Across the country Criminal Courts, which were effectively closed during the lockdown, are re-opening for business.
For more than two months the Criminal Justice system effectively came to a halt with no Jury trials and with Magistrates Courts restricted to only dealing with cases involving people held in custody. Even police investigations were affected with the police keen to restrict the number of people coming to police stations to be interviewed.
As the system moves towards business as normal, the Courts and the CPS are left with a huge backlog of cases. We are seeing Crown Court cases that were listed for trial over the lockdown period now being put off to 2021 and Magistrates Courts having to re-list trials for further case management.
There will be huge pressure to try to resolve cases as effectively as possible to help clear the backlog. If defendants have put off instructing a solicitor for their cases, now might be the time to do this as this would enable proper dialogue with the Prosecution and the Courts which may be to everyone’s benefit.
Where a person qualifies, we can apply for legal aid on their behalf. In all other cases we offer an initial consultation for £75 + Vat at which prospects and costs can be discussed.