There have been widespread reports in the press about spare courtroom capacity, with judicial sitting days at an all-time low. These reports correspond to our own experience. For example, at Nottingham Crown Court it is expected that only 6 of the 9 court rooms will be open, and at Derby Crown Court only 3 of … Continue reading The potential effect of delay on sentence→
Brexit and the European Firearms Pass
Unhelpful information provided by the Government
How to spot a real solicitor
Some people end up using advisers who are far from being solicitors. Read the benefits of instructing a real solicitor here.
Unlawful profit orders and sub-letting
Those in social housing must think of consequences of an Airbnb listing
The law and mobile phone offences
Some clarity into what is mobile phone use while driving
Visit by invitation to HMP Foston Hall
Impressive activities for those inside
Why hasn’t Michael Gove been arrested?
Because it isn’t in the public interest.
Policing public protests and protest law
Recent events have brought the policing of protest into the news again
Representations made to CPS in sex dolls case
The importance of up to date knowledge and written advocacy
What is a hung jury? What happens next?
Ideally there would be a clear verdict at the end of a Crown Court trial but sometimes there is not.
Assisting an offender – a parental dilemma
Serious consequences can flow from these allegations
Causing death by dangerous driving sentencing
Are sentencing powers inadequate when there are multiple fatalities?
High price for having counterfeit currency?
Courts will nearly always impose an immediate prison sentence
What to do if you are too ill to attend court
First step, contact is immediately
Private prosecutions (or ‘doing a Boris’)
More pitfalls for a defendant in a prosecution brought by a private individual
Proposals for a new sentencing code
Plan is to avoid confusion that can lead to sentencing errors.
Child-like sex dolls – new prosecution guidance
New prosecution guidance seems likely to assist those suspected of an offence
Red X offences on smart motorways caught by new cameras
£100 fine and 3 penalty points for contravention
Knife crime prevention orders
Will Draconian new measure make a difference?
Tough New Weapons Laws Hit the Statute Book
Will they succeed in the stated aim of reducing serious crime?
Prison avoided for football related disorder
Suspended sentence for threatening behaviour
Prison avoided for football related offence
Offending in breach of a suspended sentence order
Help fix the broken criminal justice system
The Law Society has identified 5 key problems with the system.
Criminal duty solicitors: a looming crisis
Read about and take part in the Law Society campaign
Football law solicitors fight banning order
Disorderly conduct not football related
Not football related violence says Judge
Court persuaded that allegation was not football related violence
Successful appeal against football banning order
Appeal on the basis that the incident was not football related.
Disguised weapons – new prosecution guidance
New CPS guidance doesn’t go far enough to help many suspects
Prosecution time limits and abuse of process
Delay in cases coming to court can prejudice defendants but when will the court interfere?
McKenzie friends – saving money can cost a fortune
A specialist criminal lawyer will be better value than a paid McKenzie friend.
Prosecutions following Gosport Hospital enquiry?
Police share their view that evidence strong enough to bring charges
Secondary School Admissions Announcement – 1 March 2019
Please contact us if you are disappointed with the school you have been given
Appeal Statement for Secondary School Admissions – Part B
What should be in the statement for Part B of your school appeal?
Your Secondary School Admission Appeal – Arguing Part A
Detailed information about the school will need to be gathered for Part A
Positive Feedback for School Admissions Advice from Clare Roberts
New service succeeds for clients.
When might I instruct education law solicitors?
the potential benefits of instructing us for your secondary school admissions appeal
The end of the ‘simple adjournment’?
Pressures on the courts to deal with matters quickly means the answer is no.
Can modern slavery provide a defence to criminal charges?
The position is complicated and illustrates the need for early legal advice and assistance.
Farewell to crime solicitor Finbarr Hennessy
Was it technological ‘advances’ that made his decision to retire easier?
The effect of the Psychoactive Substances legislation
Are sales now driven onto the street away from shops?
Sleepwalking and the defence of automatism
An overview of the defence of automatism
Sexomnia Defence Successful
Not guilty verdict after trial
Fly-tipping – ensuring all polluters pay
We outline the risk that householders could face penalties if using unlicensed people to remove waste.
Information Commissioner Investigation into ‘fly tipping’
Positive outcome for client rather than significant financial penalty
New Domestic Abuse Legislation
A prediction from the Ministry that hundreds more will end up with prison sentences
The end for short prison sentences – a proposed get out of jail free card?
A measure that is likely to provoke fierce debate.
Drones and the Law – What you need to know
The requirements are different for social and commercial use.
Drink Driving – the reality
Many are convicted following a mistake rather than a deliberate decision to drink and drive
Contempt of court – what is it and what is the likely sentence?
Some examples of the offence and the sentences handed out.
What are the police powers to stop and search you?
Several of the powers are set out here
Football Banning Orders – When are they made?
A summary of the circumstances in which the orders can be made.
Criminal solicitors providing emergency legal advice over the festive period
Although offices are closed, our out of hours service continues
Criminal offences arising from forced marriage
The law and potential sentence
Can sexism or misogyny be a hate crime?
English law more forgiving that laws on the continent.
Driving in the snow – offences to guard against
Denney Lau offers advice on how to avoid penalty points and fines
How does a court decide on the admissibility of confessions?
A brief overview of the law
Harassment – the law, defences and sentencing
Read more about what can be complicated cases.
Benefit fraud – what do the prosecution have to show?
Discussion of the two types of offence and the evidence needed
What next for Sally Metcalfe?
Where now for wrongfully convicted soap character?
Can I get a suspended sentence?
The answer will depend on the charge you face, personal circumstances and other considerations.
Is restorative justice appropriate in your case?
The best way to find out is to contact us before any police interview
The Obscure Law Governing Importation of a Childlike Sex Doll
Obscure law being used to prosecute this new type of offending
Grievous Bodily Harm and Wounding, with and without intent
Some legal definitions and thoughts on sentence for what can be serious offences
Obscene articles – what is the law against publication?
Although used infrequently, the penalty on conviction can be severe.
Motoring law solicitor secures suspended sentence.
All avenues explored before plea entered.
Government to focus on Controlling Dangerous Dogs?
A new report may result in positive changes to the law
Distressing case before Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court
Sometimes a client’s circumstances still have the capacity to shock
Robbery in a dwelling trial at Lincoln Crown Court
Not guilty verdict secured by higher court advocate
Fireworks and the Law – how to avoid trouble
A summary of the relevant law
Justice Week – What is it and what will it achieve?
A campaign to make people, including politicians, care about the
Chesterfield legal aid solicitor to run 2019 London Marathon
Read Denney Lau’s personal story here.
I have received a postal requisition – what should I do?
Seek legal advice from VHS Fletchers immediately.
Considering becoming a legal aid lawyer? Here is a typical week
Some helpful information for those considering a career in crime.
Do I have to give police my Phone PIN?
Read about the consequences of saying no to a lawful request.
Assaults on Emergency Workers – a new offence
Will it deter offending or simply increase sentence in a limited number of cases?
The problem with Monkey Dust
Strange effects, dangerous drug.
Amending the Advocates’ Graduated Fee Scheme
Another government consultation, another response drafted. Will this one make a difference?
How to make the best Secondary School Application for 2019
Things you might wish to consider before you make your application
Accredited representative advises during no comment interview
Right to silence leads to no charges being brought
Why was Ben Stokes found not guilty?
And was it cricket?
New sentencing guidelines for child cruelty offences
In force from 1 January 2019.
Admissability of Evidence argument at Chesterfield Magistrates
Prosecution application to admit res gestae hearsay evidence resisted
What is entrapment? Is it a defence?
Some considerations where the issue of entrapment can arise.
Supplying drugs or possessing drugs with intent to supply – the law
A summary of a complex area of law
Sentence of vulnerable clients at Saturday morning court
Cases where a client’s personal circumstances provide compelling mitigation
What power do the police have to test your eyesight?
More about the law here.
The right to bail – what does it mean?
Contact us for full advice on your case
Representing vulnerable defendants – what we do
Read about a particular case here.
It’s never too late for free police station advice
Restorative justice outcome negotiated
Nationwide legal advice and representation from our Chesterfield office
A busy summer across the country but no trips to the seaside.
What is a racially aggravated offence?
The law and considerations on sentence.
What to expect as a witness in court
Some information that may be helpful to those called to give evidence.
Released under Investigation by the police – an explainer
You’ve been interviewed by the police and released. What next?
Failing to provide a breath specimen – the law and defences
What needs to be proved and how to defend a case
Clients benefit from our Newark advocate’s representation
Three trials, three good results for our clients
New report criticises defendants in Magistrates’ Court domestic violence cases
Are defendants gaming the system?
Criminal damage – evidence, police interview and court proceedings
Consideration if facing an allegation
Litigator Graduated Fee Scheme – Government lose another Judicial Review
Unfairness of the consultation process allows successful challenge by the Law Society
A prepared statement as an alternative to answering questions
A statement can be drafted for police interview to reduce the risk of adverse inferences
The no comment interview – your right to silence
The reasons for exercising your right to silence are many and varied
New Sentencing Guidelines for Manslaughter Offences
New guidelines provides detailed guidance across the full range of offences
Doctors in the Dock – appealing the Medical Practitioners Tribunal
Unsurprisingly criminal convictions can have an effect on a professional career
Extradition – an introduction
Extradition is in the news so here is an outline of the process
The death penalty, extradition and mutual legal assistance
Government courts controversy in death penalty case
Mobile phone data and prosecutions
Police are looking in some surprising places to find evidence to prove guilt
Offensive Weapons Bill published by the Government
The latest ‘get tough’ policy, this time in relation to weapons and corrosive substances.
Consent and Sexual Offences
An overview on issues relating to consent here.
Justice Committee Report on Criminal Legal Aid
A damning report puts pressure on the Ministry of Justice to properly fund the criminal justice system
Offences taken into consideration (‘TICs’)
Read more about the procedure and effect here.
Defending a charge of Threats to Kill
Words said on the spur of the moment can lead to serious charges.
Defending an allegation of parental chastisement
Laws that criminalise unlawful violence date back to 1861 and are used every day in criminal courts to support prosecutions. Do they criminalise parental chastisement? Despite what might appear to be an obvious legal position, the question is often asked as to whether, despite those laws, it is permissible to ‘smack’ a child. The simple … Continue reading Defending an allegation of parental chastisement→
Successful week at Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court for Denney Lau
Two not guilty verdicts and a successful exceptional hardship argument
Sentencing Guidelines for Breaching Court Orders
The aim is to ensure a consistent approach is taken.
New machines target drink drivers with roadside breath tests
Legal loopholes to be closed by 2020
Derby and District Law Society secures meeting for Chesterfield crime solicitors
Constructive working between the parties
Penalties for breaches of environmental law
A prosecution is far from inevitable. Some alternatives can be found here.
Social media crime and how to avoid it
Once you’ve typed a comment and pressed send you might already be in trouble
Information on the Disclosure and Barring service
What information can employers discover about your criminal record?
‘Unlawful Eviction’ – the law, defences and penalties
A brief outline of legal considerations for landlords
Company directors disqualification – the hidden penalty on sentence
An order will have a real effect on a person earning a living
Should you consider instructing a QC?
Private cost or lack of scope of legal aid likely to be the barrier.
The potential consequences of a drug importation allegation
The main one will be the sentence upon conviction – often unforgiving.
New Public Order offences sentencing guidelines
These have the potential to lead to longer prison sentences.
What will happen if you don’t pay your court fine
You are at risk of a prison sentence if you don’t pay
Police evidence of disorderly conduct rejected leading to not guilty verdict
Police apparently forgot they were wearing bodycams
Defending an allegation of stalking
What does the prosecution have to prove? What are the defences?
Trainee solicitor to Higher Courts Advocate
The work that is undertaken during a training contract
Can I challenge a search warrant?
Read an overview of the law here.
Duress (or ‘I had no choice!’)
Read more here about some of the limits of the defence
Failing to provide a specimen of breath trial success
Medical evidence provided a reasonable excuse
Will my name appear in the press?
Clients and witnesses are understandably concerned about press coverage so here are some of the rules
Final weeks of work placement at Nottingham Law Centre
Read the final instalment of Elliott Moulster’s training at the Law Centre
How to answer a request for driver information
Failure to do so properly can be an offence
We are supporting National Justice Museum’s Help a Child Appeal
Charity run by National Justice Museum to help empowerment of young people
Success takes Elliott through to Hammond Cup final
The final is Thursday 19 April at Nottingham Law School
Defending our clients in dangerous driving cases
Some legal and practical considerations.
Police trained to hide helpful evidence within sensitive material schedules
More revelations about a justice system in crisis
Primary school admissions – how to appeal?
Some help with the appeal and whether to instruct a solicitor
The Charter for Justice – #Charter4Justice
What are the key principles in a fair justice system?
Not guilty verdict after Paedophile hunters fail to produce evidence
Judge comments ‘they need to know the rules’
Busy week for Chesterfield crime solicitor
Good results for clients in different types of case
Why choose VHS Fletchers as your solicitor?
We are confident that we can give you a number of reasons to choose us
End of an era as Chesterfield solicitors move offices
Across town and next to the police station
Law Society representative visits Nottingham
Discussion of a system in crisis
Support Nottingham Law Centre with the Nottingham Law Walk
Make a donation here
Free police station advice from accredited representative
Recent examples of advice from our Chesterfield office
Trainee placement at Nottingham Law Centre continues
A catch up on weeks two and three of Elliott’s placement
Nottingham Trent University student make race hate allegation
Some thought’s on a university’s obligations to prevent discrimination
Changes in sentencing guidelines for knife crime
Another guideline that will increase prisoner numbers
Police fingerprint checking of suspects by phone app
Coming soon to the streets near you
Dangerous dog prosecutions – avoiding the destruction of your dog
Your liberty and your dog’s future is at stake if you are prosecuted
New Domestic Abuse Sentencing Guideline Published
A new domestic abuse sentencing guideline was published on 22 February 2018, giving courts up to date guidance that emphasises the seriousness of offending involving domestic violence or other forms of abuse in a domestic setting. What is domestic abuse? There is no specific crime of domestic abuse. It can be a feature of many … Continue reading New Domestic Abuse Sentencing Guideline Published→
The Law Society Campaign to restore Legal Aid for Early Legal Advice
Read more here, including a link to email your MP
Detailed cross examination secures not guilty verdicts at Nottingham Crown Court
Sensitive case alleging historic abuse
Trainee Solicitor at Nottingham Law Centre
Elliott Moulster seconded to the Law Centre as part of his training
BBC Justice Survey of practitioners about disclosure concerns
Complete the survey to help keep the issue in the headlines
Money laundering and Bitcoin
If suspected of this crime you will need legal advice
Rogue Landlord Banning Orders – new provisions from April 2018
An application will be triggered by a conviction for certain offences
An appeal to the Court of Appeal against a Crown Court sentence
An outline of the basic procedure in such cases
Disclosing private sexual images or ‘revenge porn’
Not only a criminal offence but also allows for a claim for damages
How to Discharge a Restraining Order
Where circumstances change, so should the contents of a restraining order
Unexplained Wealth Orders in force from January 2018
These new orders reverse the burden of proof
Good character evidence and trial preparation
This evidence will always be important part of any defence
£700K reduction in the benefit figure for confiscation client
Client chose to transfer legal aid to us to deal with confiscation proceedings
A busy week at Chesterfield for Police Station Advice
Sixteen clients and 10 different police stations
Confiscation proceedings – a hidden sentence?
Proceedings can be complex and seem unfair
Taking points for someone else and perverting the course of justice
Take advice if you are sitting on 9 points rather than make a serious mistake.
Defending a sexual offence before the Crown Court
Proactive and reactive defence of sensitive cases
The Hidden Costs of Recreational Drugs
Consequences for travel and employment
The investigation of a terrorism offence – smoke without fire?
Half of those arrested do not face charges
Problems with Crown Court Disclosure
A recent high profile case highlights difficulties that can arise
Jury Trial – law, procedure and how a decision is reached
The process of jury deliberation remains something of a mystery
The Christmas drink drive campaign – more stops, more prosecutions
A trip to court can have far reaching consequences
Discharge for allowing premises to be used for cultivation of cannabis
Guideline starting point was 12 months custody
Cross allegations lead to common assault charges being discontinued
Police made to investigate client’s complaint
Not guilty after trial of making indecent images
Submission of no case to answer succeeds
Prison sentence avoided for breach of a suspended sentence order
Chesterfield solicitor achieves the improbable, if not the impossible
Domestic Violence Protection Notices and Orders
Can an order be made where the ‘beneficiary’ doesn’t want one?
Driving ban avoided following successful exceptional hardship argument
19 points on licence, but able to drive
Chesterfield solicitor mitigates in drink drive case
Prison avoided for mother of two
Closure of Newark Custody Suite – Newark duty solicitor scheme to remain
A victory for residents of Newark
The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 – no laughing matter?
The law on nitrous oxide appeared to change several times over the summer
Banned from driving? Can you get your licence back early?
Time limits apply to any application and detailed preparation is required
Paedophile hunter case stopped due to unfairness
Key evidence lost or access by defence delayed
A Voluntary Interview with the police under caution – have free legal advice
It is a police interview – it is crucial you get it right
The police gun amnesty – two weeks to surrender firearms and ammunition
The amnesty applies to the possession at the time of surrender not past crimes
Chesterfield criminal defence solicitor Denney Lau’s first 7 days with VHS Fletchers
A busy working week from the start
Lengthy driving disqualification avoided for Chesterfield road traffic client
Our client was able to keep his job
Interview under caution – can I use a prepared statement?
Sometimes a useful alternative to answering questions
Have car will travel – nationwide criminal advice and representation
And police station advice and representation will always be free
Section 18 or 20 Offences Against the Person Act 1861?
Case illustrates problems with witnesses using Facebook
Better Case Management – A Damning Report?
CPS consistency and engagement criticised
New Trainee in Regulatory Department
Expansion of work opens up trainee vacancy
Congratulations on Qualification
Successful Completion of Training Contract with Us
Not Guilty Verdict in Derby
Disclosure was key to acquittal
Health and Safety Prosecutions Triple
Directors and Senior Managers Targetted
Peer Review Confirms Our Client Focus
Independent Review Confirms Our Strengths
Nottinghamshire GPS Electronic Monitoring
A twelve month pilot to evaluate effectiveness of GPS tag
Firearm Minimum Sentence Avoided
Robust advice given in 5 year minimum sentence case
Polish Speaker has Not Guilty Verdict
Request for disclosure makes Crown look at case again
Nottingham Crown Court Acquittal
Expert blood spatter evidence challenged
General Pharmaceutical Council Investigation
Successful written representations for a pharmacy technician
Historic Sex Allegation Trial
Not guilty verdict following careful preparation
GPS Tagging Pilot in Nottingham
MoJ Team fail to turn up for the presentation
Chesterfield Magistrates Persuaded
Cosidered representations lead to sensible sentence for client
Nottingham Crime Solicitor Trial Success
Not Guilty verdict in assault trial
Animal Rights Trial Success
Not guilty verdict as Crown offer no evidence
Mobile Phone Trial Success
Call records were key to not guilty verdict
Road Traffic Representation
Driving ban avoided for client
Mansfield Crime Solicitor Trial Win
Mel Hoffman’s guest appearance in Chesterfield
Cannabis Production Conditional Discharge
Instructing an experienced solicitor will help your case
Cannabis Production Plea in Mansfield
Mansfield solicitor persuades Crown in cannabis production case.
Court of Appeal Success
Solicitor advocates successfully appeal sentences
Taxi Licence Changes in Nottingham?
We can help if you are facing a suspension or revocation of your taxi licence
Derbyshire Solicitor Feedback
Positive Feedback for Derbyshire solicitors
Domestic Violence Trial in Mansfield
Domestic violence cases are frequently before the court for trial. Domestic violence is defined as any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is … Continue reading Domestic Violence Trial in Mansfield→
Not Guilty Verdict for Client
Crown Court evidence not so strong when tested
Money Laundering Mitigation in Mansfield
Careful mitigation avoids immediate prison for money laundering
Joint Enterprise Appeals
Irene Tolley pursues joint enterprise appeals
Ilkeston Client? Ilkeston Solicitor
VHS Fletchers is the only criminal legal aid provider in Ilkeston
Derby Crown Court Representation
Client Convenience at Derbyshire Offices
Suspended Sentence for Arson
Proof of threats obtained to help secure a suspended sentence.
Nottingham Solicitor Witness Request
Solicitor requests help in locating a crucial witness
Legal Aid in the Crown Court
We will help with how to fund your Crown Court Defence
Derby Solicitor Avoids Newton Hearing
Careful Preparation and Persuasion Avoids Newton Hearing for Client
Mansfield Solicitors Receive Praise
Our Mansfield solicitors receive positive feedback from clients
CPS Evidence Investigated
Early review of prosecution evidence leads to not guilty verdict
Feedback from Nottingham Clients
Positive client feedback for the Nottingham Office
Confiscation Proceedings (POCA)
Careful preparation needed for Confiscation Proceedings
Police Interview Representation
Many benefits and no downsides to having representation in police interview
Client Feedback for Chesterfield
Client satisfaction is important to us and key to securing repeat business and referrals to family, friends or associates.
Mitigating Drink Drive Offences
Nottingham solicitor Lauren Fisher is the right advocate to mitigate your drink drive case.
Domestic Violence Allegations Disputed
David Gittins recently represented a client at Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court for a domestic assault trial.
Liz Truss – Climbing the Greasy Pole?
Two articles today raise concerns about the ability of Liz Truss to properly discharge her functions as Lord Chancellor.
Trial Success for Client in Custody
Trial success in Chesterfield for a client of Kevin Tomlinson
Keep Calm and Carry On
Early morning worries about legal aid contracts quickly abate.
Chesterfield Solicitor’s Persistence
Chesterfield based solicitor Ben Strelley’ persistence on behalf of youth client pays off.
Benefit Fraud Prosecution
Careful preparation ensures right result in benefit fraud prosecution.
Sentencing at Stratford Youth Court
Nottingham Solicitor Derek Brown travels to London to represent a youth client.
Prison Law Department Receives Praise
Positive Feedback for Our Prison Law Department
Trial Success for Nottingham Solicitor
Nottingham Solicitor Advocate Phil Plant has trial success in serious assault case
Road Traffic Trial Success for Nottingham Solicitor
Nottingham Solicitor Nick Walsh secured a not guilty verdict for a vulnerable client in a road traffic trial.
Solicitors Accounts Manager Wanted
VHS Fletchers solicitors are recruiting for an Accounts Manager to work from our Nottingham office.
A Welcome Return for POCA Solicitor
We are pleased to welcome back Nottingham solicitor Lauren Manuel from maternity leave.
We Are Recruiting a Trainee
VHS Fletchers are recruiting for a trainee solicitor in our Regulatory Law department.
Trial Success in Chesterfield
Trial success for Chesterfield solicitor David Gittins before the Magistrates’ Court.
Criminal Justice System at Breaking Point
On 27 May the Public Accounts Committee reported on the efficiency of the criminal justice system.
Trial Abandoned by Crown
No alternative but to drop the case and release the client.
A Retirement – or not!
We are sad to say that on 31 March 2016 Steven Varley retired from the partnership but fortunately not from the firm.
We would like to welcome Lauren Fisher, duty solicitor and Higher Courts’ Advocate, to our Nottingham office.
A Mansfield Return
We are pleased to say that Mel Hoffman has now returned from maternity leave at the beginning of April.
We would like to welcome Ben Strelley to our Chesterfield office.
Our Ilkeston Office
VHS Fletchers is now the only firm providing advice and representation under criminal legal aid in Ilkeston.
Derby Crown Court Representation
Experienced Solicitor Advocate William Bennett and Crown Court Litigator Siobhan McGuinness are now based at our Derby Office.
Legal Aid Changes
Paper legal aid applications for criminal proceedings will no longer be used from 4 July 2016 and eForms will be used instead.
New act seeks to prevent the supply of psychoactive substances, previously known as ‘legal highs’.
Joint Enterprise Appeals
Key appeal as a result of a recent Supreme Court decision.
Proceeds of Crime (POCA) – Proceedings withdrawn
Proceeds of Crime matters withdrawn against our client.
Police Assault – Not Guilty
Representation of a young man charged with assaulting a police officer.
Hackney Taxi Insurance
Private Hire taxi drivers who pick up passengers without a pre-booking are prosecuted for illegally Plying for Hire.