Crown Court

We appreciate how difficult and stressful a time this can be for both you and your loved ones. At Lawtons Solicitors, we have the necessary experience of both large and small Crown Court cases to ensure our clients receive first rate guidance and representation, and the best possible outcome to any given case.

The next court up from the Magistrates’ Court within the criminal court system, the Crown Court has greater powers of punishment and you would normally see more serious cases trialled here.

Below is a brief guide to give you an overview and make you familiar with the Crown Court and its processes. If you find yourself at the Crown Court and need help, please contact us as we have extensive experience and fully understand how the Crown Court operates.

The Crown Court Structure

Crown Courts are regional and relevant cases at Magistrates’ Court level are directed to their regional Crown Court. They generally comprise multiple courtrooms, hearing various cases. A major difference between the Crown and Magistrates’ Courts is that trials in the Crown Court are heard by a jury (12 randomly chosen men and women), to provide an independent judgement.

Please note that Crown Courts are open to the public and contain a special seating area for members of the public. Lawyers representing in a case will be behind benches facing the Judge, who sits on a raised bench overlooking the court.

Defendants will be seated or stand in the dock at the back of the court, enabling them to see and hear everything that goes on in the courtroom.

The Initial Hearing

Here at Lawtons Solicitors, we ensure that we have sufficient time prior to the hearing to answer any questions you may have before entering the courtroom. This initial hearing is not the actual trial, it is the opportunity for you to enter your ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’ plea.

If you enter a ‘guilty’ plea, then all facts pertaining to the offence and any other relevant information is heard before sentencing. Sentencing often takes place after an adjournment, which gives the probation Service time to compile a report.

A plea of ‘not guilty’ is followed by a detailed account of relevant facts and a set number of days are allocated to the trial, set for a future date.

Further help and advice

For more information about the Crown Court and a more detailed breakdown of the proceedings, as well as discussion surrounding your specific case, please call us on 0333 577 0522 or email