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Cybercrime & Social Media Solicitors

Many people do not realise that they can be charged with a criminal offence for things they say and do online, including on social media. However, cyber and social media offences can carry serious penalties, including the potential for prison sentences and substantial fines.


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If you have been arrested or charged with an online offence, or are concerned you may have committed an offence online, you should seek expert legal advice immediately.

Getting the right legal support could see you avoid criminal charges, increase your chances of being found not guilty if you are prosecuted or minimise the penalties should you be convicted of an offence.

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Why choose JD Spicer Zeb?

  • 1000's of Cases Dropped
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  • 100's of Years Combined Experience
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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.

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JD Spicer Zeb is one of the country’s leading criminal defence firms with over 40 years of experience. We have strong expertise in all types of cyber and social media offences, so can offer a detailed understanding of your legal position, how these types of charges work and your defence options.

Our criminal defence team are here for you at every stage of proceedings, from the point of arrest onwards. We can also advise you before the point of arrest if you are concerned about a potential charge.

If you have been arrested for, or charged with a cyber or social media offence, you can contact us 24-hours a day, seven days a week for an immediate free initial consultation, expert legal advice and representation.

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.

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)
  • Local offices in London, Birmingham or Manchester

Have you been arrested on suspicion of committing a cyber or social media offence? Use the emergency numbers below to secure representation by one of our accredited Police Station Representatives now.

Our emergency contact numbers:

Birmingham – 07891 777090

Brent & Camden London – 07836 577556

Manchester – 07798 701339

Your legal rights when arrested for a cyber or social media offence

At the point of arrest, the arresting officers are required to 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.”

Following an arrest, you will normally be transferred to a police station, held in custody (in a cell) and then interviewed.

Being arrested and held in custody is a very stressful and confusing experience.  It can be very easy to inadvertently say the wrong thing. Any mistakes made at this early stage can be hard to recover from, so having expert representation and remembering your legal rights is very important.

The key things to keep in mind when speaking to the police are:

  1. You do not have to answer any questions asked by the police. Whether to do so or not requires a thorough understanding of your case and how the criminal justice system works. Legal advice should be taken before you say anything.
  2. You should never answer any police questions without a solicitor present.
  3. You have the right to free legal representation.
  4. You can use the duty solicitor available or choose your own lawyer.

What happens if you are charged with social media offence or cybercrime?

Following an interview by police in connection with a suspected cyber or social media offence, you may be:

  • Released with no further action
  • Released under investigation
  • Detained in custody
  • 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

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

If you are charged with an offence, you will either be taken directly from police station to court or bailed to attend a court hearing at a future date.

Should you be brought straight to court, we will arrange representation from specialist legal counsel for you to make sure you have the best possible team in your corner.

Should you be bailed to attend a future hearing, we can provide proactive early stage representation, which can potentially help you to avoid drawn out legal proceedings and reduce the charges or any penalties you are facing.

We can engage specialist counsel for consultation whose rates range from between £500 plus VAT - £1000 plus VAT for an initial meeting.

Common social media & cybercrime offences

Contempt of Court

You could be prosecuted if you are found to have committed contempt of court or breached a specific court order related to identifying a person or persons involved in a court case or risking the ability of the court to conduct a fair trial.

Penalties for contempt of court – Up to 2 years’ imprisonment for Crown Court and up to 1 month’s imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £2,500 for Magistrates’ Court.

Naming a victim of a sexual offence

Victims of sexual offences are granted anonymity and it is an offence to identify such a person online, including on social media.

Penalties for naming a victim of a sexual offence – A fine of up to £5,000


It is an offence under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 to harass someone, stalk someone or make credible threats to harm someone, including threats to kill, or to put them in fear of violence. This includes harassment and threats on social media, via email and through other online forms of communication.

Penalties for cyberbullying – Up to 5 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine for harassment, stalking or placing someone in fear of violence. Up to 10 years’ imprisonment for threats to kill.

Online harassment

If your behaviour online, including via social media, causes someone alarm or distress, or places them in fear of violence, you could be charged with harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. Harassment could be against an individual or a group of people and can also involve harassment of people connected to an individual e.g. their friends or family.

Penalties for harassment – A maximum sentence of 6 months’ imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.

Revenge porn

It is an offence under various legislation, including the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015, to share private sexual photos or videos of another person without their consent, and for the purpose of embarrassing them or causing them distress.

Penalties for revenge porn – Up to 6 months’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £5,000.


Under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, section 4A (which covers stalking involving fear of violence, serious alarm or distress) it is an offence to stalk or harass someone online.

Penalties for cyberstalking – Up to 5 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine.


Threatening someone online, whether on social media, by email or through other forms of digital communications is an offence covered by the Malicious Communications Act 1988 as long as it can be shown that the threat is “credible” i.e. the person making the threat can be reasonably assumed to have the intention to carry it out.

Penalties for making threats online – Up to 6 months’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £5,000.

Funding your legal defence for cybercrime & social media offences

Funding police station representation

Everyone is entitled to free legal representation when arrested or interviewed under caution by police.

While you can choose to be represented by whatever duty solicitor is available at the police station, we recommend choosing your solicitor so you can be represented by someone with specific expertise in cybercrime and social media offences.

Funding your legal defence if you are prosecuted

If you are charged with and prosecuted for an offence, you may be able to apply for state funding to cover some or all of the cost of your defence. This type of funding is properly known as a Representation Order but is commonly referred to as ‘legal aid’.

What financial assistance you can claim and the application process will depend on which type of court the prosecution takes place in.

Magistrates’ Court prosecutions

For a Magistrates’ Court prosecution, some or all of your defence costs may be covered by a Representation Order.

You will need to pass a means test to show that you need help to fund your defence and 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, you will normally only be able to get help with some of your legal costs. However, if you are found not guilty, any contribution you make towards the cost of your defence will be refunded with interest.

For Crown Court cases, you will only need to take a means test because having legal representation for defence will automatically be considered to be in the interests of justice.

Private fees 

Should you be funding some or all of your legal representation yourself, we will make sure you are completely clear about the likely costs involved.

Please get in touch to discuss our criminal defence fees or find out more about funding your criminal defence.

Contact our criminal defence lawyers today

For a free initial consultation, urgent specialist advice, immediate representation or to speak to us confidentially about an arrest or charges related to social media and cyber offences, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

You can contact our dedicated criminal defence lawyers in London, Birmingham, and Manchester by telephone on:

  • Brent & Camden London Office: 020 7624 7771
  • Manchester Office: 0161 835 1638
  • Birmingham Office: 0121 614 3333
  • City of London: 0207 624 7771 (our senior Solicitors and Partners can meet by appointment in the City)

Or email: solicitors@jdspicer.co.uk

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

24/7 legal representation for cybercrime and social media offences

We are available to represent clients all over England and Wales at any time, so please contact our Emergency Numbers:

Birmingham – 07891 777090

Brent & Camden London – 07836 577556

Manchester – 07798 701339

This document does not constitute legal advice.

How can we help?

  • 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
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  • James O'Donnell
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  • Sanjay Cholera
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  • Peter Mulhearn
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  • John Geraghty
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  • Richard Souper
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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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