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Domestic Violence Defence Solicitors

At JD Spicer Zeb Solicitors, our criminal defence lawyers have over 40 years’ experience advising and representing clients facing domestic abuse charges. Our specialist expertise with these sensitive and complex cases means we can provide the best available guidance through all stages of criminal proceedings, protecting your legal rights and helping to secure a fair outcome.


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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Our criminal defence team speak a wide range of languages, meaning we are able to offer clear, effective legal advice to people from all backgrounds. We have built a strong track record of success for clients dealing with even the most challenging domestic abuse charges, with many of our clients coming via recommendations from previous clients.

  • Have you or someone close to you been arrested for domestic abuse?
  • Are you required to attend a police station by appointment?
  • Have you been released on bail to return to the police station?
  • Have you been charged with a domestic abuse offence?
  • Have you received a postal summons or requisition?

For a free initial consultation on your legal position and the available options, contact our local offices in LondonBirmingham or Manchester.

Need immediate legal support? Our accredited Police Station Representatives are available 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Please use the emergency numbers listed at the top of the page for on-the-spot specialist legal representation for domestic abuse charges.

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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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Domestic abuse offences can carry very serious penalties in the UK, as well as potentially affecting your ability to access your children. If you are arrested or charged with domestic abuse, having access to specialist, expert legal support can be critical to your defence. 

JD Spicer Zeb Solicitors have over forty years’ experience acting in some of England and Wales’s most high-profile criminal cases. We can provide immediate, first-class legal support for those facing charges for all types of domestic abuse offences.

If you have been charged with a domestic abuse offence, you can contact us 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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 criminal defence expertise

The criminal defence team at JD Spicer Zeb Solicitors have been advising and representing clients in relation to domestic abuse offences for more than 40 years. We understand the complexities of these challenging cases, so can ensure no important details or angle of defence is overlooked, giving you the best chance of achieving the right result for you.

We have extensive experience representing clients in both Magistrates’ Court and Crown Court, so can effectively support you at all levels of court proceedings. Our team includes a number of accredited police station representatives, allowing us to provide 24-hour police station representation. 

Our team have been accredited by the Law Society for Criminal Litigation and Children Law, recognising our expertise across two areas critical to dealing with many domestic abuse cases.

JD Spicer Zeb is also Lexcel accredited by the Law Society, demonstrating that our firm meets the highest levels of good management and customer care set by the Law Society of England and Wales.

With multiple languages spoken across our team and access to an approved team of external interpreters, we can deliver our services in more than 60 languages. Please take a look at our list of languages spoken to find out more.

What counts as domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse (sometimes called ‘domestic violence’) refers to any kind of violence or abuse against a family member, including controlling, coercive and threatening behaviour.

Who is considered a family member can depend on the circumstances, but may include spouses, civil partners and unmarried partners, as well as children, siblings, parents and grandparents.

There are many types of behaviour that can be classed as domestic abuse, including:

  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Threats
  • Intimidation
  • Sexual abuse

While there is no special offence of ‘domestic abuse’ or ‘domestic violence’, there are a number of offences that, where committed in a domestic environment, are generally referred to as domestic abuse. These offences can include assault, threatening behaviour and coercive or controlling behaviour, as well as offences such as murder, rape and manslaughter.

What are the penalties for domestic abuse offences?

This will depend on the exact nature of the offences. For example, a conviction for assault can result in a sentence of imprisonment, depending on the seriousness of the injuries sustained by the victim and various other factors.

If you are accused of domestic abuse, there may also be various other legal consequences, including various types of court orders your partner or other alleged victim may be able to apply for. Court orders for domestic abuse include:

Non-Molestation Orders (NMO) – Used to prevent someone accused of domestic abuse from being violent, threatening or otherwise abusive to the alleged victim. Anyone breaching an NMO can face up to 5 years in prison.

Occupation Orders – Can require someone accused of domestic abuse to leave the home they share with the alleged victim.

Restraining Orders – Can be made following either conviction or acquittal for an offence. Breach of a Restraining Order can result in imprisonment.

What are my rights when arrested for domestic abuse?

If you are arrested on suspicion of domestic abuse and taken to a police station for questioning, you need to be aware of your rights so you can avoid unintentionally saying or doing anything to harm your defence.

You do not have to answer any questions and the police are required to caution you by 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.

You should never answer any police questions without a solicitor present.

At the time of your arrest, the police officers involved must explain why you are being arrested and the crime they believe you have committed.

After the interview, the police will either give you a caution, meaning you are free to leave and will not be fined, or you will be charged with a specific criminal offence and released on bail. When released on bail, a date will be set for your court appearance.

What defence is there if you are accused of domestic abuse?

If you are accused of domestic abuse, there can be various potential defences that may see you avoid prosecution or be critical to your defence during court proceedings.

We can advise you upon whether your conduct was reasonable and lawful and whether your actions can amount to self-defence. Sometimes partners can make false allegations in acrimonious separation and we have experience of dealing with these types of cases. We will ask the prosecution to disclose to us material that can assist your case such as old police call outs that may undermine the allegation or previous bad character of the complainant.

Sometimes clients admit a certain part of the alleged incident and dispute another part. We can make representations on your behalf to put forward a plea on a limited basis. This can sometimes make the difference between receiving a lower or higher punishment.

Where an offence related to domestic abuse has occurred, there can be mitigating circumstances which may see the severity of the criminal penalties reduced.

Potential mitigation factors for domestic abuse offences include:

  • Extreme provocation (in exceptional circumstances)
  • Mental illness or disability
  • Age of the offender
  • The offender’s level of involvement in the offence (where there were multiple offenders)
  • Genuine remorse on the part of the offence
  • Admission of the offence by the offender during police interview
  • Ready co-operation with authorities by the offender

Contact our domestic abuse defence solicitors today

For urgent specialist advice, immediate representation or to speak to us confidentially about domestic abuse charges, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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

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

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 people accused of domestic abuse

For immediate representation and advice, you can contact our Emergency Number: 07836 577 556, and we will provide you with the urgent assistance you need.

How can we help?

  • Umar Zeb
      • Umar Zeb
      • Senior Partner - Head of Private Client Crime
      • 020 7624 7771
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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
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  • Peter Mulhearn
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  • John Geraghty
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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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