The Silicon Review
Here at Forrest Williams, the team are criminal defence lawyers for police investigation stage work. The firm appreciates that being subject to a criminal investigation can be very distressing and burdensome despite the fact that criminal charges have not been formally issued. In some cases, your contact with immediate family is limited, your electronic devices could be seized, reporting to work could be a challenge, travel plans may be negatively impacted, and your life just seems to have come to a sudden halt pending the outcome of an investigation.
Forrest Williams understands that you may want support during this period; someone who is in your corner to show they genuinely care and are working in your best interests. You are in very safe hands with Forrest Williams. The firm takes a proactive approach in cases like this.
If you have been accused of a criminal offence but have not yet been charged, it is crucial that you seek legal advice and explore all potential avenues available to you before the police conclude their investigations.
Among other advantages, effective pre-charge engagement gives you an opportunity to provide your point of view, subsequently preventing a weak case from going to court.
Q. WHAT IS PRE-CHARGE ENGAGEMENT?
This is a voluntary engagement between all parties (i.e., the police, the Crown prosecution Service (CPS), defence solicitors and you) during an investigation after the first police interview but before a decision is made as to whether you should be formally charged with an offence.
Q. WHAT EXACTLY DOES PRE-CHARGE ENGAGEMENT ENTAIL?
For proactive firms like Forrest Williams, investigative stage work can include:
The above is not an exhaustive list and Forrest Williams prepare a case strategy for every case separately.
Q. WHO CAN INITIATE PRE-CHARGE ENGAGEMENT AND WHEN?
Either of the parties to an investigation can initiate the process. Therefore, it could be the officer in charge of the investigation, the prosecutor, or your legal representatives who do this.
This work can commence immediately after your interview.
A no comment interview also does not preclude the possibility of pre-charge engagement.
Whilst this work is encouraged it should be noted that it is not appropriate in all cases. It is therefore prudent that you seek legal advice before opting for this to maximise your chances of fully benefiting from this process.
Q. IS IT MANDATORY TO ENGAGE IN PRE-CHARGE ENGAGEMENT?
The simple answer to this question is no. It is important to note that this work is a voluntary process and can be terminated at any time. Should you decide not to engage in this work you will not be penalised for your actions. No inference can be drawn from a failure to participate in this work during proceedings at a later stage. However, there are a number of potential benefits.
Q. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PRE-CHARGE ENGAGEMENT TO YOU?
Q. WON’T THE DUTY SOLICITOR DO THIS WORK AS PART OF THEIR JOB?
The duty solicitor scheme allows Legal Aid lawyers to represent people in police interviews free of charge. It does not cover any work before or after the interview. If you had a duty solicitor represent you for a police interview, they will not be working on the file afterwards and as they will be used to Legal Aid work rather than private work, they will not be experienced in undertaking pre-charge engagement work.
Q. HOW CAN FORREST WILLIAMS HELP YOU?
Forrest Williams are criminal defence lawyers for police investigation stage work.
They were the very first adopters of this strategy before it was officially recognised. Forrest Williams understood that clients who were not familiar with the criminal justice system did not want to just wait and see what the police outcome was. They wanted to be proactive. You probably do too.
When Forrest Williams first started making representations they were told by police forces around the country that they had never seen this approach before, now over 10 years later it has been formalised. Forrest Williams is confident that it has more experience in this area than any other firm.
Forrest Williams will work with you to adopt an efficient proactive strategy and where appropriate it can engage with the police to help secure the best outcome for you. Do not suffer in silence during this period of limbo.
Steve Williams, Solicitor Director