Criminal Law Solicitors
Wells Burcombe are one of the most established and respected defence practices in the field of criminal law. We represent clients on a nationwide level and in relation to every aspect of the criminal law process.
We offer expert representation for those facing formal interview under caution, provide ongoing advice and assistance for those on police bail and provide confident representation at court for those who face criminal prosecution following charge or postal requisition.
We are recognised nationally as having one of the most influential criminal appeal and prison law departments in England and Wales, including applications to the CCRC.
What stage are you at with your criminal case?
Are you on police bail to return to the police station?
Have you been arrested and released on bail to return back to the police station? If so, we can help. Advice and assistance at the police station is free of charge. A surprising number of suspects at the police station do not have a solicitor for interview. This can be for a variety of reasons. It is not uncommon for the police to say things like ‘don’t worry, it won’t take long,’ or ‘having a solicitor will delay things.’ The reality is that the investigative part of any case, which includes the formal interview under caution, can be the most important stage for a suspect in any case. Get it wrong and it can have drastic consequences, including charge to court and worse still, a remand in to custody.
You will still be entitled to free representation if you have already been interviewed and you have to return back to the police at a date and time in the future. When you return you may be interviewed again. You will need to be advised whether you should answer questions or whether you should exercise your legal right to silence. This is an important decision and may make the difference between a charge and the case being dropped.
Have you been charged and bailed by the police to attend court?
Have you have been interviewed by the police without a solicitor and charged to go to court? Perhaps you did have a solicitor but don’t feel confident on how your case was handled? Either way, we strongly advise that you call us so that we may discuss your case and give you the advice you need. Going to court can be a very daunting and worrying task and most people are eligible for legal aid. It may be that representations can be made in advance of the hearing for the case against you to be favourably reviewed. It may also be beneficial to attend our offices where we can discuss your case in advance of attending court which will naturally make the whole ordeal less troublesome.
If you are not eligible for legal aid due to either your financial means or the case is not regarded as sufficiently serious, our private fees are more than competitive without compromising on our quality.
Have you received a summons or requisition to attend court?
If you have received a summons or postal requisition to attend court, you will be told in the summons the date, time and location where your case will be heard for the first time at the Magistrates Court. Summons and postal requisitions are quite a common way to get someone to court and although they can be for any offence, they more commonly relate to road traffic cases. In these types of case, you can often plead guilty by post. However, where your licence is likely to be at risk, you will be required to attend court in person. You can also plead not guilty by post in response to most summons and requisitions. Completing the necessary information required on the form is not always easy.
If you have received a summons or postal requisition, we can advise and assist on the procedure and advise if there has been any procedural error. Legal aid may be available to assist with court proceedings. If you are not eligible for legal aid due to either your financial means or the case is not regarded as sufficiently serious, our private fees are more than competitive without compromising on our quality.
Have you been invited to attend a police station for interview as a ‘volunteer’?
Most suspects are arrested for the purpose of police interview under caution. However, there are circumstances where the police may wish to speak to someone in respect of an allegation, but it is considered that a formal arrest is not necessary. Suspects who fall in to this category are referred to as ‘voluntary attendance’ for interview. Interviews of this type are treated in the same way as an interview under caution. The interview is recorded meaning that it may be used in evidence.
The fact that a suspect attends an interview as a volunteer does not mean the allegation is not being treated seriously. If you have been invited to attend an interview as a volunteer, we strongly advise you to get in touch. Representation by a solicitor at the police station for interview is free. We will be able to advise you as to the likely outcome and make representations to the police about alternatives to going to court such as a caution, fixed penalty or restorative resolution. Asking for us to attend with you will not delay the process in any way.
It is common for the police to ask suspects to agree to a voluntary interview for offences such as historical sex allegations, theft and some minor assaults and public disorder. Such interviews are also common when dealing with young people or people who may be vulnerable.
If you are asked to attend for a voluntary interview please do not hesitate to contact us to arrange for us to attend with you.
Do you need a solicitor for court?
Have you been charged or summonsed to attend court? A criminal case can be brought in one of three ways. Either a court summons or postal requisition is posted to the defendant or they are charged at a police station.
Attending a Magistrates’ Court can be daunting, particularly if the case is a complicated one. It is wise to get a solicitor’s help as they can lessen the pressure of having to appear in court on your own.
Although most courts operate a duty solicitor scheme which is free of charge, not all offences permit a solicitor to go in to court with you to speak on your behalf. Unless you are used to public speaking, defending yourself in open court can prove to be very difficult. If you are contesting a case and there is likely to be a trial then the court will need to know what the issues are. These issues require a level of experience and are best dealt with the assistance of a solicitor.
If you are required to attend court and either you do not have a solicitor or you are not happy with the one you presently have, we can help. We can advise on the various options available to both you and the court.
Has a child in your family been arrested or prosecuted?
Being arrested or prosecuted for a criminal offence can be a particularly unpleasant experience for a child or youth. However, our specialist criminal law team are sensitive to the issues faced by children and youths, and indeed their families, when being dealt with by the criminal justice system.
Children under the age of 10 are deemed too young to be held criminally responsible. Any child or youth from the age of 10 – 17 can be arrested, charged or summonsed for any criminal offence. If prosecuted, a youth or child will appear in the Youth Court, unless charged with an adult. Youth justice is different from adult justice. The primary aim of the youth court is to prevent reoffending by young people, not to punish them. At all times, the sentencing Magistrates will consider the welfare of the youth when addressing how a case should be dealt with. Not only does the Youth Court have a slightly different procedural approach to adult courts, the sentences that are imposed are also considerably different.
If a youth is charged with an offence which is regarded as a “grave crime” (meaning serious) the Youth Court can direct that the child or youth is dealt with at the Crown Court. In cases of this type Crown Court Judges can sentence youths outside the limits which relate to the Youth Court.
What can we help you with?
Allegations of a sexual nature can prove to be extremely stressful and can cause irreversibly damage.
Extensive experience in helping people accused of a variety of violent crimes and can advise you at every point in the process.
Law-abiding citizen's life and career could be drastically affected by drug offence allegations.
Extensive experience in helping people with these kinds of cases. We can advise you at every point in the process.
Specialists in the field of regulatory law and we understand what is required when dealing with alleged breaches.
All types of business crime including credit card fraud, financial fraud, corporate fraud and money laundering.
Restraint Orders and Confiscation Orders can have a significant impact on your personal and professional life.
Losing your driving licence through disqualification can have serious consequences for both your home and professional life.
Our criminal appeal solicitors have a wealth of experience representing people affected by miscarriages of justice.
One of the most challenging areas of law to deal with affecting a person's progression and ultimate release.
We are registered Legal Aid Criminal Defence Solicitors. We can let you know if you are eligible for Legal Aid and help you with your application.