It can be difficult and emotive to discuss allegations of assault, but they do happen and cause a lot of hurt and distress. The first step is always to ask for legal representation from the very beginning.
Once an allegation is made, the police are rightly bound to investigate. That will almost always require you to be interviewed at a police station either voluntarily or following arrest.
It is your right to be legally represented, free of charge, any time of the day or night. Sometimes people think if they ask for legal representation it makes them look guilty which is not the case.
You will be advised whether or not to answer questions and whether or not to provide samples for forensic analysis. You will have someone by your side to ensure the police are following the Codes of Practice, that you are being treated fairly and with dignity, and the police are following all lines of enquiry.
The police may request access to your phone or any computer devices and we can ensure you make an informed decision whether or not to permit this.
If you are charged you will appear in the Magistrates court. We will obtain the Initial Disclosure of the Prosecution Case (IDPC) and discuss this with you. In most cases, this is just a police summary.
If you are tried in the Magistrates court your solicitor will take your instructions and represent you at trial. If you are tried in the Crown court your solicitor will take your instructions and appoint a barrister as your advocate.
We work as a team: you provide the information, we build your defence. If there are witnesses to be spoken to or expert witnesses to instruct, we will arrange this.
Once all the prosecution evidence has been served you will be provided with a copy, we will then work carefully through that to ensure you understand the evidence, and that you have provided your full instructions to enable us to properly present your case.
Ultimately, it is for the jury or Magistrates at trial to decide guilt or innocence having heard all of the evidence. You have the opportunity to give and call evidence in your defence. We would advise you on the merits of giving evidence or not depending on the circumstances.
We will ensure you understand the process of giving evidence, on oath, and help you prepare for that so you do yourself justice.
We pride ourselves on our professionalism – our aim is to secure the best possible outcome for you at the end of the case. If you are in need of assistance please get in touch with our Criminal Defence team on 023 9282 0747.