Becoming a Criminal Defence Lawyer in Scotland

by Five Fantastic Lawyers™ on December 11, 2010

Criminal defence solicitors in Scotland advise and represent clients through all stages of criminal prosecution. Clients may be accused or even suspected of one or more of the following Scottish crimes:-

Crimes & Criminal Law in Scotland

* Crimes in Scotland include the following:-
* Breach of the Peace;
* Assault;
* Theft;
* Fraud;
* Rape or other sexual offences;
* Murder or culpable homicide (manslaughter in England);
* Inchoate or “attempted” crimes; and
* Road traffic offences

Criminal Defences under Scots Law

Defences that might be pled include the concepts of self-defence, alibi, insanity or diminished responsibility. Scottish solicitors can advise on whether any of these defences may be relevant to the case and whether they may lead to a reduced sentence or, if they are complete defences, free the accused from any criminal liability.

Criminal Procedure and Scottish Courts

Criminal lawyers advise clients on any criminal law or criminal procedure queries they may have including fixed penalties, extradition, custody attendance, assistance with police interviews, preparation of defences and criminal procedure and potential outcomes arising from a criminal charge for any of the above types of criminal liability.

In addition to advising whether or not a client qualifies for Legal Aid, a criminal defence solicitor is qualified to represent the accused in the Courts of Scotland and advise on possible criminal sentences.

Specialist advice is given by criminal defence solicitors on any form of criminal procedure such as questioning, detention or arrest by the police.

Following the recent case of Cadder v Her Majesty’s Advocate everyone detained on suspicion of having committed a crime in Scotland is entitled to legal representation by a Scottish lawyer during police interview or other questioning; otherwise, it may be a breach of the detainee’s human rights.

Scottish solicitors can act in District Courts, Sheriff Courts and the High Courts in Edinburgh and Glasgow, whether through summary procedure involving a judge sitting without a jury, or through solemn procedure involving more serious crimes where the judge sits with a jury composed of 15 jurors.

If a criminal case goes to trial in Scotland, a not proven verdict will mean that the accused will be acquitted, which is the equivalent of a not guilty verdict. Even if the accused is found guilty, Scottish lawyers can act on behalf of the accused to present a plea in mitigation to try to persuade the sheriff to reduce the severity of the sentence due to mitigating factors.

24 Hour Access

Most criminal lawyers (such as McSporrans  in Edinburgh have such expert criminal solicitors available 24 hours per day to ensure that you can access representation in emergency situations. As criminal lawyers you can be assured that they treat all enquiries in the strictest confidence.

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