Sexual offence barristers

The mere accusation of a sexual offence can obliterate your reputation and career.

Our direct access barristers offer impeccable knowledge in the defence of such allegations.

We boast vast experience and indeed success in revealing false allegations. It is our team that make the difference between conviction and a case being discontinued or a verdict of not guilty.

Allegations of sexual abuse are recognised as one of the most complicated and delicate areas of criminal law. Naturally, it is believed that only the finest criminal barristers should manage sexual cases, which are almost always heard within the Crown Court, and which have been subject to progressively complex alterations in recent years. Our specialist direct access criminal barristers are experts in all aspects of sexual offences.

It is now becoming more common for sexual offence and rape trials to be brought many years after the alleged event(s). There are certain complications of evidence and the risk of abuse of process, with which our defence team are wholly conversant.

Our barristers will deliver appropriate counsel to an exceptional standard in preparing your defence. This will be provided against the background of the intricacies of the seventy new offences created by the 2003 Act, and the numerous codes of practice, inclusive of the Victims Code issued under s32 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act, the “Standard for Communications between Victims, Witnesses and Prosecution Advocates”, and paragraph 6.1 of the Bar Code of Conduct.

Whether you are seeking advice in the first instance or appealing a conviction direct access barristers are now an affordable means of representation due to recent changes in UK law, which allow the public to instruct a barrister without the need to go through a solicitor.

In this difficult area of criminal law, experience and proficiency can make all the difference. For tirelessness case preparation and emphatic representation in court, look to us for quality. Should you have any questions or require assistance please click here to contact a member of our direct access team.

 

What are Public Order offences?

It has been said that over recent years the police force has taken a target driven attitude to crime. This approach has resulted in an increasing number of people being criminalised; even if they do not physically harm another person, or their property.

This focus on additional arrests rather than a measured approach has naturally led to a rise in Public Order Offence cases.

Here at CrimeLegal our direct access barristers are specialists in criminal law and have vast experience regarding public order allegations, acting on behalf of a multitude of clients over a number of years.

So what are Public Order offences?

The Public Order Act encompasses the majority of offences concerning conduct that disturbs order in public places. Examples of such may be:

Section 1 Public Order Act – Riot

This relates to a minimum of twelve people acting with ‘common purpose’ or making threats of violence. Their conduct must provoke fear in a witness (theoretical or otherwise) that would otherwise be deemed as solid in character.

A Section 1 Riot case must be heard in a Crown Court, with an upper sentence of 10 years.

Section 2 Public Order Act – Violent Disorder

In essence this is the same offence as above, however there needs to be at least three people involved.

These cases can either be heard in the Crown or Magistrates Court. If heard in the Crown Court the maximum sentence is five years. 

Section 3 Public Order Act – Affray

Affray involves a minimum of 2 people.

Affray involves a minimum of 2 people and again requires a witness who would normally be described as a solid character to be afraid of the conduct of the people involved by use of threatening behaviour or violence.

Affray can either be heard in the Magistrates or Crown Court, and brings a maximum of 3 years imprisonment.

Section 4A Public Order Act – Intentional Harassment, Alarm or Distress

In order for the charged person to be seen as guilty, they must aim to cause harassment, alarm or distress to another individual and in doing so perform in a way that is abusive, threatening or insulting. This can include words, conduct, and even written signs or other representations.
The maximum sentence this offence can hold is 6 months imprisonment and can only be heard in the Magistrates Court.

Section 5 Public Order Act – Threatening, Abusive or Insulting Behaviour

This offence encompasses the use of words, behaviour, and even gestures or signs where the defendant believes that someone else may be within hearing distance.
A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

Why do I need an expert barrister?

Public Order Offences are unusual in that conviction can occur as a result of general behaviour and even words. As a direct result of this, the sheer number of Public Order Offences and disparities between each case means that consulting barristers who have vast experience and indeed specialism in this area of law is particularly beneficial.

Should you find yourself in a situation where you have been accused of a Public Order Offence it is wise to seek legal advice as soon as possible. Please click here to get in touch with a member of our expert team and move your case forward in a manner that benefits you.

Football Banning Order Barristers

A football banning order is a civil rather than criminal sanction, which is often used as a pre-emptive method rather than a consequence for prior conduct.
The purpose of these orders is to help prevent antisocial behaviour at football matches by averting individuals from attending competitions both within and outside of the United Kingdom for up to ten years. As ever, each case is individual and the order placed will reflect this.

In addition to simply banning a person from attending matches these orders can also prevent the recipient from using public transport, visiting other areas such as town centers, selected pubs and bars on match days.

A football banning order could also have a serious effect on your ability to travel abroad for either business or holidays, as a further restriction can be the submission of your passport and reporting to a police station during ‘controlled periods’.

Naturally there is always room for error and sometimes orders are placed on individuals who should not be subjected to such restrictions. On other occasions it may be that you were indeed behaving in a way the court would deem to be inappropriate but you have the grounds to appeal.

Should either of the above statements apply to you, it may be the case that you could benefit from the expertise of our barristers here at CrimeLegal.

Our knowledgeable team is able to evaluate your circumstances and propose candid and useful methods of proceeding. As with all of our work, we value honesty and transparency in our charging structure in addition to sitting down with you at all stages of your situation to confirm that you’re kept up to date with any vital information.

We pride ourselves as specialists in football banning orders with an emphasis on excellent personal service whilst upholding the highest level of counsel and advocacy. Our experienced direct access barristers have in-depth knowledge with regards to banning orders and know how to work out the best course of action for your individual case. To see how we may be able to assist you in your incident, please contact a member of our team today.

Right of appeal

Should you feel that a verdict reached in the Magistrates’ Court or Crown Court is unjust you may be able to appeal the conviction or sentence with the help of advice from specialist criminal defence barristers.

If your case was heard in the Magistrates Court your appeal would be heard in the Crown Court. However if you have been convicted in the Crown Court your appeal is to the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division).

Circumstances in which you can appeal:

You have a right of appeal to the Crown Court from the Magistrates’ Court automatically. You do not need to present new evidence or show an error in law.

Your appeal is lodged at the relevant Crown Court and will progress to listing as there is no merits assessment of your case.

An appeal to the Court of Appeal from the Crown Court however is very different. Ordinarily you need to show new evidence or an error by the Judge who presided over your trial or sentence. This is not a straight forward question and requires specialist advice from expert defence barristers.

Your appeal is lodged with the relevant Crown Court who forwards it to the Court of Appeal. A single judge will decide, on the strength of your papers, whether you are permitted to appeal or not. Essentially this an indication whether your case is arguable or not.

Should the application be rejected the judge in question is obligated to provide you with an outline argument and reasons for the decision. Should the judge grant you permission to appeal then you will be granted a hearing before the full court in the Court of Appeal.

From here the Court will either:

  • Take the decision that the original conviction or sentence was correct and dismiss the appeal or
  • Decide that the conviction was ‘unsafe’ and quash the conviction and direct a retrial or reduce the reduce your sentence depending on the basis of the appeal.

Can a decision made by the Court of Appeal be questioned?

Further appeals are only permitted in restricted circumstances and this is often only if the case is thought to be one of public importance.

Should you speak to one of our criminal defence barristers and we agree that your case holds the potential for a successful appeal we will need to move forward on this quickly.

The first stage is to complete and submit the relevant forms in order to appeal or apply for leave to appeal against your sentence and /or conviction. There are strict deadlines for this regardless of whether your appeal is to the Crown Court or the Court of Appeal. Getting the right advice at an early stage is vital.

Naturally every case is individual and should be discussed with a member of our team. Please call us 020 7060 4773 or click here to get in touch.

 

Representation at Crown Court.

Offences heard in the Crown Court are usually more severe in nature and can include murder, rape, serious assault and robbery. These cases are known as ‘indictable only’ and can only be heard in the Crown Court, even though they habitually start in the Magistrates Court.

There are some offences that are named ‘either way’ and can include theft, fraud, and possession or supply of drugs and less serious assaults. These can be heard in either the Crown Court or Magistrate’s Court, dependent upon the gravity of the offence. There are cases where the defendant is permitted to choose where they are tried; in instances such as this it is imperative you seek the advice of an expert barrister such as those here at CrimeLegal.

Within the Crown Court a Judge and Jury will hear the trial. It is the responsibility of the Crown Court to hear appeals against rulings of the Magistrates’ Court. In situations such as this, a Judge and two lay Magistrates hear the appeal.

CrimeLegal are home to excellent criminal defence barristers in the UK and are frequently instructed in serious and indeed complicated cases. Should you require an experienced criminal barrister we assure you that our team will offer excellence and efficiency throughout proceedings. We can offer advice and representation with regards to hearings, investigations and prosecutions.

Although some clients wish to pay privately you may that you are eligible for Legal Aid. Our criminal defence barristers will point you in the right direction should you wish to apply for Legal Aid funding. This needs to be done through a solicitor although you can still ask your solicitor to instruct the barrister of your choice.

If you are not eligible for Legal Aid you might be surprised at the value for money in instructing a direct access barrister with CrimeLegal rather than pay privately for a solicitor and a defence barrister. Our prices are extremely competitive.

When you choose CrimeLegal as your committed advocacy team you can be sure you will benefit from a bespoke service and continuity of representation throughout your case.

Please contact a member of our legal team for more information on how we can defend you.

Football Banning Order legal team

Legislation has been in place to control conduct at football matches since the Football Spectators Act 1989 and the Football Disorder Act 2000. These Acts have seen many people ejected and banned from events for unacceptable behavior. Banning orders can sometimes be issued incorrectly, for example if you are caught up in a scuffle. It may also be the case that a criminal offence has been committed and you may require advice on how best to move forward.

Having your liberty restricted at sporting events can be a very dispiriting situation. Hundreds of thousands of people watch sport every week and to many it is a huge part of their lives. Our specialist teams of barristers are able to help regarding Football Banning Orders and are able to assist in any point of the order, from original imposition to appeals and reviews.

Bans can range from between 6 and 10 years after an immediate custodial sentence, or between 2-5 years for any related conviction. A banning order does not just restrict your freedom to watch regulated football matches it can also affect your freedom of movement between countries, which could mean travel for work is limited, potentially damaging your career. Here at CrimeLegal, our experienced team is able to review your entire case and suggest realistic, honest and practical routes of proceeding with your appeal against conviction or sentence. As with all of our work, we see value in honesty and transparency in our charging structure as well as sitting down with you at all stages of the case to ensure you are kept up to date with information.

The banning orders will also take into account any offences committed outside of the UK, which means that your banning order could end up spanning the whole or Europe and beyond. Our experienced direct access barristers have the in-depth knowledge of banning orders to work out the best course of action for your individual case. To see how we may be able to assist you in your case, contact a member of our team today.

Barristers that specialise in criminal law.

Some of the most common case to come before the courts are those involving violence.

It is in your interest that your legal team assists you in what can often be an upsetting and fearful time. It is possible for accusations to arise in a number of areas including, but not limited to:

• The home environment,
• Within a sporting arena,
• Within a social setting,

Offences of violence can include:
• s18 Grievous Bodily Harm or Wounding with intent
• s20 Grievous Bodily Harm or Wounding
• Actual Bodily Harm
• Common Assault
• Violent Disorder
• Affray

Many avenues of investigation that could strengthen your case may be lost should you fail to seek assistance in the early stages. Our barristers have the relevant experience and skill placing them in the best position to pose the correct questions, for example this could include information about CCTV, witnesses, available records, past offences, and forensic evidence.

There are a number of defences that may be pertinent to your case such as self-defence where harm has been caused to the other person but the injury was caused as a result of defending yourself. The main issue in such a case relates to whether the force used was reasonable.
A jury would have to consider whether the force exerted was in fact reasonable in all the circumstances of the case however the level of injury could be considered disproportionate

With the decades of practice our team offer, you can be sure that your criminal law case is firmly in the right hands when you contact CrimeLegal, London’s expert direct access barristers. To utilise a team that are dedicated to protecting your best interests just click here to find out more or contact us.

fraud barristers london

Cases of workplace theft or fraud are treated seriously by the courts and can often result in a person’s reputation being damaged irrevocably and in some cases lead to a prison sentence. Often the person’s career can be lost and so this type of case necessitates quality legal representation.

Should you find yourself in such a position and you have been charged the prosecutor must provide evidence that you have behaved deceitfully. If you can prove that you have removed items or monies and have a right to do so, this could be a defence to the charges.

Should you be found guilty of the alleged offence, you could well be ordered to carry out a prison sentence or have your assets or money seized.

In cases of theft from your employer there is a large amount of investigatory work to be undertaken. Documentation, company policies and many other lines of communication between you and your employer must be examined and reviewed. Any relevant material gathered by the company must also be disclosed to you.

If you plead guilty or are convicted, the court will consider a number of issues when determining sentence. If the business or any of its personnel have suffered from your actions it is likely that the court will impose a harsher sentence.

It is also possible under the Proceeds of Crime Act that the court will require that any items or money are returned.

So what should you do now?
CrimeLegal offer experienced direct access barristers and contacting us just couldn’t be easier. Just click here to email or call 020 7060 4773 to talk to a member of our team.

Sexual Offence Barristers

One of the most sensitive and indeed complicated areas of criminal law is that of sexual offences.

‘Sexual offenses’ incorporate a wide variety of cases from indecent exposure to the most serious cases of child sexual abuse and rape.

Sexual offences are often emotional and sensitive cases and the outcome of such a case has the potential to be life changing.

Trials of this nature inevitably involve distinct and complicated rules and conduct of such a case will require a barrister who is not only knowledgeable in this area of criminal law but also experienced and sensitive.

Here at CrimeLegal we are also able to work with cases that involve historical allegations of sexual abuse, which can of course bring their own unique challenges. This type of case necessitates a comprehensive understanding of all legislation, for example the Sexual Offences Acts of 1956, 1967, 1976 and 2003.

A historic sexual abuse case will precede the 2003 Act so are brought under old law. Our barristers here at CrimeLegal are able to confidently represent you.

The area of sexual abuse that will frequently prove to be the most delicate and challenging of all is that involving children. Cross examination of children is delicate and subject to strict rules.

It is becoming more usual to use intermediaries in cases such as these and our team are abreast of ever-advancing developments in this area.

Our team bring their expertise and dedicated approach to each and every case we work with.

In no other area of criminal law is it more important for counsel to ensure that their knowledge and skills are current. Sentencing for sexual offences is fraught with complexities so you need to be positive that the team you are working with is one that will uphold your best interests at all times.

Should you require any further details them please contact a member of our team.

Fines In Magistrates’ Courts

Government propose to increase level of fines in Magistrates’ Courts

In June earlier this year a statutory instrument was drafted by the Government proposing to raise of the level of fines that could be imposed in the Magistrates’ Court.

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, introduced a provision to eliminate the cap on fines which currently sits at £5,000.

So what are the modifications?

In short, fines increase by 300%. The present scale is as follows:

Level 1            £200

Level 2            £500

Level 3            £1,000

Level 4            £2,500

Level 5            £5,000

They will increase to:

Level 1            £800

Level 2            £2,000

Level 3            £4,000

Level 4            £10,000

Level 5            Unlimited

This is not applicable for children and as such the limits will stay at £250 (before the age of 14) and £1,000 (under the age of 18)

There are exceptions, namely the importation of goods in contravention of injunctions or limits under the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 and meaningfully misusing marked oil under the Hydrocarbon Oil Duties Act 1979.

The above two infractions are to have their upper thresholds increased to £20,000.

What kind of impact will this increase have?

A fine must be proportionate to the crime committed but the offender’s capability to pay the fine is also considered.

For instance, should you earn £400 per week after tax a fine of £10,000 for evading a train ticket would be entirely disproportionate.

The increase in fines may lead the courts to imposing fines that do not relate to income of an individual, resulting in non-payment and further hearings.

As you would expect, we will be sure to update you as and when changes are implemented.

Should you be seeking legal assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our team.