Criminal Defence Solicitors
Have you been accused of an offence? Were you arrested and held in a police station for questioning? Have you been requested to attend a voluntary interview with the police? Are you facing criminal charges? Or do you simply have a concern about a possible offence?
JD Spicer Zeb is, without doubt, one of the best UK criminal law firms. If you want the best chance to win, then only use the best criminal solicitors with a proven track record. We are backed by national awards and several high-ranking independent reviews.
We know how confusing, upsetting and stressful these situations can be, with the potential for life changing consequences if you are convicted of an offence. That is why you need the best experienced criminal defence lawyers on your side, right from the outset, to defend your rights and obtain the best result for you.
Get in touch
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.
Our criminal lawyers in the UK can offer legal aid and enhanced private services. Our goal is to stop the case before the court stage and, if it gets to court, to persuade the prosecution to deal with the case out of court where possible. We will be upfront with you about the strengths and weaknesses in your case.
At JD Spicer Zeb, our specialist criminal lawyers have worked on many high-profile cases throughout the UK, earning an excellent reputation and track record of success in defending clients at the Magistrates’ Court, Youth Court, Crown Court, Court of Appeal and all the way up to the Supreme Court if necessary.
Using our detailed knowledge of criminal law, we have a strong record of helping clients avoid charges, secure early acquittals and win not guilty verdicts in court, as well as to achieve reduced penalties where a conviction cannot be avoided.
How can we help?
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?
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?
OUR PROFESSIONAL BODY THE LAW SOCIETY AWARDED US IN OCTOBER 2020 WITH THE EXCELLENCE IN CLIENT SERVICE AWARD AND STATED -
"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.
Our expert knowledge and vast experience of the criminal justice system means that you can be confident knowing that your case is in the most dedicated and experienced hands. Our criminal defence solicitors will provide clear advice in plain English along with sympathetic personal support to help you through this difficult time.
Our highly experienced criminal defence solicitors 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, whether you're accused of an offence, have been arrested, charged or 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 as soon as possible.
Speak to our criminal defence lawyers now
For a free initial consultation on your legal position and the available options, please call 0207 624 7771.
For urgent advice at any time of day or night, please call our emergency number 07836 577 556.
Why choose JD Spicer Zeb’s criminal law solicitors?
Whether you’re at the police station or in court, we know that it is vital you receive the right advice and support from specialised criminal solicitors at the earliest possible opportunity.
You are entitled to free legal representation if you are arrested or interviewed under caution by police.
You have the option of being represented by a ‘duty solicitor’, who will be a criminal lawyer available to represent anyone who needs them. However, a duty solicitor is unlikely to have specialist expertise in the specific offence you are suspected of committing and they are often less experienced lawyers.
We recommend choosing your own legal representative, allowing you to select an experienced criminal defence solicitor with particular expertise in dealing with the types of charges you are facing. This gives you the best chance of securing a positive outcome for your case.
Our dedicated criminal defence lawyers are ready and available to act in your defence, whatever the nature of your offence, around the clock, including weekends and bank holidays.
We will guide you throughout the process with clear, straightforward advice that will help you understand your situation, rights, options and the possible outcomes.
Our criminal defence solicitors will work hard to provide the best defence strategy to ensure your rights are defended at all times.
As a testament to our strong commitment to client care and focus, much of our work comes from referrals and recommendations from clients who have been satisfied with our legal services.
What type of cases do JD Spicer Zeb’s criminal law solicitors take on?
Our dedicated team of criminal solicitors can advise and represent you for all stages of criminal proceedings related to offences including but not limited to:
- Drugs Offences (from simple possession to possession with intent to supply, drugs conspiracies, cultivation and production)
- Sexual Offences
- Serious Crime
- Firearms & Knife Offences
- Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking
- Cyber Crime & Social Media Offences
- Dangerous Dogs Offences
- Violent Crime
- Assaults, from Common Assault to Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH)
- Theft, Burglary and Robbery
- Benefit Fraud
- Serious Fraud
- White Collar Crime
- Public Order Offences
- Driving Offences
- Youth Crime
- Money Laundering
- Breach of Court Orders (including Non-Molestation Orders and Restraining Orders)
- Customs & Excise
- Kidnap & False Imprisonment
- Coercive Control
We will be able to assess whether you are eligible for legal aid. If you are not and wish to have private self-funded representation, we can offer you fixed fees or a cost estimate.
You can discuss your case with us on the telephone, in person and our criminal law solicitors can also visit you in prison, if necessary.
Funding your criminal defence
Funding police station representation
You are entitled to free legal representation at police stations when arrested or interviewed under caution. This can be from the duty solicitor or a solicitor of your choosing and is not means-tested.
Funding your legal defence if you are prosecuted
If you are charged with an offence and prosecuted, you can apply to have some or all of your defence costs covered by a Representation Order. This is commonly referred to as ‘legal aid’.
How much financial assistance you can claim and how you apply will depend on which type of court the prosecution takes place in.
Magistrates’ Court prosecutions
If you are prosecuted in a Magistrates’ Court, a Representation Order can be used to cover some or all of your defence costs depending on your circumstances. This is known as legal aid.
To qualify for legal aid for a Magistrates’ court prosecution, you will need to pass two tests:
- A means test – To show that you need help with funding your defence.
- A merit test – To show that it is in the interests of justice for you to have legal representation.
Crown Court prosecutions
If you are prosecuted in Crown Court, a Representation Order will normally only cover some of your legal costs at most.
To qualify for legal aid for a Crown court prosecution, you will only need to pass a means test because having legal representation for your defence will automatically be considered to be in the interests of justice.
If you need to self-fund some or all of the cost of your private legal representation, we will clearly explain all of the likely costs involved and our fee structures. Whether you receive legal aid funding or not, any contribution you make towards your legal costs will be refunded if you are found not guilty.
Common questions about criminal investigations and prosecutions
What happens when you are arrested?
When you are arrested, the arresting officers must tell 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 arresting you, 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
Following an arrest, you will normally be transferred to a police station, held in custody (in a cell) and then interviewed.
Following a police interview, 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?
Under current UK law, the police have the right to access the data in your phone where they have reasonable grounds to believe it contains evidence related to an offence.
However, our experience and figures from police forces across the UK show that, in many cases, police officers routinely download and store data from the mobile devices of suspects, victims and witnesses.
You should therefore assume that police may access your mobile phone, downloading and storing data such as your text messages, WhatsApp messages and pictures if they consider that they have reasonable grounds for doing so.
What is classed as a criminal offence?
A criminal offence is any action or failure to take action that is punishable by law. There are thousands of criminal offences covered by UK law, including those related to commonly known crimes such as theft, assault and drug dealing, as well as many that are less well known.
Understanding whether you may have committed an offence is not always straightforward, so if you have been arrested or charged with an offence, it is always advisable to seek expert legal support at the earliest opportunity. This can make all the difference as to whether you are ultimately prosecuted and, if so, what the outcome of that prosecution might be.
What is a defence in criminal law?
A defence in criminal law is an argument, supported by facts, that you should not be charged, prosecuted or, ultimately, convicted of a specific offence. A defence relates to whether a specific charge can be proved against you beyond reasonable doubt. Exactly what defence might be available will entirely depend on the situation.
Some common defences that may be used in criminal law include:
- Intoxication (usually in relation to whether someone was able to form a specific intent to commit an offence)
- Self-defence (in relation to charges such as common assault and actual bodily harm)
- Duress (where an offence was committed by an individual who was being forced to commit the offence by another)
- Insanity (where it can be shown that the defendant was not sane and, therefore, not accountable for their actions)
How does a criminal conviction affect applying for jobs?
When applying for jobs, you will normally be asked to provide information about your criminal record. If you are required to take a DBS check as part of your application, certain criminal convictions can affect this and could potentially see you refused employment.
If you are unsure about your legal responsibility for disclosing a criminal conviction to an employer or potential employer, please 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 potential criminal charges or prosecution, you can call us on:
- Brent & Camden London Office: 0207 624 7771
- City of London: 0207 624 7771 - our senior Solicitors and Partners can meet by appointment in the City.
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 07836 577 556 and we will provide you with the urgent assistance you need.
How can we help?
- How can I get the CPS to drop the charges against me?
- How can I get the police to drop charges against me?
- How can I get the police to caution me?
- Police Stop and Search UK
- Pre-charge bail - What You Need to Know
- Read our Police Station Advice Guide
- Recovering Your Property From The Police
- Released Under Investigation - What You Need to Know
- Types of Evidence used in Law
- Voluntary Police Interview - What You Need to Know
- What is a 'No further action' letter?
- What to expect in Police Custody
- Why Choose a Private Solicitor for a Magistrates' or Crown Court Case?
- Umar Zeb
- Senior Partner - Head of Private Client Crime
- Lisa Nicol
- Managing Partner - Head of Crime & Serious Cases
- James O'Donnell
- Partner Crime
- Sanjay Cholera
- Partner Crime Advocacy
- Peter Mulhearn
- Consultant Crime Solicitor
- John Geraghty
- Consultant Crime Solicitor
- Danny Parkash
- Crime Solicitor
- Mimma Sabato
- Richard Souper
- Consultant Crime Solicitor
- Jonathan Lynn
- Samuel Oduntan
- Barry Linnane
- Crime and Extradition Solicitor
- Stuart Lloyd
- Robert Wong
- Crime and Extradition Solicitor
- Rebecca Forbes
- Sachelle Gilbert