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Court Proceedings

When you’re left in the dock, we’ll be right by your side.

If you are being prosecuted for a crime it can be a very daunting process. But you are entitled to help and advice to make the whole process less confusing and as fair as possible – and that’s where we come in.

From advice during an arrest to representing you in court, everyone has the right to a defence. We are here to help guide you through the process, give clear advice and where necessary, prepare a case on your behalf. We will listen to your side of the story and advise you whether you have a valid defence whilst being a supportive, patient, non-judgemental advisor throughout.

How we can help

If you are faced with prosecution and have to appear in court we can help with your case. Our expert team of 19 experienced solicitors cover all areas of criminal law and can represent you on any case, ranging from simple road traffic offences to applications for extraditions as well as the most serious of crimes such as murder, large scale frauds and complex criminal conspiracies.

We are one of a limited number of solicitors who are authorised to represent clients under the Legal Aid scheme where the case has been adopted by the Complex Crime Unit. Typically these are large scale fraud, money laundering or drugs related cases.

We can assist with:

  • Providing advice on the evidence of your case
  • Guiding you through the prosecution process
  • Advising you on whether or not you have a defence to the charges against you and the chances of obtaining a favourable result
  • Obtaining details of the prosecution’s case in advance of your appearance in court
  • Preparing a case on your behalf, including seeing witnesses
  • Representation in court
  • Making legal submissions to the judge and presenting your defence in the best possible light
  • Negotiating charges to be withdrawn
  • Applying for Legal Aid where it is available

However you plead, we can help.

If you plead not guilty, we can help with:

  • Representing you in court
  • Obtaining details of the prosecution’s case in advance of your appearance in court
  • Taking your instructions and preparing a case on your behalf, including seeing witnesses
  • Advising your witnesses on the rules of being a witness and prepare them for what to expect in court
  • Cross examination of the prosecution witnesses
  • If necessary, instructing experts to challenge the evidence against you
  • Making legal submissions to the court and presenting your defence in the best possible light

If you plead guilty, we can help with:

  • Representing you in court
  • Achieving the most lenient outcome possible
  • Obtaining details of the prosecution’s case in advance of your appearance in court
  • Taking your instructions and prepare a case on your behalf
  • Advising you on sentencing guidelines
  • Presenting your mitigation to the court
  • Presenting character evidence to the court
  • Advising and helping you to plan and be prepared for the sentencing day
  • Advising on sentence and whether there are any grounds for appeal

If your case is sent to the Crown Court our highly specialised Crown Court team will take you through every step of the case, discussing the evidence, advising you and explaining the process and ensuring that you get the best representation possible.

We can also help with:

  • Appeals to the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights
  • Confiscation, seizure and proceeds of crime
  • Applications for extradition
  • Complex fraud allegations
  • Police complaints

Costs

We will provide clear guidance on costs at the outset of the case and examine funding options such as Legal Aid to ensure the quality advice you need is accessible and affordable.

The Court Proceedings team

Our expert criminal defence team is a highly experienced, successful and resourceful unit, focused on getting the best possible outcome for its clients. They are consistently rated highly in the prestigious Chambers Guide to the Law and Legal 500;

Chambers 2019
The prestigious Chambers Guide ranks Howells Criminal department as a top tier firm in Sheffield and the surrounding areas.

Legal 500 2018
Howells Criminal department is highly ranked by Legal 500 2018 saying “Howells’ ‘very approachable and helpful’ criminal department has capabilities to handle a range of complex matters, with particular experience in public order law, judicial review, advising youth offenders, and cases with a civil liberties, human rights or mental health considerations. John Gibson is regularly instructed by individuals accused of serious crimes, and leads the practice, which also includes the ‘patient and supportive and extremely knowledgeable’ Chris Wong. Wong is recommended for defending clients facing extradition. Rotherham-based Mary Rose Macadam has particular expertise in prison law, parole board work, youth court representations and cases including a mental health element.”

Please click here to view the criminal law team staff profiles