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Criminal Defence Solicitors in Manchester

Have you been arrested? Are you due to be interviewed by police under caution? Perhaps you have been released on bail or under investigation. Or you might simply be worried about whether you may be accused of committing an offence.


Bespoke Private Fee Service

If you believe your case is likely to have serious consequences for you now, or in the future and you have the means to pay for this service

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Do we offer free consultations? 

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Whatever your situation, getting clear legal advice from experienced criminal defence lawyers can make all the difference.

Facing criminal charges can be confusing, upsetting and stressful, with the potential for life changing consequences if you are convicted of an offence. This is why having experienced criminal defence lawyers on your side right from the start is so important.

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Why choose JD Spicer Zeb?

  • 1000's of Cases Dropped
  • 24/7 Emergency Phonelines
  • 100's of Years Combined Experience
  • Google Reviews Read all Reviews

Recent Cases

There is limited recourse for you if you are falsely accused. Click a selection of the cases we have covered. The best thing you can do is to instruct an excellent solicitor from the outset.

Read more cases

At JD Spicer Zeb, our specialist criminal lawyers in Manchester have earned an excellent reputation for our track record of success in defending clients in a number of high-profile cases throughout the UK. We regularly support clients at police stations and in prosecution at the Magistrates’ Court, Youth Court, Crown Court, Court of Appeal and all the way up to the Supreme Court where necessary.

We are frequently able to help clients avoid charges, secure early acquittals and achieve not guilty verdicts in court. Where a conviction cannot be avoided, we are typically able to secure reduced penalties by ensuring all mitigating factors are considered.

You deserve to have complete confidence in the people representing you, so we will clearly explain your legal position and defence options in plain English, as well as providing sympathetic personal support for what we know can be a very difficult time.

How can we help?

Common questions

We always work with the most experienced and best leading UK barristers, KCs (Kings Counsel). We cover all criminal cases 24/7 at the police station and court. Offices in London, Birmingham, and Manchester cover cases across England and Wales. We can offer Legal Aid and affordable Private fee agreements. We can see you the same day, including virtually. Our Senior Partners supervise all of our cases.

How quickly do you respond?

We respond quickly even during out of hours. We do not get our work by paying for online adverts but based on the fact that few criminal law firms can match our 45 years of experience. Most of our cases are still from word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied clients. We are called daily by dissatisfied clients from firms with less experience than us. We respond very quickly to new enquiries. We know what clients seek and so we update clients rapidly.

Can you get cases dropped?

Yes, read about the recent cases we've helped our clients with here.

We always keep you updated and give straightforward advice. We will get cases dropped early where the case is weak or should not be prosecuted. We will be upfront with you about where you can benefit from a good result with an early guilty plea, such as a discount on your sentence. As we work on cases across all levels with clients from all walks of life, we are excellent at giving clear, spot-on advice. As an established firm, we can allocate a whole team to your case often at short notice to secure evidence to minimise the damage to you. 

Have you won any awards?


"JD Spicer Zeb demonstrated a clear commitment to client service through their work with vulnerable and diverse individuals in what can be severely traumatic circumstances".

Do you offer free consultations?

Where it is possible, we aim to provide an initial consultation to you. If we can speak to you, we can if required inform you about  –

  • Whether we can take the case on and our relevant experience.
  • Public and private funding benefits.
  • Assistance in applying for legal aid where we are likely to accept instructions.
  • An outline of options in police interview only. We will not advise you on which option to adopt.
  • Providing our free written guide explaining the police station process.
  • The gravity of routine and day-to-day offences you face.
  • Consequences of not attending the court or police station.
  • Consequences of interfering with any witnesses.
  • Retaining any evidence in support of your case.
  • If possible an outline of the elements of the offence that the police or CPS must prove.
  • This consultation will normally be by telephone or email and will only be for as long as we deem necessary to establish if we can act for you. If we cannot usefully give you any advice in this manner then we will not continue with the consultation. We will not discuss the case in depth for you to be able to decide on your plea or any significant aspect of the case, as this cannot be undertaken informally.
  • Referring you, if possible, to other firms for matters out of our specialism or if we cannot help.

Consultations do not apply to the following cases –

  • If we do not intend to take the case on.
  • Road Traffic cases, drink driving, drug driving, driving bans, speeding, no insurance, mobile phone use, points etc.
  • In all cases where we do not have the capacity to take your case or the availability of suitably qualified staff to provide an initial free consultation. This is applicable in all cases but especially where a more senior lawyer is required because of your personal needs or the complexity of the case.
  • Harassment/stalking/ coercive behaviour/malicious communications or road traffic cases and most sensitive cases. These cases are often too complicated to assess in short consultations.
  • The locations concerned may be too distant to represent you adequately or it may not be cost-effective for you or us.
  • The case is too complicated to assess or raises various charges or facts, complexity, or history to be considered informally or in a short consultation.
  • In most Legal aid transfers where legal aid is granted to another firm except in very grave cases, we may assess the case and merits for a transfer.
  • If your relationship has broken down with your existing solicitor or several solicitors.
  • If you have been released under investigation and have already had a police station attendance. 
  • If you hold legal aid with another firm and seek a second opinion.
  • If you are calling on behalf of the client as a friend or family member unless you have full authority and full facts.
  • To businesses.
  • Advising whether you were given good advice by your other solicitor.
  • Whether to decide to plead guilty or not guilty.
  • Whether you have an arguable defence in law or factually complicated defences.
  • Any advice you have had after your first court appearance.
  • Any advice on appeal on conviction or sentence.
  • If we feel we are unable to communicate with you.
  • If we are likely to be conflicted or breach our professional rules.

We will assess whether you are eligible for legal aid and, where you need to self-fund your representation, we can offer you fixed fees or a transparent cost estimate.

To ensure you can always get the expert legal advice you need, we are happy to discuss your case in person or over the phone and we can also visit you in prison where necessary.

For new serious cases you can email a senior partner/lawyer directly by clicking here. When you call us, you can request a call back or meeting the same day with a senior partner/lawyer or Barrister.

Our highly experienced criminal defence solicitors in Manchester offer:

  • 24/7 legal support in person and over the phone, 365 days a year
  • Representation anywhere in England or Wales
  • Accredited Police Station Representatives to support you during a police interview
  • Clear, effective legal advice in any language (see our languages spoken)

So, if you have been arrested, charged, released on bail or under investigation, or if you are simply worried about your legal position, please get in touch with our specialist criminal defence solicitors now.

Speak to our criminal defence lawyers in Manchester now

For a free initial consultation on your legal position and the available options, please call 0161 835 1638.

For urgent advice at any time of day or night, please call our emergency number 07798 701339.

You can also email: solicitors@jdspicer.co.uk or fill out our quick online enquiry form and we will get back to you quickly.

Why choose JD Spicer Zeb’s criminal law solicitors in Manchester?

If you are arrested or interviewed under caution by the police, you are entitled to free legal representation. But not all criminal defence lawyers are the same and getting the right lawyer in your corner as soon as possible can make all the difference to whether you are charged and the outcome of any investigation or prosecution.

While you may choose to be represented by the duty solicitor available at the time of your arrest, they are unlikely to have specific experience and expertise in dealing with the types of charges you are facing, especially for more complex offences.

For this reason, we strongly recommend choosing your own legal representative, who should be an experienced criminal defence solicitor who has a track history of successfully handling cases like yours. This is where our team excel.

Our dedicated criminal defence lawyers have decades of experience advising and representing clients in relation to all types of criminal charges, including those related to the most complex and high stakes offences. We are available to act in your defence around the clock, including weekends and bank holidays.

Using our detailed understanding of all areas of criminal law, we can provide clear, straightforward advice to help you understand the charges you are facing, your legal rights and the available defence options. We can then give you the very best chance of securing a positive outcome.

Our criminal defence expertise

Our dedicated team of criminal solicitors in Manchester can advise and represent you for all stages of criminal proceedings related to offences including but not limited to:

  • Sexual Offences
  • Assaults, from Common Assault to Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH)
  • Theft, Burglary and Robbery
  • Benefit fraud
  • Serious Fraud
  • White Collar Crime
  • Conspiracies
  • Cyber Crime
  • Public Order Offences
  • Driving Offences
  • Youth Crime
  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Serious Crime
  • Firearms
  • Drugs Offences (from simple possession to possession with intent to supply, drugs conspiracies, cultivation and production)
  • Human Trafficking
  • Terrorism
  • Money Laundering
  • Extradition
  • Breach of Court Orders (including Non-Molestation Orders and Restraining Orders)

To find out more about our criminal defence expertise, please take a look at our case studies.

Funding your criminal defence

Funding police station representation

When arrested or interviewed under caution, you have the right to free legal representation. This can be from whichever duty solicitor is available or you can choose your own solicitor.

Funding your legal defence if you are prosecuted

Should you be charged with an offence and prosecuted, some or all of your defence costs may be covered with a Representation Order depending on the circumstances. This is commonly called ‘legal aid’.

How much help you can get with your defence costs and what you need to do to apply will depend on which type of court you are due to be prosecuted in.

Magistrates’ Court prosecutions

For Magistrates’ Court prosecutions, you may be able to get a Representation Order to cover some or all of your defence costs, depending on your circumstances.

You will need to pass two tests to secure legal aid for a Magistrates’ Court prosecution:

  1. A means test – To show that you need help with funding your defence.
  2. A merit test – To show that it is in the interests of justice for you to have legal representation.

Crown Court prosecutions

For a Crown Court prosecution, you will normally only be able to get a Representation Order to cover some of your legal costs at most.

You will only need to pass a means test, not a merit test, because having legal representation will automatically be considered to be in the interests of justice.

Private fees 

Should you be required to cover some or all of the cost of your legal representation, we will ensure all of the costs involved in your prosecution and our fee structures are made completely clear. It is also worth keeping in mind that any contribution you make towards your legal costs will be refunded if you are found not guilty.

Please get in touch to discuss our criminal defence fees or you can take a look at our guide to funding your criminal defence.

Common questions about criminal investigations and prosecutions

What happens when you are arrested?

At the point of arrest, the arresting officers must inform you:

  • That they are police officers
  • That you are being arrested
  • What specific offence or offences you are believed to have committed
  • Why it is necessary for you to be arrested
  • That you are not free to leave

They must also caution you using the words:

“You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.”

When you are arrested, the police have the power to:

  • Search you
  • Use ‘reasonable force’ if you resist arrest, try to escape or become violent
  • Handcuff you if the arresting officers feel this is appropriate

You will then normally be transferred to a police station, held in custody (in a cell) and then interviewed.

After being interview by police, one of the following will happen:

  • You are released with no further action
  • You are released under investigation
  • You are detained in custody
  • You are charged with a specific offence

If you are charged with an offence:

  • A hearing date will be set
  • You will either be:
  • Released on bail
  • Kept in custody until your court hearing

Please note, if you are released under investigation or with no further action, you can be rearrested or summonsed to attend a court hearing at any time.

Can police search your phone when they arrest you?

The police can search your phone, including downloading and storing your data, if they have reasonable grounds to believe your phone contains evidence related to an offence.

Whether your phone will be searched will therefore depend on the circumstances, but figures from police forces across the UK show that, in many cases, police officers do carry out searches of mobile devices belonging to suspects, victims and witnesses.

You should therefore always assume that police may access your mobile phone and its data when they arrest you.

Will a criminal conviction affect your ability to get a job?

This depends on the type of conviction, the type of job you are applying for and whether the conviction is ‘spent’. As standard, you will normally be asked to provide information about your criminal record when applying for most jobs.

If a DBS check is required as part of your application or continued employment, certain criminal convictions can affect this and could potentially see you refused employment.

Unsure whether you need to disclose a criminal conviction to an employer or potential employer? Take a look at the government’s guide to telling people about your criminal record.

Contact our criminal law defence solicitors today

For urgent specialist advice, immediate representation or to speak to us confidentially about a potential criminal charge or prosecution, you can contact our Manchester criminal defence team by:

Phone: 0161 835 1638 

Email: solicitors@jdspicer.co.uk

Alternatively, you can fill out our quick online enquiry form and we will get back to you quickly.

Get immediate legal advice 24/7, 365 days a year

For immediate representation and advice, call our emergency number: 07798 701339 and we will provide you with the urgent assistance you need.

How can we help?