Our Criminal Defence Solicitors help clients through the vagaries and inconsistencies of the Criminal Justice system, whether at the police station or in Court.
The prospect of Police, Courts, Magistrates, Judges, verdicts and punishment can cause worry and confusion among those not used to dealing with the law.
We help steer clients through the vagaries and inconsistencies of the Criminal Justice system, whether at the police station or in Court.
In an increasingly cynical world we still believe that a person is innocent until proven guilty, whatever the alleged offence.
We regularly attend the Criminal Courts in Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich, Cambridge, Norwich, Colchester and will travel further if requested by a client.
For help from Criminal Defence specialists, call 01284 701131 or contact us today.
Declan Gallagher, our Head of Crime has been qualified for over 20 years. Claire Furlong brings over a decade’s practice as a criminal defence solicitor and Graham Boutel rounds out the legal team with several years advising clients at the police station.
Each case has a conducting solicitor who is the point of contact, however through regular review and team meeting our combined talents are applied to the benefit of the client.
Free Legal Advice at the Police Station
If you’re under arrest you have the right to consult a solicitor at any time (unless it is a serious case when this right can sometimes be postponed).
At the police station you have the right to free legal advice from us if you ask for Burnett Barker Solicitors or one of our Criminal Defence representatives: Declan Gallagher, Claire Furlong or Graham Boutel.
Your request will be passed to the Defence Solicitor Call Centre and they will contact us.
Alternatively, you may ask for the duty solicitor (which may not be us) and the Call Centre will arrange for whichever solicitor is on duty at that time to help you.
You won’t have to pay for our help while under arrest at the police station as we have a contract with the Legal Aid Authority. The Call Centre will contact us for you.
Help at the Magistrates’ Court
All criminal cases begin in the Magistrates’ Court and the vast majority – 95% – remain there.
Magistrates’ courts generally deal with lesser crimes and as a result, their powers are restricted. They are however under pressure to administer justice swiftly so it is vital you get in touch with us as soon as possible once you have been accused of a criminal offence.
If you are under 18 or you are getting Income Support, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, the guarantee credit part of Pension Credit or Universal Credit, you will usually qualify for Legal Aid.
We will check if you qualify for Legal Aid. If you do not qualify, we can still help and will give you a competitive quote for our legal services and in some cases we can help you for a fixed fee.
Help at the Crown Court
If the charges against you are serious enough or in some cases if you choose to, your case will be heard in a Crown Court where the range of possible punishments is much greater.
Your case will usually be decided by a jury under the guidance of a Judge and you will be represented by one of our own Solicitor-Advocates or a specialist barrister appointed by us.
Legal Aid is available in the Crown Court, but you may have to make financial contributions (payable to the Legal Aid Authority) – depending on your finances. If you lose, you might have to pay more.
We will explain all of this to you so that you have a clear understanding of the current Legal Aid arrangements and how they affect you.
Specialist Motoring Advice
With an estimated 35 million motorists in the UK, the law of averages say you are bound to be caught for something sooner or later.
We actively avoid getting involved in expensive, obscure and fruitless challenges in motoring matters, but if there is a point worth taking, we will do so.
By way of example, we have recently concluded a case where our client was charged with driving with excess alcohol. We pointed out to the Crown Prosecution Service that they could not prove that it was on a public road and they were forced to drop the charge.
Similarly, we recently challenged a procedure when a blood sample was taken from a hospital patient by a police doctor without first securing the permission of the treating physician and again, the prosecution were forced to drop the case.
Where you accept the offence but your licence and your livelihood and ability to live a ‘normal’ life might be at risk, we have a considerable record of successfully arguing that a less harsh penalty is appropriate, resulting in clients continuing to drive lawfully with 12 or more points on their license or their driving licence not being endorsed at all.
We deal with motoring offences at every level of seriousness up to and including death by dangerous driving.
A significant number of our motoring clients are professional people who find themselves in difficulty, who usually come to us by way of recommendation. We find that they appreciate our pragmatic and sensitive approach.