Where any allegation involving dishonesty is made, the repercussions can be enormous. At their most serious, these offences carry significant prison sentences, not to mention the guarantee of reputational damage if an experienced Criminal Defence Solicitor does not manage the matter. Some cases will remain in the Magistrates Court following a charge, yet the ones that are too serious to be heard there will be heard before the Crown Court. Our Criminal Defence Solicitors deal with these offences before the Crown Court regularly and as such are extremely experienced. We take a proactive approach to all cases involving robbery, burglary, theft, and handling of stolen goods. We thoroughly explore any potential defences; frequently utilising our network of renowned experts to examine forensic evidence including DNA and fingerprints; or to fully consider CCTV and employ facial mapping techniques in identification issues.

Reeds Solicitors is considered one of the best criminal law firms in the country. Our Solicitors are regularly mentioned in the Legal 500, and in 2023, we were named one of the UK’s top law firms by The Times, specially commended for criminal law.

Stuart Mathews has a razor-sharp intellect and superb client care skills. He is a ferociously hard worker and takes time to unpick a case. Julian Richards brings his huge experience of criminal law to each case and thereby creates a very calm, forensic approach to his work. Clients love him.’

(Legal 500)

If you are facing a severe dishonesty allegation, our Criminal Defence Solicitors can provide you with best-in-class legal advice and representation. We will take every measure available at the pre-charge stage to prevent criminal charges from being laid. If you are prosecuted, our team is unmatched in their ability to make persuasive representations to the Court. We will leave no stone unturned when it comes to securing a possible acquittal, dismissing your case and obtaining the minimum sentence possible.

By instructing Reeds Solicitors, you can trust that our team will:

  • Explore the reasons behind police officers suspecting your involvement in a robbery, burglary, theft, handling, or related activities, and examine the evidence supporting these suspicions.
  • If you’ve been apprehended, scrutinise the custody record and engage with the Custody Officer to ensure adherence to proper police procedures.
  • Participate in a police interview under caution, ensuring the interviewer stays within their authorised powers and adheres to the established Code of Practice for such interviews.
  • Work towards the swift return of any of your belongings seized by the police.
  • Challenge the necessity and proportionality of pre-charge bail if considered by the police, insisting on evidence to support such a decision.
  • In the event of being charged with a criminal offence, scrutinise police evidence, constructing a defence based on witness statements, forensics, international investigations (if applicable), and expert opinions regarding the circumstances leading to the charges.
  • Enlist the expertise of Criminal Defence Barristers/King’s Counsel, attend court proceedings, and provide advice and support, including guidance on whether to plead guilty or not guilty.
  • If a guilty verdict is reached, prepare submissions to the Court to mitigate the severity of the sentence and advise on potential grounds for appealing the Judge or jury’s decision.

Reeds Solicitors is an award winning and leading top-tier criminal defence firm. For legal advice and representation, please contact us through our contact page here. Alternatively, you can phone 0333 240 7373, or email us at info@reeds.co.uk.

What is robbery?

Robbery is a criminal offence involving taking or attempting to take someone else’s property through force, threat, or intimidation. Unlike simple theft, robbery involves direct confrontation or the immediate threat of harm to the complainant. The critical elements of robbery include the use of force or the fear of force to coerce compliance, creating a situation where the other person feels compelled to surrender their possessions against their will.

The Theft Act 1968 defines robbery as:

“A person is guilty of robbery if he steals, and immediately before or at the time of doing so, and in order to do so, he uses force on any person or puts or seeks to put any person in fear of being then and there subjected to force.”

Robbery often occurs in situations where there is a face-to-face interaction between the perpetrator and the victim, such as muggings, armed hold-ups, or home invasions. Robbery is a serious criminal offence, and due to its violent nature and the potential harm inflicted on others, it carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. A conviction for robbery ordinarily involves a sentence of immediate imprisonment.

What is the difference between burglary and theft?

Although sometimes used interchangeably, burglary and theft are distinct criminal offences. Theft involves dishonestly taking someone else’s property with an intention to deprive them of it permanently. This crime is generally characterised by a lack of direct confrontation between the accused and the complainant, often occurring when the complainant is unaware of the theft. Examples of theft include pickpocketing and shoplifting. You can also commit theft by stealing your own property, if for example it is held in someone else’s lawful possession at the time of the offence.

Burglary entails unlawfully entering a building or property with the intent to steal, inflict grievous bodily harm (GBH), or do unlawful damage to the building, or having entered the building as a trespasser stealing or attempting to steal or inflicting or attempting to inflict GBH. The act of trespassing, regardless of whether the theft, GBH, or damage to the building is successfully carried out, constitutes burglary (ordinarily referred to as ‘burglary with intent’). In addition, forced entry is not required; the Prosecution only have to prove your entry into the building was without permission. In certain circumstances, you can commit burglary even if you had permission to enter the building, if your intention at the time of entry was to steal.

There is a difference between commercial burglaries and domestic burglaries. The latter are punished more severely given the invasion of privacy element. In addition to this, there is a third-strike rule for domestic burglaries, which carry a minimum mandatory term of 3 years imprisonment for a third conviction for this offence.

What is the offence of handling stolen goods?

Handling stolen goods refers to the criminal offence of dealing with property that has been stolen, with knowledge or belief that it is stolen. This offence is often charged when people buy, receive, or otherwise deal with stolen items, contributing to the overall cycle of theft and making it harder for authorities to trace stolen property.

The offence is governed by section 22 of the Theft Act 1968. The maximum sentence for handling stolen goods is 14 years’ imprisonment.

It is crucial to note that even unwitting possession of stolen goods can potentially lead to charges if you ought to have known or had reasonable grounds to suspect that the items were stolen. It is therefore common for otherwise innocent people to find themselves charged with handling stolen goods. If this has happened to you, it is imperative that you contact us immediately so we can advise and represent you. We will use our experience and expertise to give you the best chance of having the charges dropped before your court date so you do not receive a criminal record.

Our Criminal Defence Solicitors have the expertise and experience required to advise and represent you. Please contact us through our contact page here. Alternatively, you can phone 0333 240 7373, or email us at info@reeds.co.uk.

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