Best Criminal Lawyers in Glasgow

by Legal Author on December 31, 2010

The best criminal solicitors in Glasgow advise and represent clients through all stages of criminal prosecution. Clients may be accused or even suspected of one or more of the crimes explained below following investigation or arrest by police officers in Glasgow.

Need urgent criminal defence advice from a Glasgow criminal lawyer?

Contact Ross Yuill, former President of the Glasgow Bar Association, at The Glasgow Law Practice here or call Ross on 0141 530 6518, or Gary McAteer of Beltrami & Company.

Breach of the Peace in Glasgow

In Scotland, breach of the peace may be committed provided that the accused’s conduct is severe enough to cause alarm to ordinary people and threaten serious disturbance to the community. It can be committed in a wide variety of circumstances. In many cases it is a relatively minor crime. A leading Scots law case, Smith v Donnelly 2002 J.C. 65 outlines the requirements for a successful conviction of breach of the peace. In defending a charge of breach of the peace, one of the most important things a Glaswegian defence lawyer must consider is whether or not someone was alarmed, annoyed or disturbed by the conduct of the accused.

Misuse of drugs in Glasgow

In Scotland, drugs offences are governed mainly by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, which provides that it is an offence for any person to produce a controlled drug, to import or export a controlled drug, or to supply, offer or be concerned in the supply or offer to supply a controlled drug to another person. Another arrestable offence is for a person to have a controlled drug in their possession. Criminal liability or sentencing in any case may depend largely on the “class” and strength or quantity of the drug involved. The main illegal drugs which are involved in most misuse of drugs cases include cocaine, amphetamines, heroin, cannabis or ecstasy.

Theft in Glasgow

Theft under Scots law involves the taking and appropriating of another person’s property without the consent of the owner or without other lawful authority. One of the main requirements for prosecution is that the accused had a dishonest intention to deprive the owner of the property. Contrastingly, property may be taken by the accused in good faith or under reasonable belief that the rightful owner of the property had granted permission. In those cases, it may be more difficult for the accused to be found guilty of theft. The crime of theft may be aggravated if there is housebreaking involved. Aggravated thefts usually carry a greater criminal sentence.

Assault in Glasgow

Under the laws of Scotland, assault is defined as an attack upon another person with criminal intent. It does not need to be a physical attack, as even threatening gestures can constitute assault if the actions are sufficient enough to cause alarm. An assault might be deemed to be aggravated depending on several factors. Factors relevant for aggravated assault include the severity of injury, whether or not a weapon is used or if the victim is assaulted in his own home, sometimes known as “hamesaken”. Potential defences to assault might include the fact that the injury caused was justified, if it can be shown that the actions were in self-defence or for the defence of others.

Fraud Defence

The crime of fraud may involve abuse of a position, false representation or the prejudice of someone’s rights for personal gain. It is, essentially, an act of deception with intent for personal gain or causing loss to another party.

Rape or other sexual offences in Glasgow

The law of rape in Scotland was recently amended by the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009, which came into force on 1 December 2010. The definition of free consent is clarified: such consent may be absent, for instance, even where the conduct occurs at a time when the victim is rendered incapable because of the effect of alcohol. In Scotland, rape trials can only take place in the High Court of Justiciary. If convicted, the maximum penalty available to the court is life imprisonment.

Murder or culpable homicide in Glasgow

Murder is one of the most serious crimes in Scotland, committed where the accused has killed someone with an intention to kill or “wicked recklessness”. On the other hand, culpable homicide may be committed where the accused has caused loss of life of another person through wrongful conduct, but where the accused had no intention to kill or did not act with ‘wicked recklessness. Potential criminal defences, such as self-defence, become relevant considerations as with charges for assault. Corporate homicide is now another crime under Scots law further to the commencement of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007.

Inchoate or “attempted” crimes

Inchoate crimes may be committed where there is an attempt, incitement or conspiracy, but where actual completion of the crime attempted is not achieved. This includes the crime of attempted murder, where the accused acts with wicked recklessness in carrying out, for instance, a life endangering assault.

Road traffic offences in or around Glasgow

Road traffic offences may include drink driving, other driving offences, speeding tickets or any other element of road traffic law. Cases involving careless driving, dangerous driving or speeding and possible disqualification under ‘totting up’ are governed principally by the Road Traffic Acts. Such road traffic offences can have major effects on life at home, and at work, which is why it is important to get the best possible criminal defence representation in the Glasgow courts.

While Scotland is a separate jursidiction from England & Wales, the Road Traffic Act 1988 is applied in Scotland in the same way. The Road Traffic Act details all of the main motoring offences that may be committed on the roads in Glasgow, including drink driving and speeding.

Criminal Defences in the Glasgow Courts

Defences that might be pled include the concepts of alibi, self-defence, insanity or diminished responsibility. Criminal defence solicitors in Glasgow can advise on whether any of these defences may be relevant to the accused’s case and whether any of the defences may lead to a reduced sentence or, if they are complete defences, free the accused from all criminal liability. Whether or not such a defence is available depends entirely on the facts of the case.

Criminal Procedure in Glasgow’s Courts

Criminal defence practitioners advise clients on every aspect of criminal law or any criminal procedure queries that they may have. Typical day-to-day work of a Glasgow criminal lawyer includes dealing with fixed penalties, custody attendance, assistance with police interviews, preparation of defences and advising on criminal procedure and potential outcomes arising from a criminal charge for any of the above types of criminal liability. In addition to advising whether or not a client qualifies for Legal Aid, criminal lawyers are qualified to represent the accused in any Scottish Court, including Glasgow Sheriff Court, Paisley Sheriff Court or Glasgow’s High Court of Justiciary and to advise on possible criminal sentences, which may influence whether or not the client should plead guilty or not guilty.

Criminal solicitors can advise on any form of criminal procedure such as detention, arrest, questioning or interviewing by the police. The recent case of Cadder v Her Majesty’s Advocate means that anyone detained on suspicion of having committed a crime in Scotland is entitled to legal representation during police interview or other questioning. If an accused is interviewed by police without being allowed a criminal lawyer to attend interview, it may be a breach of the detainee’s human rights.

Thus, if you are under arrest at a police station, you are now given the opportunity to consult with a solicitor, to have a nominated criminal lawyer or solicitor contacted, or to get police station representation by criminal lawyers in Glasgow . It is important that you obtain independent legal advice in these circumstances.

Glasgow’s criminal solicitors can act in District Courts, Sheriff Courts and the High Courts in Glasgow and even Edinburgh if required, whether through summary procedure involving a judge sitting without a jury, or through solemn procedure where more serious crimes have been committed, where the judge sits with 15 jurors.

If the criminal case goes to trial, the accused will be acquitted if a not proven verdict is recorded, which is the equivalent of a not guilty verdict. Even if the accused is found guilty, it is typical for Glasgow’s criminal lawyers to present a plea in mitigation to try to persuade the sheriff to reduce the level of sentencing because of mitigating factors such as remorse or severe impact of certain sentences on the accused’s daily life.

Contact Glasgow’s Best Criminal Solicitors

Want to find the Best Criminal Lawyers in Glasgow for you? Contact Ross Yuill, former President of the Glasgow Bar Association, at The Glasgow Law Practice here or call Ross on 0141 530 6518, or Gary McAteer of Beltrami & Company, to find highly regarded and widely recognised expert criminal solicitors, available 24 hours per day to ensure that you can access the best legal representation in Glasgow in emergency situations. Criminal lawyers will treat all enquiries in the strictest confidence.

Legal Author

Legal Author

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