Our experts

NEERU HUTCHINSON

NEERU HUTCHINSON

Director/ Senior Criminal Defence Solicitor/Specialist Complex Fraud Solicitor
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CONFISCATION PROCEEDINGS

The purpose of confiscation proceedings is to deprive a defendant of the financial benefit obtained from his criminal conduct. The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 [POCA] is the main legislation underpinning the confiscation process.
Confiscation proceedings are a common feature in criminal cases in which it is alleged a defendant has benefitted from his/her criminal conduct. They involve an assessment of not only how much the  defendant has obtained from the crime of which they were convicted, but often whether they have benefitted from their general criminal conduct as well.
The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 requires assumptions to be applied by Judges to the effect that defendants who are proved to have what in law is known as a ‘criminal lifestyle’, must prove that property obtained and transferred by them in the 6 years preceding charge either did not derive from crime or that it would be unjust to assume that it had.
This can be an onerous burden to discharge, particularly for defendants involved in business dealings or for those who have not maintained detailed records.


SEXUAL OFFENCES

Defending sexual offences is a specialist skill, which is very different from general criminal defence. Core issues are the disclosure of ‘unused material’, an examination of the police investigative process and the credibility of witnesses. It is crucial that the accused person presents themselves properly, both to police in interview and giving evidence in court, if it comes to that.

In historic sexual offences, the passage of time does not prevent prosecution, but it can make the allegations far more difficult to substantiate. We have dealt with many such offences in recent years and count ourselves experts in this niche area, having the skills to look for flaws in the police investigative process or collusion between witnesses.

We are experts in the law not just as it stands now, but as it was when the allegation was said to have occurred, and are experienced in dealing with elderly people and their families who are facing these difficult situations.

At Appleby Shaw we use our legal knowledge and experience to advise and represent clients charged with a range of sexual offences, including:

  • Rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Historic sexual abuse allegations
  • Child sex offences
  • Sex offences involving abuse of position of trust
  • Sexual offences within the family
  • Distributing or possessing indecent images or other online sexual offences
  • Sexual exploitation offences

 

What should I do when accused of a sexual offence?

Everyone has the right to legal advice. The police and the CPS know this and you should never feel anxious about exercising your right. It certainly does not mean that you are guilty.

You may have already been spoken to by the police if an investigation is ongoing or court proceedings may have begun. However, if you feel that you need further advice or require specialist help do not hesitate to contact us to see if we can help.


DRUG RELATED OFFENCES

Drugs:

The principal offences relating to drugs are contained in the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. The seriousness of the drug offence depends greatly on the type of drug involved and the person’s involvement in the offence.

Types of drugs:

It is a criminal offence to possess, distribute or import controlled drugs. Drugs are “controlled drugs” if they are specified as being of Class A, B or C

  • Class A includes: alfentanil, cocaine,  heroin, dipipanone hydrochloride, fentanyl, LSD, methadone hydrochloride, MDMA, ‘ecstasy’, morphine, opium, phencyclidine, remifentanil, and class B substances when prepared for injection.
  • Class B includes: oral amphetamines, barbiturates, cannabis, codeine phosphatedihydrocodeine tartrate, ethylmorphine, glutethimide, ketamine,  pentazocine, phenmetrazine
  • Class C includes: certain drugs related to the amphetamines such as benzfetamine and chlorphentermine, buprenorphine, mazindol, meprobamate, pemoline, pipradrol, most benzodiazepines, tramadol hydrochloride, zaleplon, zolpidem tartrate, zopiclone, androgenic and anabolic steroids, clenbuterol, chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG), and pregabalin.

Involvement: the seriousness of the offence depends on the person’s involvement in committing of the offence, and will include various factors such as the role of the person, the quantity of drugs, and other factors such as previous convictions for similar offences.

The offence of possession of a controlled drug is committed when a person is unlawfully in physical possession or in control of any substance or product specified in Parts I, II or III of Schedule 2 of the Act and had knowledge of possession of the item, even if he did not know it was a controlled drug. This includes anything subject to his control, even if it was in the custody of another person.

Our solicitors and Advocates have experience in dealing with all types of drug offences. At Appleby Shaw Solicitors, not only do we have extensive knowledge of the law but take pride in our client care and the service we provide to our clients. Whether you have been arrested or asked to attend a voluntary interview at the police station, you will receive advice and support throughout the whole procedure.


MURDER/ MANSLAUGHTER

Murder

The offence of murder is committed, where a person of sound mind unlawfully kills another with intent to kill or cause grievous bodily harm.

Manslaughter

The charge of murder can be reduced to manslaughter which is committed in one of three ways:

  1. Killing with the intent for murder but where a partial defence applies, namely loss of control, diminished responsibility or killing pursuant to a suicide pact.
  2. Conduct that was grossly negligent as it involved the risk of death, and did kill (“gross negligence manslaughter”); and
  3. Conduct taking the form of an unlawful act involving a danger of some harm that resulted in death (“unlawful and dangerous act manslaughter”).

Bail

There is no presumption of bail when a person is charged with murder or manslaughter.

No bail will be granted for those charged with homicide after previous conviction of such offences, unless the court is of the opinion that there are exceptional circumstances which justify it.

Our Solicitors and Advocates understand the seriousness of this offence and the effect it has on the person accused of the offence and their family members. We have extensive experience in dealing with high profile murder trials and often achieve a ‘not guilty’ verdict for our clients. We will take the time to prepare your defence, provide you and your family with support and advice throughout the whole case. We have access to experienced QCs to represent you at trial at the Crown Court and will instruct experts in order to obtain our own forensic reports in preparation of your defence.


EXTRADITION

The first time you may be made aware of an extradition warrant issued against you is when the police turn up at your home and arrest you. Most of our clients have no prior knowledge of the offence they are being accused of committing in the country issuing the extradition warrant. We understand this will be a stressful and upsetting situation for you and your loved ones. It may also affect your employment when you are in police custody before being presented at Westminster Magistrates court. There are two types of extradition warrants:

  • Accused of an offence; or
  • Convicted of an offence (whether you were present at the time of the trial or in your absence)

We have successfully defended cases where we have argued the following; passage of time since the alleged offence, prison conditions in the country issuing the warrant being deemed inhumane and our client’s right to a private established family life here in the UK. Such arguments have led to the warrant being discharged by the court and prevented removal from the UK.

We at Appleby Shaw are able to advise and assist clients throughout the entire extradition process using our expertise, skill and resources to vigorously challenge extradition warrants. Where appropriate, we will instruct Barristers with expertise in extradition law to represent you at the final hearing.

Bail: with every extradition case, we will make a strong bail application on your behalf by putting forward a bail package which will satisfy the Court’s concerns and grant you bail. Such bail conditions include residence, monitored curfew (electronic tag), signing on at your local police station, surrendering your ID or passport and a security in the form of money being lodged with the court.


DRIVING OFFENCES

Some of the most common driving offences that we deal with are speeding, driving using a mobile phone, driving without due care, dangerous driving, drink driving, no insurance, no driving licence, drug driving, traffic light offences, driving whilst disqualified etc.

We can also advise you with regard to totting up special reasons for not being disqualified, penalty points and endorsements etc.

Appleby Shaw will assist you in securing the best possible result should you be summonsed or charged in respect of any driving offences.

We will advise you with regard to law and procedure and the best options available to your particular case.


PUBLIC ORDER

Public order offences derive from actions which have the potential to disrupt or cause offence to members of the public.

Public order offences may arise from being drunk in public; using threatening, insulting, abusive or obscene language; behaving in a disorderly manner; violent disorder; rioting; indecent exposure; begging; lighting fires in open air; graffiti etc.

The crime team at Appleby Shaw are experienced in this area of law and will advise and defend you rigorously throughout the process.