Please see below for our frequently asked questions regarding criminal and regulatory defence.
I am self-isolating because I am in a high risk group/I am/family members are showing symptoms of Covid 19. What do I do about my court appearance?
- If you are in a high risk group then please contact us to advise us of this so that we can notify the court and apply for an adjournment. The court will want to know as much information as possible about your situation. If you are due in court and experiencing symptoms, then, if your case has not already been adjourned, you must contact us us so that we can apply for an adjournment on your behalf. Again, the court will want to know as much as possible about the symptoms that you are experiencing.
Is my case going to go ahead?
- If you are on bail at the moment and you have a case pending before the court, then you should be aware that the courts are still operating. You will therefore still be required to attend at court in accordance with your bail obligations. The Government advice at present is that travel for a court attendance is essential and will not place you in breach of the COVID restrictions. If you, or your family member are in custody, then it is likely that your case will go ahead, but that you will appear before the court via video link. Each custody case is taken on a case by case basis. If you are worried about a case that you have pending in the foreseeable future then please contact us at Poole Alcock, where we will be happy to help you.
I have bail conditions. Am I still subject to them if my case is adjourned?
- If any of your conditions of bail interfere with your ability to comply with the Government’s orders to remain at home or go out only if essential then please contact us, and we will be happy to help you.
I am subject to a court order and have to complete hours of unpaid work and/or attend at Probation Services. Do I still have to attend, or will I be breached?
- It is our understanding at Poole Alcock that requirements such as unpaid work are currently suspended, and all probation appointments are taking place over the telephone. You should have been contacted by the Probation Services to advise you of the situation and any requirements that you are subject to. It is important to continue complying with your current court order as far as Probation expect you to.
If I am arrested, will my solicitor still come to the police station to represent me? And will I be protected from any risk of Coronavirus?
- We are still operating a 24 hour on call system, so if you are arrested then a representative shall still attend at the police station to represent you. In some cases a representative may attend remotely either via the telephone or on a videolink. In these circumstances you shall still receive the same level of representation. Yes, the police are under a duty to ensure that your welfare is protected. You may see the police and police station representatives wearing protective clothing in order to protect everyone, and the police have assured us at Poole Alcock that social distancing advice will be adhered to, even in the police station. You will also be asked to wear a face mask, unless you are medically exempt from doing so.
I am due to attend for a voluntary interview at the police station. Do I still need to go? And will a solicitor come and represent me?
- Whilst the number of voluntary interviews that are taking place have declined, you will still be required to attend, and you will not be in breach of the COVID restrictions currently in place. A representative will still attend with you for a voluntary interview as usual, and this will either be in person or by remote attendance.
I am due to answer bail at the police station. Do I still need to attend?
- If you are due to answer your bail then please contact us. It is likely that we at Poole Alcock will be able to get this date moved to a future date so that you can comply with the government orders to stay at home unless going out is essential.
I have a family member that is due in court. Will I still be allowed to go and watch the proceedings?
- Under the Government orders, you should stay at home. The courts will allow one family member/supporter to attend with people that are due to appear before the court, however you should only attend if it is necessary to do so. The courts will allow you to view criminal proceedings remotely, and you can make these arrangements by contacting the court. If you think that you have important information that will assist anyone appearing before the court then please contact us at Poole Alcock and we will be willing to help.
- If you are a defence witness in a case involving your family member then your attendance at court will still be required, and will not place you in breach of the COVID restrictions.