Criminal LitigationOur team of lawyers and advisers are on hand 24 hours a day to attend on clients held in police stations. Only highly trained solicitors and qualified advisers attend police stations. This is often an extremely stressful and difficult time and the decision to answer police questions is often a critical one and needs to be based on sound advice after full disclosure has been obtained. We can arrange representation anywhere.
Crown CourtsWe specialise in serious cases and operate a separate Serious Crime and Fraud Department where teams are assigned to work to overall case plans and work alongside and instruct highly skilled advocates from the nation's leading Chambers. Cases include dealing with serious fraud including VAT, DTI, Inland Revenue, FCA, international internet crime, murder, large conspiracies, Customs & Excise and drug importation. We instruct quality advocates in all matters and provide advice throughout the case.
Magistrates' CourtsWe have a specialist team of solicitors dealing with legal aid and private cases in the Magistrates' Courts and the representation we provide is of the highest standard regardless of funding.
Youth CourtsWe have a number of dedicated solicitors who specialise in Youth Court work. This is a complex and ever-changing area and the right advice at an early stage can have life-changing implications.
Police CautionsWhether an offence or offender is suitable for a simple (as opposed to a conditional) caution, it is an operational decision for the police and in some instances, the CPS, based on the specific circumstances of the individual case. There are a number of factors to consider for whether a caution may be appropriate. Cautions cannot be offered to an offender who has not admitted that they are guilty of the offence or who has raised a defence and cannot be given to an offender who does not agree to accept the caution. Offenders retain the right to decline the offer of a simple caution – even where guilt has been admitted – and face being prosecuted. In addition, simple cautions can only be given if the police officer is satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction if the offender were to be prosecuted. They cannot be used unless this test is met. Similarly, cautions should not be given if it is in the public interest for the offender to be brought before the court.
Simple cautions do form part of an offender’s criminal record and may be used in future proceedings and in certain circumstances, may be made available to an employer as part of a criminal record check. Offenders must be made aware of this before agreeing to accept a simple caution.
Overseas travel and career options may be affected.
There is no right of appeal against the administration of a simple caution once it has been accepted by the offender and administered by the police. However, it may be challenged by way of a formal complaint to the police force that administered it and by a judicial review. If you are considering this you should act immediately –proceedings are complex and costly, but police cautions can be overturned.
Many people feel pressured and obliged to take the simple option and only later regret not having taken specialist private criminal defence advice. If in doubt you should seek advice from the specialist private criminal defence lawyers at Edward Hayes LLP.