CRIMINAL LAW

Criminal Law FAQs

Our Specialist Criminal Solicitors offer a 24 hour 7 day per week service including out of office hours advice, police station attendance and court representation.

Contact information:

  • In office hours: 0191 568 1111 (Sunderland), 0191 477 6333 (Gateshead), 0191 275 2626 (Newcastle)
  • Out of office hours: 07743 806988

Most people think and hope it will never happen to them. Being accused of or charged with a criminal offence is a serious matter. It is also likely to be an unfamiliar and stressful situation. If it goes wrong it can have far reaching consequences for you and your family and have a devastating effect on your reputation and livelihood. That is why you need to be sure that you are advised and represented by specialists from start to finish.

Our criminal law department is ideally placed to assist, represent and advise you every step of the way throughout any criminal investigation or court proceedings you find yourself facing.

Ben Hoare Bell has over 30 years of specialist experience in criminal law and we recognise the importance of the case to you. We pride ourselves in providing an expert service with all the personal care and attention you are entitled to and would expect from a professional and specialist team of solicitors. We know how daunting the experience can be for you and realise how easily it may feel that the system is taking over. We take care to ensure that throughout our advice and representation of you we make sure you understand what is happening, demystifying what can seem like a minefield of jargon, rules and procedures and allowing you to make the best and most informed decisions possible about your case.

We have a team of solicitors and other legally qualified and non-legally qualified staff:

  • All the lawyers in our criminal law department specialise and practice solely in criminal law and have done so for many years.
  • Most of our solicitors are qualified as Higher Court advocates.
  • All our solicitors and other legally qualified staff have fulfilled the rigorous requirements as specialist police station accredited representatives.
  • All our solicitors are qualified accredited duty solicitors.

We have offices across Tyne and Wear and offer a 24 hour service for police station attendances and also cover courts on a Saturday and bank holidays.

We know that you will naturally be concerned about what it may cost you to have a solicitor represent you so we always give you accurate information about the funding options at the very earliest stage of the case and update you as the case progresses. Legal Aid will cover our costs in many cases both at the police station and court and we will always ensure that any appropriate application is made in your case. Where appropriate we will provide you with an initial appointment at our office free of charge when we will undertake an initial assessment of your case and assess your eligibility for Legal Aid or other funding.

  • If you are attending the police station – whether under arrest or on a voluntary basis – accused of a criminal offence Legal Aid is almost always available.
  • For the vast majority of cases in the Magistrates Court Legal Aid is also available although it is subject to a means and interests of justice test.
  • For Crown Court cases Legal Aid is almost always available but may be subject to you making a financial contribution depending upon your circumstances.
  • If your case is not eligible for Legal Aid we will discuss other possibilities with you such as legal insurance or legal fees payable through union membership.
  • If your case is not eligible for Legal Aid or other funding we will provide you with an estimate of our costs at the outset and update you regularly as the case progresses.
  • For the more straightforward cases, if Legal Aid is not available, we will very often be able to offer you a fixed fee for our services so you know exactly where you are from the start. In appropriate cases that fee can be as low as £150 plus VAT.
  • For benefit fraud investigations (and investigations by other agencies) again Legal Aid is usually available although it will be subject to a means test. If necessary we will be happy to discuss our reasonable private fees with you.

Don’t leave it too late – remember the early stages of an investigation are often crucial so ring us or call in as soon as the problem arises.

If you think you need our assistance please contact us at any of our offices across Tyne and Wear or in an emergency call our out of office hours service on 07743 806988.

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