Crime and Criminal Matters - ShenSmith Barristers

Criminal Matters and Criminal Prosecutions

What do I do if I am arrested upon the suspicion of a criminal offence?

Anyone who has been arrested upon suspicion of any criminal offence needs the very best of legal advice urgently. With proper and sensible written representations being made pre-charge it maybe possible to influence the police or the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) as to the outcome of the investigation, and as to whether or not there’s going to be a charge at all.

What do I do if I have been charged with a criminal offence?

But in the event of a charge being preferred, the advice and the steps taken during the course of the investigation can be pivotal to the outcome of the trial. It is common sense that if there is a charge followed by a trial, then the person who is going to eventually appear in court, is by far the best person to advise upon when, which the case should be conducted from the beginning.

What happens if I am convicted of a criminal offence?

Significant financial penalties, if not imprisonment follow criminal convictions, if the allegation involves financial profit, then there are the draconian provisions of Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), which can mean that most if not all of the person’s assets can be confiscated by the court.

The advantages that I have at both stages, and after 30 years in practice, is that I am recognised as being a senior criminal practitioner. I am a QC (Queen’s Counsel), a silk, representing about 10 or 12 percent of the entire profession.

Criminal advocacy, especially jury advocacy is the specialism of the barrister. That is what barristers have been doing for hundreds of years. There is no rehearsal prior to a court trial. The only substitute for a trial is preparation – and proper preparation, in order to deal with various ways in which the evidence may well unfold. Effective persuasion is the product of years of experience before juries, courts up and down the country. It involves a detailed knowledge of the law and the courts’ procedures, but it also involves a sensitivity to the atmosphere, in which the proceedings are being conducted.

The consequences of a conviction are all too obvious: imprisonment, fines running into thousands of pounds, the prosecution’s costs of bringing the investigation and then proceeding through the court, damage to you and your family’s reputations, a significant loss of family assets if the charges are of a particular nature.

Instruct a barrister directly for criminal defence:

The first instances almost everyone will have, if they are arrested on a suspicion of an offence, is to pick the phone and call a solicitor. However, the new legal horizon is very different, and provides a quicker and more cost effective way forward. You can now access the very best of court room skills as solicitors always have done over the years, by going direct to the barrister. Moreover, I have access to specialist investigators who can be called upon on a case by case basis, in order to assist in a proper and complete preparation of your case. They will be hand picked for particular tasks. I can also advise you upon the choice and instruction of any experts that are required for the purposes of the case. The net result of coming directly to a barrister is that the process of the delivery of the advice is quicker and you get a highly experienced specialist’s help from the outset.