How we can help you

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Advice at the police station

If you are arrested for a crime you are suspected of committing or have been asked to attend an interview at a police station on a voluntary basis, you have the right to free and independent legal advice (legal aid) at the police station. If you have been arrested, the police have to tell you about your right to this free advice before they begin questioning you.

Choose your solicitor when you have been arrested

Duty solicitors are available at all police stations, but in order to get the best possible advice and outcome, it’s important to ask the police to contact a specialist criminal lawyer at Purcell Parker. What you say and do in the initial stages of being arrested is crucial as it will affect what happens with your case, including whether any criminal charges are brought against you. Our expertise as one of the top law firms in Birmingham city centre means that having us on your side gives you the best chance of achieving the most positive possible outcome.

24 hour solicitors

At Purcell Parker our 24 hour solicitors and accredited police station representatives are available 365 days a year to provide expert advice and assistance to clients detained at the police station. Our ability to react quickly means we can ensure that you are not detained in a custody suite for any longer than is necessary.
After your arrest the police reserve the right to hold you for 24 hours before they have to charge you with a crime or release you. This can be extended to 36 or 96 hours if you are suspected of a serious crime such as murder. If you’re being held under the Terrorism Act, you can be detained without charge for up to 14 days.

Legal representation for voluntary interviews at the police station

Due to the pressures of limited resources that the police face, custody suites are often full and short staffed. Due to this, if the offence the police wish to speak to you about is less serious or relates to historical allegations, you may be invited for an interview under caution at the police station at a pre-arranged time.

Always call your own solicitor

At this point, you are not under arrest, but the interview will be recorded and take place under caution, meaning that anything you say can be later used in evidence in any criminal proceedings. Because of this, it’s essential that you protect your interests by contacting Purcell Parker as soon as the police get in touch with you. Remember your rights to free legal advice are the same for a voluntary interview as they are if you are arrested.
The police do not have to prove legal representation was provided for a voluntary interview, so again, it’s crucial for to you to initiate it to protect your interests and make sure you get the best professional advice possible.

Putting your interests first from the start

The criminal defence solicitors at Purcell Parker can guide you through every step of the police station interview process, beginning with liaising with the police to arrange a date and time for the interview. Attending a voluntary police interview can be a daunting experience, especially if it’s your first experience of it. To prepare you, we can meet you outside of working hours to discuss what to expect at the police station and the details of your case.

Police station advice is only a call away

If you are suspected of a crime, contact the expert criminal law team at Purcell Parker on 0121 236 9781 for free and confidential advice 24 hours a day.

Legal representation at the Magistrates’ Court

As one of the leading law firms in Birmingham city centre, located directly opposite the steps of the Magistrates’ Court on Corporation Street, Purcell Parker have a wealth of experience in achieving the best possible outcomes for clients when it comes to conducting trials, achieving the lowest sentence possible and securing bail.

Your criminal lawyer at the Magistrates’ Court

Whether you’re being prosecuted for theft charges, motoring offences, money laundering offences, cyber-crime offences, benefit fraud offences,drug offences, breaches of a court order or any other criminal charges that involve an appearance at the Magistrate’s Court, our team of solicitors based in Birmingham city centre can use their expertise to help you. As we are located just across the road from the Magistrates’ Court, we are perfectly placed to provide expert representation for your case, even when this is needed at short notice.

Legal aid at the Magistrates’ Court

If your personal circumstances allow and your case is eligible, we can provide legal aid funding for your Magistrates’ Court case. If your income means you are required to pay for your own defence or you have been accused of an offence that is not eligible for legal aid (such as most motoring offences), we can often provide a competitive, fixed-fee quote for your legal defence.

Legal representation further afield

Thanks to our reputation as one of the top criminal law firms in Birmingham city centre, we can also provide you with a defence solicitor if your case is being heard further afield. When it comes to providing criminal law services, we regularly work throughout the West Midlands and beyond including Wolverhampton, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Coventry.

What happens at the Magistrates’ Court?

All criminal cases begin at the Magistrates’ Court which is presided over by two or three magistrates or a district judge. Crimes known as ‘summary offences’ are heard and sentenced at Magistrates’ Courts. Serious criminal charges like murder, rape and robbery are known as ‘indictable offences’ and are always passed on to the Crown Court to be tried by a jury. Some criminal charges come under the category of ‘either way’ meaning they can be tried either by magistrates or in a Crown Court depending on their severity. These include fraud, burglary, drugs offences and dangerous driving. Magistrates also decide whether you should be kept in custody or granted bail.

What sentence can a Magistrate give me?

Magistrates have the power to impose community sentences, fines of up to £5,000 and up to 6 months in prison (or 12 months if you have committed more than one offence). As one of the leading law firms providing legal aid in Birmingham City Centre, we can provide a specialist criminal lawyer who will use their extensive professional expertise to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.

Supportive criminal solicitors for young people

At Purcell Parker we pride ourselves on our professional and friendly support to all of our clients. However, we are particularly proud of the excellent reputation we enjoy when it comes to meeting the needs of young people who find themselves summoned to the Youth Court. We treat all our young clients with empathy and are careful to explain the law in a clear and jargon-free way.

Contact us for free, friendly advice

If you need representation at the Magistrates’ Court, call Purcell Parker today on 0121 236 9781 or email us at info@purcellparker.co.uk for free and confidential advice about your case.

Legal representation at the Crown Court

If your case is being tried at the Crown Court, it means the charges against you are serious and will require the expert services of an experienced criminal defence solicitor to advise you on how to get the best possible outcome for your case. Purcell Parker is one of the top law firms in Birmingham city centre and our highly experienced Crown Court department is headed by Spencer Stephens, a director in the firm. Our Crown Court Department also benefits from the in-house support of two accomplished and highly-regarded criminal barristers.

Purcell Parker’s criminal barristers

As one of the leading criminal defence firms in Birmingham, we offer the option to be represented in the Crown Court by an in-house criminal barrister. When it comes to criminal barristers, Birmingham is mainly served by barristers who work independently. As Purcell Parker’s criminal barristers work with our criminal solicitors in-house on an exclusive basis, you can be sure of effective communication and a proven solid working relationship between everyone who is involved in the defence of your case.

What is the difference between criminal barristers and criminal solicitors?

Criminal barristers are instantly recognisable in court because of their wigs and robes. When a criminal barrister is required, they will represent you in court by pleading your case to the judge on the advice of your solicitor whose role in this situation is to prepare your case, provide advice and produce all legal documents associated with it. Sometimes it will be appropriate for your case to be defended by one of our Higher Court Solicitor Advocates or outside counsel. Every case is unique and we will ensure your criminal defence involves the most suitable representation for your particular case.

What cases are tried at the Crown Court?

If you are accused of what’s known as an indictable-only crime like robbery, manslaughter or murder, your case will automatically be tried by jury at the Crown Court. If your case involves white collar investigations, your case could be tried at a Crown Court if the offence in question is considered serious enough. Sentencing for the most serious of driving offences can also take place at the Crown Court. Due to their severity, all Crown Court cases are tried by a jury. Crown court sentences can involve anything from community sentences to life sentences.

Financing Crown Court cases

If you are eligible, legal aid will cover all legal expenses associated with your trial at the Crown Court, including Very High-Cost Cases (VHCC). If you are required to pay for your case, for example, if you are a professional who needs the services of a business crime barrister, we may be able to provide you with a competitive fixed-rate quote for your case.

Effective administrative support for your criminal defence

Spencer Stephens leads a team of paralegals who specialise in dealing with all the serious criminal matters which are dealt with at the Crown Court. They will make sure that you are kept up-to-date with the progress of your case and that every aspect of it is fully prepared for your trial to avoid any stressful delays to proceedings. All Crown Court cases involve large amounts of paperwork, so making sure the administrative side of the case runs smoothly is crucial. We also deal with ancillary issues from Crown Court proceedings such as proceeds of crime applications, restrictive orders and appeals to the Court of Appeal.

Supportive criminal defence for white collar investigations

Facing trial at the Crown Court is a daunting prospect for anyone, but it can be a particularly frightening experience if you find yourself in this situation for the first time, with no previous criminal record, for example if the charges against you relate to a single lapse in judgement in relation to theft charges from the business you work at, dangerous driving or indeed if you have been falsely accused of a serious crime. In situations like this, members of our specialist team, including business crime lawyers and motoring offence solicitors can arrange to visit you at home or meet you at a place of your choosing out of work hours, to discuss your case in detail and prepare you for what to expect in court.
At Purcell Parker, we also pride ourselves on our excellent reputation when it comes to providing the extra support needed to defend young people who have been accused of serious crimes.

Crown Court criminal defence in Wolverhampton, Coventry, Stafford, Warwick and Worcester

Our location just one minute’s walk from Birmingham Crown Court means we are ideally placed to defend cases in the city, with the option to be in court at very short notice if necessary. However, our reputation as one of the top criminal law firms in Birmingham means that Coventry, Wolverhampton, Stafford, Warwick and Worcester are also locations where we are regularly called upon to defend clients in Crown Court cases.

Get in touch today for expert advice

If you have been accused of a serious crime that will be tried at the Crown Court, or think that you might be, it’s crucial to have the right team of criminal law solicitors behind you to ensure the best possible outcome. Call us at Purcell Parker today for free and friendly advice on 0121 236 9781 or send us an email at info@purcellparker.co.uk.

Legal defence in prison

Our dedicated team of prison law solicitors have been involved in a number of high profile cases and have pursued actions all the way to the High Court to secure justice for their clients.
The team are recognised as specialists in this area with excellent connections to barrister’s chambers should your case require. They offer specialist advice, support and expertise for the most vulnerable; those in custody. They do so with sensitivity and efficiency being fully aware of the anxiety that comes with being in custody.

Experienced and supportive prison law solicitors

As well as having the legal expertise to give clients specialist advice on the best course of action for their case, the prison law team at Purcell Parker are well aware of the stress and anxiety that is part and parcel of being in custody.
We understand that prison can be particularly difficult for clients who are experiencing prison for the first time, particularly after being convicted of white-collar offences and we can provide the specialist support needed in cases like this. However, no matter what the clients’ circumstances, our prison law solicitors will keep them up to date with all aspects of their case and treat them with empathy.

Financing a prison case

As one of the few firms approved to take on publicly-funded work for the full range of custody-related issues, we can offer legal aid to qualifying prisoners. Self-financing clients, for example, those who require the services of a white collar law specialist, can be provided with a competitive fixed-fee quote in order to gauge how much the case will cost at a time when income has been lost due to being in prison.

Prison law specialists

The prison law solicitors at Purcell Parker can help with every aspect of prison law. We understand how important Parole Board hearings are and where appropriate, we will use our well-established links with highly-regarded psychologists and psychiatrists to report on a client’s behalf in instances when the prisoner has been misrepresented in prison reports in the parole dossier.
We represent clients in the following areas:

Adjudications

Adjudication is the word used to describe the formal disciplinary process for prison offences. Prisoners may be referred to an Adjudication Hearing when they are accused of breaking prison rules whilst in prison. Prison charges can have a serious impact on the length of a sentence, so it’s crucial to get professional advice from the prison solicitors at Purcell Parker.
At an Adjudication Hearing the Adjudicator must ask the prisoner if they want legal advice. More minor breaches of discipline are dealt with by a Prison Governor or Director. In those circumstances prisoners aren’t entitled to have a solicitor present to represent them at their hearing. However, they are still entitled to legal advice and it’s important to ask for it. Prison law solicitors can check whether the adjudication process has been carried out properly, advise whether a client has a viable defence to the charge and make arrangements for hearings referred to the Independent Adjudicator where prisoners are entitled to be formally legally represented.

Home Detention Curfew (Tag)

If a sentence is between 3 months and 4 years long, prisoners may be eligible for a Home Detention Curfew (HDC). Also known as a tag, this device which looks like a bulky watch is fitted around the ankle and connected to a monitoring box, enabling qualifying prisoners to be released under curfew to their home any time between 10 and 135 days before the halfway point of their sentence. Rather than being automatically given this option, prisoners need to apply for it. Purcell Parker’s prison law solicitors can guide clients through this process and advise on a possible appeal if an HDC request is denied. This includes obtaining a clear and legally sound explanation from the prison authorities as to why the application has been unsuccessful.

Recall to prison

It’s common practice for prisoners to be released on licence half-way through their sentence to serve the remainder in the community under certain strictly-enforced conditions. If a prisoner is accused of breaking the terms of their licence, for example by committing another crime or repeatedly missing visits from their supervising officer, they can be sent back to prison. Purcell Parker can help clients in situations where they feel their recall to prison is unfair and can also assist the client in persuading the parole board that any risk that may exist can be managed in the community.

Prisoner re categorisation

All prisoners are assigned a category on conviction according to their level of risk to the police, the public and national security. Categorisation is usually reviewed on a six month or annual basis, depending on the length of the sentence and how long is left to serve, with prisoners who have demonstrated good behaviour being moved to a lower category prison or even open conditions. In cases where a prisoner feels their categorisation is unfair, Purcell Parker’s prison solicitors can demonstrate any reduction in risk to the Parole Board using methods such as showing goals achieved on a sentence plan. We can also appeal against Parole Board decisions, including implementing a judicial review when the methods of arriving at the decision in question can be challenged.
To be eligible for this, the prisoner needs to meet certain conditions. Purcell Parker can advise on these issues, ensuring that transfer to open conditions happens as soon as legally possible.

Parole Board compensation claims

Prisoners whose Parole Board hearings are delayed may be entitled to financial compensation for the distress and frustration caused when delays to hearings mean that transfer to open conditions or release is delayed. We can also advise on when compensation claims may be appropriate.

Pre-tariff life sentence reviews

Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) prisoners and those serving life sentences become eligible for a pre-tariff review three years before the minimum term of their sentence is up. This Parole Board review determines whether the prisoner has earned the right to be reclassified from closed to open prison conditions.

Sentence planning and advice

All prisoners should receive a sentence plan at the beginning of their prison sentence. This is an important document because it details courses and goals to address behavioural issues and reduce the risk of committing the same crime again. If a prisoner engages with the plan, it can help their case with the Parole Board if they are applying for early release or re-categorisation. However, in these days of stretched resources, not every prisoner receives a sentence plan. Also, if an inmate is going through the appeals process, engaging with a sentence plan can be problematical as on principle, they will not agree with the terms of the plan. The prison law solicitors at Purcell Parker can help clients receive an appropriate plan and advise on what to do if they disagree with its contents.

Talk to a prison law specialist today

For empathetic expert help on all aspects of prison law, call Purcell Parker on 0121 236 9781 or send an email to info@purcellparker.co.uk.

Fraud & business crime solicitors

Our specialists in criminal defence have a broad range of experience in fraud, business and white-collar crime. If you have been accused of fraud or are being investigated for a business-related crime, we can help.

Our highly experienced staff are well-equipped to deal with all kinds of fraud and business crime whatever the complexity of the alleged fraud or the value or scale of the prosecution.

Experience in fraud and business crime

Cases we have previously conducted include:

  • Large scale tax evasion
  • Money laundering arising from payroll schemes
  • Clients accused of defrauding their employers
  • ‘Boiler room’ fraud
  • Timeshare fraud
  • Ordering and returning goods on the internet fraud
  • Hacking and cyber crime

We have also represented a range of professionals who have been unfortunate enough to find themselves before the court accused of white collar crime.

Solicitors specialising in fraud

If you are being investigated for any type of fraud offence and want to know what you can do to defend yourself, contact our fraud lawyers. From providing advice about dealing with interviews to giving you the whole picture when it comes to potential penalties, punishments and consequences of fraud offences, we’ll be open and honest and most importantly, on your side.

Types of fraud investigations and cases our solicitors can help with include:

  • Serious fraud
  • Tax/revenue fraud
  • VAT fraud
  • Mortgage fraud
  • Advance free fraud
  • False accounting
  • Fraudulent trading
  • Diversion fraud
  • Cyber fraud
  • Benefit fraud
  • Insurance fraud

Financing your fraud or business crime case

In circumstances where legal aid is available and you qualify for it, we can apply for this on your behalf. However the financial situation of many people facing white collar charges means that they are required to finance the legal costs associated with their case privately. In these circumstances we may be able to provide you with an upfront fixed-fee quote for your case. Our first meeting with you will always be on a free, no-obligation basis.

Solicitors specialising in business crime

As specialists in criminal defence, we have a great deal of experience in all types of criminal defence cases, not least those involving businesses and white collar crimes. Even if your employer is bringing a private case against you or you’re being investigated for false accounting, having a specialist in your corner who knows the procedures involved in business law cases will help you to be aware of what’s happening and what the potential consequences of your case might be.

Types of business crime cases our solicitors can help with include:

  • White collar business crime
  • Financial regulatory offences
  • Money laundering
  • Insider trading
  • Cyber crime
  • Embezzlement

Solicitors who go the extra mile to help

We will always do our best for our clients – here are some examples of how:

  • We recognise how difficult it is to face any kind of allegation of dishonesty and treat all clients and cases with the same care and diligence.
  • We value your time: if you can’t see us during working hours we’ll make an appointment for you after work, or even come to see you at home if you prefer.
  • We can provide a complete service from the beginning of an investigation until the conclusion of any confiscation proceedings (including enforcement) by utilising our links with forensic accountants and specialist fraud and money laundering barristers.

Speak to our specialist fraud and business crime solicitors

Our teams are based in Birmingham city centre but are easily able to meet you in other nearby locations, where we also have experience of representing fraud and business clients in court. Locations we cover include Birmingham, Worcester, Warwick, Coventry, Leamington Spa, Stafford and Wolverhampton to name a few. We have also represented clients appearing before courts in London, particularly Southwark Crown Court, where many serious fraud matters are tried.

To contact a member of our fraud and business crime team, call us on 0121 236 9781 or send us a message at info@purcellparker.co.uk.

Motoring offence solicitors

For many normally law-abiding people, the only time they may find themselves on the wrong side of the law is if they are facing penalties for motoring offences. Purcell Parker can help you with any aspect of road traffic law by offering the services of some of the most experienced lawyers in the UK. Our high levels of expertise include representing clients in connection with special reasons, exceptional hardship, the reduction in the length of driving disqualifications, speeding and drink driving.

A personal approach to motoring offences

Our first class service takes into account the fact that your driving licence is an essential part of your daily life, particularly if you need it to do your job. We use our expertise and vast experience in this area of the law to achieve the best possible outcome for every case we deal with. We are also fully aware that many of our clients in this situation have had no previous reason to seek advice about motoring offences. Bearing this in mind, we may be able to meet you at a time and place convenient to you.

Paying for a motoring offence lawyer

Not all road traffic cases are eligible for legal aid. However Purcell Parker can provide this if your case falls into this category and your personal circumstances mean you qualify for legal aid. If not we will provide a competitive fixed-fee quote for your case.

Effective defence for all motoring offences

Every road traffic case is unique, however our specialist motoring solicitors can help with the following areas:

Drink Driving

Being in charge of a vehicle when unfit to drive can result in fines of up to £2,500, up to 3 months imprisonment and a driving ban. If you are caught actually driving a car while under the influence, or you are a repeat offender, the penalties can be significantly more severe, with long prison sentences recommended for those who cause death by dangerous driving when drunk. Purcell Parker’s dedicated lawyers have a proven track record in successfully defending drinking driving cases. Potential defences include:

Factual Defence:

  • You were not driving at the time of the accusation (for example if you chose to sleep in your car while drunk, and although you were in charge of it, it can be demonstrated you were not planning to drive).
  • You were not driving in a public place.
  • You were driving in extreme circumstances like a medical emergency where no alternatives were available and the consequences would have been life-threatening if you had not driven.
  • The ‘hip flask’ defence can be proven, for example when you drank alcohol after a road collision but before being breathalysed.

Technical Defence:

  • It can be proven that there was a procedural error when taking your breath, blood or urine sample.
  • It can be proven that there was a fault with the equipment used to take your sample.

Reasons not to disqualify:

  • It can be proven that your drink was spiked.
  • You were driving an extremely short distance (such as moving your car).
  • You were driving under duress and would have been in danger had you not done so.

As well as successfully defending drink driving cases, Purcell Parker can fight your corner to get the best possible outcome where a conviction is inevitable. This includes where appropriate, securing the option to get a reduction in your driving disqualification by attending rehabilitation course with the Drink Drive Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS).

Dangerous driving

Dangerous driving is a serious offence. The court will normally consider imposing a prison sentence and a lengthy disqualification, especially in cases where a driver has caused death by dangerous driving. If you have been arrested for dangerous driving, it’s crucial to speak to the motoring solicitors at Purcell Parker straight away to get expert advice on the best possible course of action.

Our solicitors are on call 24-hours a day. We can be contacted before the police are involved or from the police station and can advise you from the very beginning of your case. If you are charged with dangerous driving we can provide you with an experienced motoring lawyer to plead your case at court.

Every case is unique but possible defences for dangerous driving can include:

  • You can argue that your driving was not under the expected standard required.
  • You were driving under duress, for example to escape violence.
  • A previously undetected mechanical fault caused you to lose control of the vehicle.
  • A previously undiagnosed medical condition such as epilepsy caused you to lose control behind the wheel.

Driving without insurance

Driving without insurance has hefty penalties which can involve penalty points and a fine of £5000 or even a driving ban. Mistakenly believing you were insured is not a defence and may not be seen as a valid mitigating circumstance. Contact Purcell Parker to discuss your case and get advice on the best course of action.

Using a mobile phone while driving

Operating a mobile phone or any hand-held device can have severe penalties due to the fact that drivers are four times more likely to have an accident when using their phone behind the wheel. However, if you have been accused of using a mobile phone when driving, we can provide expert advice to decide whether you have a reasonable defence against the allegation.
As well as these common areas of road traffic law we can also help with other issues such as drug driving, failing to report an accident or stop at the scene of an accident, driving without a licence, letting someone drive your car uninsured, refusing to provide a breath sample and more.

Free, confidential initial advice for motoring offences

If you have been accused of any type of motoring offence, contact Purcell Parker today for free and confidential initial advice on 0121 236 9781 or email info@purcellparker.co.uk.

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Your right to free and independent legal advice still applies if you attend for a voluntary police station interview. Please contact us to discuss requests by the police. We can make the arrangements for you by liaising with the police.