How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask F E Smith Your Own Question
F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10401
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
Type Your Law Question Here...
F E Smith is online now

I am due to go to court in the up coming weeks, I do not

This answer was rated:

Hello,I am due to go to court in the up coming weeks, I do not have a court date as of yet.I was attacked last year and they have finally found the guilty party and I am told we will be going to court soon and he was due to be back at the police station after being released on bail in August.My question is is it me that is pressing charges or is it the system/police and do I need to find a lawyer or is one provided for me?Once concern I have is that if the police are pressing charges and they have their own lawyers they will not aim for a maximum charge and will hope to just get any conviction as it will be resolved quicker and at less of an expense whereas I would hope for a stronger charge and would not mind fighting and paying as much as is needed. the attack itself was unprovoked and very nasty and I feel charges could be either ABH or GBH I would of course push for GBH but I feel the police would only push for ABH to resolve the matter quickly.Maybe I can press charges as well as the police?Any help or advise would be much appreciated.Thank you for your time.

Although it’s possible to bring a private tuition, they are extremely rare and if the CPS are dealing with this, there is no need. It is not you that brings the prosecution.

You make the complaint and the CPS do the prosecuting.

Sometimes, a complaint can be made by a third party and sometimes, if police are present, there is actually no need for complaint in the first place.

You would be presumably called as a witness and there would not normally be any need for you to have your own solicitor there .

The prosecution process is outside your control.

You are correct that the CPS will not necessarily press for a maximum charge. What they will do is go for the maximum charge which they think they will get a conviction.

As a rule of thumb, whatever a member of the public thinks the person should be charged with, they will normally get prosecuted for the next level down or they will come to an agreement whereby the culprit will say that he will plead not guilty to GBH but will plead guilty to ABH.

It is better to go with the ABH charge than it is to risk him walking by not being convicted of GBH.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Please rate the service positive. It doesn’t cost you anything but helps me greatly.

We can still exchange emails. Best wishes. FES.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Mr Smith,Thank you so much for taking the time to respond, your message does clarify a lot for me.I know in general GBH is classed as an assault where someone may have been stabbed however I have read that it is a lot about the intent of a crime whether it be section 18 or section 20.In my instance I was attacked without expecting it and knocked unconscious by several kicks to the face after being punched twice, the attacker stopped for a moment when they realised I was unconscious and then proceeded to continue the attack by stamping on my head and face, he was stopped by someone in the street who put themselves at risk and had that person not intervened I am not sure the attacker would have stopped, the person who stopped the attack is a witness now for the police along with myself. I suffered several complex fractures to my jaw and cheek bone and had to have an operation to install metal plates in to my face, the attack nearly caused me to loose sight in one eye along with there being a chance of me loosing my sight in one eye when having the operation. In my opinion this attack is attempted murder however I do not think the police will push for such a charge, I therefore feel with the intent the attack is at least GBH but I fear the police will only push for ABH and then move on, to be honest the police have been very slack in dealing with my case so it does not fill me with much confidence that they want to spend much time or pay attention to my case. in your professional opinion what kind of charge would they be looking for in my situation?Thank you in advance for your time.Christian

It is about intent but section 18 is not prosecuted that often. The next most serious offence after section 18 is attempted murder.

I had a client who was severely beaten with a pickaxe handle and who was subsequently stopped by a third party (very similar circumstances to yours although yours is probably slightly worse) and they only prosecuted section 20.

They could push for attempted murder and then bargain down to section 18.I think it unlikely they will push for an attempted murder because of the dilatory nature of how they have investigated this. Sorry.

F E Smith and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Mr Smith,Thank you for the information, I do now have a much better idea of where I stand and what the likely charge and action will be.I will go ahead and rate your service now.Hope you are having a nice day.Best regards