If you're facing a heavy case, get serious lawyers
Serious crime cases are heavier in every way. The police approach, the stress, the consequences - everything is intensified. Having non-specialists representing you is not an option.
You don't need to feel at sea if you're facing a big case. Help is available. Our solicitors have defended in some of the most important criminal cases of the last half-century. That means we know how to win, and that expertise is here for you.
Everything is more difficult in a serious crime case
Being accused of a serious offence can be a shock to the system. From the moment police first knock at the door, the process is gruelling.
House searches feel like a violation of your privacy and family life. Treatment by police can be heavy-handed, and the case itself can feel daunting.
There are often huge amounts of evidence to get through. The police and CPS may even try to hold back evidence which can actually be more disturbing. The whole thing can seem overwhelming. Defence lawyers sometimes also don't properly explain what's going on very well to their clients. This can make things more stressful, and it can make cases with several suspects or defendants seem more intimidating.
The threat of a long prison sentence is often the unpleasant background to these cases, and this and all the worries it can cause about family life can make the whole thing seem like a nightmare. In some cases people are denied bail which can have terrible effects on mental health.
The intensity and emotional burden are all raised
A serious criminal case is often harder to deal with because the police response is more aggressive. Specialist detectives investigate, and they are sadly more likely to behave badly than in a less serious case. They sometimes use tactics to befriend suspects or even bully them. Family members are even sometimes threatened with being charged as a way of putting more pressure on a suspect.
In serious cases, people often get remanded in prison before the case. This makes it harder to prepare the case, and it of course affects family life. The feeling of being safe at home can also sometimes be disturbed if police have done searches or if there is worry about reprisals from others.
These cases can involve months of delay. The stress of waiting can interfere with a person's peace of mind and ability to cope. Even knowing how to find a specialist serious crime lawyer isn't easy: Most people have no experience of serious criminal cases and never expected this to happen.
There are ways through if you get the right help
Being accused of a serious criminal offence doesn't mean you have to feel paralysed. There are ways of improving things, and it starts with having specialist serious crime solicitors on your side. They can make sure it is less likely that you get charged, and also that no mistakes are made to damage your chances if a prosecutor does take the case to court.
They will get disclosure of the evidence from the police and also gather defence evidence to help your case. They will keep you informed, so that making big decisions is less stressful. Serious criminal lawyers push for cases to not proceed and are persuasive with judges and with juries in court. They're not afraid of fighting for their clients' interests. Having the right solicitor means you're less likely to be steamrolled by the opposition, and gives you a much better chance of getting the case won or discontinued.
A selection of some of our solicitors' cases:
Not guilty verdict - client exonerated
Student found Not Guilty of rape- St Albans Crown Court
Our client was a 22-year-old man who had been accused of rape by his ex-partner. We found inconsistences in the prosecution case and presented a strong defence. After waiting four years for his trial, he was unanimously acquitted following only 2 hours of jury deliberation.Sexual OffencesRape Accusations
Our seasoned professionals are here to defend and protect you
We have been acting in serious criminal cases since the 1970s, and we know what it takes to win. From the moment you choose us, you will see positive improvements. We investigate your case from the beginning so we can see where to apply pressure. We open communications with the police and CPS. They will now know they are dealing with professionals. They are then more likely to behave according to the rules, to be more transparent about their intentions, and to be open to negotiation. They may also be less likely to take the case to trial, because they'll see up close that you will be fully defended by top serious crime solicitors who are ready for a fight.
We never just accept the police version of events. We do our own investigation, and search for the evidence the police either didn’t obtain or have ignored. A defence team is built around you and your case: Barristers and solicitors fighting for you at every stage to get you the not-guilty outcome you need.
Steps you should take right now if you're accused of a serious crime
Call us now and speak to one of our serious crime solicitors. We don't judge. We don't charge for an initial conference and we can usually do a secure video call on the day.
Get serious crime lawyers in to defend you. Defending a serious case is not general work that anyone can do just because they defend cases in the police station or the Magistrates’ Court. These are Crown Court cases, prosecuted by senior barristers. It’s essential to have hardcore defence solicitors from the start.
Don't wait until your case gets to court to get representation. Having the right lawyers involved can stop your case even going to court, and also prevent mistakes in the investigation stage which could damage you at trial. The local solicitor may just not be right for your case.
Don’t assume that the police are on your side. Police officers make career progress by getting cases resolved with people getting convicted, not by being friendly. If police appear to be on your side, ask yourself why.
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
Will I go to prison for a serious criminal offence?
This depends on so many factors that it is difficult to say with certainty. The most important of these is what the offence is. Other factors include your age at the time, whether you pleaded guilty or pleaded not guilty and lost a trial, whether there was an allegation of planning, how many offences or over what period of time offending took place, any loss or suffering caused by anyone else, and whether they were vulnerable. This is not a complete list and if this affects you then you need to take proper advice from a criminal solicitor specialising in serious cases.
Will they charge family members if I am charged with a serious criminal offence?
It is true that the CPS sometimes charge family members in serious cases alongside a person they have greater interest in. This is common in drug supply cases, and also sometimes happens in fraud and financial crime cases. Occasionally it happens in much more serious cases such as murder. In some cases it is because prosecutors and police genuinely think that they will obtain a conviction. Sadly this technique is also often used as leverage to try to force the main person they want to plead guilty in exchange for the family member being let go or receiving a more lenient sentence.
Will my name be published in the newspaper or on the internet if I am convicted of a criminal offence?
While there are not many protections giving an adult the right to be anonymous if convicted at court, the truth is that not all cases attract the interest of the press. Where the press do publish names of defendants, in some cases they will be persuaded to delete articles from websites. Internet search engines such as Google also have a mechanism to erase personal data after a period of time under the 'right to erasure' principle.
Will I be charged if I am accused of a serious crime?
Where a serious crime is alleged against an adult, whether a case gets to court usually depends on the strength of the evidence, rather than any mitigating features. A serious crime will usually be regarded as in the public interest to prosecute, but only if the evidence is strong enough that a conviction after a trial is a 'realistic prospect'. This might mean where there is eyewitness evidence, a money trail, or forensic evidence of some kind. Each case turns on its own facts, however, and the suggestion must be to consult a criminal defence lawyer dealing in serious cases for advice.
How long will it take for a serious criminal case to reach the end?
Serious criminal cases often take a long time to reach the end of the police investigation, and if the CPS decide to continue to court it can take many months after that for the case to reach trial. Generally, cases where fraud is alleged take the longest and can be years before they are concluded. Cases where serious violence is alleged are generally quicker, and in many cases are finished within perhaps several months or up to a year of the incident occurring.
Will I get Legal Aid at the police station for a serious criminal case?
During the police investigation, everyone is entitled to Legal Aid to have a legal representative attend at the police station and advise them. This government payment is a token fixed fee of usually a little less than £200 and is supposed to cover attendance for the hours spent at the police station and advice and follow up during the bail period, including further interviews. There is a provision for further small payments if the case results in long interviews, but the limits for these to kick in are not usually reached. The reality is that most law firms do these cases at a loss on the basis that some be charged and will reach court where they will receive more fees. The funding is obviously inadequate in many cases, and an accused person should consider whether he or she should be looking at funding a case privately, which may be a better option.
Will I get Legal Aid if I am charged with a serious criminal offence?
Legal Aid in the Crown Court is means-tested. If your disposable income (combined with your spouse or partner) is more than £37,500 per year, you will have to pay a contribution towards your Legal Aid up to a maximum of around £6000. If you then lose the case or are found guilty, you may have to pay back Legal Aid costs to the total value of your legal representation, and this case go far in excess of the £6000 maximum contribution you may have paid.
All of this means that Legal Aid in the Crown Court, although it is often necessary, is something that you should rely upon only if you fully understand the potential consequences, and are comfortable with them. Crown Court Legal Aid comes with serious strings attached, and for this reason, many defendants choose to be represented privately.
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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.