If you have a serious matter please ask to speak to a senior solicitor/partner
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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.
- Camden Office: 020 7624 7771
- Manchester Office: 0161 835 1638
- Birmingham Office: 0121 614 3333
Or email: email@example.com
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.
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.