Choosing a criminal solicitor is not a decision that should be taken likely if you have been charged. Normally, most of our members will be notified in the first instance by telephone call which will then likely be followed by a postal charge. You may also get charged when answering bail if you are under bail conditions.
It maybe that the information comes from the representative that attended your interview. This could be the duty solicitor or even a solicitor that you chose.
You are under no obligation to stay with them for the proceedings moving forward. If you are facing charges then you deserve, and should have researched the best available to you. Whilst it may feel awkward you should, if you did/do not feel they are right for you simply thank them for informing you and let them know you will/have made alternative arrangements. The legal aid arrangement that you entered into at interview was solely for that interview. You did not enter into any arrangement with them regarding any further representation.
Some thought must also be given to the location of the solicitor. It is often the case that you live in a different police force area to where the charges are been made.
It is recommended on minor charges, that is charges that are likely to be dealt with in the magistrates court to choose a solicitor in the Police force area where the charges are made. The reason for this is that solicitors are the ones that attend magistrates courts and you need the solicitor to be able to attend the court.
For more serious crimes where the case will be passed to the Crown Courts you need to decide if you want a solicitor closer to your home so that you can attend their offices for pre trial work and meetings or if you want one in the police force area. We would recommend that you choose one close to home. Solicitors prepare your case for a Barrister and it is the Barrister that attends the crown court. Therefore it is practical to work with a solicitor in your home area and they instruct a barrister who works in the court where you will attend trial. It is therefore accessibility to your solicitor that is important pre-trial rather than accessibility to the barrister. If the charges are very serious you will find that solicitors in any area will take on your case so you are quite at liberty to spread the search wide. However, remember you will need to be able to travel to see your solicitor so make sure they are accessible to you.
Please select the relevant police force area (be it your home are or the area in which you are charged) to see our recommended solicitors. All our recommended solicitors are signed up to the Legal Aid service.
*All solicitors who advertise in this section have paid for their advertisement to appear. However, they have only been approached and invited to advertise on our website as they both meet the criteria of accused.me.uk to be included and have good recommendations from both past and current members of the accused.me.uk support network. We require to raise funds for our community group in order to pay for our own website, advertising and other associated costs.*