If you are facing a criminal case, then there can be a bewildering array of terms that are used to describe the case and certain parts of the process. This is where it is important to have a good criminal solicitors Bradford. They will handle your case and help you to defend against it. We present a list of some of the terms that you might come across when dealing with a criminal case.
Accused – This is the person who is said to have committed the crime, also known as the defendant.
Barrister – This is the lawyer in a wig and gown that will speak on your behalf in the crown court and is different from your solicitor.
Crown Court – This is the court where criminal cases are held by a judge and a jury.
Crown Prosecution Service – This is the body of lawyers that work on behalf of the police and are responsible for bringing criminal cases to court.
Cross-Examination – This is where a witness is asked questions by the opposing barrister in order to determine the truth of the matter.
Defendant – The person that has been charged with a crime is being tried.
Evidence – These are all the factors that help to prove what has or hasn’t happened in a case. This can be in the form of witnesses, witness statements, or physical objects.
Judge – In a crown court trial, the judge is the person who decides the law, and passes the sentence if the defendant is found guilty.
Jury – These are twelve members of the public that have been called in order to decide the facts of a case. This includes determining whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty based on the evidence presented in court.
Magistrate – A magistrate is a specially selected member of the public that is chosen to sit as a judge in a magistrate’s court. Magistrates will normally sit as a panel of three together.
Magistrates Court – This is the lowest form of criminal court in the UK. This is where 90% of all criminal cases start. Lower level crimes are decided here, whereas more serious offenses are sent to the crown court.
Offense – This is the official name for the crime or illegal act that has taken place.
Prosecution – This is the side that is bringing the case to court. It is their duty to prove that the crime has taken place and that the defendant is the one responsible for it.
Sentence – This is the punishment that is given for the crime that has been committed and can be anything from a fine, through to time in jail.
Solicitor – This is the type of lawyer who will deal with your case, handles all the paperwork and gets the case ready for court. They will hire a barrister to present the case in court.
Witness -This a person who will stand up in court to give evidence. They are required to swear an oath to only tell the truth.