Freephone: 0800 1933 999
Mobile Freephone: 01623 397 200

Chat Online

Criminal Defence Blog

Archive for April, 2016

Burglary Solicitors Get Investigation Dropped




Burglary Solicitors Get Investigation Dropped


We were contacted quite some time ago by a father concerned about his son. You see his son had gone out with friends one evening.  He had been drinking, he had taken drugs, and now he was being investigated on suspicion of committing a number of offences – including Burglary and breaking into and stealing from a number of vehicles. At this stage he had not been charged with anything, he had been arrested and investigations were ongoing. The tricky part here was that the defendant had no recollection of the events of that evening at all – making it hard to raise an effective defence from the start.


We were not the first company he had contacted. He already had a solicitor lined up ready to meet with his son at the interview in 6 weeks time. He just felt helpless, he felt like there must be more he could do. We know this because he told us, he was very open and honest about the position when he contacted us. He explained that he had already spoken with a company who had confirmed they would have a solicitor (name to be confirmed at the time) at the station, they then thanked him for his instructions and advised they would see him on that date. But what about now? What about the next 6 weeks? What could he be doing to help his son in that time? That is what he wanted to know.


The issue with Legal Aid is that it limits the work that can be done.  So yes they could and would arrange for a solicitor to be present at the interview (everyone is entitled to free representation at the station irrespective of potential charge or their income) but they would not be doing work before this time – they had no remit to do so and would not be paid for this.


Private burglary solicitors, however, such as Forrest Williams, can do a lot in that time. We can take a full statement from the accused, and from any friends who may be able to support or shed light on the situation.  We can undertake investigations to secure time-sensitive evidence.  We can liaise with the police to try to obtain further details of the evidence against the accused.  Above all we can be a source of support during that time. The father instructed us to help his son.


Initially our client was arrested on suspicion of the following:



Our client accepted the drugs offences, he knew he had taken drugs and believed it was highly probable he would have still had a small amount of each (Cannabis and Valium) on him. He did not think he would have broken into any cars and was certain he would not have burgled someone’s house – he felt sick at the mere thought of these latter offences.


The Officer in this case was very happy to accommodate our requests for information, she knew that the best way to get to the bottom of this was to work with us to talk. She provided us with a list of the recovered items, she explained the strange circumstances of the ‘Burglary’ – and because of this we were able to talk through these with our client. Our client, though distressed at the idea, accepted the Theft from a Motor Vehicle offences – because the list of items and circumstances “rang a bell”.  He very definitely maintained that he was not guilty of the Burglary, and this was his main concern.  As burglary solicitors, we understood our client’s fears about being charged with this serious offence which he completely denied.


We arranged for our client to be represented at the station by a qualified individual familiar with his case.  Because of this and our preparations we were able to ensure that the interview was a productive one not simply a ‘no comment’. Following this our client was charged with the offences he accepted but, most importantly, he was NOT charged with the Burglary offence.


We continued to support our client and his family in the run up to the court hearing and arranged for one of our expert Barristers to represent him at this time.  We were even able to arrange for him to meet with the Probation Service before the hearing to ensure that there was not a requirement for a further hearing because we knew that our client needed to be able to accept the penalty to be able to move past his mistakes.


Both our client and his family were very happy with the service they received from Forrest Williams, with his father commenting at the end that he was glad he had trusted his gut and sought a second opinion.


If you are being investigated and need burglary solicitors on your side, then give Forrest Williams a call. Our dedicated and trained team will listen to your situation and advise you as to the best way forward for you.

01623 397200



Restrictions on Use of Police Cells as ‘Safe Places’


Tracy Johnson of Forrest Williams


Proposals to place restrictions on use of police cells as ‘safe places’


The Home Office has announced plans to take forward legislation which will greatly restrict the circumstances when a police cell can be used.


Restrictions on use of Police Cells as ‘Safe Places’ will be introduced via changes to the Mental Health Act 1983, which will be made under the forthcoming Policing and Crime Bill.


They include:


  • banning police cells as a ‘place of safety’ for under-18s
  • creating regulations to limit the circumstances in which police cells can be used as a place of safety for adults
  • reducing the maximum duration of detention for the purposes of an assessment under the Act from 72 to 24 hours
  • widening the current definition of a place of safety to increase local capacity and flexibility
  • extending police officers’ powers to act quickly to detain and remove people experiencing a mental health crisis from any place other than a private dwelling (for which a warrant would still be required)
  • requiring police officers to consult health professionals before detaining someone under the Act’s provisions
  • clarifying that assessments under the Act can take place in a private dwelling.

The aim is that the change in legislation will end the practice of using police cells simply because there is no suitable alternative available.  Restrictions on use of Police Cells as ‘Safe Places’ will give much needed protection to the often vulnerable people who end up placed in police cells at their times of greatest need.


This means there is the potential of a civil remedy if a person is incorrectly placed in a police cell in the future.


You can read more about the above on the website.


If you have concerns about the way in which you, or a family member, have been detained by the police, then contact Forrest Williams on 01623 397200 for free initial advice.



Forrest Williams TV