The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is being given advice as to how to keep the Court Service running during the effects of Covid 19.
The worry being, that unnecessary Prosecutions at this time may overload a restricted Court.
'Lower Priority' Cases are to include serious organised crime and major fraud in new emergency guidance.
The National Police Chief's Counsel and the CPS are placing offences into 3 categories, according to how quickly a case must be brought to Court.
'Priority Cases' are considered to be immediate if there is a risk of further offending such as offences of Murder and serious domestic abuse.
Attacks on emergency workers and other crimes linked to coronavirus would also be passed to the courts immediately.
'High priority' cases include certain types of Domestic Abuse and serious violence would involve the suspect not appearing in court for up to eight weeks after being charged.
All 'other cases' which are currently being delayed include benefit Fraud and Criminal damage as well as large scale serious organised crime and more serious fraud cases.
During this time we have received multiple calls from clients wanting to know what is happening with their matter. Advice can be given on the individual matter as we will have contact with the Police and Courts during this time, despite a restriction to the workforce.
Equally so, there are others who have concerns about a pending case and may not previously have thought about obtaining advice prior to any Court appearance. Our advice would be not to leave any advice until you finally receive a new Court date or summons through the post. You will be criticised by the Courts for not taking a proactive response and the Courts will not be lenient to those who have used the Virus as an excuse not to get representation in good time ahead of a rescheduled hearing.
Should you have an ongoing matter with Gepp Solicitors or need further advice ahead of a Pending Prosecution then we are happy to assist.
Please contact our Criminal Law team.
This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.