Tag Archives: fixed fee

Chesterfield criminal defence solicitor Denney Lau’s first 7 days with VHS Fletchers

New recruit, Chesterfield Criminal defence solicitor Denney Lau, has hit the ground running in his first seven days at VHS Fletchers.  His caseload perhaps illustrates the varied and unexpected nature of an experienced criminal law specialist.

chesterfield crime solicitor denney lau
Chesterfield criminal defence solicitor Denney Lau

Day 1

On day 1 Denney represented three clients before Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court.  All three had the benefit of criminal legal aid.

The first client denied possession of bladed article.  The case was suitable for summary trial and a trial has been listed at Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court.  A second client faced an allegation of theft.  It was inappropriate to make progress so Denney successfully argued for an adjournment.

The final client of the day faced allegation of attempted robbery and possession of a bladed article.  This was a case that could only be dealt with at the Crown Court, so the case was sent there.  His client remained on bail.

Day 2

chesterfield criminal defence solicitor denney lau
Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court

Day two say Denney again at Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court.  He dealt with two clients under the legal aid scheme.  One defendant pleaded guilty to breaching a restraining order and was fined.  A second was in breach of a community order and received a similar financial penalty.

Denney also represented a client under the Chesterfield court duty solicitor scheme.  He face a charge of harassment.  A not guilty plea was entered so the case adjourned for trial.  Denney is awaiting further instructions

Day 3

Once again Denney was representing a client before Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court.  This time his client was facing allegations of burglary and possession of a bladed article.  The allegations were denied and therefore were allocated to Derby Crown Court for trial.  His client remained on bail.  Representation was given under criminal legal aid

Day 4

Denney represented a client in custody under the legal aid scheme.  He was in breach of both a restraining order and his previous community order.  He had, unfortunately, run out of chances so received a fourteen week sentence.

Separately Denney dealt with a client as duty solicitor.  This client had unpaid fines dating back to 2010 so was at risk of being sent to prison for default.  Instead, Denney secured him a further opportunity to pay under a suspended committal order.

Day 5

chesterfield criminal defence solicitor denney lau dwp interviewAvoiding court in the morning, Denney instead provided advice and assistance under a fixed fee arrangement to a suspect being interviewed by the Department of Works and Pensions on suspicion of benefit fraud.  No decision was made as to whether to prosecute.

In the afternoon, Denney was representing a client before Sheffield Magistrates’ Court who was denying a serious sexual offence.  The case was allocated to Sheffield Crown Court.  His client had the benefit of both legal aid and bail.

Day 6

An application to adjourn a dishonesty offence was made and granted before the Magistrates.  A legal aid application was submitted.

chesterfield criminal defence solicitor drink drive representationA new client was seen in the office facing an allegation of excess alcohol.  Legal representation at the future court date was possible because of an affordable fixed fee.

That evening Denney undertook his first period on call and dealt with three cases during the night at Chesterfield police station.  Two clients facing investigation for a serious sexual offence and possession of drugs with intent to supply were released under investigations so that the police could conclude their enquiries.

A third client was charged to Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court following admissions to an assault on paramedics.

Chesterfield police station

Day 7

The day started with a meeting at the Derbyshire Law Centre in Chesterfield.  Chesterfield crime solicitor Ben Strelley also attended.  It was an important opportunity to discuss the legal services offered by both us and the Law Centre to ensure that our clients have the opportunity to access legal advice for all of their problems.

chesterfield criminal legal aid solicitorThereafter, Denney has another busy day at Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court.  He dealt with a defendant as court duty solicitor who pleaded guilty to having a dog that was dangerously out of control.  A basis of plea was put forward that was not accepted by the prosecution so a trial of issue of Newton hearing was listed.  Denney awaits further instructions.

He concluded a case by way of a conditional discharge for a client in possession of the controlled substance, Mamba.

A second client had committed a new offence of criminal damage while subject to a suspended sentence.  Despite that the order was allowed to continue and he was given unpaid work for the new offence.

Finally, Denney made representations on behalf of a client that persuaded the probation service to withdraw proceedings for breach of a suspended sentence order.

Contact Chesterfield criminal defence solicitor Denney Lau

Chesterfield criminal defence solicitor Denney Lau

Although you can see that Denney is busy, he is never too busy to take your call and represent you in police interview or at court.

We know that Denney’s clients will expect him to see their cases through to the end.  As a result, he will aim to provide continuity of representation all the way through to your Crown Court trial.

Chesterfield criminal defence solicitor Denney Lau can be contacted on 01246 283000 or you can use the contact form below.


Lengthy driving disqualification avoided for Chesterfield road traffic client

In recent months the penalties for speeding in a motor vehicle have increased dramatically since April 2017.  This includes a reduction in the threshold at which a defendant faces a driving disqualification.  You can read more about this here.

driving disqualification chesterfieldAs a result the risk of being disqualified following a speeding conviction is much higher than previously.  Chesterfield motoring law solicitor David Gittins was recently instructed by a client who faced disqualification for speeding.

In this case, although there was no mitigation to be put forward to prevent a driving disqualification, David was able to advance powerful mitigation to secure a very short disqualification,  The ban would have little impact on our client’s ability to continue with his employment.

The Allegation

David’s client, who was only nineteen years old, had been seen by police driving his car at twice the legal limit.  Unfortunately he was driving at more than twice the legal limit.

On being pulled over by the police he gave his details and then had to await the inevitable speeding summons and court date.

Client appearance at Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court

David had been instructed to represent our client prior to the court date.  Although entering a guilty plea will be easy for an unrepresented defendant facing a speeding charge, choosing what extra information will favourably influence the outcome of their case.

driving disqualification reduced Chesterfield road traffic solicitorThis may conclude telling the Magistrates’ what happened and why.  A defendant’s demeanour or lack of appreciation of the gravity of his case might mean that they approach the case in a manner guaranteed to aggravate the situation.

The starting point for Magistrates will always be that speeding can have very serious consequences and they will be looking to see an appropriate level of regret and remorse.  More can be read about that here.

With this in mind David took instructions to see what personal mitigation would be available to his client.  As he worked in the motor trade he needed a driving licence.  His job would remain open to him if there could be a successful argument for a short disqualification.  He lived in a rural area with an almost non-existent public transport system.

Successful mitigation of driving disqualification

David had already considered the sentencing guidelines so directed his mitigation at the relevant aspects of the guideline.  By focussing on the positive elements of his client’s character, including his employment, David was able to secure a favourable sentencing outcome.

Chesterfield magistrates court driving disqualification legal representationOur client was eventually fined and disqualified from driving.  The disqualification was only for 21 days however. This was at the very lower end of the sentencing range.  David’s client was particularly happy as he was due to go on a foreign holiday for fourteen days of the disqualification when he wouldn’t be driving in any event.  This meant that he would only have to miss one week of work.

His job was secured and our client was extremely satisfied with the result.  He appreciated that had be represented himself it was likely that his approach was likely to be less focussed and it may well have been that he didn’t secure the same outcome.

Since this case, David has already referred a further referral from his client who has instructed him in a similar matter.

Affordable fixed fees

Legal aid is not normally available for cases of this nature.  As a result our client instructed us on a private basis.  For most motoring offences fixed fees can be agreed and this was the case here.

Instruct a Chesterfield Road Traffic solicitor

Chesterfield road traffic and crime solicitor David Gittins

If you wish to instruct David for any road traffic or criminal matter please contact him at our Chesterfield office on 01246 283000 or alternatively use the contact form below.  While we can make no promises about the outcome of any case, we are best placed to argue against a driving disqualification or to reduce the length of a driving ban.


Drink driving sentence at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court

drink driving sentence nottingham motoring solicitor
Nottingham and Newark crime solicitor Lauren Manuel

Nottingham and Newark crime solicitor Lauren Manuel recently represented a client appearing before Nottingham Magistrates’ Court for drink driving.  Her mitigation meant that he avoid an immediate prison sentence even though his reading was over four times the legal limit.

Lauren represented her client under an affordable fixed fee agreement.

Drink driving – over four times the legal limit

The client was driving his motor vehicle in Nottingham during rush hour.    A witness saw the client drive wide around a bend crossing the central line.  He tried to correct the vehicle.  The car then headed towards a kerb and he lost control of the car.  It hit a telegraph pole with enough force so that it caused the pole to be sheared off.  It fell into the path of oncoming traffic.

Lauren’s client then attempted to get out of the vehicle and leave the scene.  Instead he was detained by members of the public.  He cooperated with the police when they asked for a specimen of breath.  Unfortunately it was over four times the limit.  The offence was further aggravated as he had neither insurance cover or a valid driving licence.

Mitigation avoids immediate prison sentence

Such a high reading in combination with the aggravating circumstances would normally result in an unavoidable and immediate prison sentence.   Instead, Lauren was able to use her experience and persuasive advocacy to ensure that the Magistrates felt able to impose a suspended sentence instead.

Lauren identified that she would be able to put compelling personal mitigation before the court so that prison could be avoided.  She was able to demonstrate to the Magistrates that her client needed assistance.  Of late he had found himself in extremely difficult circumstances.  Prior to those arising, and this incident, he had been a man of good character.  He had no previous convictions or cautions.

As a result, the court was able to balance her client’s personal mitigation and credit for his guilty pleas against the very serious aggravating features of the offence.

Although he was to be punished, that punishment was a suspended sentence.  He was to undergo rehabilitation and address his alcohol misuse.  He was, of course, disqualified from driving for a lengthy period.

Affordable Fixed Fee Representation

Although Lauren’s client was not financially eligible to receive free legal aid, she was able to offer him representation by way of an affordable fixed fee.

Contact a motoring law solicitor

Whether you are admitting an offence or intend to contest an allegation such as drink driving you will benefit from seeking expert advice and representation.  If you wish to speak to Lauren then please contact her on 0115 9599550.  Alternatively you can use the following contact form:


Fixed Fee Representation at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court

nottingham criminal solicitor
Nottingham crime solicitor Martin Hadley

Nottingham criminal solicitor Martin Hadley recently represented a client who was jointly charged with allegations of production of cannabis and possessing it with intent to supply before Nottingham Magistrates’ Court.

Despite a relevant history of previous offences and very strong evidence, he was able to persuade the prosecution to accept a lesser charge.  As a result, committal to the Crown Court for sentence and a likely prison sentence was avoided.  Further, he represented her under an affordable fixed fee agreement.

Production of Cannabis

The police visited the address of her and her partner, the co-accused.  When the address is searched, the police discover significant amounts of cannabis in the kitchen cupboards.  There also cannabis growing in the loft.

In interview Martin’s client had accepted that she knew about the cannabis grow, but denied that she had been involved with the actual production of the cannabis.  In effect, she was accepting that she had permitted her premises to be used by her partner for cultivation of cannabis.

fixed fee criminal defence solicitor
Nottingham Magistrates’ Court

Although representations were made at an early stage that this would be an appropriate charge, the prosecution did not accept the plea that was offered.  This was perhaps unsurprising as Martin’s client had two previous convictions for production of cannabis, one of which had resulted in confiscation proceedings.  She had also failed to comply with a community order previously imposed.

As a result, Martin had advised her to plead not guilty to production of cannabis and the matter was adjourned for trial.

Plea to an alternative charge

Martin attended trial to represent his client. He renewed the representations to the prosecutor in court and this time they were received more favourably.  His client was able to plead guilty to the alternative charge.


Bearing in mind her record, Martin was unable to provide any guarantees that she would escape a prison sentence.  His experience and judgement, however, led him to believe that the lesser charge in combination with her personal mitigation would allow her to keep her liberty.

After hearing all about the case and listening to Martin’s expert mitigation aimed at avoiding custody, the Magistrates’ felt able to impose a Community Order.  The only elements were residence combined with an 8 week electronically monitored curfew.

Fixed Fee Funding

Martin’s client was not entitled to legal aid.  Her income was just outside the entitlement threshold.  As an experienced criminal defence lawyer, Martin was able to estimate how much preparation would be involved in the preparation and presentation of the case and agree affordable fixed fee representation.

Contact a Nottingham Criminal Defence Lawyer


If you are to be interviewed by the police or face court proceedings then please contact Martin Hadley on 0115 9599550 or email him here. He will advise you as to how best to fund your case, whether that be through legal aid, a fixed fee or hourly rate.


Legal Advice to Landlords


Nottingham Crime and Regulatory solicitor Martin Hadley recently represented a landlord in interview relating to an alleged breach of regulations applying to a house in multiple occupation.

Inspection of a House in Multiple Occupation

The landlord had been visited by the local authority inspectors who had found shortcomings in the facilities offered within the property.  Martin’s client had successfully negotiated a period of time to make alterations to the premises to bring them into line with current legislation.

He had then employed a reputable contractor to undertake the works.  He knew the builder personally house in multiple occupation adviceand had used him for many years.  As a result he believed that the work would be completed to the requested specification and paid for the works to be done.

As a result, the landlord had no reason to suspect that the premises would not fulfil the requirements of the local authority.

Builder’s Failure

Unfortunately a subsequent visit by the inspectors revealed that the works did not fulfil the statutory requirements and the landlord was invited by the Council for an interview at their offices. This was to be a recorded interview.  The purpose was to gather evidence for a potential prosecution.  Our client was to be cautioned at the start of the interview.

Understandably, our client was extremely worried about the interview.  Unfortunately, rather than instruct us immediately he instead instructed an expert to produce a report to show  the council that he had completed the works to the relevant statutory requirements for a house in multiple occupation.  Of course, he hadn’t.

Defence of Reasonable Excuse

Sadly, this expense was not needed.  The report could not address the defence that our client needed to put forward.  Once he received advice

homes in multiple occupation advice

Martin was able to advice him that he would be able to put forward a reasonable excuse for failing to comply with the statutory requirements, that being the instruction and payment of a builder of appropriate skill and experience to undertake the works.

In order to allow our client to budget for his legal fees Martin agreed a fixed fee.  Within this fee, Martin liaised with the local authority to find out the detail of the allegations that would be put in interview, and advised his client prior to interview.  This meant he was able to ensure that his client brought along a bundle of relevant papers to the interview.  The advice continued throughout the interview.

As a result the client was able to raise the necessary defence and support it with documentary evidence.  The council decided to take the matter no further.  No court proceedings were brought.

Contact Martin Hadley

This case illustrates the importance of taking early advice from a specialist lawyer in order to ensure that your case is dealt with efficiently and without incurring unnecessary expense.

If you are a landlord responsible for a house in multiple occupation and receive contact from the local authority please telephone Martin on 0115 9599550 or email him here.  He will be able to provide you with advice on how best to deal with the allegations and agree fees for affordable advice.