Wealthy Can Afford Legal Representation”

Although some criminal defence cases can be expensive, this critique is often formed by those unaware that most criminal defence cases are funded by the Legal Aid Agency (LAA). This is government-funded organisation that covers work done both inside and outside the courtroom. In most cases, the defendants either have the entire case funded by the LAA or they pay contributions towards the costs funded by the LAA.

Legal Aid funding eligibility depends on the severity of he the case, and whether it would be in the interests of justice for the LAA to fund the case. The LAA also looks at whether the individual has the funds to pay for their case independently. If you make less than £12,475 per annum, you are automatically entitled to legal aid in the Magistrates’ Court if your case meets the interests of justice test.

Legal Aid ensures that legal representation is accessible to all, no matter your financial status. Cartwright King will always advise you on the availability of legal aid. We will find out if you are eligible and then guide you through the process of securing funding to cover your legal costs. Our solicitors are committed to protecting your rights, and helping you make informed decisions.

Criminal Defence Solicitors Can Lie

In England and Wales, Barristers and Solicitors are bound by ethical conduct codes and their chief duty is to not ‘mislead the Court’. This duty overrides their duty to protect their client’s interests. Therefore, a solicitor or barrister cannot knowingly lie whilst representing their client.

This code of conduct is taken very seriously by solicitors as breaching the rule can result in being struck off by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority and Barristers being disbarred. Therefore, if a solicitor cannot talk a client down from knowingly lying about their case, the solicitor must return their instructions and cease acting on behalf of the client.

A Jury Trial is Always the Best Option

Whether a jury trial is the best course of action depends on the specifics of your case. Your criminal defence solicitor will consider factors like the strength of the prosecution’s case, potential plea bargains, and the courtroom experience of the judge and prosecutor. As a result, your solicitor will advise you on the best course of action for the best chances of a successful outcome.

Anything You Say to Your Criminal Defence Solicitor Can Be Used Against You

Legal-professional privilege (LPP) protects confidential communications between a client and their solicitor. This allows for an open and honest discussions about your case, which ultimately helps your solicitor form a solid defence strategy.

A Criminal Record Ruins Your Life

Although criminal record can have lasting consequences, an expert criminal defence solicitor can fight to reduce this by:

  • reducing charges
  • applying for a criminal record deletion through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
  • proposing alternative sentencing options that minimise the long-term impact on your life

Reaching Out to Our Criminal Defence Solicitors

Cartwright King is an award-winning firm with offices across the UK. With 70% of our cases involving defending against criminal charges, our reputation is built on successfully clearing people accused of criminal activity. Furthermore, our criminal defence solicitors have represented defendants charges with a wide range of offences. These range from driving offences and drug offences, to fraud and money laundering. You can read further about the areas our solicitors cover here.

If you require advice in relation to an allegation or charge you are facing please contact us on 03458 941 622 to speak with one of our specialist team.

Legal Disclaimer.

All advice is correct at time of publication.