Professional, experienced specialists in all aspects of Criminal Law
We can represent you in a variety of complex criminal cases. If you require a specialist to help you, our highly experienced and approachable Criminal Law Solicitors at Switalskis can provide you with the advice necessary to obtain the best result possible.
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Professional legal representation for Criminal Law proceedings
Our experts are here to ensure that your case is fought thoroughly and fairly. Being prosecuted for any criminal offence can be an intimidating and challenging time in life. Our solicitors understand this and will provide you with the support and guidance needed throughout. We will represent you and keep you updated with information at every stage, from an initial police station inquiry through to any trials and sentencing.
What kind of cases can Switalskis help with?
We can defend you in many areas of criminal law, including serious and violent crime, as well as fraud. Collectively the team have many years' experience and it includes a barrister and two Solicitor Advocates, meaning that we can represent you before courts at all levels.
This gives you peace of mind that you will receive consistent advice if you need to take your case to a higher court as our lawyers can represent clients at all levels including the Court of Appeal.
Our range of expertise includes:
- Fraud & Business Crime - Our Business Crime Unit specialises in serious fraud and business crime, as well as providing representation in regulatory investigations and actions. We will help try to reduce the possibility of serious penalties.
- Motoring Offences - Losing your licence can have serious consequences and impact upon your family life and employment. If you are being prosecuted for a motoring offence, we will deliver the necessary advice to help minimise the impact the offence has upon you.
- Police Station Representation - If you have been arrested we can represent you when you need it most at the police station. All advice at the station is free and we offer a 24-hour emergency callout service.
Our Criminal Law Specialists
How are cases funded?
Our exact fees will vary, depending on your specific circumstances. We are able to offer legal aid in select cases.
Guilty plea and mitigation
For representation at a single hearing for a guilty plea and mitigation, in relation to summary only offences under Part 1 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 or s89 Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. We charge a fixed fee of £500 (inclusive of VAT).
This fee is subject to the following:
- We can only offer this service within West Yorkshire. We may be able to offer it elsewhere but this could incur additional costs, which will need to be agreed with us beforehand.
- The £500 fee is only for attendance at court on the day of the hearing. If a 1 hour office appointment is required prior to the court hearing then the fee will increase to £600 (incl VAT).
- The above fees do not cover ‘special reasons’ hearings
- In some cases there will be payments that are required to be made for the services of third-parties in addition to our fees (disbursements) such as the costs of instructing an expert. An example of this is where a psychiatric report may be required. This will typically cost between £1000 and £2000 (plus VAT). A report to calculate what the level of alcohol in your breath/blood would have been if you had not had a drink after driving, is an example of a report that is required in contested drink drive cases – such reports typically cost up to £1000 (plus VAT).
Not guilty pleas
If you are pleading not guilty and want representation at a trial in the Magistrates court we will be able to represent you for a fixed fee. That fee will typically be between £1000 and £2000 (plus VAT) for a trial in the Magistrates Court if you are represented by one of our Solicitors and between £2000 and £5000 (plus VAT) if you are represented by our in-house barrister, Mr Littlehales. All our Solicitors have been qualified under CLAS, to practice as Duty Solicitors in the Magistrates Court and Police Station, for over 10 years at least.
We will agree a fixed fee with you at the outset of the case. The amount of that fee will also depend upon the complexity of the case and the length of the trial. If we have to travel to venues other than Leeds Magistrates Court or Leeds Crown Court, we will charge mileage at the rate of 45 per mile (plus VAT).
Special Reasons or Exceptional Hardship
Mr Littlehales is our specialist in-house barrister dealing with motoring offences, and is supervised by Michael Devlin. In cases where he is asked to argue Special Reasons or Exceptional Hardship it will typically cost between £2000 and £4000 (plus VAT). This will depend on the venue and complexity of the case. Representation by one of our solicitors in cases of this nature will typically cost between £1000 and £2000 (plus VAT). You will be given fixed fee price at the outset of the case once all factors are apparent.
In all matters, if you are paying privately for our services then we will require monies on account prior to the first hearing to cover the costs of that hearing. We then require payment in full to cover any outstanding amount of the fixed fee prior to the trial date.
VAT is currently charged on all our services and third party disbursements at 20%.
Key Stages and Timeframes
How your case will proceed and how long it will take can vary.
It is very difficult to estimates the timescale for how long each case will take as that will depend on various factors. Such factors include the nature of any police investigation and the availability of court time to accommodate hearings.
If you are charged with an offence by the police then you will be typically required to attend court to enter a plea within 4 to 12 weeks.
You may also be summoned to answer charges at court by a letter known as a postal
requisition. You may get a postal requisition without warning and without any previous contact with the police. If you receive a postal requisition you are likely to be required to attend court within a similar timescale.
A guilty plea in the Magistrates Court often results in the case being dealt with on the first occasion, but not in every case. We can advise in relation to that in more detail once we are aware of the evidence in your case.
A not guilty plea means that there will be at least one further hearing. If the case remains in the Magistrates Court then it is likely that the next hearing after the first will be the trial itself.
Mr Devlin is Head of the Crime Department with overall supervisory responsibility for the work of the team.
Please contact us if you have any query about any aspect of our fees or would like to agree a fee for your specific circumstances.