Areas of Practice
Criminal Law

Criminal Law

We have experienced Criminal Law team that is overseen by the Senior Partner Mr Michael Clode who has been practicing for more than 30 years.

We are able to deal with all types of cases in Magistrates Court and Crown Court through to the Court of Appeal.

We have experience dealing with the most serious matters from Murder,Drug Trafficking,People Trafficking, Money Laundering,Fraud and Sexual Offences to those of Theft and Driving matters.

We are specialists in representing clients whom suffer from Mental Illness and we are in the enviable position of having experienced Solicitors who are Law Society Mental Health Panel Members and who are also Criminal Law Duty Solicitors.

Our aim is to guide you through your case from the Police Station to its ultimate conclusion whether that is at the Magistrates Court or at the Crown Court. We will do all we can to reduce the burden of the case upon you.

We understand that those facing Criminal Charges require us to be available 7 days a week and often require legal advice outside of purely Criminal Law for example Family Law or Employment Law which we are able to provide.

We will assist you make a Public Funding Application (Legal Aid) where appropriate. Where you are not eligible for Legal Aid we provide competitive rates and will undertake works on a fixed fee in some cases. Please contact us for further information.

We offer Police Station representation free of charge and are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. We will attend Police Stations free of charge throughout South and Mid Wales. If you are detained and wish to speak to us please ask for Clodes Solicitors. We will provide you with intial advice on the telephone should you require it and we aim to be with you within 20 minutes.  

We are able to travel to clients based anywhere in Wales and the South of England and can see clients at our offices in Cardiff (Cardiff Gate Head Office CF23 8RU and Llanishen), Sennybridge, Swansea (Princess Way,SA1 3LW), Gloucester (North Warehouse,Gloucester Docks, Gloucester, GL1 2EP) and Bristol (1 Friary, Temple Quay, BS1 6EA). Please call for further information.

 

News: 03/11/15 Charity Highlights the Plight of those not entitled to Legal Aid

Innocent people are being left thousands of pounds out of pocket and even consider pleading guilty to help reduce their legal bills, a former magistrate said today.

In charity Transform Justice’s report, Innocent but broke – rough justice?, director Penelope Gibbs asks ‘why the innocent should be financially penalised’ and whether the government should reverse a policy that, since October 2012, enables those found not guilty to recoup only a ‘small fraction’ of their legal costs.

The system at present is particularly harsh as it leaves those with modest means in a financially ruinous position should they not be entitled to Legal Aid and face Criminal Proceedings. Regardless of whether a person is acquitted an innocent person will not be entitled to recover the actual costs of their defence. 

The Charity report states that the budget for recompensing people who have been found innocent or whose cases have been withdrawn fell from £89m in 2013/14 to £44.2m in 2014/15. 

‘Austerity demands cuts but many perceive this particular change to be against both justice and human rights, given that it has led innocent people to be financially ruined and is a strong incentive to plead guilty.’

Nigel Evans, former deputy speaker of the House of Commons, was cleared of rape in 2014 but left £130,000 the poorer, the report says.

Those with a disposable income greater than £37,500 are ineligible for legal aid. Until 2011, acquitted defendants could claim back the legal costs from central funds. 

Nigel Evans said in 2014 that he would have voted in favour of the legal aid cuts had he not been deputy speaker, but said that he regrets his previous support for the cuts. 

Former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis, who was charged with conspiracy to hack phones in July 2014, considered pleading guilty in order to reduce his legal costs.

The Charity report recommends the government reinstitute a system where ‘reasonable’ costs are reimbursed to defendants who are acquitted or where the prosecution is withdrawn.

The report also recommends abolishing the need to apply for legal aid and have it refused as a pre-condition to getting any Crown court costs back.

‘Defendants who know they are ineligible for legal aid can find themselves in the invidious position of tracking down a legal aid firm, just to process their application,’ Gibbs says.

Other report recommendations include ensuring more private payers get their costs back when court time is wasted through no fault of the defence, and making it easier for defendants to compare solicitors’ skills and costs.

 

News Update Supreme Court rules Disclosure of Cautions breaches privacy rights

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling & the Home Secretary's appeal against Court of Appeal ruling that perspective employers need not be informed convictions and cautions are spent under the 1974 Rehabilitation of Offenders Act has been rejected.

Supreme Court ruled that complusion to Disclose childhood and other minor convictions is incompatible with Human Rights Law. For further reading visit the following link

http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/law/disclosure-of-cautions-breaches-privacy-rights-supreme-court-rules/5041734.article 

 

News Update, Guardian News and Media Ltd v AB CD 12 June 2014

Court of Appeal case concerning Defendants who were charged with terrorism offences contrary to Terrorism Act 2000. Guardian News appealed Crown's successful application for an order on the following terms  (1) thd criminal trial was to be held in private and publication of reports of the trial was to be prohibited; (2) the names and identities of the defendants were to be withheld from publication.

Court of Appeal ruled that (i) Considerations of national security will not by themselves justify a departure from the principle of open justice (ii) Open justice must, however, give way to the yet more fundamental principle that the paramount object of the court is to do justice; accordingly, where there is a serious possibility that an insistence on open justice in the national security context would frustrate the administration of justice, for example, by deterring the Crown from prosecuting a case where it otherwise would do so, a departure from open justice may be justified. (iii) The question of whether to give effect to a Ministerial Certificate (asserting, for instance, the need for privacy) such as those relied upon by the Crown here is ultimately for the court, not a Minister.

The Court went on to rule that part of the trial would be heard in open Court and that the order preventing reporting of the initial proceedings was not justified.

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