A day in the life of a Criminal Solicitor – Part 1

Created on June 27, 2017

A day in the life of a Criminal Solicitor - Part 1

People are always interested to know exactly what being a criminal defence lawyer involves and typical questions often relate to the moral issues presented to us. So we thought we would put together a series of blogs designed to explain what we get up to and why we do what we do. 

The reality is, it’s not our job to make moral judgments about other people’s lives. It is our job to provide logical and coherent advice, based on the legal position and to assist people who are often at a point of crisis.

In this article, Rob Beighton explains what he got up to yesterday

Yesterday I was asked to go to the police station to deal with 3 cases.  

One case involved a young person charged with threats to kill his father. 

The police said that they were concerned about his mental health and were waiting for an assessment before interview, that assessment took 17 hours before it was eventually carried out. The circumstances of his arrest had been that he had commented to his mental health nurse, within the hospital at which he was a patient, that sometimes the terrorists in his head told him to stab his father when they went for cigarettes together. I made representations that he was unfit for interview and should simply be returned to hospital. Ultimately the police agreed and no further action was taken.

My second client had been arrested for failing to stop for traffic police who suspected that he was towing a stolen trailer. 

The police had seen a vehicle which had sped off away from them.  Soon after the trailer had been uncoupled and the vehicle then began to reverse in an attempt to ram the chasing police car. A male was said to have decamped from the vehicle and disappeared into a nearby garden.  My client was apprehended a short time later, in a shed some distance away. Upon his arrest, my client informed police that he had been living in the shed for several days following a period of homelessness. My client was advised that any case may turn on his identification and the ability of the police to link him to the halted vehicle upon which forensic checks were being conducted. His instructions were recorded but he decided that he would remain silent in interview to await the outcome of police enquiries. 

The last case involved a police call out to a domestic argument which involved a dispute over the television. 

My client’s partner had threatened to call the police after he used his hand to push her away from him whilst struggling to free the TV remote control. He then handed her the phone. She called the police but refused to make a statement to them when they arrived. She told officers that she simply wanted him to be removed from the house for the night. He was arrested and spent most of the next day at the police station before he was interviewed. Whilst he was at the station his partner called numerous times to check on his welfare and to ask when he would be allowed to return home. He was advised that the evidence that the police had was unlikely to pass a threshold test for a charging decision to be made. Ultimately he was released without charge.

Representations were made about the need for any further police involvement given the current attitude of his partner but despite her clear opposition he was served with a Domestic Violence Protection Notice prohibiting him from returning to his home address for 48 hours. The police indicated that there would also be an unsupported application to a court (located 30 miles away) for a full Protection Order within the next 2 days. The application would request conditions keeping him out of the family home and away from his partner for 28 days. He was told that he would have to attend court to oppose it.

Robert Beighton

Robert Beighton

Rob is a higher courts advocate but his main practice is in the magistrates court, the youth court and at the police station where he has a wealth of experience in representing clients.

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