Expert Complex Criminal Defence and Pre-Charge Advice
Pre-Charge Advice and Engagement Solicitors
Pre-charge advice and engagement (prior to and after arrest) is crucial in most criminal cases. MPR Solicitors is a specialist criminal defence firm offering pre-charge advice and engagement to businesses and private individuals. Contacting us at the beginning of an investigation could make the difference between being charged or effectively "acquitted" at the early stages.
With a wealth of experience providing legal advice in the areas of criminal defence, white-collar crime, and fraud, we are one of the most highly-respected criminal defence solicitors in the UK. Although we are based in London, we can provide advice and representation to clients facing prosecution throughout England and Wales.
To contact us regarding pre-charge engagement advice, please call our office on 020 3824 8080 to make an appointment at our office.
Prosecuting authorities & Investigators are now encouraged to engage with defence representatives pre-charge in accordance with The Attorney General’s Guidelines on Disclosure 2020 and the most recent Codes of Practice under the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 2006. Pre-charge engagement is also encouraged by the Code for Crown Prosecutors and may impact decisions as to charge (para 3.4 Code for Crown Prosecutors).
It allows you to:
- the opportunity to comment on any proposed further lines of inquiry;
- to identify any other lines of inquiry which could assist your case;
- to identify and facilitate where necessary access to digital material that has a bearing on the allegation or investigation;
- discuss ways to overcome barriers to obtaining potential evidence;
- agree any key word searches of digital material that you would like carried out;
- identify and providing contact details of any potential witnesses; and
- clarify whether any expert or forensic evidence can be agreed and, if not we intend to instruct their own expert.
The benefits to you are:
- if you are maintaining your innocence then by early identification of lines of enquiry can point the finger away from you;
- pre-charge engagement can impact on the prosecutor’s charging decision. It might avoid you being charged;
- early resolution will reduce your stress and anxiety; and
- you will potentially save on costs if you avoid a charge.
Contacting our solicitors early on in an investigation may enable us to prevent an arrest which would avoid the necessity of the police taking and retaining your biometric data (DNA, fingerprints and photographs) on the Police National Computer and demanding onerous bail conditions. We can quickly identify unlawful arrests and searches, robustly challenge them and make representations for the early return of seized property. Our criminal defence solicitors can also contest cash seizures and restraint orders, so your business can continue trading unhampered.
Not only do we assist clients with police station interviews, but we are also experts in advising on:
- BEIS investigations and prosecutions
- SFO investigations and prosecutions
- NCA investigations and prosecutions
- FCA investigations and prosecutions
- HSE investigations and prosecutions
Our solicitors are specialists in advising clients at the pre-charge stage and making representations to the police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to avoid criminal charges being laid. We have a strong reputation for leaving no stone unturned and conducting heavily pro-active defences on behalf of our clients. This often involves investigatory work that should have been conducted by the police or authorities but was not completed.
When contacted by a client, we compile a defence dossier following our investigation and present the findings to the police or investigating authority with a view to persuading them to drop the investigation at an early stage, or, if the investigation has been completed, refrain from bringing charges.
Our meticulous attention to detail and forensic grasp of the issues at hand and the dedication shown by our specialist defence lawyers ensures that our clients receive strategic and early defence advice right at the beginning of any investigation or immediately after or during arrest.
What happens at the police station or investigation stage?
A person’s defence starts at the investigatory stage or at the police station. Having the right specialist criminal defence lawyer by your side can make a significant difference to the outcome of the initial process.
Unfortunately, many people think that they won’t need a lawyer if they haven’t done anything wrong. However, the police or investigatory body’s job is to gain a prosecution, meaning your interests and rights may be in direct contrast to their agenda. It is imperative, therefore, to have an experienced solicitor by your side, providing advice and safeguarding your interest.
We are well-known to the police and criminal investigation bodies throughout England and Wales and are highly respected. When instructing us to provide pre-charge advice, you can be confident that your rights will be respected and you are receiving up-to-date, legal guidance throughout the process.
How we assist clients at the pre-charge stage
At MPR Solicitors, we can advise you on the most pressing questions facing those who are being investigated by the police or a government body. For example,
- “Will the way I answer questions have an impact on the future of my case and how successfully it can be defended?”
- “Should I answer questions in an interview, or should I submit a prepared statement instead?”
- “Should I accept a police caution?”
- “Should I assist in an inquiry?”
These may seem like minor concerns, especially if you believe you have done nothing wrong, but if you are advised incorrectly or provide too much information, the consequences could have serious implications for your case. If criminal charges are laid, it could have a serious impact on your future, especially in terms of career prospects, or being able to travel or emigrate to other countries.
When advising our clients, our aim is two-fold:
- To give pre-charge advice where individuals are still being investigated by the police with a view to bolstering the defence case and making tactical decisions to avoid a charge or preserving and obtaining crucial defence evidence. This could also include making written representations to the CPS not to charge the case on the basis that the matter does not meet the threshold for prosecution.
- Where an individual has been charged, to provide a pro-active defence utilising the firm’s expertise and knowledge of legal, IT and forensic issues, in addition to psychiatric and psychological issues such as false memory syndrome. We can put together a highly effective team of relevant experts to assist the defence case and strategy.
MPR solicitors have successfully acted for a diverse range of clients at the pre-charge engagement stage including company directors, employees, bankers, overseas students, high-net-worth individuals, legal professionals, school teachers, and footballers. By taking the time to examine the background of your matter, gather evidence and scrutinise relevant documents, we can swiftly provide expert pre-charge advice you can rely on.
To contact our pre-charge advice solicitors in complete confidence, please call 020 3824 8080 or fill in our contact form to get in touch.