I’ve been charged with a crime and am facing court proceedings

If you are facing court proceedings, it is not too late to seek legal advice from the best criminal defence lawyers. Good representation is vital if your matter proceeds to trial.

As leading family and employment lawyers, Vardags can also help minimise the wider impact of criminal proceedings on your personal and professional life.

As top criminal lawyers for high net worth and high income individuals, we can help you protect your liberty, your reputation, and your career.

Our specialist criminal representation for entrepreneurs, professionals, sports stars, and celebrities is available around the clock, and we can help in cases of fraud, sexual or drug offences, domestic violence, or driving offences.

We offer a free consultation to qualifying individuals. Please call our confidential enquiry line on 020 7205 5792 or email us. Lines are staffed 24 hours.

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

I’m worried about how long the process will continue

The overall length of court proceedings will partly depend upon the nature of the offence which will in turn determine whether the matter will be heard in a Magistrates’ Court or Crown Court.

There are three categories of criminal offences:

  • Summary offences: these describe the less serious offences which are always tried within a Magistrates’ Court in front of lay magistrates or a professional judge.
  • Indictable only offences: These are the most serious offences. Whilst all cases start their life in the Magistrates’ Court, indictable offences will be immediately transferred to the Crown Court where they will be tried before a judge and in most cases a jury.
  • Either way offences: These matters can be heard in either the Magistrates’ Court or Crown Court. In the first instance the Magistrates’ Court will decide whether their sentencing powers are sufficient to deal with the case. If not the matter will be transferred to the Crown Court. If the Magistrates Court decides it may retain jurisdiction it falls to the defendant to choose venue.

If a matter at the Crown Court is to be contested at trial, it might take anything from a matter of months to in excess of 12 months to conclude whereas you are unlikely to wait longer than a couple of months for a trial in the Magistrates’ Court. Crown Court cases usually involve more complex evidence and there are often a greater number of legal issues which must be resolved before trial.  The trial itself will be heard before a jury and will therefore be a slower and more drawn out affair and which in turn affects court room availability and waiting times.

Vardags provide representation and advice for all types of criminal trial. We will work with you to try to bring your case to a close and quickly as possible, and will help you manage your legal issues throughout the duration of your case.

We offer a free consultation to qualifying individuals. Please call our confidential enquiry line on 020 7205 5792 or email us. Lines are staffed 24 hours.

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

I don’t understand how bail works

Whether an individual will be subjected to bail will first depend on how the matter reached the Magistrate Court. If the individual was summonsed to court, there is no obligation upon the court to impose bail and the court may decide to simply arrange for the individual’s attendance at any further court hearings without imposing bail at all.

Where a person appears at the Magistrate Court following charge at the police station however, the court must remand that person. The Court may remand on bail or in custody. Article 5 of the European Convention of Human Rights provides that ‘everyone has the right to liberty and security of the person’.

The Bail Act 1976 establishes a legal presumption in favour of bail, which applies to anyone appearing before the Magistrates’ Court or Crown Court in connection with criminal proceedings. It will also apply to any person who has been convicted and the matter has been adjourned before sentence.

There are exceptions to the general rule. The most important circumstances in which a court may withdraw bail are when there are substantial grounds to fear that if released the individual will fail to surrender, commit further offences or interfere with the administration of the public.

Before any decision on bail is made the court will hear representations from both the crown and the defence. It will consider factors such as the nature or seriousness of the offence and the probable sentence if convicted, the individual themselves, their life situation and any antecedents including their record for answering bail in the past and the strength of the evidence against him. The Court must also consider whether they may alleviate any concerns it has by impose any conditions on bail such as conditions to restrict the individual’s movements and allow for their monitoring by police.

Vardags will advise you in relation to bail and will help you to obtain bail where possible. We will highlight the facts which boost your chances of bail, including your ability to provide a financial surety to the court.

We offer a free consultation to qualifying individuals. Please call our confidential enquiry line on 020 7205 5792 or email us. Lines are staffed 24 hours.

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

Am I going to go to prison?

When someone comes into contact with the criminal justice system, there is a tendency to immediately think the worst and entertain the prospect of prison without any consideration to the strength of the evidence against them, the stage of the proceedings, and most importantly the gravity of the alleged offence and whether in fact it is the sort of offence that warrants a custodial sentence at all.

The first consideration should not be to do with what may be the worst case scenario but on whether you have a legal defence to the allegation and the merits of running the defence at trial.

Just because an individual may accept the truth of an allegation made against them, there are a wide range of factors which will still need to be considered by the courts in arriving at an appropriate sentence.

In addition to the punishment of an offender any judge in passing sentence must consider other equally important objectives such as the rehabilitation of the individual. For most offences guidelines to sentence must be considered. The guidelines will assist a judge in identifying the seriousness of any offence based on the harm the offending has caused and the degree of blame or culpability to be attached to the offender.

The degree of harm will be determined in light of the impact on the victim and the public at large. Factors affecting culpability will be to do with the manner the offence was committed and the state of mind at the time of the individual. The Judge will be guided by both the guidelines but also the personal circumstances of the individual concerned before selecting the sentence which will be most appropriate in the circumstances.

A prison sentence represents the severest of sentences reserved for the gravest of cases. They are not passed lightly and there is increasing pressure on judges to use alternative means of punishment where at all appropriate given the well documented problems of overcrowding in our prisons.

Vardags can advise you on all aspects of sentencing and will help you to provide mitigation if you are convicted. We will work with you to set out the reasons why a lesser sentence is appropriate.

We offer a free consultation to qualifying individuals. Please call our confidential enquiry line on 020 7205 5792 or email us. Lines are staffed 24 hours.

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

Qualifying Individuals

Vardags specialise in cases involving high net worth individuals, their families and their companies.  Free consultations are offered for clients with net assets in excess of £2million or involved in other high value disputes.
24 Hour Emergency Legal Representation Call Vardags London: 020 7205 5792
If you need a lawyer immediately because a person has been taken into custody or involved in an incident, Vardags can provide emergency legal cover at any time. We offer a swift response in person, anywhere in London or within the M25. Outside that area we may still be able to help. Call our confidential 24 hour enquiry line for immediate help.If you have been arrested or you are the subject of a dawn raid we strongly recommend you have a lawyer present in order to advise you on your options in dealing with police and other investigating bodies and to ensure your rights are protected. Note that we normally charge £350 per hour including travel time and our fees in connection with emergency legal services will usually be a minimum of £2,000 + VAT.
*All enquiries are completely confidential. We do not handle Legal Aid cases. Our lawyers do not undertake criminal work on a no win, no fee basis.
We will only use your information to respond to your enquiry.

*Free consultation for qualifying individuals. We do not undertake legal aid work but there are often other ways to fund your case. We do not act on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis in civil disputes.

Call Vardags London: 020 7205 5792

Our confidential enquiry lines are staffed 24 hours a day, every day of the year.