Many people question the need for a publicly funded criminal defence. They question why tax money should be used to help a criminal potentially escape justice? Questions like these are reasonable when you consider how much pressure public sector spending is under. Criminal defence solicitors can help you out if you find the right one.
The nature of the adversarial criminal system means that a defendant has the right to defend themselves against allegations that might well be false. The prosecution does not always get it right has history has often shown. They do not assume innocence, far from it. Their job is to pursue the evidence until they find enough to bring a case. Unfortunately, their zeal for bringing a case overshadows the actual facts and exonerating evidence can be overlooked.
This is why it is important for every case to be “tested”. This is the job of the criminal defence solicitors team. They must challenge the evidence and if it is found lacking, the court must not be allowed to rely on it. This is why the prosecution must be very careful when bringing their case and why they must cover every eventuality. This is also why criminal defence solicitors’ costs can mount up in the first place, and again why costs are incurred by the defence checking that all procedures have been complied with.
The confiscation procedure is an area where there is an opportunity for poorly prepared cases to be presented. This is based on different presumptions of innocence. Because it takes place after a conviction, the prosecution is allowed to make assumptions. It is allowed to make the assumption that any wealth has been obtained illegally. It is up to the defence to actually prove if this is not the case. Sometimes the defendant has to prove the source of his wealth, If this occurs, of course, it must be fair that he uses good criminal defence solicitors and experienced forensic accountants to show where his legitimate earnings came from. In this respect, the funding needs for criminal defendants are more obvious.
Often also asked is why does the criminal not pay for his own defence? In confiscation proceedings, it has already been proved that he is a criminal. However, as noted above these assumptions of guilt extend to all of a defendant’s finances that are often remote from the crime he committed. In normal predicate crime cases, the presumption of innocence remains and it would be unfair to bankrupt a person who is falsely accused.
No system is perfect, but in funding both the prosecution and the defence from independent public funds this hopefully provides a balanced forum for crime to be presented and tested carefully before a person is convicted and punished. Criminal defence solicitors can easily be found online and compared by visiting the legal society site.