We are experienced in all serious crime such as murder, conspiracy to murder, serious violence, violent disorder and domestic violence. We work tirelessly to ensure your case is fully prepared, witnesses traced and your defence case presented to the highest of standard to the court. We work with a trusted team of independent barristers who specialise in this field and also a team of forensic experts who can undertake independent examinations of forensic evidence such as DNA evidence, mobile phone analysis, computer analysis and other areas. Our team deal with charges from the Police Station through to the Crown Court. Whether you are being investigated, called for interview or have been arrested and charged, we are able to provide you specialist legal advice.
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We deal with all manner of motoring offences ranging from speeding tickets to alcohol related offences to the most serious of dangerous driving cases including causing death by dangerous driving. We can provide you with specialist advice with view to assisting you in retaining your driving licence or reducing points or length of overall disqualification. We appreciate the knock on effect of the loss of driving licence to family members or to employment and therefore do not take these proceedings lightly. Whether you are being investigated, called for interview or have been arrested and charged, we are able to provide you specialist legal advice.
Whilst legal aid is available in some Road Traffic cases, it is not available where there is no risk of you going to prison and/or you earn more than £275 per week.
If you are not eligible for legal aid and wish to consider private instruction in a Road Traffic matter, our fees are as detailed below:-
If you are unsure as to whether you should plead guilty or not guilty to an offence, we offer 30 minutes free consultation to discuss the options with you. If you decide to plead not guilty and have a trial, we can offer a fixed fee but this will depend on the nature of the case, location of the court and proximity to the hearing date.
Food safety and hygiene offences has been subject to the Health and Safety Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety and Hygiene Offences: Definitive Guideline.
In April 2019 the Sentencing Council published its impact assessment for the Guideline. This reports that fines for food safety and hygiene offences and the prosecution of directors and senior managers have increased following its introduction. The Guideline applies to offences pursuant to regulation 19(1) of the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 in England and in Wales, regulation 17(1) of the Food Hygiene (Wales) Regulations 2006 and regulation 4 of the General Food Regulations 2004. The offence range for organisations is a fine from £100 to £3m. A prison sentence of up to 2 years can be imposed if tried in the crown court.
Food safety offences are strict liability criminal offences. They can be committed without any intention to breach the law. However there is a defence of ‘due diligence’. This requires the organisation to prove ‘on a balance of probabilities’ that:
(i) It took all reasonable precautions to avoid the offence (this means that the organisation had a proper management system of procedures to prevent the offence in place); and
(ii) It exercised due diligence in operating that system.
It is vital that expert legal advice is sought. Defending these matters can be complex and an individuals liberty may be at stake in addition to the financial ramifications.
We have a team of qualified police station representatives who are all trained by the practice to exacting standards.
When under arrest, you are entitled to legal advice. The common held view of ‘I did not do it so I do not need a solicitor’ is incorrect. A police interview is for the purpose of gathering evidence. It is essential that you understand your rights and ensure that the police are compliant with the rules and regulations. In addition, it is often thought ‘if I have a solicitor they will think I am guilty’. Again this is not case, charges are brought against a person only if there is evidence to do so, not whether or not a person had legal representation at the police station. Members of our team are available 24/7, detention will not be prolonged. A legal representative may in fact speed up the process.
Cases can be won or lost in the initial stages and an unguarded comment in the police station can return to haunt you at your trial months later. Every member of our team has considerable experience in police procedures and interrogation techniques. There is no such thing as an “informal chat” at the police station on the street or even at your home. Even to accept a caution can have far reaching consequences in terms of employment and foreign travel.
Remember all advice and assistance at the police station, whether you are attending voluntarily or have been arrested is FREE of charge irrespective of your income.
Anyone under 18 charged with a criminal offence appears before the Youth Court unless jointly charged with an adult. Special rules and procedures apply and have been developed over the years to govern such courts.
We have a wealth of experience in conducted youth court cases, from the first offences to the most serious matters - from shoplifting to murder.
We understand that any court case can be daunting, even for an adult - more so if it is a child going to court or you are the parent of that child. As such we take the time and every precaution to ensure that a young person understands what will take place and the advice we have given. Ask any question you want and we promise to answer, ask us to repeat our advice and we will, ask us to listen and we do. This is the only way for you to make an informed decision and for us to provide the best representation in court. Throughout a case we work with you as a team and will each have a role to play. A number of our solicitors have specialised in Youth Court representation and have developed expert skills in this area.
Remember this. Legal advice - at the police station or at court - is vital. Any conviction in court or a police reprimand will lead to a criminal record that stays with you in some circumstances throughout your whole life. This can have far reaching consequences for education, employment and travel. Once that record is created it can never be destroyed.
We are representing clients at the Magistrates Court daily. Magistrates cases are supervised by a Director.
The majority of Magistrates Advocy is conducted by a Director who will fight your corner whether by putting forward a Plea in Mitigation or rigoursly defending you at trial.
It is also part of our job to make sure that whoever we are defending understands what is happening and what is likely to happen. We explain everything - the charges, the law, the procedure. We encourage clients to address any areas of uncertainty or concern. You are free to challenge our opinion, we are here to advise not to command.
Obviously we cannot guarantee success but trust in our expertise and we guarantee that you will improve your chances of success.
Your case will be dealt with by an experienced team including Solicitor, Case worker, Independent Barrister and if necessary, Forensic Expert.
Appearing in the Crown Court is a daunting experience for any client and as such the support, advice and representation offered by our team is vital.
Modern day prosecutions rely heavily on forensic analysis including high tech surveillance, telephone, cell site analysis and DNA evidence. We have built up a relationship of various forensic experts in each field to assist with analysing evidence and defending complex cases.
Should you need advice and /or representation on an appeal against a conviction or sentence either from the Magistrates Court to the Crown Court or from the Crown Court to the Court of Appeal or if the prosecution appeal your sentence, we can represent you.
4 Highbury Buildings,
Portsmouth, PO6 2SN
Emergency Tel: 08080 333363
Tel: 023 9238 1114
Fax: 023 9238 1115
Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority - Registration No. 518972
Wessex Solicitors Chambers is the trading name of Wessex Solicitors Chambers Limited
VAT No: 6739730 94