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. 

Consult us about getting the case dropped at the police station or getting the case dropped at court by the CPS.

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.

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’ CourtYouth CourtCrown 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.

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.

You can also email: 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?

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:

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:

  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

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.

Private fees 

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.

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?

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:

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.

  • Umar Zeb
      • Umar Zeb
      • Senior Partner - Head of Private Client Crime
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  • Lisa Nicol
      • Lisa Nicol
      • Managing Partner - Head of Crime & Serious Cases
      • 020 7624 771
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  • James O'Donnell
      • 020 762 47771
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  • Sanjay Cholera
      • 020 7624 7771
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  • Peter Mulhearn
      • 0207 624 7771
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  • John Geraghty
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  • Danny Parkash
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  • Mimma Sabato
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  • Tammy Sher
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  • Richard Souper
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  • Jonathan Lynn
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  • Samuel Oduntan
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  • Barry Linnane
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  • Stuart Lloyd
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  • Robert Wong
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  • Rebecca Forbes
      • 0161 835 1638
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  • Sachelle Gilbert
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