A guide to criminal legal representatives

Have you been arrested or are facing criminal charges? Are you confused about what to do? You aren’t alone. While it can seem like an admittance of guilt, as soon as you have been arrested, or if you are concerned that you will be arrested, you need to seek the advice of a solicitor who is trained in criminal law.

Here is a rough guide or FAQ to what a criminal solicitor does and how they may be able to help you.

What does a solicitor specialising in crime do?

If you have been arrested due to an alleged criminal act, then a solicitor who is trained in crime can help you. They can assist with everything from advising you on the details of your case, your legal options and also advise you on what to say during police interviews. This is of utmost importance, as everything you say in such a setting will be used in court and can be interpreted in a variety of ways, so having them present when you are being interviewed is key to winning your case.

Can they get me a reduced sentence?

Yes and no. If upon review of your case they feel that they can negotiate for a reduced sentence, then they will attempt to do this. Usually, this will occur when you are being detained at the police station, so you may be able to leave on bail. If they see you through your case and you are sentenced to a custodial sentence, then they can aim to have your sentence reduced. But this will depend on the severity of the crime you have committed and they should inform you of the likelihood of success in these matters.

man at a police station

Do I need them at the police station?

Oh yes! When you are arrested, one of the first things you should do is seek legal representation. In the UK, solicitors who specialise in law should be available 24/7 and will come to the station that you are being held at free of charge. As mentioned before, they will be able to offer you advice about your case, advise you whether or not they will be able to get you a reduced sentence alongside attending police interviews with you.

I have a court appearance coming up; do I need a solicitor?

It is never advisable to attend court without legal representation. Your solicitor will be familiar with this setting and will be able to represent your interests. If however, you have concerns that your legal representative is not acting in your best interests, you have the legal right to ask for a different one.

Do I have rights if I am asked to attend a police interview?

Yes; you have the right to legal representation and to speak to said representation before you are interviewed. It is strongly advised that you exercise this right. You also have the right to not answer any questions that you are asked if advised, but generally, this is not a good idea as it can impinge on your sentencing further down the line.

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