What Is Criminal Law
Criminal law is the most widely known area of legal practice. Criminal law can range broadly from motoring offences to murder and white-collar crimes such as corruption and fraud.
Whether you or someone you know needs help with being prosecuted, is under investigation or has been arrested, we are the oldest and therefore most experienced criminal defence solicitors in the North West of England. We serve regional clients and also serve clients nationally too, that's how trusted and well respected we are in the industry, people come to us from all across the UK and we help them all from our offices based in Liverpool, Runcorn and Warrington.
Our expert team of criminal defence solicitors work in all areas of criminal law, in this article, we are going to explain in more detail the different aspects of criminal law and what we can do to help you or someone you know.
What is Criminal Law?
Criminal law is distinguished as a system of laws which are concerned with the punishment of individuals who commit crimes. It relates to offences that negatively affect society as a whole. This area of the law in the UK is outlined by what Acts of Parliament deem to be acceptable or unacceptable conduct.
In a civil case two individuals dispute their rights, a criminal prosecution then involves deciding whether to punish an individual for either an act or an omission.
What Does a Criminal Law Solicitor Do?
A solicitor specialising in crime will also vary from one solicitor to another, depending on the type of work undertaken and whether you are a defence or prosecution solicitor.
The solicitors that deal with general crime, the solicitor will constantly be liaising between client and counsel, they will also be reviewing evidence, taking instructions and may also be involved in a conference with the client and counsel. A solicitor's job can involve meeting clients at court, at a police station or in prison.
Our solicitors specialising in criminal law will represent clients in court in front of magistrates, although the more serious cases are still predominantly handled by barristers. It is your legal right to have the right to representation at the police station, no matter what the crime - and our police station representation service is free of charge.
White-collar crimes are crimes that are committed without the intention of causing harm, it is financially motivated and involves crimes of fraud, money laundering and embezzlement.
There are many similarities between general crime and white-collar crime, they have the same objective but the main differences between them involve the nature of some cases. Some corruption cases mean there are likely to be fairly complex documents and some cases can last for years.
Civil Law and Criminal Law
Civil law is different to criminal law as civil law aims to achieve compensation or an agreement related to finances. This law deals with the disputes between individuals and organisations.
Criminal law seeks punishment or penalty for an offence, which aims to maintain stability and balance in society and help to bring criminal justice.
Types of Offences
A court hearing can be held at either the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court. The range of offences in the criminal law category is very wide and varies a lot in terms of seriousness.
To give a good idea of criminal law cases then some common examples include:
- Assault & GBH
- Possession of controlled drugs
- Supply of controlled substances
- Dangerous driving and other driving offences
- Sexual offences
- Various regulatory offences
The main factor in deciding which court will deal with the crime will often depend on the seriousness of the offence and the likely sentence that the defence will face if found to be guilty.
Theft for example can range in the seriousness of the crime, from a low seriousness of shoplifting to a large-scale theft that can involve millions of pounds.
Crimes with lower seriousness levels like shoplifting would remain in the Magistrates Court and a crime at the upper end of the seriousness levels involving a longer sentence or bigger charge if found guilty and/or a bigger impact on the victims involved, these hearings would be available to the Magistrates Court and will therefore be sent to the Crown Court.
How Our Criminal Lawyers Can Help You
Our established and experienced team of criminal defence solicitors can help defend any criminal law matter. We can help with any case from shoplifting to more serious allegations of murder, rape and robbery so come to us if you need support from people you trust.
We happen to be experts in large scale drug conspiracies and we are regularly representing defendants nationwide, we are continually recommended as we are specialists. We are also members of the Serious Fraud Panel and can deal with the most serious cases of fraud and other cases that are considered VHCC (Very High-Cost Cases).
If you have read the information above and would like or need some assistance or advice with a criminal law matter, you can be confident to put your trust in us, as we have the expertise and the experience to assist you whenever and wherever you need us.