There are a number of ways in which somebody can be interviewed in a police station. If they have not been arrested on the spot you can be asked to come to the police station for a chat.
This is a tactic used to put you off guard, it’s only when you get to the police station when you are arrested that you realise the seriousness of the position you are in. If you are aware of this before you go to the police station, you can have your solicitor of choice free of charge. It is important that you have a solicitor in order that you are informed of the allegations against you before you are interviewed.
The way you answer questions in interview, if you answer questions at all, could have a significant impact on whether you are charged with an offence or found not guilty after trial. If you are guilty of an offence there may be considerable mitigation you wish to put forward which may have an impact on sentence if the matter goes to court.
If you are at a police station and ask that Shepherd Reynolds Ltd attends you need to be aware some police officers will say it will take longer to wait for a solicitor. This is not the case. Solicitors have guideline, as to how long it must take them to attend a police station when requested. Not having a solicitor could result in you unnecessarily being kept in custody for prolonged periods or being kept in custody over night when it is not necessary.
You need to be aware that criminal law is based on an adversarial system, meaning that their goal is to get you charged with an offence as the police officers have targets on how many people they have charged each month.
We provide free initial legal advice on our areas of expertise which include our Serious Crime Department, fraud, prison law, appeals, road traffic and civil law.
If you are subject to a criminal investigation or have already been charged with an offence and need our services contact us by email or telephone.
Legal Aid is available for advice and representation at the police station. It may also be available for representation in the Magistrates and Crown Courts.
We will complete a Legal Aid Application on your behalf and can also conduct an appeal if you are refused legal aid.
We are repeatedly asked in the course of criminal proceedings to assist with transfers of criminal Legal Aid where clients feel let down, ignored or not represented to a high standard. It is important to those subject to an investigation or prosecution, that they are confident in the solicitors that they instruct and that they consider those that act for them are doing everything they possibly can to assist.
In circumstances where legal aid is not available, we will provide an estimate of costs, including our chargeable rates.
If you find yourself having to go to court for the first time with a youth it is important that you ensure you have legal representation.
A youth is classed as someone between 10 to 17 and is charged or summoned for an offence. The case will usually be heard in the Youth Court, unless charged with an adult or a grave crime.
Youth Justice is different than adult justice. The aim is to prevent offending rather than punish them. The welfare of the youth is important which is why you need representation in court.
In certain circumstances offences which are classed as “grave crimes” or youths are classed as dangerous offenders, the matters will be dealt with by the Crown Court.
Will I get bail?
This applies at both the police station and court.
You are entitled to bail, but the prosecution at court can object, if one or more of these grounds are met.
1. You will fail to appear at court.
2. You will commit other offences whilst on bail.
3. You will interfere with prosecution witnesses.
The police or prosecution can raise a number of reasons as to why you fit these criteria, which is why you need an experienced solicitor to make representation before the custody sergeant or court.
You should also be aware that in the most serious cases there is no right to bail, examples of such cases are murder and rape, it is then for your solicitor to show exceptional grounds for bail to be granted for such matters.
Please contact us to discuss further.
Commercial fraud –
Pension fraud –
Insurance fraud –
Vat and Duty fraud-
Money laundering –
Confiscation orders –
Benefit fraud –
Commercial fraud –
This is wide-ranging and can result in prosecutions being brought from a number of government agencies. These include HM Revenue and Customs, The Crown Prosecution Service, The Financial Services Authority and the Serious Fraud Office.
This may arise through a claim for benefits under a pension scheme to which the person claiming is not entitled.
Insurance Fraud –
This can vary from false claims for injures to loss of property.
Vat and Duty fraud –
We represent people on these matters throughout England and Wales, such cases are often complex and involve intra company trading between UK and other countries.
It is essential to have representation from an early stage for fraud cases. These types of cases can be often lengthy and a good working relationship with your legal team is essential.
If you are to be interviewed about a fraud offence or already have a solicitor representing you, and you are unhappy with the service, contact us now.
Such an offence is punishable with up to 14 years imprisonment. Prosecutions in this area have increased significantly since the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 came into force.
You need to ensure you have a good relationship with your solicitors with such matters and we have been involved with many transfer of Legal Aid Certificates where clients have lost faith in their representation.
Often called Poca as they are made under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 but older matters may have been dealt with under other legislation.
If you are unable to pay what is outstanding against you which has been decided by the court, you will be facing defaulting a Court Order which ultimately could result in you going to prison.
It is possible to make variations or discharge orders in certain circumstances.
Subject to your means you may be eligible for Legal Aid for representation on this matter.
Contact us to discuss this further.
Benefit fraud (Free advice)
This is deliberately giving false information, or not telling the Department of Works and Pensions, or Council because you will be better off as a result.
The agencies involved will invite you for an interview at their offices and although not arrested you will still be interviewed “under caution” informing you of your rights.
You should only be invited in for an interview if it is suspected your actions have been fraudulent. Therefore it is important that you have legal representation from the start.
The Department of Work and Pensions and Council will tell you that any advice you want from a solicitor you will have to pay this may not be the case. Contact us now to discuss further.
With the change in Government and the large debt that is resulting in Government Departments budgets being slashed, Local Councils and other Government Departments are doing all they can to recover as much money as possible. This makes it more important than ever to have representation on Benefits matters. There is no obligation on you to use our services, but give us a call on 0161 969 6415 and discuss your problem with us.
Murder and Manslaughter.
Murder is committed when a person of “sound mind” unlawfully kills another with the intention to either kill or cause “grievous bodily harm”.
This is when the intention is not to kill, but only to hurt them, or to exert some force on them.
This is where a person must have the intention to kill another person and has done something more than preparatory to commit the killing.
Such cases are often complex which result in lengthy investigations and prosecutions.
It is important to have the right representation as early as possible. If you are unhappy with your representation we have considerable experience it transfer applications from your old solicitor to us.
On the 4th October 2010 the defence of provocation was abolished (for acts committed on / after that date).
The partial defence of “Loss of Control” has been created.
On the same date the defence of Diminished Responsibility was amended considerably.
Assaults vary in severity. The most severe being S18 assaults and reducing in severity to S20, S47 and S39 Common assault.
Section 18 Assault -(Grievous bodily harm).
This offence must be intended and is the most serious of offences. This can include broken bones and stab wounds.
The maximum sentence for this offence is life imprisonment and can only be dealt with by a Crown Court.
Section 20 Assault- “It is Unlawful Wounding” (inflicting Grevious Bodily Harm)
This is a less serious version of the above offence where it was not believed rather than was intended. There is a significant difference in sentencing with a maximum of a 5 year custodial sentence can be imposed.
Section 47 Assault- (Actual bodily harm).
The only intention required is to want to assault the victim, there is a maximum prison sentence of 5 years available to the Court.
Section 39 Assault (Common assault)
This is the most minor of assault, and can be caused by a mere touching or they can be afraid that immediate force will be used. The maximum penalty is six months imprisonment and can only be tried in the Magistrates Court.
If you are to be interviewed by the police on any of these matters, have been charged and due to go to court or are unhappy with your current solicitors contact us now.
This offence is deemed so serious that it can only be dealt with at the Crown Court.
A person is guilty of robbery if he or she steals and immediately before or during he or she uses force or threatens to use force.
These matters are only dealt with at the Crown Court and is an unwarranted demand where someone is gaining from that demand.
This is the unlawful detention of another against their will.
Threats to kill-
The person must genuinely fear the threat will be carried out.
Offences can vary from directing terrorist activities being a member of a terrorist organisation or using an article which there is suspicion that may be used in terrorism acts.
Due to the constant changes in legislation in this specialist area it is important to ensure the constant changes with Control Orders, stop and search and detention powers are known by your solicitor.
Shepherd Reynolds is use to dealing with these issues and can also assist with transfer where you are unhappy with your current solicitors.
Sexual offences –
The offences which come under this title can often be the most difficult for all involved.
Shepherd Reynolds has expertise in cases of Rape, Grooming, Child pornography and all other sex offences.
Rape and assault by penetration are only dealt with in the Crown Court.
The offences can result in inclusion on the Sex Offender Register and also having to be party to Sex Offender Prevention Orders.
Due to the serious nature of these matters it is important to have experience solicitor dealing with your case. Contact us now.
This type of offence usually relates to the sexual exploitation of people who are brought from other countries and are exploited for sexual purposes.
On conviction in the Crown Court a sentence of up to 14 years imprisonment can be given.
It is part of a well established system that young girls are lured to the UK with the promise of lucrative, respectable careers. They arrive without passport or visas they can often claim asylum at airports and be put into hostels or foster care in the care of local authorities.
It is undoubtedly a problem which needs to be tackled by the government. What can often happen is that people who have not been exploited will use the exploitation of others and state this has happened to them in order to try and claim asylum at the expense of those who have offered them employment.
If you find yourself in this position contact us for a free consultation. We are experienced in such cases and transferring matters from other solicitor when you are unhappy with the service you have received.
Shepherd Reynolds solicitors have significant experience in all drugs offences.
We have dealt with conspiracy to import drugs, drug importation on a large and small scale we also have dealt with all levels of other drugs offences.
We represent those suspected of offences throughout the country.
Prosecutions for conspiracy, importation and supply are often long and complex and can result in long prison sentences and orders of confiscation of assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Contact us now for representation at the police station or court; we also deal with transfers of such matters if you are unhappy with your representation.
Shepherd Reynolds LTD has many years of experience with appeals against sentence and conviction in the Court of Appeal.
With the exception of appealing IPP sentences (indeterminate public protection sentences), which we have a considerable amount of success with, all other appeals can only be dealt with by private payment.
Such cases can be costly with the need to employ experts in scientific evidence.
Due to this we provide an initial consultation at our office for free, this is to assess the reason believed by the appellant and family why an appeal would be successful.
We will then give a breakdown of costs it would take to lodge with the Criminal Cases Review Commission or the Court of Appeal.
We pride ourselves with our integrity and if we believe the evidence, if any, is not adequate to lodge an appeal or whilst considering the case it becomes apparent there are no grounds of appeal we will inform you immediately in order to save you money and unwarranted expectation of a successful appeal.
Many law firms who have criminal law web sites will have a separate web site for road traffic which they believe justifies their exorbitant prices.
Unfortunately Legal Aid is available for only the most serious of offences such as death by dangerous driving and dangerous driving, and drink driving.
We offer competitive prices and representation all over England and Wales on all driving offences some of these are as follows
Dangerous driving – may result in a custodial sentence, lengthy ban or penalty points.
Drink driving – may result in a custodial sentence, lengthy ban or penalty points.
Failure to provide specimen – can result in disqualification and fine.
No insurance – Discretionary
Failure to comply with road signs – Potential ban, points, fine.
Vehicle defects – Possible disqualification, points and fine.
Speeding – Disqualification points and fine.
Seatbelt offences – Fine
Mobile phone use – Three penalty points
Tachograph offences – The rules in this area are complex. We are able to advice as to possible defences and mitigation in all these areas.
Shepherd Reynolds Ltd has many years of experience with prison law. Over the last 12 years we have tried to adapt to change, an example of this was being the first prison law department in Manchester to have video link facilities to deal with speedy visits and help prisoners who are in isolated areas of the country with few solicitors to assist with prison law.
The newest concerns with prison law is the reduction in fees by the legal services commission. It is anticipated that not only will fewer providers assist prisoners in this area but limitation on work will happen due to solicitors not being paid for travel to prisons or for visits on certain cases.
It is our intention to carry on such work and contrive to provide a high quality services on all areas of prison law including the areas discussed in further detail contact us now.
With over 100,000 adjudications for prison discipline taking place in prisons in England and Wales each year it is surprising that more prisoners do not ask for legal help either on matters before the governor or independent adjudicator as they could receive up to 42 days added to their sentence.
On matters before the governor privileges may be lost which can make life very difficult.
With the changes in criminal legal aid many solicitors will no longer be able to help the criminal clients on such matters and reduction in funding has also meant other firms no longer assist in such areas.
It is important to have representation on such matters and unfair and unjust sentences can be appealed.
Contact us now to ensure your family members have representation.
Unlike a prisoner with a determinate sentence, life sentence prisoners or indeterminate sentence prisoners do not know when they will be released.
What they do know is that they must complete their “tariff” or minimum term as it is now known before they can be considered for release.
There is no guarantee of release and it must be shown to the Parole Board at a hearing that the areas of risk have been reduced to an acceptable level, so that they can be managed in the community.
By the time a prisoner gets to their tariff expiry they will be more than aware what their “sentence plan” targets have been reached, issues such as alcohol and violence may be key factors which need to be addressed and there are many course to address areas of concern.
Solicitors experienced in this area are needed from an early stage of such sentences to ensure that the Probation and Prison service do not hinder the progression unnecessary of a prisoner.
Also expertise is needed to help the prisoner at their parole hearing.
There are many issues which can arise with parole which we have the expertise to deal with. Contact us now to discuss.
Offenders serving a sentence of 12 months and over are released from prison, in most cases automatically at the half way point of their sentence, under licensed supervision to the Probation Service. They are all subject to a set of standard licence conditions, requiring them to report regularly to the Probation Service, live at an address approved by the Probation Service and to be of good behaviour.
In many cases additional conditions will be added to help probation manage the person on licence. The conditions can include curfews and residing at a hostel.
Between 1st April 1999 and 31st December 2009 a total of 103,355 persons were recalled. The amount of people who appeal these reasons are a fraction of that, resigning themselves to remaining in custody till the end of the licence.
What must be remembered is that licences will be extended for those recalled till their sentence expires which could result in further recalls.
It can quite often be the case that there may be justification for recalls but mitigation for those breaches or a breakdown in communication with probation could mean recalls are unjustified.
Will I be released automatically after 28 days?
Prisoners who are not serving a specified offence and whom the Secretary of State does not consider pose a risk of serious harm will have their re-release on licence automatically after 28 days in custody.
Prisoners serving specified offences will have 28 days to make representations to try to show they will not be a threat to the public safety.
To discuss how to help your family or friend contact us now to ensure they receive adequate representation.
Why is it important to make a Will?
You may think it is not important for you to make a Will for different reasons, you have limited assets or you have a busy life, you’re in good health.
Everybody should have a Will, husbands, wives, people living together, single people, young and old people, we can have little indication when we will die and have all been shocked when we hear about someone we know who is struck down with illness, has a fatal accident or dies suddenly.
- If you die without a Will, there are rules as to how your assets are divided. This is not necessarily how you would have wished.
- Unmarried partners who do not have a registered civil partnership cannot inherit from each other unless there is a will.
The tax to be paid on your death can be lowered on inheritance with forward thinking. Why should the state receive money you have worked hard for when you obviously want this to go to your family of friends.
You may already have a Will but need to update it. Examples are when relationships end and new ones start.
You work hard enough; you want to ensure your wishes are followed after death.
Is it necessary to use a solicitor?
There are opportunities to obtain a Will cheaply over the Internet or from a supermarket but is this wise.
To die without a Will or not have a binding one can lead to uncertainty and misery for your loved ones. Also simple mistakes could prevent your wishes being followed and your loved ones not being cared for.
This is too important an issue to make mistakes. It could cost you, your family or friends dearly.
When a person dies, someone has to deal with their affairs; this is called “administering the estates”.
Dealing with the affairs of someone who has died can take a long time. It is not unusual for it to take up to a year. Many organisations may be involved in the process.
The estates cannot be dealt with until all claims to it have been received; individuals have six months from the date when Probate was grated to make claims against the estate.
Personal representatives are responsible for making sure that the estate is administered correctly, if there is a Will, the personal representative must ensure the wishes are followed. If there is no Will the rules of intestacy must be followed.
If you need further advice or wish to make an appointment, contact us.
Lasting Powers of Attorney.
There are over 2 million people in England and Wales who lack mental capacity to make their own decisions and this includes those suffering from dementia, stroke and head injuries, or people that have learning disabilities or other mental health issues.
Section A (1) of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 provides that a lasting power of attorney is a power under which the Donor confers on the Donee authority to make decisions about all or any of the following.
- The Donor’s personal welfare or specified matters concerning his personal welfare.
- The Donor’s property and affairs or specified matters concerning their property and affairs.
This includes authority to make such decisions in circumstances where the Donor no longer has capacity.
This means that there are now two types of lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) that a Donor can create, these are known as.
- personal welfare lasting Power of Attorney
- Property and affairs Power of Attorney.
Lasting Powers of Attorney cannot take effect until they have been validly registered.
To create a valid lasting Power of Attorney
-the Donee or Donees must not be disqualified from acts as attorneys
- The instrument must be executed in accordance with the provisions.
- The lasting Power of Attorney must be registered.
What is a Trust?
A Trust is an obligation binding a person called a Trustee to deal with property in a particular way for the benefit of others known as beneficing the Trustees are legally bound to manage the property on behalf of the beneficiaries according to the terms of the Trust.
Home protection plans.
This is an opportunity for elderly people to put their home in Trust which can protect the estate from being used for care home fees. The home will no longer be subject to Probate on death. The home can be sold or transferred by the Trustees immediately after death.
This would be suitable for those in mid 60s upwards. It will only be suitable for those in reasonable health at the time of making. If you have pensions or other incomes that can be used for care it will not be suitable.
Children under 18
A Trust can be made to pass assets to children or a grandchild to be held by the Trustees until the children reaches the age of 18. This can be a tax efficient method of protecting assets.
Preventing assets from bankruptcy.
No beneficiary has an absolute right to receive anything. A discretionary Trust can be a very useful where you do not wish to give the intended beneficiaries control of the assets. This means that third parties cannot treat the asset as belonging to the individual beneficiary. This would be beneficial for bankrupts.
A Trust can be made to give a beneficiary the right to income from the Trust assets or the right to occupy during their life time, after death children from the first marriage or relationship can receive the capital.
The CICA is the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority they deal with compensation for victims of violence.
A solicitor can be beneficial as they will be able to spot the maximum CICA award available.
The benefit of using us is that we will be able to keep costs low with any possible experts who will need to be instructed.
We have regular contact with the CICA and will be able to deal with your application quickly.
You should be aware that an application needs to be made. Within two years of the crime of violence. If outside this time it is possible to ask that the deadline be waved.