Vardags: law when it really matters

I’ve been accused of a crime and need to protect myself

If you have been arrested or are facing a criminal investigation, expert legal advice from Vardags can transform your situation. As top criminal lawyers for high net worth and high income individuals, we can help you protect your liberty, your reputation, and your career. We often work closely with our Reputation & Privacy department, our Employment department, and our Family department to provide complete legal support in every aspect of life that might be affected by a criminal investigation.

Our specialist criminal lawyers are available to advise and represent our clients—often entrepreneurs, professionals, sports stars, and celebrities—around the clock. We understand the impact on yourself, your family and your career that a criminal accusation can have, whether it be fraud, sexual or drug crimes, or anything else.

Whether your case is in the early stages or heading towards trial, it is never too late or too early to seek legal advice from the best criminal defence lawyers.

Good legal representation can prevent you from being arrested or charged, whilst having the very best criminal defence lawyer will be vital if your matter proceeds to trial.

Our team will help you to minimise the impact criminal charges have on your life and your career.

We offer a free consultation to qualifying individuals. Please call our confidential enquiry line on 020 7404 9390 or email us. Lines are staffed 24 hours.

It’s never too early or too late to take expert advice. Find out why.

 
 
 

If the decision is made to undertake an investigation, the investigating officers should ensure that the key evidence is obtained as soon as possible. They must act fairly to all parties involved and they are duty bound to pursue all avenues of enquiry including those that may undermine the allegation or point to the innocence of the accused individual.

As the former Director of Public Prosecutions, Lord Ken Macdonald QC, put it recently, it is the job of the police to conduct, ‘impartial, objective investigations’.

Normally the police interview will form a key part of an investigation. An interview is defined as the questioning of a person regarding their involvement or suspected involvement in a criminal offence.

The officer conducting the interview must ask all questions they consider relevant to obtaining accurate and reliable information about the offence. They must also allow the suspect the opportunity to give an innocent explanation.

We offer a free consultation to qualifying individuals. Please call our confidential enquiry line on 020 7404 9390 or email us. Lines are staffed 24 hours.

It’s never too early or too late to take expert advice. Find out why.

First of all it is important to remember that the police are not duty bound to investigate every allegation which comes their way. They will consider a number of factors before making a decision to commence a formal investigation. Most importantly, they must consider whether the allegation itself discloses a recognisable offence in law. Even if it does, they must consider the merits of the allegation and also whether a police investigation is a proportionate use of police time and resources.

There are numerous checks and measures on police powers of investigation that arise out of numerous sources of legislation, codes of practice, and other guidance. Therefore, despite the impression created by television police dramas, with their scenes of heavy-handed officers knocking down doors and storming houses in the early hours, the reality is that such drastic steps are the exception, not the norm.

The police must apply for a warrant issued by a Magistrate if they wish to enter a person’s premises either to arrest that individual or conduct a search prior to arrest. A magistrate will only issue  a warrant in the more serious cases and where they are satisfied that for practical reasons a summons cannot be served. Similarly, any other less direct action which may intrude upon a person’s private life, such as attending a person’s place of work, is likely to breach the individual’s right to privacy unless the police can clearly demonstrate their actions are a necessary and proportionate response to the allegations.

Where the police have already contacted an individual and have secured their cooperation with an investigation, it will often not be necessary to proceed to an arrest at all. In fact in recent years there has been an emphasis on adopting alternative approaches to arrest, especially in light of increasing cuts to police resources.

At Vardags our intimate understanding of both the legislative framework and the case law regulating police powers allows us to make timely and effective intervention on behalf of our clients to minimise the personal impact of the investigation wherever possible. Should you have any reason to fear an unwanted visit from the police, please contact us immediately to discuss your concerns further with one of our legal experts.

We offer a free consultation to qualifying individuals. Please call our confidential enquiry line on 020 7404 9390 or email us. Lines are staffed 24 hours.

It’s never too early or too late to take expert advice. Find out why.

The decision to charge an individual with a criminal offence is based on a two fold test. The first stage of the test involves an assessment of the strength of the evidence in the case. A police officer can only charge an individual where they consider there is sufficient evidence to afford a realistic prospect of conviction at court. If there is not sufficient evidence the police should bring the investigation to a close and take no further action against the accused.

If there is sufficient evidence, the police must go on to consider whether a charge would be in the public interest. At this stage consideration will be given to whether the matter can be appropriately dealt with by way of an out of court disposal. There are a number of out of court disposals including fixed penalty notices, simple cautions, and conditional cautions. In determining whether an out of court disposal is an appropriate alternative to charge the police will consider the nature of the offence, its seriousness, the impact upon the victim, and other factors such as whether the individual has any antecedents.

Vardags are experienced at putting forward timely and robust representations against charge, including where appropriate persuading officers towards an alternative means of disposal such as a caution. There are however important considerations which must be borne in mind before accepting a caution. Firstly, to become eligible for a caution an individual must provide a clear admission of guilt to a criminal offence. Furthermore, whilst a caution avoids the risk of a conviction, it is recorded on the police national computer and may in certain circumstances be disclosed to employers.

Therefore it is essential that a person obtains legal advice to guide them through the stages of the investigation and understand the best course of action as the investigation unfolds.

We offer a free consultation to qualifying individuals. Please call our confidential enquiry line on 020 7404 9390 or email us. Lines are staffed 24 hours.

It’s never too early or too late to take expert advice. Find out why.

A police caution may be awarded in the less serious sorts of criminal cases as an alternative to charge. A person who receives a police caution for an offence does not have to attend court and will therefore avoid the time, expense, and disruption of court proceedings. They will also avoid the risk of receiving a conviction for an offence.

However, whilst it is clearly a less serious sanction than a criminal conviction, it must be understood that a caution is still a serious matter in its own right. It will remain on the police national computer and should you work within a number of limited occupations you might be obliged to disclose the fact of the caution to a potential employer. Furthermore, certain countries will require an individual to disclose a caution for the purposes of travel and visa applications.

In deciding whether a police caution is a suitable form of disposal in any given case the police will consider the nature of the offence, the impact of the offending, including the views of the victim, and the likely outcome should the matter proceed to court. They will also consider the circumstances of the individual concerned including whether they have any antecedents.

In order to become eligible for a police caution, the police must first be satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to warrant a decision to charge that individual with an offence. They must also be satisfied that the individual has provided a clear admission to that offence. Given the complexity of the law around cautions and the potential impact on an individual’s reputation, it is essential that a person seeks legal advice before accepting one.

We offer a free consultation to qualifying individuals. Please call our confidential enquiry line on 020 7404 9390 or email us. Lines are staffed 24 hours.

It’s never too early or too late to take expert advice. Find out why.

Contact Vardags

London
020 7458 4358

10 Old Bailey, London, EC4M 7NG

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Cambridge
01223 855237

1 Saint Mary's Passage, Cambridge, CB2 3PQ

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Manchester
0161 464 5799

98 King Street, Manchester, M2 4WU

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Newcastle
0191 640 8779

75-85 Grey Street, Newcastle, NE1 6EF

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Winchester
01962 657268

1 St James' Terrace, Winchester, SO22 4PP

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