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Chippenham Office Tel: 01249 444484 / Fax: 01249 444434

                                   Email: cjeary@jeary-lewis.co.uk

Criminal Offences

Murder, GBH, ABH and other assaults

  • Murder is committed when a person of “sound mind” unlawfully kills another person.  Our experienced Criminal Solicitors can prepare a murder case effectively.
  • Manslaughter is when a person kills another person, but intended to hurt them rather than kill them.  It is not classed as serious as murder, although the person has still died.
  • Attempted murder usually involves a serious attempt to harm someone to such a degree that death could well have followed.
  • GBH (Grievous Bodily Harm) is a very serious offence. An example would be stabbing someone. In GBH cases there is the possibility of a long prison sentence.
  • ABH (Actual Bodily Harm) is when an assault occurs that results in bruising and scratches.  It is still possible to be sent to prison for this type of offence.
  • Common Assault an offence is committed if unlawful force is made on another person, for example slapping. This does not usually involve a prison sentence.

Sexual Offences

This is a difficult area of law which always has vulnerable victims. More often than not the person who is alleged to have committed the offence is known to the victim.

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 has produced a series of new offences and the consequences of this legislation are still being assessed. Many vulnerable individuals have found themselves the subject of life sentences which, in retrospect, may not be justified.

Our team includes experts who can deal with this very sensitive subject and support and protect the rights of those accused of sexual offences.

Burglary, Robbery & Theft

  • Burglary is an offence where someone has entered a place with the intention of committing theft or grievous bodily harm.
  • Robbery is theft by force or the threat of force. It is a very serious offence - which carries a sentence of imprisonment unless there are very exceptional circumstances. One of the most common forms of Robbery is the street robbery of mobile phones.
  • Threats to kill and related offences: This is a serious offence. It can include incidents from a threat uttered in the heat of the moment to repeated threats where a weapon is used to cause fear in the victim. Less serious versions of this offence are tried in the Magistrates Court but the more serious are dealt with in the Crown Court.

Drug Offences

In this country most recreational drugs – apart from nicotine and alcohol - are illegal.  Often people who might not otherwise be classed as criminal commit these offences. Nevertheless the offences are still complex and serious.  If you are accused of any of the crimes of possession, possession with intent to supply or importation we recommend that you take legal advice at the earliest opportunity. This means at the police station and before you are interviewed.

Benefit Fraud

It is all too easy to commit benefit fraud. “Forgetting to inform” the benefit authorities or the local Council of changes in circumstances can result in large sums of compensation that have to be paid. For five figure sums custody is always considered.

Bail

Every one who has been detained by the police has the right to bail. But not everyone gets it. You will only be detained in custody during the progress of your case if the following circumstances apply:

  • There is a real likelihood that you will fail to attend the hearing.
  • That you will commit further offences.
  • You are likely to interfere with witness.

A court will take many factors – such as the nature and seriousness of the offence - into consideration when looking at bail. It doesn’t matter that you intend to plead not guilty. If you have previous convictions and/or have committed offences on bail, it will count against you.

In such circumstance we would look to suggest conditions to the court that would address their concerns.