Criminal Investigations by the Insolvency Service
by Camilla Rents | Criminal Defence Generally
At Old Bailey Solicitors, our reputation as leading criminal defence specialists in London, Sussex, and Surrey has been built on two decades of unwavering dedication to defending our clients’ rights. We are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and hold the well regarded Lexcel Legal Practice Quality Mark, with vast experience in all manner of violent offences and many other areas of the criminal justice system.
Our expert team is extensively experienced in providing a robust defence for individuals accused of violent offences and assault offences. We understand that such accusations can be deeply distressing, not only for the accused but also for their loved ones. Our commitment is to ensure that every client receives the best possible representation, safeguarding their reputation and liberty. We have extensive experience representing clients charged or facing a police station interview with the full range of violent offences, from high-profile murder cases to minor assaults and can represent our clients on a private fixed fee basis, or on legal aid.
Violent offences cover a wide spectrum of cases, ranging from common assault to much more serious crimes such as manslaughter or murder. Accusations may arise from misunderstandings, false claims, or situations where the use of force was arguably justified. No matter the circumstances, the potential repercussions of any assault or violent offences are always severe and this is why it is vital to obtain legal representation and expert legal advice.
At Old Bailey Solicitors, we firmly believe that comprehensive preparation is the cornerstone of an effective defence. Our approach is meticulously detailed, ensuring that you are not only informed but also actively involved in every facet of your case.
From the outset, we aim to rigorously prepare both your case and you. This goes beyond simply understanding the charge or weighing the evidence against you. As your criminal defence solicitors it is our philosophy that the more you understand criminal law and the nuances and strategies of your defence, the more confident you will feel as the proceedings unfold.
We don’t limit our assistance to basic guidance on charges, evidence, and plea. Our commitment extends to ensuring that every aspect of your defence is strategised and executed with precision. For those facing more serious offences or violent offence charges, we will work to a detailed case plan. This outlines the specific challenges in your case and the steps we will undertake to expertly navigate them.
Recognising that the court advocate is a crucial part of your defence team, we facilitate open discussions about your choice of advocate. We seek to ensure that the professional representing you aligns with your needs and preferences, providing the most robust defence possible.
The terrain of a violent offence case is often riddled with complex decisions – from identifying and engaging with defence witnesses to choosing and implementing trial tactics. At Old Bailey Solicitors, we value your input. We believe that by involving you in these pivotal choices, we strive to assist in crafting a defence strategy that resonates with your personal circumstances.
Violent offences are ensnared in a web of intricate legalities, each court date often involving various legal issues. Whether you are currently at the start of a police investigation, navigating the procedural dynamics of the Magistrates’ Court, or facing the more serious atmosphere of the Crown Court, our team is adept at guiding you through each stage of being charged with a criminal offence.
The immediate aftermath of a charge or investigation is crucial. Swift, expert legal advice can significantly alter the trajectory of your case. Old Bailey Solicitors stands ready to advise you from the initial stages of a criminal investigation. Whether you find yourself in the confines of a police station or any other judicial setting, our experts are on hand to provide discreet, sensitive, and unparalleled advice. If you or a loved one has been arrested by a police officer, Old Bailey Solicitors are on hand 24/7. Out of office hours, we offer an emergency out-of-hours service for legal advice and assistance at the police station.
Facing criminal offences like a violent offence or assault investigation or charge can be daunting. With Old Bailey Solicitors by your side, you have the assurance of a dedicated team committed to safeguarding your rights, reputation, and future. Whether your case is in its infancy (with you being under arrest or invited for a voluntary interview under caution), or your assault offences case is already before the Magistrates’ Court or Crown Court, contact us today for representation that truly understands and prioritises your needs.
Common assault involves the threat or use of unlawful force on another person. It is key to note that causing a person to fear immediate unlawful violence, despite not ever inflicting it, constitutes an assault offence in its own right. The application of such force is legally considered to be ‘common assault by battery’, an assault offence where a person is not touched but fears immediate unlawful force is classified as a common assault by threat. Whilst the differentiation of these assault offences may be confusing, Old Bailey Solicitors are dedicated to providing clarity on the law to our clients.
Despite Common Assault being classified as the lowest level of violent offence, and in fact, could occur when no physical injury is sustained, criminal charges are often brought in relation to this offence. At Old Bailey Solicitors, we appreciate that no two cases are the same. Whether self defence is a factor of your case, the case relates to domestic violence, or an assault has been alleged where in fact none has occurred, we can assist with tailored advice.
A Common Assault charge can have wide-reaching consequences for those accused, especially upon conviction where a criminal record is obtained. With a maximum sentence of 6 months imprisonment, it is vital to work with a specialist team such as Old Bailey Solicitors’ expert criminal defence lawyers to protect your interests and ensure the most positive outcome for your case.
For a more in-depth look at common assault, please see our latest articles on the subject using the following link: https://www.oblaw.co.uk/news/
Actual bodily harm (ABH) is committed where a person makes physical contact with a person (common assault), but this leaves some injury. An ABH level assault pertains to some physical injury, often encompassing harm like cuts, grazes, bruises, or swelling. While these injuries are certainly distressing, they are differentiated from the more severe injuries characteristic of Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH), such as significant blood loss or broken bones. ABH-level injuries usually do not entail long-term damage or impairment.
Causing Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) is also a statutory offence, which is enacted by Sections 18 and 20 of the same act. GBH-level injuries denote more serious injuries. When an assault results in GBH, the injuries usually result in significant blood loss, broken bones, unlawful wounding, or any harm that leads to permanent disability or disfigurement. GBH cases are perceived with greater gravity in the legal system due to the profound and lasting impact they can have on the victims.
When navigating the intricacies of either charge, the importance of expert legal advice cannot be understated. Whether the context of the allegations is domestic abuse or injuries inflicted, injury alleged or as a result of prior threats from the victim, Old Bailey Solicitors understand that these serious cases require specialist advice and assistance.
While both GBH and ABH assault charges carry severe implications, the nuances between them and the potential consequences of a conviction necessitate the expertise of specialist assault solicitors well-versed in the distinctions of assault charges, the legislation and the broader context of assault law.
Criminal convictions for ABH and GBH offences can result in sentences of imprisonment, with Section 18 GBH carrying a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, whilst ABH carries a maximum of five years imprisonment. The vital importance of seeking legal representation for legal proceedings in relation to any allegation of ABH or GBH is not to be understated and the consequences of being found guilty of these offences is vast.
For more information about ABH and GBH, please see the links to our latest blogs on the subjects here.
Within the scope of grave violent offences in the UK, murder and attempted murder emerge as two of the most serious violent offence classifications. Murder is legally defined as the unlawful killing of another human being with malice aforethought (to simplify: intention to kill or commit GBH). The consequences of a murder conviction are profound, leading to a mandatory life imprisonment sentence.
In contrast, attempted murder pertains to an act where there’s a clear intent to kill, but the victim does not die. Where a person sustains serious bodily harm resulting from an assault, but the jury cannot be sure that a person intended to kill the other, a Section 18 conviction may follow which also carries a custodial sentence.
While the unlawful assault falls short of actual homicide, the intent makes it almost as culpable. Hence, attempted murder also carries severe penalties, with the maximum penalty the potential for a life sentence. The primary distinction between the two lies in the outcome: while murder results in the death of the victim, attempted murder, by definition, does not.
Nonetheless, both charges are gravely serious, and anyone facing such allegations should urgently seek legal advice from expert defence solicitors, no matter the circumstances. To represent clients who are facing charges of murder or attempted murder, experience is key. The team of criminal defence solicitors Old Bailey Solicitors have a fantastic track record at handling cases of the most serious offence, able to provide expert legal representation to clients on a legal aid basis or privately.