Tag Archives: police station

Criminal solicitors providing emergency legal advice over the festive period

As businesses prepare for Christmas, it is customary to inform clients of seasonal opening hours. For many, it will simply be a case of announcing the days on which the business will be closed, but for us, as criminal defence solicitors, the position is a little more complicated than that owing to the need for emergency legal advice.

We close our offices, but of course we don’t close down our emergency services.

Our offices across the East Midlands will be closed on the following dates:

24 December 2019

25 December 2019

26 December 2019

27 December 2018

31 December 2019

1 January 2020

Emergency legal advice

However, if you need emergency legal advice in relation to a criminal law related issued, at any time of the day or night, we have a team of people to assist.

You can contact us for emergency legal advice by calling any of our usual office numbers.

For example, the Nottingham number is 0115 9599550.  You will be able to speak to one of our on call solicitors.

emergency legal advice

The work of a criminal lawyer does not lend itself to regular working hours, nor is there any time, day or night when we are not available. We offer a level of accessibility that few other professionals can match, and we are immensely proud of that fact.

When arrested on Christmas Day, as some people inevitably will be, we will be there by their side to offer timely legal advice to protect their interests.

You can read more about the benefits of instructing us to give emergency legal advice in police interview here.

Even the criminal courts are open for business during at least part of the festive period, allowing for bail applications and other urgent court business.  Again we will provide representation at those hearings.

And of course, those in prison can experience particular difficulties as they are reminded of families far away, also impacted by the trauma of custody.

We take this opportunity to wish all of you a peaceful and restful holiday season, but if for any reason you need us, we will be there at the end of the phone and in person.

Considering becoming a legal aid lawyer? Here is a typical week

legal aid lawyer
Chesterfield partner and crime solicitor David Gittins

Where possible, VHS Fletchers is a solicitors’ firm committed to encouraging those interested in joining the legal profession.  We welcome law students who are keen to find out what it is really like to be a criminal defence solicitor and legal aid lawyer.

Work placements can be hard to come by, but if you are local to one of our East Midlands offices then please contact us to see if we have space at one of them at a mutually convenient time.

VHS Fletchers are also keen to encourage those interested in joining the legal profession and welcome law students keen to find out what it is really like to be a Criminal Defence Solicitor. Work placements can be hard to come by so for those unable to secure a placement below is a description of Chesterfield partner and Crime Solicitor David Gittins typical week.


David was in the office early meeting Natalie the work placement student to show her the sort of work undertaken by a legal aid lawyer.  They then walked over to Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court to represent a client who in the end failed to attend.

As a result, there was a lengthy wait before a warrant was issued, but David was able to use the time preparing for a later appointment to take instructions in relation to an upcoming trial.

It appears that the tone had been set for the day, and that client failed to keep his appointment.

legal aid lawyer
Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court

David also undertook some preparation for his second appointment of the day.  This again related to a forthcoming trial at Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court.

This was a particularly important appointment as the trial was listed before the court for a prosecution application to let the Magistrates’ know about his client’s previous convictions.  David had hoped to discuss the convictions in detail to help him know how best to argue against the application.

This final client of the day also failed to attend his appointment.

Tuesday (day)

David was at Chesterfield Magistrates Court again on Tuesday.  This time he was acting as court duty solicitor.  This means that he would act as a legal aid lawyer for those defendants who hadn’t instructed a specific solicitor to act for them.

When David attended court he would not know the type of cases that he would be dealing with.  In the end he represented two clients who had attended on bail and one in the cells.

He returned to court in the afternoon to complete all of the cases,  including the representation of one defendant who had pleaded guilty to drink driving.

In between cases, David was able to discuss a case for the following day that needed the input of a consultant psychiatrist due to his client having difficulties with his mental health.

At the end of the normal working day, David saw a new client at the office who had been recommended to him.  He was able to take instructions and submit a legal aid application online.

Tuesday (night)

That night David was on call as one of the lawyers staffing the firm’s out of hours police station rota to provide emergency advice and assistance to those being interviewed under caution by the police.

Although it would no doubt be preferable to interview suspects during normal working hours, the police often think it appropriate to interview at any hour of the night.

Although legal aid lawyer David only represented a single suspect during this period he travelled to Chesterfield police station at 8.45pm to represent his client who was accused of assault.

Free advice was provided and the client was released under investigation whilst the Police continued to investigate the offence.

David returned home shortly before 1 am but had to be back at his desk the following morning to complete that day’s work.

legal aid lawyer
Chesterfield police station

Wednesday (day)

David returned to Court on Wednesday morning to successfully resist the bad character application being made by the prosecution.

He also represented the client with mental health difficulties in their absence as they were not well enough to attend court.  The case was adjourned to a future date.

On returning to the office David also spoke to the client that he had represented in the police station the previous night.  Although we do not carry out family work he was able to signpost her to a family solicitor who could help with the issues arising following her arrest and release.

David returned to Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court for the afternoon session.  He represented a client who was to be sentenced for a theft allegation.  Unfortunately, due to the delays at court, this case was not called on until 4.30pm despite a bail time of 1.45pm.

Wednesday (night)

David was again involved with our out of hours rota.  He was the coordinator for the scheme, which meant that he took the emergency calls from the Duty Solicitor Call Centre, police and clients or their families resulting from arrests.

Whilst David can complete this task from home with the use of his mobile phone, calls continue throughout the night.  David deployed his colleagues to the police station at 9.30pm and a little after midnight.

A spare room is always helpful when coordinating the rota.


David, suffering from a lack of sleep, was back at Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court at 9.30am to represent a client who had previously pleaded guilty to assaulting his partner.  David successfully argued for a community order.

The rest of the day was spent by David completing work arising from cases he had dealt with that week and preparing files for future court dates.


David was again court duty solicitor at Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court.  He dealt with a client who faced an allegation of unlawful possession of a firearm.


Magistrates’ Courts across the country also sit on a Saturday morning to deal with defendants who have been refused bail by the police.  Again we provide representation at these courts as part of our out of hours emergency rota.

David was represented two clients before Nottingham Magistrates’ Court.  The first client faced a very serious allegation of possession with intent to supply cannabis as part of an organised crime gang.  This client was remanded into custody having insufficient community ties to ensure attendance at future court dates for such a serious offence.  David was assisted by a Lithuanian interpreter in this case.

legal aid lawyer
Nottingham Magistrates’ Court

The second case was at the other end of the spectrum in terms of seriousness, although it was serious to his client.  David’s other client was simply charged with shop theft.  However, what should have been a simple matter was delayed by the police as the client was not brought through to the cells until his methadone could be located, leading to a wait of several hours.

Considering becoming a legal aid lawyer?

We are currently advertising for the post of trainee solicitor at our Chesterfield office.

There are plenty of articles on our website that show you the kind of work that you will undertake both before and after qualification.

Read more in our news section.

A legal aid lawyer will only gain the experience necessary to provide expert advice in the field of criminal law by being part of a busy practise.  We can offer that experience.

We look forward to hearing from you with either your request for work experience or application to be a trainee solicitor.

Accredited representative advises during no comment interview

no comment interviewFly on the wall documentaries are increasingly popular, particularly when they show the workings of the criminal justice system.  Such programs may, particularly when they rely on interviews with the police, present a no comment interview as harmful to a suspects case.

While there may be instances where a person is not helped by failing to give an account, there are many occasions when there is substantial benefit to a no comment interview.

Exercising your right to silence

Choosing not to answer questions is your legal right.  The reasons for refusing to answer questions my be complex.  You would certainly be best advised to seek expert legal advice before doing so.

You can read more about your right to silence here.

Choosing a no comment interview might mean that no further action is taken by the police at the conclusion of the police investigation.

Here are two examples where accredited police station representative Rob Lowe at our Chesterfield office provided advice on the right to silence.  His clients conducted a no comment interview.  Ultimately it was to their benefit.

No comment interview following assault allegation

no comment interview
Accredited police station representative Rob Lowe

Rob was instructed to attend for a voluntary interview.  His client was being investigated as an allegation had been made that he assaulted a neighbour.  The neighbour was said to have stepped onto his land to remonstrate with a third party who was driving a tractor.

The allegation was that Rob’s client had then shoved the neighbour.

Upon taking his client’s instructions, he confirmed that he had been present and approached the complaint.  He accepted putting himself between the complainant and the driver.  This was to highlight to the neighbour that he was putting himself in a dangerous position bearing in mind the type of vehicle.

Our client denied touching the complainant at all.

Rob assessed the police evidence as being weak.  Without any form of admission it seemed unlikely that it would proceed to court.  In order to remove any risk that his client would go beyond his instructions when interviewed, Rob advised his client to use a prepared statement and then conduct a no comment interview.

Rob’s assessment of the case was correct because after the interview took place the police confirmed that no further action would be taken.

No comment interview where no complaint made

On this occasion following a client’s arrest, Rob was instructed to advise a suspect who had been arrested of assault and criminal damage within a domestic setting.

Before interview, Rob discovered that the police had no statement of complainant from the only witness who could support a prosecution.  There was no other admissable or independent evidence.

Based on his assessment of the evidence, Rob advised his client that he ought to exercise his right to silence in interview.  As a result, he made no comment replies to questions.

As no one was accusing his client of wrong doing there was no need to answer questions.  Again, Rob’s client was released without any charges from the police.

Instruct a criminal law specialist to advise on a no comment interview.

These are just two examples of how instructing us at the point of police interview can benefit you and ensure that we protect your interests.

Some more benefits of early legal advice can be found here.

We have offices across the East Midlands.  You can find your most convenient office here.   Alternatively you can contact us using the form below.

racially aggravated
VHS Fletchers offices across the East Midlands


Busy week for Chesterfield crime solicitor


Chesterfield criminal defence solicitor Denney Lau
Chesterfield crime solicitor Denney Lau

Chesterfield crime solicitor Denney Lau has had another busy week,combining police station representation, Magistrates’ court cases and office appointments.

You can read more about this below.


Negotiated basis of plea

Denney’s first client of his working week was a person who had been arrested on a warrant that had been outstanding since November 2016 and was before Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court.  Although he accepted being guilty of an offence of assault, he did not accept the full extent of the allegation.  Denney was able to negotiate a basis of plea that was acceptable to the prosecution and the court.  He pleaded guilty and received a financial penalty.

Legal aid was granted which meant that our representation was free of charge to our client.

Trial prepared but no client

Later that day, Denney was to represent another legally-aided client who faced trial for theft from a dwelling.  The witness was to give evidence over a live link from Oxford.  The trial was fully prepared, but in the our client didn’t attend and the trial could not go ahead.


Client released under investigation

On Tuesday morning a client sought our independent legal advice in police interview.  The allegation was one of commercial burglary chesterfield police station solicitorfrom the summer of 2017.  He had been detained at chesterfield police station allegation of non dwelling burglary.  Following advice, our client put forward an account denying responsibility for the offence.

Representations were made that our client should not be detained while a decision from the Crown Prosecution Service was sought.  Instead, he should be released under investigation so that the final decision can be communicated at a later date.

Criminal legal aid meant that this advice and representation was free of charge.

Suspended rather than immediate custody

chesterfield magistrates court solicitor
Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court

Again with the benefit of criminal legal aid, Chesterfield crime solicitor Denney Lau represented a client who had breached his community order on two separate occasions.  To make matters worse, he had been unlawfully at large on a warrant without bail since September 2017.

The District Judge gave an immediate indication that he had no alternative but to send our client to prison immediately.  Having heard mitigation from Denney, instead he felt able to impose a suspended sentence leading to our client’s immediate release.

A night on call at Chesterfield police station

Lack of evidence on theft

Denney’s first client of the evening was a person who had been arrested for an allegation of theft.  A lack of evidence meant that our client chose not to answer police questions.  His continued detention was authorised to permit consideration of identification procedures and to see whether any further evidence was to be provided.

Representations secure bail from police

chesterfield police station legal aid solicitor
Chesterfield police station

His second client had been arrested for driving whilst disqualified but denied that allegation after receiving free and independent legal advice.  He was already being investigated for an identical offence.

Denney’s client was charged with both sets of offences.  The officer made representation to the custody sergeant that, bearing in mind the repeat allegations, our client should be detained for a remand application in the morning.

After hearing representations from Denney, the sergeant was persuaded to bail his client to court instead.


Chesterfield police station part two

Denney returned to Chesterfield police station to continue to represent the person detained for theft the night before.  There was a co-accused by now, although the co-accused was represented by a different firm of solicitor.

Our client was charged with several allegations of theft, as was his co-accused.  Denny was successful in persuading the police to grant his client bail, although the solicitor for the co-accused was less successful.  He was placed before the court for a remand application.

Favourable sentence in client’s absence

A client was due to be sentenced over the video link but refused to appear for the hearing.  The court decided to proceed in the client’s absence.  Denney continued to act in the best interests of his client.  This involved placing relevant mitigation before the court.  In the event, Denney secured a short custodial sentence that was almost equivalent to time already spent on remand, thus securing his client’s release within a further day or so.


Birthday celebration, so no court, no police stations and no clients.

Go-karting instead.


Successful bail application by Chesterfield crime solicitor

A client had been placed before the court for an application to remand him into custody after he was charged with being in breach of a dispersal notice.  There were several issues surrounding the lawfulness of the notice so he was advised to plead not guilty.  Bail was secured even though our client had no fixed address and a conviction would place him in breach of a suspended sentence.

Another client no-show

Denney had prepared a trial to be heard before Nottingham Magistrates’ Court although he required further information from his client.  His client failed to attend and the court allowed the prosecution to proceed in his absence.  Denney was not fully instructed so withdrew from the case.

Interviewed without a solicitor

A client had made an appointment to see Chesterfield crime solicitor Denney to discuss their case.  They had chosen to be interviewed without the benefit of free and independent legal advice and wanted to talk about the evidence and the procedure following a release under investigation.

Contact a Chesterfield criminal law specialist

chesterfield crime solicitor 5 Beetwell Street
VHS Fletchers, 5 Beetwell Street, Chesterfield

We gain our experience and enhance our reputation for being experts in the field of criminal law by representing clients in relation to a full range of offences on a daily basis,

If you want to instruct Chesterfield crime solicitor Denney Lau in a case then the details of our new office in Chesterfield can be found here.  Alternatively you can use the contact form below.


Why choose VHS Fletchers as your solicitor?

For many people, facing the prospect of criminal investigation or proceedings is a daunting prospect.  It is one that can often inflict a heavy toll not just on themselves, but also on their loved ones.

As a result it will be essential that a suspect or defendant ensure that proper professional support mechanisms are in place at an early stage through a considered choice of solicitor.

Seek early legal advice for your criminal case

It is never too early to involve VHS Fletchers in your case, even at the point you are first aware that the police wish to speak to you.

transfer legal aidWe are always surprised at just how many people put seeking legal advice off until a late stage in an investigation.  People might be concerned about the potential cost of a solicitor.  As a result, we constantly try to publicise the fact that legal advice will be free in police interview.  Other people think that having a solicitor in police interview might be seen as an admission of guilt. It isn’t.   An even greater number of suspects may believe that the problem will simply go away.  This may be true in some cases, but in many it does not.

We dispel some of the myths and give some benefits about having a solicitor if interviewed by the police here.

VHS Fletchers – The right solicitor for you

It is a trite observation to state that you will want to choose the ‘right’ solicitor for you.  We hope that will be VHS Fletchers.

If your case depends on legal aid funding and you believe that you have made the wrong choice of solicitor, this may not be easily remedied.  A firm might not be entitled to an additional payment if you change between visits to the police station.

Once proceedings have started, courts will need a good justification to transfer legal aid to another firm.  Any reason will go need to go beyond a desire to change.

If, however, you are unhappy with your existing representation then the sooner any transfer to VHS Fletchers is resolved, the better.

How do you decide whether VHS Fletchers are the right solicitors for you?

transfer legal aidWe hope that there is plenty of information about this firm and its staff on this website to allow you to make an informed decision.  You will be able to explore the wealth of experience that this firm can bring to your case, and perhaps find examples of how we have dealt with cases similar to yours.

Once you have made contact with us, you will be able to see the manner in which we will deal with your case.

We will ensure that your initial enquiry is dealt with promptly.  We aim to make contact with your lawyer easy, and if they are not available immediately there will be other solicitors or paralegals on hand to deal with urgent queries.

Our lawyers appreciate that along with your legal problems is the potential for a number of personal difficulties.  Our staff demonstrate the key skills of empathy and understanding, recognising that these are critical skills and essential to excellent communication.

Clear advice about what to expect at every stage

We know that the law and procedure relating to your case can be complex.  As a result, at the end of meeting with you we will make it clear to you what is likely to happen next and the time frame.

transfer legal aid In any case there are periods of long inactivity.  This might be because you have been released under investigation by the police or because there is a long delay in a Crown Court case before the evidence is served.  We know that these delays can cause concern to our clients.  Our lawyers will outline the legal process and ensure you are kept fully informed at all stages.  We will regularly chase the police on your to ensure that we find out what stage the investigation of your case has reached.

As a result we are confident that you will leave any meetings reassured and comfortable, understanding the advice that has been given and what will happen next.  We aim to deal with any concerns you have immediately, in order to resolve any understandable anxieties.

If you are unhappy with your current solicitor can you transfer legal aid?

In the first instance, you should raise your concerns as soon as they arise.  This ensures the best chance of resolving them. Often concerns arise due to misunderstandings.  These can be quickly and easily remedied.

If concerns remain then consult the firm’s complaints procedure and escalate the matter to more senior staff.

If you cannot resolve matters to your satisfaction or believe that the relationship is beyond repair, then it is essential to contact VHS Fletchers without delay to see whether you can transfer legal aid.

How can we assist?

We do not encourage potential clients to seek a transfer of legal aid and representation lightly.  This will only arise where a client’s needs are not being properly addressed.  Then we will support a transfer of legal aid.

But, you do get only one chance to get it right.

Contact VHS Fletchers solicitors for expert advice in criminal matters

We care passionately about the service we give to every client, so if the time has come to switch solicitors and transfer legal aid, get in touch, and we can provide further advice on the procedure and whether you have grounds for a transfer.

For a confidential and private consultation, please contact the office most convenient to you or use the contact form below.

transfer legal aid


End of an era as Chesterfield solicitors move offices

On Thursday 22 March 2018 a chapter ends as Chesterfield solicitors VHS Fletchers move from Marsden Chambers in to new offices across town at 5 Beetwell.

Chesterfield solicitors have provided representation in criminal cases from that office for many many years.  Prior to VHS Fletchers beginning to practice from that address, Banner Jones solicitors provided criminal advice and representation.

chesterfield solicitors vhs fletchers
VHS Fletchers old offices at Marsden Chambers

Perhaps two of the most immediately recognisable names to have praticed from Marsden Chambers are Chesterfield solicitors Robert Banner and Peter Jones.  Robert specialised in criminal representation for 12 years beginning in 1976 before moving into the field of employment law.  Peter qualified in 1980, and now specialises in family law, having built a successful criminal practice over a number of years.  He continued to represent clients in the criminal field until VHS Fletchers began to provide criminal advice.

Jonathan Taaffe trained as a solicitor at Banner Jones, working from the Marsden Sreet office from 1983. He resigned from the partnership in 2010 and is now a full time District Judge sitting in Derbyshire.

Chesterfield solicitor Denney Lau
Chesterfield crime solicitor Denney Lau

In 2007, newly qualified solicitor Denney Lau joined the Marsden Street office.  He worked there for a little over three years before leaving to join a competitor.  He returned to the building where his career started in 2017, but now for VHS Fletchers.  He was reunited with old colleagues Kevin Tomlinson, Ruth Campbell and Rob Lowe, as well as the text book on representing suspects in the police station that he used to obtain his police station accreditation.

chesterfield solicitor kevin tomlinson
Chesterfield crime solicitor Kevin Tomlinson

In 2009, Chesterfield crime solicitor Kevin Tomlinson joined the offices at Marsden Chambers.  He had been a partner at Kieran Clarke Green solicitors for a number of years.  That firm had decided to give up their criminal contract with the Legal Aid Agency, so Kevin was able to bring his significant following of criminal clients to a new firm.

chesterfield police station representation Rob lowe
Police station accredited representative Rob Lowe

Similarly, in 2010, Banner Jones recruited local sole practitioner Bob Bashforth who had operated as a sole practitioner in Chesterfield for 12 years before joining the firm. He retired in 2016 after continuing for a short period with VHS Fletchers.  Bob now lives in Devon.

In April 2015, VHS Fletchers took over the Banner Jones criminal department and continued to operate from Marsden Chambers.  This was in a direct response to government plans to consolidate the

Chesterfield criminal defence solicitor Ben Strelley
Chesterfield crime solicitor Ben Strelley

market.  These plans, including a flawed tender process, later collapsed but VHS Fletchers have continued to develop the department and are now a well known name in the area.

Since then, in 2016, we have successfully recruited crime solicitor Ben Strelley.  Although working in Sheffield before his move, he lives locally, and has brought an expertise in all areas of criminal law to the firm as well as a desire to achieve the best for all of his clients.

chesterfield crown court litigator Ruth Campbell
Chesterfield Crown Court litigator Ruth Campbell

Of the current line-up, accredited police station representative Rob Lowe is the longest serving employee based at the Marsden Street office.  He began work for Banner Jones in 1999.  He was soon joined by Crown Court Litigator Ruth Campbell.

chesterfield crime solicitor David Gittins
Chesterfield partner and crime solicitor David Gittins

Chesterfield crime solicitor and partner David Gittins and criminal solicitor Gavin Haigh complete the team providing specialist legal advice to those arrested and detained at Chesterfield police station, Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court or Derby Crown Court, as well as places much further afield.

Contact Chesterfield solicitors specialising in crime

Our new address and phone number can be found here from 21 March 2018.  Alternatively you can use the contact form below.

VHS Fletchers has a contract with the Legal Aid Agency.  This means that any advice and representation that we provide in the police station will be free of charge to you.

We will always advise you as to your entitlement to legal aid to ensure that representation before either the Magistrates’ or Crown Courts is affordable to you.


A busy week at Chesterfield for Police Station Advice

This week from January 2018 provides a perfect illustration of the work undertaken by accredited police station representative Rob Lowe out of our busy Chesterfield office as he travels to provide expert police station advice.


The week started with a visit to Chesterfield Police Station just after chesterfield police station advicemidnight on Sunday.  The the police decided this would be the ideal time to interview to a client who had asked for the duty solicitor.

Luckily, Rob was offered plenty of strong coffee which was very welcome, because he was there until after two in the morning.  He managed to get a few hours sleep before I was required back for 10 a.m. on the Sunday morning to provide a further three clients with police station advice in Chesterfield.  Again, these had asked for the duty solicitor.

Unfortunately, he was back home in time to see Arsenal lose!


Monday started with a further visit to Chesterfield police station to represent a client who was answering  police bail.   Although this was a second visit to provide free legal advice and representation to our client, there is no additional fee payable to us under the legal aid scheme.

Immediately after this, Rob represented a client who had been asked to attend the police station for a voluntary interview.  He had the good sense to have notified us the previous week that he would be liverpool police station adviceattending the police station and would wish free representation under the legal aid scheme.

After dealing with that case, Rob got into his car and drove all the way up to Liverpool.  He met his client at the city centre police station at 6pm.  Again, he was attending voluntarily and had earlier informed Rob that the police wanted to interview him.

After that interview was completed, and the client had gone home, Rob wandered into the city centre for a bite to eat before travelling home through weather that was variously rain hail and then snow.  He managed to be tucked up in bed by 11 p.m.


Tuesday began with a trip to Mexborough police station.   This was to provide free and independent legal advice to a client who had mexborough police station adviceattended for a voluntary interview.  Rob attended by prior arrangement, the client having contacted us in advance.

Rob was back in Chesterfield by lunchtime to represent another client at the Chesterfield police station.   Again, this client had attended for a voluntary interview.

After concluding advice in that case , Rob went down into the custody suite  to look after a client who had been to Court in the morning and had been represented by a colleague.  He was unfortunately arrested for further offences when he left Court, and he asked for VHS Fletchers at the police station to provide advice and representation.


It was the firms turn to be duty solicitor again on Wednesday.  Rob started the day by representing a client who had asked for the duty solicitor at Chesterfield Police Station.

A colleague then told Rob that a further client, who had been referred to us by a friend of his, was coming to the police station at 12 noon for a voluntary interview.  He was met by Rob at that time and advice was provided accordingly.

Ilkeston police station adviceAnother case was in the cells also ready for interview at 12 noon, so a colleague was drafted in to provide advice in that case so that there was no delay to the interview for that client.

Once the voluntary interview was finished, Rob made his way over to Ilkeston police station to act as an agent for a firm of solicitors in London.  They had a client who was attending for a voluntary interview but were unable to make the journey up to Derbyshire.  Rob was was back home for 7:30p.m. for another late tea.


Thursday started early due to the need to provide advice at Sheffield City Council offices.  Rob represented a client who was being interviewed under caution for an allegation relating to improper use of a blue badge.

Rob then made his way back to Chesterfield Police Station to look after a client in custody who had been arrested and asked for representation from VHS Fletchers.

Rob made it home on time for a change, although this period of calm did not last long.  He chose to assist a colleague who was on call by providing advice and assistance to a client who was being interviewed at Chesterfield police station.


Rob was not required at the police station on Friday.  This provided a welcome opportunity to ensure that all of his paperwork was up to date from the week’s police station attendances.


On the Saturday, Rob rested.  Within the last seven days, Rob had provided free and independent legal advice to sixteen different clients.

In January alone Rob has attended ten different police stations in January –  as well as Chesterfield, Rob has visited

  • Grantham
  • Clay Cross
  • Ripley
  • Hucknall
  • Mansfield
  • Eastwood
  • Liverpool
  • Mexborough
  • Ilkeston

and one council office.  The list will no doubt be even longer by the end of the month.

Contact us for free and independent police station advice

As we hold a legal aid contract we are able to provide our clients with free and independent legal advice when they are interviewed free and independent police station adviceby the police.  This remains the case whether a suspect is a volunteer or under arrest, whether the interview is in a police station or at another place such as their home.

Police interviews are important.  What a suspect says or doesn’t say can help in the decision as to whether court proceedings should follow an interview.  As a result it is important that a suspect seek police station advice before answering questions.  Other reasons to seek legal advice can be found here.  We can help you decide if, and how, you should answer police questions.

Rob can be contacted at our Chesterfield office.  Details of all of our offices can be found here.  All of our telephone numbers are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure that you receive our expert police station advice when you require it.

Alternatively you can use the contact form below.


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.


Have car will travel – nationwide criminal advice and representation

VHS Fletchers Solicitors have six offices across the East Midlands, staffed with specialists in the field of Criminal Defence work. Whilst it will come as no surprise that these locations are situated close to local Police Stations and Courts, the team at VHS Fletchers will happily travel much further to give nationwide criminal advice and representation to our client’s accused of criminal acts.

nationwide criminal advice and representation
VHS Fletchers offices across the East Midlands

Within the last few months staff from our Chesterfield office have had many early mornings and late nights travelling the length and breadth of the country to provide our clients with the expert legal advice that they have come to expect.

We travel to give nationwide criminal advice and representation

Those places recently visited by the staff from our Chesterfield office include:

  • Grimsby Police Station
  • Harrogate Police Station
  • South Sefton (Liverpool) Magistrates’ Court
  • Newport Magistrates’ Court
  • South Shields Magistrates’ Court
  • Grimsby Magistrates’ Court
  • Leeds Magistrates’ Court
  • Norwich Magistrates’ Court
  • Sheffield Magistrates’ Court

All of our Clients involved in these cases had links to the Chesterfield area.  They firstly wanted a solicitor local to them rather than to the police station or court they had to attend.  They also didn’t want a solicitor or other representative that they did not know or trust.

As such they asked whether a member of our Chesterfield criminal defence team would be prepared to travel and provide them with  expert legal advice about their cases.  We were only to happy to do so.  These clients faced a range of offences including assault, escaping from lawful custody, possession of offensive weapons or road traffic offences.

Here is a post relating to advice and assistance given by accredited police station representative Rob Lowe at Skegness police station.

Nearly forgot, police station advice is free

nationwide criminal advice and representationAs we have a contract with the government to provide criminal legal aid advice and representation then our advice in the police station will always be free of charge to you.

Many of our clients will be entitled to legal aid in the Magistrates’ Court.  Nearly all will be eligible for Crown Court legal aid.

Instruct a firm to go that extra mile

nationwide criminal advice and representationYou may choose your solicitor by reputation.  You might want to choose a solicitor with an office near to where you live, no matter where your case will be heard.

If you require the assistance of a firm of expert criminal defence solicitors who are more than happy to travel to provide you with nationwide criminal advice and representation, then look no further than VHS Fletchers.

We will go that extra mile (or if need be the hundreds of extra miles) needed to ensure that you get the best outcome possible.  Please contact our Chesterfield Office day or night, 365 days a year on 01246 283000.  Alternatively you can use the form below.


Newark Crime Solicitor Gives Presentation to A Level Students

Experienced Newark crime solicitor Ian Carter recently took time out from his practise to speak with a number of A Level Law students studying at Vision West Notts College.


He had met both teachers and students at the school after manning a stall at the recent Newark careers fair.  They were keen for him to visit and give a talk on the ‘real world’ application of their studies.

Real life examples of advice in murder cases

They had begun to study the offence of Murder, and over the years Ian had provided advice and representation at the police station, as well as Magistrates’ Court advocacy and the preparation of cases for Crown Court trial.

newark police station solicitor

Ian spent an hour with two different classes talking about how a solicitor first becomes involved in a case, the type of issues that arise at the police station, whether a client can be bailed, and how the case will then progress through the court process.  He was then able to answer questions from the students.

Positive Feedback from Students

The presentations received positive feedback.  The students felt that he had made the talk very interesting through his explanations of real cases.  Ian provided a good insight into the role of a solicitor and how he fits into other aspects of the legal system.  The examples that he gave allowed the students to put the law that they had learned into a real context.

The students admitted that they had been concerned that the presentation would be a little ‘dry’ but in the end, as is often the case, they were ‘hooked’ on the stories behind real cases.

As the course progresses it is hoped that Ian will be able to give further talks to add some colour to the students academic studies.

Contact Ian Carter to discuss similar presentations

newark criminal defence lawyer Ian Carter
Newark crime solicitor Ian Carter

If you are involved in education and such a talk might be helpful to your students, whether sitting GCSEs or A Levels, or are in further education, please contact Ian Carter using the form below.  We hope to be able to help and can discuss arrangements when we receive your enquiry.