This is the official blog of Sgt Ellie Bloggs, a real live police sergeant on the front line of England. It's not the official opinion of my police force, but all the facts I recount are true, and are not secrets. If they don't want me blogging about it, they shouldn't do it. PS If you don't pay tax, you don't pay my salary.


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Friday, October 05, 2007

Part Three of my Solicitor's Guide:

I have previously described the Consultation and the Interview Process. And now, after a prolonged absence due to forgetfulness, my award-winning* Solicitor's Guide returns.

If you have been unfortunate enough to be presented with a guilty client, a police officer who can string a sentence together AND a smidgen of prosecution evidence, you may find yourself and your hapless client in Court one day. Believe it or not, there is a high chance that your client will not show up at this stage, less than confident in your ability to quote the law better than the Magistrates' Clerk.

What to do if your client doesn't appear:
  • Tell the Court he'll be here "in a few minutes". If you can use the word "presently", do.
  • Find out whether any prosecution witnesses haven't shown up. If they haven't the case can be discontinued.
  • Scour the file for a query you had asked the police to do six months ago and which has only been answered yesterday. No matter how irrelevant the query may be to your case, you can now claim an adjournment because you "haven't had time to prepare".
  • Claim an abuse of process. If they ask exactly what process has been abused, just keep shouting "Abuse! Abuse!" and jabbing your finger down onto the desk.
  • If at any stage someone suggests hearing the case in your client's absence, immediately demand that a warrant is issued for their arrest instead. Once arrested on warrant, your client will be released on bail and given another chance not to show up later in the year.
  • If all else fails, wait until the Magistrates are out of the room discussing their options, grab your briefcase and leave the building. They will be unable to go ahead with neither client nor advocate and the case must be adjourned.
There is the tiniest of possibilities that you WILL have to defend the case in the absence of the defendant. The good news here is that you will be permitted to put across his ludicrous story in far more lucid terms than he would have managed.

Next time on my Solicitor's Guide: the Juvenile Client.

---------------------------------------------------------
Copyright of PC Bloggs.

*Readers should not be misled by the term "award-winning". This Guide has never and will never win an award, the phrase is merely used figuratively.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good grief - I'm first again! That's an early slide for you! Hey - other Bobbies - do you still get early slides or are they a thing of the past?
Back to the point - In all my years in the job (lots) I can only recall 1, yes 1, decent prosecution brief who stood up and fought for us. He wouldn't let the defence brief adjourn for some spurious reason and we actually did go ahead and try the scroat (sorry - defendant) in his absence and he was found guilty and given a £500 fine with £250 costs. Mind you, it was an excess speed case. Can you imagine what criminal offence you'd have to be found guilty of to get that sort of punishment?!!
Keep going, guys. Don't forget that 90% of the public never come to our notice ever!!!

05 October, 2007 15:06

 
Blogger Payasoru said...

Bad news for the solicitor who follows your advice to grab his briefcase and scarper. If the defendant has been notified of the hearing and chooses not to attend, brief or no brief, mags in this neck of the woods will most probably go ahead in absence. THEN we'll issue the warrant so the offender can be brought in for sentence.

05 October, 2007 21:29

 
Blogger thinblueline said...

Er.. solicitor ?

Try advocate..

07 October, 2007 20:37

 
Blogger Minty said...

Or try a real gem. Declare your client is feeling "A little under the weather"... Means "My client has arrived at court as pissed as parrot". Sadly it really happened... and led to an adjournment. But hell, when the tax payer is paying for your defence whats another day out in court?

07 October, 2007 23:26

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or, as has happened to me on more than 1 occasion, get the magistrates to adjourn the case so that the poor defendant can write to the prosecuting body asking them to please drop the case, it was all a horrible mistake etc etc. This despite the fact that the snivelling git has already admitted the offences.....

Good post Bloggsy

08 October, 2007 08:01

 
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