"Hopefully if you get the scum bail he will knife one of your family."I replied to Fred suggesting that his comment was a little uncalled for and he was kind enough to write:
"Gavin, not really, I never carry a knife and have never committed any crime. I have had friends and family who have been victims of your 'clients' and I stand by what I said. Get them off on a technicality and I hope they come after you and yours. We are all very fed up with the CJ system so you had better get used to the criticism."I am a criminal defence solicitor. I am employed by a firm of solicitors and the only legal work that I do for that firm is criminal defence work. I do not prosecute cases. My work will mean that I am generally involved in cases in three ways:
1. Police Station work. I will go to Police Stations to advise and assist people who have been arrested and are to be interviewed under the terms of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. This will generally mean arriving at the Police Station, speaking to the Officer dealing with the case and getting disclosure from that Officer, having a consultation with my Client, and then being present when the Client is interviewed.
2. Magistrates/Youth Court work. As a solicitor I have rights of audience in the Magistrates and Youth Courts to deal with all hearings related to crime. I will represent people who appear for guilty pleas, or trials. I will also prepare these cases by taking instructions from the Clients and consider the evidence served in their case.
3. Crown Court work. I have limited rights of audience in the Crown Court so I will generally only do the advocacy for Crown Court bail applications. The remainder of work that I do for Crown Court work is taking Clients instructions, preparing their case for trial/sentence, briefing and liaising with their barrister, and from time to time attending at the Crown Court with the Client and their barrister for hearings.
As a criminal defence solicitor I will:
i. Act in the best interests of my Client;
ii. Represent my Client to the best of my ability; or
iii. Try to secure the best possible result for my Client.
As a criminal defence solicitor I will not:
i. Make up instructions for my Clients to give to either the Police or a Court;
ii. Allow Clients to tell the Police or Court something different to what they have told me already;
iii. Lie to the Police or allow a Court to be misled; or
iv. Tell the Police or Court if my Client admits to a crime.
I am bound by professional ethics. I cannot, and will not, lie on behalf of a Client. If a Client tells me that he has actually committed a crime and then wants to tell the Police or a Court a different story then I cannot represent him if he is going to give that second account. If A client tells me that he has committed a crime then I can continue to represent him provided that all I do is put the prosecution to proof and not put the Clients account forward.
The Police investigate crimes and gather evidence. The Crown Prosecution Service, generally, prosecute matters in criminal courts. As a criminal defence solicitor I defend. If a Client admits they have committed a crime to me I do not go and tell the Police or the Court that the Client has committed a crime.
You may find that the kind of work that I am involved in is objectionable. You may disagree that people who have committed a crime should be allowed access to a defence solicitor. You may disagree that where evidence is overwhelming that a defendant should be able to challenge that evidence in our Courts with the benefit of a defence solicitor. In the United Kingdom, as in many other countries around this world, we have freedom of speech and everyone is entitled to their own opinion - even Fred. But, should you ever be arrested where you have not committed a crime would you not want the best possible defence? Would you not want access to legal advice and assistance? Would you not want a solicitor that is prepared to fight on your behalf against the Police and Crown Prosecution Service?
Most people who are arrested are not innocent. Conviction rates in the Magistrates Courts and Crown Courts are something like 92% to 95% of people who appear before the Court are convicted of a crime. Some defendants walk away from Court on technicalities because someone has failed to do their job properly, be it because a witness cannot perform well when giving evidence, or perhaps a Police Officer did not investigate a piece of evidence, or even maybe a Crown Prosecutor failed to consider certain evidence. I do come across some Clients who appear to be genuine and say that they are innocent. It is very rare for me to ever believe a person who tells me that they are innocent, but, every few months there is one case where I actually believe that I am representing an innocent party. If you were that innocent party would you not want a solicitor to fight on your behalf?
I regularly come in to contact with criminals who I try to divert away from crime. There are youths who have had pretty poor starts in life who I try to show if they continue doing what they are currently doing then they will end up in prison wasting their life away. There are also drug users who I try to educate to ensure that they stay alive and do not kill themselves at an early age.
I am a defence solicitor, nothing more, nothing less. This is what I do.