What can I do when I accept that I am guilty of an offence?

When you make an admission or plea of guilt this often presents more questions than answers for our clients. However, by working with our leading solicitors based in Brighton you’ll be getting some of the best representation you can in any court of law.


Hello, I am James Yates – a solicitor advocate at Martin Cray & Co and I am going to take a moment to discuss what can be done even when you accept that you are guilty of an offence you have been charged with.

The reason for discussing this topic is that it is one of the most common misconceptions within the criminal law system is that “there is no point instructing a solicitor when you are guilty”.

It is an inevitability of the system that there will be charges brought against a person where they accept that they are guilty.

In these situations, it is not the end of the road and it is not correct that there is nothing that can be done.

One of the more common things that we come across when meeting with clients who accept they are guilty of the offence charged is where they say that some kind of circumstance surrounding the offence “is not an excuse”.

We do not call these circumstances “excuses” – we call them “mitigation” and they are often essential in a person being given the chance of a more lenient sentence from a court.

Within any Criminal Case – the Court system rewards defendants who enter early pleas.

In fact – a reduction in sentence of 33% is automatically applied when a guilty plea is entered at first opportunity.

This credit goes down after the first hearing but does not disappear entirely until after a person is convicted after trial.

Here at Martin Cray & Co – we are very much aware of the fact that there is very much more to a person than simply the offence that they have been charged with.

Mitigation surrounding the offence – as well as the personal circumstances and background of a defendant – play a huge role in explaining how the offence arose.

It also gives you the opportunity for it to be explained to the Court that you are not defined by the offence you have been charged with – and we hope to show the Court who you are as a person – and not just as a Defendant.

Examples of things that we can do include getting you in touch with specialists who can meet with you and provide advice on how to address a particular issue.

Alcohol, for example, is often a factor behind people committing offences that are out of character.

We work closely with a number of leading alcohol experts who can dig into the underlying causes of personal alcohol issues and provide a report on both the causes of the issues but also how to treat the issues.

Proactively taking steps to address the causes of an offence is often the most powerful mitigation that a court can be provided with – and we have the time and experience to ensure you are given the best opportunity possible for the Court to see the real you.


If you are looking for the best solicitors in Brighton and would like to discuss your situation further please get in contact with Martin Cray by calling 01273 673226 or emailing info@martincray.co.uk

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