All criminal cases start at the magistrates’ court and by far the majority of cases conclude there. Our team includes solicitors who specialise in dealing with cases in the magistrates’ court and who will guide you through the process, explaining your options and advising you as to how the case is likely to develop at every stage. We have a depth of knowledge and experience in dealing with all summary only matters including road traffic offences, allegations of domestic violence, theft, benefit fraud and environmental health prosecutions. Our reputation is founded on over 100 years of providing quality advice and assistance to our clients, tenacious and persuasive advocacy in court and achieving the best possible result in the case.
The specialist Youth Department is one of a few in the country dedicated to providing an expert and comprehensive service for young people suspected of or charged with offending and their families. The department draws on the wealth of experience within the firm to provide assistance, advice and advocacy tailored to the specific problems and concerns which arise when under 18s find themselves having to deal with the criminal justice system.
The department was formed to cater for the particular difficulties that are encountered in this highly technical area, from first time alleged offenders, to others in breach of previous court orders or facing serious matters alone, with other youths or in conjunction with adults. Recognising the particular needs and vulnerabilities of young people in police stations, charged with offences or awaiting trial, the department will deal with key issues such as organising appropriate adults, obtaining third party assessments, references and reports and liaising with multi-disciplinary agencies.
We can also offer advice and assistance in relation to Acceptable Behaviour Contracts, applications for Anti Social Behaviour Orders and school exclusions. Providing clear and comprehensible reassurance and guidance for parents and carers as well as suspects and defendants in challenging circumstances, the department is focussed on managing anxieties and providing the fullest possible information and involvement with the process, whilst using the available legal and procedural provisions to achieve the best possible outcome.
If you would like to discuss a matter with the Youth Department then please telephone Claire Dissington on 0207 790 4032. Alternatively, complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you.
Funding your case
Legal aid in the Magistrates’ Court is subject to a “merits” test and a “means” test. In order to assess whether you are likely to be eligible for legal aid, please contact a member of our Magistrates’ Court team on 0207 790 4032 or, alternatively, complete the online enquiry form and we will contact you.
If you are ineligible for legal aid in the Magistrates’ Court and choose to fund your defence privately, you can apply to reclaim your costs if you are subsequently found not guilty. We can make this application on your behalf. We are able to offer competitive private rates and fixed fees may be available.
There is no “merits” testing in the Crown Court, however you may have to make a contribution to the cost of your case. This is a “means” test. We can assist you in completing the relevant Legal Aid application form along with the financial assessment form. If you are not eligible for Legal Aid, we offer extremely competitive private rates. If you choose to fund your defence privately, you can apply to reclaim your costs if you are subsequently found not guilty. Please contact us to discuss your application for legal aid on 0207 790 4032 or alternatively, complete an online enquiry form and we will contact you.