If your past is questioned, historic sexual offence solicitors can clear your name
A historic allegation can knock you for six. Your world stops, and it can seem unfair that this could happen. It can even affect your trust in people.
But help is available and these cases can be beaten. If you call our expert historic sexual offences solicitors for a free case review we will show you the way forward to getting the best result. We win many cases, and most of our clients even avoid having to go to trial. We offer private representation for affordable fixed fees.
Just being accused of a historic offence takes a massive toll
An allegation of a historic sexual offence can come as a shock and leave you feeling stunned. It can stop you feeling you can make progress in other aspects of your life, or from enjoying anything else that is going on while it is hanging over you.
It can also affect your relationships with family members and even friends. Work can also suffer because your attention is diverted.
The possibility of the ordeal of a police interview or even a trial in a Crown Court is a massive burden. On top of that the risk of prison or being tarred with the label of an offender cause more stress.
Being expected to defend yourself against all of this after many years and also provide a detailed account can seem both unfair and surreal.
There is also the dilemma that although an accused person will want to protect family from worrying, being honest with them about it is also important, as well as getting the support to get through it.
The fact someone can do this to you can be tough to accept
People often say that the greatest source of frustration comes from seeing just how easy it is to make an accusation and turn someone's life upside down, without any proof. This is because police treat all allegations equally at the start, and they investigate even false ones. This can seem unbelievable. Knowing you're innocent but that you can still have a case hanging over you can be very hard to accept. Police may seem sympathetic at first, but this is often shown to be window dressing by the time they interrogate you.
An accused person often worries that he or she has to prove the allegation is false. This isn't the case, but it can still seem unfair if the passing of time makes it harder to remember key details or gather evidence.
The fact that most people have never faced this situation before makes everything harder. The shock is worse, people don't know what to expect, or how to deal with it. Most don't even know how to find a historic allegations solicitor to defend them.
The situation is far from hopeless if you get proper representation
You don't have to feel that a historic sexual allegation is impossible to overcome.
Specialist lawyers are available who know how to deal with the problem. They recognise that a person has the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty.
From the outset, the experience will be much less of an ordeal if you have experienced historic allegations solicitors guiding you through. You'll know more about what situation you're facing, and also what steps can be taken. They'll pressure investigators and CPS on your behalf to discontinue the case, at the same time investigating and preparing your defence so that if it gets to court you have the best possible chance of a not guilty verdict.
Having the right legal team also means having specialist sexual offences barristers so that your case is put across forcefully and eloquently. By the time you go into court you should actually feel positive about the fight ahead, even if nerves are still a factor.
A selection of some of our solicitors' cases:
Investigation discontinued with no further action
Possession of Indecent Images - Case Dropped
Our client was a student who was investigated for possession of indecent images of children. The police said that the images had been found in a WhatsApp group. We argued that the client has no control over messages sent to his phone and ensured that the case was dropped.CriminalIndecent Images
Our historic offence lawyers fight to get cases stopped or won
If you call us, it will become clear that you are dealing with expert historic allegations solicitors.
We don't start by talking - we listen so we understand what you say about the allegation. Then we give you our take, we answer all your questions, and we give you a battle plan.
We open dialogue with the police and prosecution to get all the evidence we can. Then we carry out our own investigation, including checking into the history of the complainant, any records from the time, and even the alleged location.
We then conduct a full analysis of the allegation, so we can take it apart piece by piece.
We pressure to the police and prosecution not to continue with the case. If it is already headed to trial we do everything to persuade the jury of your innocence. This requires skill in preparation and in court. It means excellent strategy and intense work, and bringing in the best historic sexual offences barristers to defend our clients.
Things you can do right now to improve the situation
Call us and speak to one of our specialist historic sexual allegations solicitors. Even if you’ve not felt able to face it yet, don’t think that it’s already too late to start improving things.
Don’t try to contact the complainant, directly or through any mutual friends. This is dangerous and could be illegal.
Don‘t rush to go into the police interview without a lawyer to just get it over with. These cases usually take months. You won’t speed it up acting hastily.
Don’t underestimate how niche this work is. You need specialist historic offence lawyers, not just a lawyer you pick because they’re local.
Don’t despair. These cases can be won if you are organised, get specialist help, and keep your head.
If you’re having trouble with sleeping or mental health, go to your GP. You don’t have to disclose to them the details of your case.
Confide in a trusted friend or family member. Getting solid advice and perspective from someone whose opinion you value is always a good idea.
Exceptional win rate - 72% of our clients win their cases
Our criminal solicitors fight to win our clients’ cases and the proof is our results. Where a client doesn’t admit the allegation we win at trial or get the case dropped beforehand in 72% of cases.*
We listen carefully
We listen to you and treat your situation as if we were in your shoes. We don’t hire staff unless they have this mindset. Every case is supervised by one of the firm’s directors.
We investigate thoroughly
We do our own thorough investigation and find the best way to present your case to the police, to the prosecutor, or finally to the jury. This means phone, letters, and aggressive advocacy on your behalf at every stage.
Our criminal solicitors never give up
We never give up, and we fight until we get the result. That can mean early mornings, late nights, and commitment to go the extra mile.
* 72% of clients' cases resulted in case being discontinued at investigation or court stage, or not guilty verdict after trial. Data from all criminal clients between 02.2017 and 08.2019 - excludes cases where the client admitted the offence and chose to plead guilty.
No-tricks fixed-fee pricing
We can usually offer a fixed fee instalment plan so you can plan for the expense, and so you can fund your case in stages while it is continuing.
Once we have an idea of what kind of case you are facing and what work that will be necessary, we will then be able to provide you with a fixed fee quote. This means that you know before you commit how much your case will cost.
Representation at interview or court hearings
Analysing the evidence & investigating
Conferences with your lawyers
Negotiating with police or prosecutors
Free case review - what do I get and how does it work?
Free time with a lawyer
You get dedicated time with one of our specialist criminal solicitors on the phone or in person, with no obligation, for free.
When we’re talking with you, we promise to be always non-judgmental and sensitive to what you’re going through.
Our criminal solicitors start by asking you questions so we can understand what’s going on, and we listen carefully to what you tell us.
How long will my free case review last?
In more serious or difficult situations we may need an hour or two in person to go through things with you properly.
Less serious cases
In some cases which are less serious or complex, it may be ten or twenty minutes on the phone.
Unable to help
If it’s obvious straight away that we wouldn’t be able to help, we’ll tell you straight away and point you in the right direction to find lawyers who can help.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you can't find the answer you’re looking for, contact our leading Criminal Defence Solicitors
What are historic sexual offence allegations?
A historic sexual offence allegation is an allegation of an offence which the complainant says took place some time ago and which he or she did not go to the police about at the time. The police complaint will usually have been made in the days or weeks before the suspect was contacted.
Will I go to prison for a historic sexual offence?
Historic sexual offences cover a wide range of activity. One the one hand a historic offence could be an allegation of two children having sexual contact with each other decades ago, or alternatively something much more serious like an older person sexually assaulting a child. If decades have passed since the allegation took place, this can sometimes result in lesser sentences. Courts will also often take into account the age of the defendant.
How can I prove that a historic sexual allegation is false?
Many people think that if somebody accuses them of a criminal offence then that means they have to come up with proof that the accuser is lying. Actually, in UK law you are innocent until proven guilty. This means that the prosecution has to prove the case to a very high standard, sometimes called ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. You don’t have to prove that you’re innocent. If the jury is not completely sure that you are guilty they have to find you not guilty. In a historic sexual allegation case, this usually means that if it’s one persons word against the other, and provided the defendant is represented by good lawyers, the result ends up being a not guilty verdict or the case not even going to court.
Will social services be involved if I am accused of a historic sexual offence?
If you are accused of a sexual offence, especially one against a child, you may be contacted by social services if you yourself also have children at home or have contact with children. Social services won’t usually expect you to have no contact with any children in your family, but they will expect contact to be supervised, either by another family member or by social services themselves. It’s less likely while the case is going on (if it involves an allegation against children) that they will allow a parent to live in a home with children who are minors.
How long do historic sexual allegation cases last?
There are two parts to a historic sexual allegation case. The first is the investigation stage. This is where the police gather evidence, carry out suspect interviews, and prepare the file for the Crown Prosecution Service to make a decision about whether to charge. Charge means a decision to take the case to court. From the initial police interview up to a charging decision made by the prosecution usually takes several months, sometimes more than a year. The second part of a historic sexual allegation case is the court proceedings. When somebody is told they are going to be charged the case first goes to a Magistrates’ court, with a court date within a few weeks. There is a plea hearing in the Crown Court one month later, and a trial date usually between six months and a year after that. The trial itself will usually last between one and two weeks.
Is there a statute of limitations for sexual offences in the UK?
In the UK, specifically in the law of England and Wales, there is no statute of limitations that prevents somebody been prosecuted for rape or any other sexual offence after a certain number of years. Such laws exist in United States, but there is no similar legal situation in the UK. However, in some cases it can be argued that were 20 or 30 or more years have passed a defendant is under major difficulties to defend him or herself because memories fade, witnesses may die, or other evidence may be impossible to obtain. This does not mean that cases are stopped from proceeding, although this may happen. In many cases, a judge may simply warn the jury about the disadvantages that the defendant has and tell them they should factor this into their decision.
I’ve been asked to go to the police station for a chat about an alleged historic sexual offence. Is this an interview?
If a police officer ever contacts you and asks you to come in ‘for a chat’ or ‘to clear something up’ about an allegation that’s been made, this nearly always means that you are a suspect in a criminal case and that officer wishes to interview you formally under police caution. Phrases from the officer like ‘hear your side of the story’ should be an immediate warning that you are a criminal suspect. An officer cannot conduct an interview under caution unless they already have taken the view that they reasonably suspect you to be guilty of an offence or offences. If you receive that cool and I’m not sure, simply asking is this an interview under caution will tell you all you need to know. In this situation you should only go into a police station with a lawyer that you have selected in advance, and that you know is a specialist in historic sexual offences cases. Do not think that the situation is less concerning because the officer says the interview is voluntary. Nearly all interviews are voluntary where there is no threat from the suspect of immediate violence or immediate danger of further offences, or where property searches by police are not necessary.
Send us a confidential message
We'll get back to you as soon as possible. We are happy to speak to you if you have a query, and either have a free consultation on the phone or in person if necessary.