Criminal Defence Solicitors
At Lovell Chohan Solicitors we firmly believe that a committed and knowledgeable legal defence is essential for any person charged with a crime, regardless of the seriousness of the charges.
Whether it’s a minor infringement or a weighty offence, our criminal defence solicitors can provide you with invaluable advice and representation. Lovell Chohan is home to an experienced senior partner, who not only understands criminal law in depth, but is also a former Police Officer turned solicitor. This gives our legal defence team a unique perspective that spans both prosecution and defence. The straightforward legal advice and representation we provide is knowledgeable, constructive, and essential to our client’s interests.
No time is inconvenient for our Criminal Law Team; we operate everyday throughout the year on a 24-hour basis. Our team are available if you need assistance at a police station all the way to representing you at the highest courts through our own specialists and links with highly experienced barristers.
Whilst we deal with all areas of criminal law ranging from fixed penalty tickets to murder we have an enviable reputation in dealing with 'white collar' crime. We have solicitors who have previously worked with The Serious Frauds Office, HMRC and The Foods Standards Agency as prosecutors now turned to be defence solicitors. They have an enviable reputation of expertise to deal with these areas of law:
We are able to advise and represent you in relation to commercial and business fraud which may involve you being investigated and prosecuted by different agencies including HM Revenue and Customs, the Crown Prosecution Service, The Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Services Authority.
This is a serious offence which is punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment. A charge of money laundering usually arises where there is concealment, disposal, transfer and/or removal of property which has been obtained or derived by way of criminal activity or being in possession of any such property for laundering purposes. There are strict rules introduced by the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the Money Laundering Regulations of 2003.
We are able to assist you in providing advice and representation in relation to charges or investigations relating to VAT fraud which may include Carousel fraud or Missing Trader Intra-Community Fraud. These frauds often are linked with complex arrangements between companies in the United Kingdom and or European Union. Mobile phones, computer chips and gold are usually involved in Carousel fraud.
The Fraud Act 2006 makes it an offence for a person who occupies a position in which he is expected to safeguard, or not to act against, the financial interests of another person to abuse that position in order to benefit himself or some third-party. Such a conviction can carry imprisonment of up to 10 years.
We are able to advise you and represent you in relation to confiscation orders made under the proceeds of crime act 2002 or that may have been made under the criminal Justice act 1998 or the drug trafficking act 1994. If you are subject to such an order and unable to comply with the terms of the order, a breach may result in you being imprisoned. Notwithstanding the fact that you serve a term of imprisonment the outstanding debt will remain. We are able to deal with applications to vary and/or discharge orders under the proceeds of crime act 2002.
These are a type of Order designed to freeze your assets or preserve such property where there is a possibility of future confiscation proceedings. Please speak to us in the event you are subject to a restraint order.
We have considerable expertise in dealing with motoring/driving offences.
Credit for Guilty Pleas
If you are charged with a driving offence and you plead guilty at an early stage in the proceedings against you, the court will give you credit for this. In other words the court will give you a reduced sentence and if the court does this they must inform you that they have given you credit for the early plea.
A range of offences have different maximum penalties. It is dependent on the case and the facts as to the level of fine you are likely to receive. The court usually takes your financial circumstances and your ability to pay a fine and any associated costs in determining the fine and the length of time allowed for you to pay such fines.
Again the type of offence and the circumstances of the case will carry a different range of penalty points that the court can make.
In the event you accumulate 12 points on your licence you are likely to be disqualified for a minimum member of 6 months. However there can be exceptional circumstances, where others depend on you and all your employment is likely to be lost the court have the discretion not to disqualify you. The 12 points has to be within 3 years of the current offence that you are charged with. On the expiration of 3 years the points do not count towards totting up purposes. The date for totting up is the date of the offence and not the date of your court hearing.
Dependent on the type of case and the circumstances relating to it the court may be able to disqualify you again depending on the circumstances of your case and any tariffs for a minimum or maximum period are set out in law. The usual period of disqualification for motoring offences is 6 months.
For first-time drink drive offences or driving whilst unfit through drink or drugs the tariff is set at a minimum period of 12 months. The court is able to order a longer period of disqualification but this can never be less then 12 months unless:
The court agrees that you have attended and completed a course for convicted drink drive offenders, and if this is the case the disqualification period may be reduced by up to one quarter.
Special reasons may apply to your case and these usually are examples of a life or death situation.
In cases of less serious motoring offences you are not likely to be sent to prison. Offences such as drink and drug driving offences, taking a vehicle without consent or driving whilst disqualified are likely to result in imprisonment.
In the event that you are convicted following a trial you are likely to be ordered to make a payment towards the prosecution costs. Such costs will be determined by the court.
Legal Aid Representation
There are often cases or interviews by other agencies other than the police, such as the benefits agency and other government departments. We are able to advise and represent you at such interviews. Legal aid may be available to you, but this is dependent on your means and income.
If you are arrested by the police or attend at the police station voluntarily you will be entitled to free legal representation at the police station, providing the interview is conducted by the police. If you require such attendance by us at the police station, you must ask the police to either call us out or the duty solicitor. We operate a 24 hour 365 day emergency crime line, click HERE for emergency numbers.
Public funding or legal aid is available for representing you in the magistrates’ court but this is both means and merits tested. In other words you must qualify financially and the prospects of you successfully defending or the case being discontinued against you must be good dependent on your defence and evidence. If you wish to apply for public funding we will require your National Insurance number and details of the benefits you receive supported by documentary evidence of the benefits.
If you are in employment you will be asked to produce your three most recent wage slips, details of bank and or building society accounts together with statements for the last three months. The legal services commission may require other documentary evidence if necessary. In the event that you are married or live with a partner, the same information will be required from them as well. When an application for legal aid, if you pass the means assessment legal aid is granted, and free. However if you fail legal aid will be refused.
If your case is being dealt with in the Crown Court legal aid will be means tested, the only difference being that subject to your means you may be ordered to pay a contribution towards your own legal costs as the case progresses. At the Cown Court if you are convicted you will always be ordered to contribute towards the prosecution costs.
In the event that you are refused legal aid or simply are not eligible for legal aid we are able to act for you on a private costs basis. In this situation we will explain to you our hourly charges and provide you with an estimate of the likely costs of representing you, subject to our terms and conditions of business. In certain cases we are able to agree a fixed agreed fee with you in advance to deal with the whole case or certain aspects of it.
If you require private representation please make an appointment to see us.
24hr Crime Line number - Click HERE