If you have received a postal requisition or you have been told that you will receive a postal charge summoning you to appear at Hendon magistrates’ court, you should seek legal representation from a specialist criminal defence solicitor.
What is a postal requisition?
Previously known as a court summons letter, a postal requisition – also known as a postal charge – is an order from the court requiring you to attend at a fixed date and time.
If you receive a postal requisition it is important you understand:
- What a postal requisition is
- What the requisition requires you to do by law
- Your next steps once you receive a postal charge
A magistrates’ court hearing for a summary offence must begin within 6 months of the date when the offence was allegedly committed. The police will ask the court to issue the requisition or postal charge within this fixed period of time. If they fail to do so within this specified time, any potential prosecution may be time barred.
The postal requisition or postal charge may ask that you to provide your intended plea – whether you will plead guilty or not guilty to the alleged criminal offence. You should seek expert legal advice at this stage.
If you intend to plead guilty to the alleged offence in the postal requisition and you ask the court to deal with the case in your absence, you may wish to include a letter of mitigation with the postal requisition. Aimed at achieving a more favourable outcome in your case, a letter of mitigation should explain the circumstances surrounding the alleged offence.
Once you have returned the postal requisition with your plea, you will receive a letter from the court confirming their decision in the case. If you are requested to attend a further court hearing, it is highly recommended that you seek expert legal advice from a specialist criminal defence solicitor.
You are also able to plead guilty to the alleged offence and attend the magistrates’ court in person. You may represent yourself in court or instruct a criminal defence solicitor to represent you.
Summary offence cases
All criminal court cases are initially heard in the magistrates’ court. If the offence you are accused of is classified as a summary offence your case will be dealt with solely in the magistrates’ court. Summary offences are generally considered to be of a reduced severity than offences heard in the crown court.
A summary offence is heard by a magistrate rather than a judge and jury, unless the offence is linked to a more serious offence committed at the same time. In which case, the offence will be heard in the crown court.
Summary offences include:
- Cases of minor assault
- Property damage
- Road traffic offences including drink driving and driving without a valid licence
- Offensive or anti-social behaviour
Some summary offences can be heard without you being present at court. If you don’t plan to attend court, ensure you are represented by a specialist criminal defence solicitor in order to secure the best possible outcome in your case.
If you are required to attend the magistrates’ court and you fail to do so, the court has the power to issue a warrant for your arrest. In some occasions, you can be found guilty of committing a further criminal offence, for which you could be sent to prison.
Find Hendon magistrates’ court at:
Hendon Magistrates’ Court
The Court House
Contact the court at:
181 Marylebone Road
Specialist legal representation in Hendon
We can represent you in Hendon magistrates’ court or alternatively any other magistrates’ court in London.
At Lawtons we pride ourselves on providing expert legal advice and assistance for any criminal charges that have been made against you.
Our experienced criminal defence solicitors will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your individual case.
If you need legal advice from a criminal solicitor in London please get in touch with us:
Lawtons Criminal Law Solicitors – London
330 High Holborn
Telephone: 0203 553 5741
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