Criminal Defence Solicitors

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Fax: 0870 288 7483

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criminal defence - 24 hour service

Being the subject of a police investigation or appearing in court can be a frightening experience as it carries the prospect of a criminal trial, sentence and ultimately a criminal record. In addition, few people are aware of the consequences that can flow merely from being arrested such as restrictions on travel, bail with various conditions, and the likelihood that fingerprint and DNA samples will be taken that will remain on a national database for life. IS Law are fully aware of this daunting experience and under these circumstances our team consisting of solicitors and specialist general crime and police station advisers will be available to advise and assist you at all times.

criminal defence - representation at your police interview

We recognise that to achieve the very best outcomes for our clients we need to be proactive from the earliest moment of a police investigation. Our solicitors will find out what evidence the police have against you, and advise you of your rights and thereby negotiate with the police on your behalf.  We may be able to persuade the police to drop the charges against you. This service should be free of charge to you under the Legal Aid Scheme. In some cases even if the police have charged you we may be able to get the charge(s) dropped by negotiating with the Crown Prosecution Service.

criminal defence - magistrates court

Almost every criminal case starts in the Magistrates Court. Less serious offences are handled in the Magistrates Court. Over 95% of all cases are dealt with in this way. More serious offences are passed on to Crown Court, to be dealt with by a judge and jury. Cases are heard either by three lay magistrates or one District Judge. The lay magistrates  are local people who volunteer their services. They don't have legal qualifications, but are given legal and procedural advice by qualified clerks. District Judges are legally qualified, paid, full-time professionals and are usually based in the larger cities.

Magistrates deal with three kinds of cases

  1. Summary offences. These are less serious cases, such as motoring offences and minor assaults, where the defendant is not entitled to trial by jury.
  2. Either-way offences. These can be dealt with either by the magistrates or before a judge and jury at the Crown Court. Such offences include theft and handling stolen goods. A suspect can insist on their right to trial in the Crown Court. Similarly, magistrates can decide that a case is sufficiently serious that it should be dealt with in the Crown Court - which can impose tougher punishments.
  3. Indictable-only offences, such as murder, manslaughter, rape and robbery. These must be heard at a Crown Court. If the case is an indictable-only offence, the involvement of the Magistrates Court is brief. A decision will be made on whether to grant bail and other legal issues, like reporting restrictions, will be considered. The case will then be passed to the Crown Court. If the case is to be dealt with in the Magistrates Court, the defendant will have to enter a plea.

If the defendant pleads guilty or if they are later found to be guilty, the magistrates can impose a sentence of up to six months imprisonment or a fine of up to £5,000. If the Magistrates feel that their sentencing powers are not sufficient enough then they will transfer the matter to the Crown Court for sentencing. 

criminal defence - crown court

The Crown Court deals with serious crimes. Because of the seriousness of offences tried in the Crown Court, these trials take place with a judge and jury. It is the jury which is made up of ordinary members of the public selected at random that decides if the defendant is guilty. If the defendant is found not guilty, they are discharged and no conviction is recorded against their name. If the defendant is found guilty, the judge decides on an appropriate sentence.

Crown Court deals with the following types of cases:

  1. Indictable-only offences such as murder, manslaughter, rape and robbery;
  2. Either-way offences transferred from the Magistrates' Court;
  3. Appeals from the Magistrates' Court;
  4. Sentencing decisions transferred from the Magistrates Court. This can happen if magistrates decide, once they have heard the details of a case, that it warrants a tougher sentence than they are allowed to impose.

criminal defence - our commitment to client care 

We treat all our clients as individuals and promise you our personal attention. This is why we ensure that you are kept fully informed of developments in your case every step of the way. Our clients appreciate the time we spend reviewing their cases, answering their questions and giving them the information they need. Our reputation is based on providing quality advice and assistance to our clients, protecting their rights and interests, and striving to get our clients the best result. We bring to each case the same attention to detail, clear thinking, and determination to ensure the best possible outcome for our clients.

criminal defence - offences we can assist you with 

Our  criminal lawyers act for clients facing criminal investigation arising from a summons for minor road traffic offences through to being charged at the police station for more serious criminal offences, including theft, benefit fraud, white collar fraud, dishonesty, affray, murder, assault, rape, harassment, money laundering, facilitation of illegal immigrants, child abuse and possession of indecent images.   

criminal defence - what IS Law can do for you