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What Happens if You Plead Guilty in Crown Court?

What Happens if You Plead Guilty in Crown Court?

What happens if you plead guilty in Crown Court? If you plead guilty to motoring offences in Crown Court, the court will find you guilty and pass a sentence. They may also issue a warrant for your arrest if they think that there is a risk of you not turning up at future hearings or that it’s necessary to secure your attendance. If this happens, then the police can enter your home without a warrant and arrest you.

What Happens If I Am Found Guilty in Crown Court?

If the court has found you guilty, it will be adjourned for a pre-sentence report to be prepared. This is a document that provides the court with information about your character and offence. The pre-sentence report also includes recommendations about what sentence the court should give you. These recommendations are based on the seriousness of the offence, whether you have a previous criminal record and any evidence that you have shown remorse for the crime.

Motoring Offences & Crown Court

If you are facing a trial for motoring offences, it is important to know what happens if you plead guilty in Crown Court. You may choose to plead guilty because the charges against you are not serious enough to warrant a criminal record or an expensive trial. You might also plead guilty if your lawyer informs you that there is little chance of winning the case. If you plead guilty in Crown Court, it means that you admit responsibility and the court will find you guilty and you will be sentenced without a trial.

So when is it worth pleading guilty? And what does the process involve?

In this article, we will answer these questions and more to help you make the right decisions in court.

 


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What Happens During Sentencing?

When the pre-sentence report is ready, the court will then sentence you for your offences. The sentence can be anything from a fine to imprisonment depending on the unique circumstances of your case. Each court has its own guidelines about what sentences should be given for different motoring offences. These sentencing guidelines are published by the Sentencing Council and can be viewed on their website. The pre-sentence report will take these into account when making recommendations for sentencing.

At your pre-sentencing hearing, if they’re not going to sentence you straight away, the court will decide whether to release or further detain you. If a pre-sentence report hasn’t been prepared for your case yet, then there’s no need for any hearing and it will be adjourned until the next day when a report has been produced. If this happens, the court may still order that you should be detained until the sentencing hearing can take place.

The sentencing hearing will be the first hearing at which you can give evidence or make a statement. It’s important to note that pleading guilty in this situation doesn’t necessarily mean that the court will sentence you straight away and it may adjourn sentencing until another date, usually between two and four weeks later.

How do You Plead Guilty?

If you want to plead guilty, your lawyer will need to file a document called an indication of plea. This document is usually filed at the magistrates’ court hearing before the case is sent up to Crown Court.

An indication of plea isn’t always necessary. For example, if you’ve already pleaded guilty in writing or if you’re going to change your plea to guilty at the start of your trial, then you don’t need to file an indication of plea.

Why Would You Plead Guilty?

There are many reasons why you might want to plead guilty in Crown Court, instead of contesting the charges against you at a trial. For example, if your lawyer thinks that there’s little chance of winning or if they think that it would be too expensive for you to go ahead with a trial, then they may advise you that a guilty plea is in your benefit.

Likewise, if you’ve already admitted to the offence and shown remorse, then this could also be a reason for the court to give you a more lenient sentence. The legal system is designed to reward people for pleading guilty, which is why they offer incentives like reduced sentences for doing so.


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Send us a message or call us on 0333 443 2366 for friendly advice


What if You Plead Not Guilty?

If you plead not guilty, then your case will go to trial which will usually take place within three months or sometimes less than a month after you were first charged with an offence. A plea of not guilty means that you deny any wrongdoing. If this is the case, then the court is bound to issue a summons for you to attend your trial.

You will receive this in around eight weeks if it’s not your first appearance at magistrates’ courts and four weeks otherwise. The summons contains information about where and when your trial will take place as well as what charges you’re facing.

What to Think About Before Pleading Guilty

The following are some important things to remember if you’re thinking of pleading guilty to a motoring offence:

  • You may face a driving ban
  • You may have to pay a large fine
  • Your insurance premiums will likely increase
  • You could receive a prison sentence

If you’re unsure about whether or not pleading guilty is the right decision for you, it’s important to speak with an experienced lawyer who can advise you on your options.

What if Your Case Is Not Sent to Crown Court?

If this is the case, then it will be dealt with by magistrates. Magistrates are a lower court and they can only sentence you to a maximum of six months in prison or a £5,000 fine. When your case is sent back to the magistrate’s court, the court will hear it and decide whether to convict you or not.

It is very important that you have a lawyer represent you at this hearing as the consequences of being found guilty can be serious. Some people try to represent themselves but this is not recommended.

What if Your Case Is Not Sent to Crown Court


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What Happens at the Initial Magistrate’s Court Hearing?

The initial magistrate’s court hearing is where you will first enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. This can also be done by post if you’re unable to attend in person. You must do this within 14 days of receiving the court summons for your case. If you don’t respond within this time, then a warrant for your arrest may be issued by the court and you could face further charges.

It is very important that you attend this hearing, even if you plan to plead guilty by post. If you don’t attend and the court decides that your plea is invalid because you didn’t have legal representation or you didn’t enter a proper plea, then the case will be adjourned until another date when you’re able to appear in person. At this point, the court will assume that you’re pleading not guilty and will issue a new court date.

What Motoring Offences Can Be Heard in Crown Court?

There are many motoring offences that can be heard at Crown Court as opposed to magistrates’ court such as drink driving, dangerous or careless driving and speeding. You may also face charges if your car is not insured or you attempt to avoid paying road tax.

These cases must be heard at crown courts because of the serious nature of these offences under the law and also due to their seriousness in practice. Drink driving, for example, is extremely dangerous, and most drink driving cases are heard at crown court, particularly those where people have been hurt.

What Are the Sentences for Different Motoring Offences?

The sentences which you could face if you’re found guilty of a motoring offence depend on the severity of the charge and also on your previous convictions (if any). Some offences carry obligatory disqualifications from driving while others may result in a prison sentence.

In addition, if you’re convicted of a drink driving offence at crown court, then this will also result in the imposition of an obligatory ban from driving as well as a fine. If your case is heard by magistrates’ courts instead, then you may be disqualified for less than 12 months and given a smaller fine.

What Are the Sentences for Different Motoring Offences?


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Send us a message or call us on 0333 443 2366 for friendly advice


What Is the Importance of a Lawyer for Motoring Offence Trials?

When you’re charged with a motoring offence, it’s important to have legal representation. This is because the consequences of being found guilty can be serious and also because these offences are complex. A lawyer will be able to help you understand the charges that you’re facing as well as the possible defences that you may have.

They will also be able to represent you in court and negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf. This is important, especially if you’re looking to plead guilty but want to minimise the consequences of this plea. Experienced motoring lawyers will have dealt with many cases similar to yours so will be able to advise you whether pleading guilty is in your best interests.

Listen to your lawyers but make sure you understand every aspect of your final decision. If you are in any doubt, make sure that you ask questions. A reputable lawyer will always do their best to help you understand the best course of action.

How to Choose a Motoring Lawyer

When it comes time to choose a motoring lawyer, it’s important that you select someone who is experienced in this area of law and also who has a good reputation. You can ask family and friends for recommendations or look online for reviews. It’s also important that you meet your lawyer in person and get a good feeling about them. If they don’t seem like the right fit for you, then it may not be worth continuing with them so try to choose someone who seems trustworthy and professional.

Everyone makes mistakes at some point in life, but if these mistakes include traffic offences such as speeding or drink driving, then these mistakes can carry serious consequences. If you’re facing charges for any motoring offence and need help with your case, it’s important that you get legal representation as soon as possible.

At Caddick Motors, we have represented many people who have been charged with motoring offences. We understand the seriousness of these charges and will do our best to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation.

Tips for Getting a Reduced Sentence

As well as pleading guilty, there are other ways to potentially reduce your sentence. These include:

  • Completing a driver awareness course
  • Providing character references
  • Showing remorse for your actions
  • Plea bargaining with the prosecution

If you’re looking to receive a reduced sentence, it’s important to speak with an experienced lawyer who can help you through the process. At Caddick Davies, we know every potential defence and will do our best to get you the best possible outcome. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Tips for Getting a Reduced Sentence


Contact Caddick Davies Solicitors today

Send us a message or call us on 0333 443 2366 for friendly advice


Final Thoughts

Pleading guilty is the quickest and simplest way to resolve a motoring offence case but this course of action must be carefully considered as it can come with serious consequences.

Motoring offences are serious and you should take them seriously, but they can be resolved swiftly by hiring an experienced lawyer to represent you in court on your behalf. If you are facing a motoring offence charge and you are unsure what to do, get in touch with us and we will be able to explain what happens if you plead guilty in Crown Court and whether it is right for you.

Motoring Lawyer at Caddick Davies Solicitors
Caddick Davies is recognised as one of England and Wales’ leading motoring law firms, offering specialist Speeding Solicitors, Drink Driving Solicitors & Dangerous Driving Solicitors.We provide advice and representation on all motoring offences including speeding, the avoidance of disqualification on penalty points or “totting up” (exceptional hardship), driving without due care and attention (careless driving), dangerous driving, drink driving, as well as a range of services related to medical revocation of a driving licence.
Neil Davies

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