Criminal Justice - A 24 Hour Service; 01429 242402

Our specialist team is on standby, offering our services when and where they are needed most. With one of the largest Criminal Justice Departments in the North East, Smith & Graham guarantees Police Station, Magistrates' Court and Crown Court representation 24 hours a day 365 days of the year.

The members of our department are committed to providing a comprehensive and professional service and routinely travel throughout a wide geographical area to assist clients. We represent clients on private prosecutions and prosecutions brought under Health & Safety and Trading Standards legislation. Our dedicated department prides itself on its reputation for high standards of advocacy.

The department has expertise in and has recently handled cases of the upmost complexity involving white-collar fraud and corporate manslaughter - which is a new and particularly difficult area of criminal law. We have access to and use some of the most highly regarded barristers' chambers in the country; including leading London chambers and provincial chambers.

 

Martin Scarborough

Martin was born and raised in Carlisle and graduated from Leeds University.

Martin joined Smith and Graham in 1997 and was invited into Partnership in 2003. Martin became Senior Partner at the firm in April 2016. Martin specialises in all aspects of Criminal Justice, he is a member of the Duty Solicitor panel and has extensive experience in the Magistrates Court. Martin obtained his Higher Rights of Advocacy in 2011 and now practices almost daily in the Crown Courts of the North East of England. He has undertaken numerous trials including cases of Conspiracy to Supply Drugs, Serious Violence, Public Disorder and Dishonesty, and has appeared on a number of occasions at the Royal Courts of Justice in London where he has successfully appealed sentences imposed by the Crown Court.

Martin is twice past chairman of Hartlepool Round Table and is an avid Carlisle United fan with a keen interest in all sports, particularly football and golf.

 

Dave Smith

Dave was born and raised in Hartlepool and graduated from Durham University in 2002 before going on to complete the Legal Practice Course at the College of Law in York a year later.

During his training contract with Smith & Graham, he showed an aptitude to Criminal Law and remained with the firm's Criminal Justice Team following qualification in 2006. Dave was invited to join the Partnership in 2017.

Dave specialises in Magistrates' Court advocacy, he is an accredited police station representative and a qualified duty solicitor. Dave prides himself on being an effective trial advocate and strives to maintain a proactive role at all times both at court and in the police station. Dave also have particular expertise in dealing with applications made under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Outside of work, Dave enjoys spending time with his children, he has a keen interest in ska music and is an avid fan of Manchester City Football Club. 

 

Ciara Smith

Born and raised in North Yorkshire, Ciara has worked in many solicitors’ firms throughout the North East and North Yorkshire whilst studying part time for a Law Degree.

Ciara graduated with an Honours Degree in Law from Teesside University in 2011. She then went on to complete the Legal Practice Course at the University of Law in York gaining a Commendation in 2013.

Ciara joined Smith and Graham in 2015 and began her Training Contract the same year, taking up her first seat in the Crown Court Department, preparing cases for trial and assisting Counsel at hearings in Court. Ciara is also an Accredited Police Station Representative, providing advice and assistance to people who are being questioned under caution at the police station. Ciara qualified as a Solicitor in 2017.

 

Road Traffic Offence Pricing

The cost of undertaking work on your behalf in respect of a road traffic offence, will depend upon a number of factors. Firstly, it will depend upon whether it is your intention to plead guilty or not guilty to the offence. Secondly, it will depend upon the location of the Court that you need to attend. Thirdly, it will depend upon the experience of the solicitor undertaking the conduct of your case.

In respect of work carried out by a partner or a solicitor with over 8 years post qualification experience in criminal litigation matters, your costs will be calculated at the maximum rate of £170 per hour plus VAT. Both Martin and David are partners of the firm with over 8 years post qualification experience in criminal litigation matters.

In respect of an associate solicitor with less than 8 years post qualification experience, your costs will be calculated at the maximum rate of £150 per hour plus VAT. Ciara Smith is an associate solicitor in the criminal justice department.

In respect of work carried out by a trainee solicitor or paralegal, your costs will be calculated at the maximum rate of £80 per hour plus VAT. Jade Hilton is a paralegal in the criminal justice department.

Once we know what your case is about, we will be able to estimate the likely number of hours of preparation which will be involved, and also the number of hours of hearing time that the case will take. We will then be able to give you an estimate of the likely cost to be incurred.

 

Guilty Plea

For a guilty plea, this is likely to range between £350 and £500 plus VAT. However, this estimate is given subject to matters possibly becoming more protracted, by for example the introduction of new evidence by the prosecution, requiring extra preparation work resulting in longer hearing time, or you instructing us to take any steps beyond those anticipated by us when first instructed.

In addition, depending on the nature of your case, you may expect to incur disbursements, for example, obtaining a back calculation report in respect of an allegation of driving with excess alcohol. (£180 plus VAT.)

We will keep you informed of the work we are doing, and revert to you if it appears our estimate is likely to be exceeded by 10%.

Before commencing work on your behalf, we would require a payment on account covering our preliminary time estimates, plus disbursements which it is anticipated will be incurred. This can be incurred. This can be paid by way of credit card/ debit card, cash or cleared funds. Our Client account details are available upon request for you to arrange an online bank transfer if necessary.

Not Guilty Plea

For a not guilty plea, this is likely to range between £750 and £1,500 plus VAT. However, this estimate is given subject to matters possibly becoming more protracted, for example the introduction of new evidence by the prosecution, requiring extra preparation work and resulting in longer hearing time, or you instructing us to take any steps beyond those anticipated by us when first instructed.

In addition, depending on the nature of your case, you may expect to incur disbursements, for example, obtaining a back calculation report in respect of an allegation of driving with excess alcohol. (£180 plus VAT.)

We will keep you informed of the work we are doing, and revert to you if it appears our estimate is likely to be exceeded by 10%.

Before commencing work on your behalf, we would require a payment on account covering our preliminary time estimate, plus any disbursements which it is anticipated will be incurred. This can be paid by way of credit/debit card, cash or cleared funds. Our client account details are available upon request for you to arrange an online bank transfer if necessary.

 

Fixed Fees

It may be possible to undertake your case by agreeing a fixed fee in advance. A fixed fee can be agreed in relation to both guilty plea matters and not guilty plea matters. We are happy to discuss the possibility of you instructing us on a fixed fee basis, at the outset of your case. Please be aware that if we agree to take your case on a fixed fee basis, then that fee would be payable in respective of the number of hours work undertaken by ourselves on your case.

Before commencing work on your behalf on a fixed fee basis, we would require payment of the fixed fee on account. This payment would cover any fixed fee agreed in relation to our costs, plus any disbursements which is anticipated will be incurred. This can be paid by way of credit/debit card, cash or cleared funds. Our client account details are available upon request for you to arrange an online bank transfer.

 

 

 

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