Criminal Defence: General Crime

Criminal Defense

If you are arrested or taken to a police station, you must talk to your solicitor before you make any statement.

Police Station

Abbey Solicitors can defend you in the event you are remanded in Police custody. We have a 24-hour emergency police station service (free of charge) for immediate telephone advice and/or attendance, regardless of the nature or seriousness of your case. Providing you with immediate expert legal advice when you need it. Our client portfolio ranges from the homeless to high-net-worth individuals. We place our clients’ best interests at the heart of everything we do, using our wealth of strategic experience to get the best result from the worst situations.

We will listen to you, tell you where you stand legally and advise you of your rights. We will explain the powers of the Police and advise you on the best course of action to take according to the situation in which you may find yourself.

We have experienced criminal law solicitors and caseworkers able to deal with all types of criminal matters and provide specialist advice and representation at Police Stations, Magistrates’ and Crown Courts.

Magistrates/ Crown Court

Criminal cases can be heard either in the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court. Every case starts in the Magistrates Court and the most serious cases end up in the Crown Court. It’s important to have expert representation as early as possible and the Solicitors at Abbey can provide you with this at the outset, guiding you through the legal proceedings and building a strong defence for you.

The most serious cases then end up in the Crown Court. Our Solicitors have experience defending a range of highly serious cases.

Criminal Appeals

Regardless of its nature or seriousness, if you believe that you have been convicted of an offence you did not commit or if you are guilty and the sentence is excessive, we can help you put things right. An appeal can be successful if we can show that the judge did not apply the law properly or that new facts about your case have come to light since the trial took place.

We can examine and consider the grounds for an appeal at any time. There is neither a limit on the time in which you can appeal nor on the number of appeals you can make.

Private and Legal Aid work

We undertake both private and legal aid work. After the initial consultation, if you decide to use our services, we can determine whether you are eligible for legal aid or if you must pay on a private fee basis.

If you are eligible for Legal Aid you will not be required to pay for your defence. The court will consider both your income and the seriousness of the offence to determine whether Legal Aid should be granted.

To acquire Legal Aid you must first make an application to the Magistrates Court. This can be broken down into the following two tests:

  • Interests of Justice Test: This is the first test that must be passed. Legal Aid is more likely to be granted if imprisonment is a potential outcome. Other factors that will increase the likelihood of Legal Aid being granted will include the seriousness of the charges, whether you admit them or not, the complexity of the defence, how easy it would be to challenge the opposition yourself and whether witnesses are needed.
  • Means test: The second test will be based on your financial situation. If you are claiming either Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), income support or a guaranteed pension then you will automatically pass this test for Legal Aid.

If you or your partner receive an income that is above £21,000 then you will not be eligible for Legal Aid. If you are single and your income is above £11,590 you will also not be entitled to Legal Aid. However, in both cases it may still be possible to make a claim, taking expenses into account.

If you require help applying for Legal Aid or are unsure if you qualify, get in touch with a member of our Criminal Defence team who will be able to work with you to support your claim.

Abbey Private Motoring Law Representation Fees.

All of our motor law cases begin with a free triage with a solicitor via telephone. We will advise you as to the merits of your case and give you an honest appraisal based on the information provided. We will not advise you to pursue any case that does not have merit. All work will be completed by an experienced, qualified solicitor.

At Abbey Solicitors, we understand that clients want an open and transparent fee structure without hidden extras. We don’t have different fees for different matters as we don’t want to overcomplicate it.

Most cases are complete after one hearing. We, therefore, charge a set fee which includes considering evidence, preparation, attendance by you and any witnesses, advocacy at one hearing, letters and phone calls.  We will provide you with advice about the plea and likely sentence. Where you cannot anticipate the likely sentence, advise on the options available to the court about sentencing. Where appropriate, advice on whether an exceptional hardship or special reason argument should be made should be given.

If there is a second hearing we will charge a reduced fee for our attendance.

We don’t charge any additional fees for travel, mileage or car parks for the hearings which take place in Greater Manchester.

If the hearing is outside of that area, we may charge expenses.

If an expert report or court fee is required, the cost is added as it is a disbursement of the case. We would advise on this and would only recommend it if it added value to the case, for example, deploying a crash investigation expert.

Types of HearingFeeAdditional cost if a second hearing
Guilty Plea£750 plus Vat (£900)£375 plus Vat (£450)
Trial£2,000 plus Vat (£2400)£500 plus Vat (£650)
Adjourned or Extra Hearings£250 plus Vat (£300)£375 plus Vat (£450)

We require a payment of at least half the fees at the start of the case. If you choose to split the payment, the second and final payment is due 7 days before the hearing date.

We will always discuss the need for any disbursements in advance. The payment for disbursements is due before the instruction of an expert.

The Person dealing with your case

Your matter will be dealt with by Peter Buckley, who is a Solicitor and head of our Motoring Department.

Peter has worked at Abbey Solicitors for several years. Having previously been a Senior Crown Court Prosecutor, he has a vast knowledge of and experience in motoring law on behalf of both the prosecution and the defence.  He specializes in the defence of motoring offences as he has an appetite for this technical and often complex area of law.

Peter’s knowledge of road traffic law is extensive, and he can advise clients calmly and practically.

Due to his experience with the Crown Prosecution Service, Peter has considerable insight into the Police and Crown Prosecution Service procedures, which he has used to his advantage when representing clients, especially when making representations to the Crown Prosecution Service to withdraw a trial hearing.

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