We are experienced criminal defence solicitors. We deal with matters from assault, fraud, firearms offences and theft through to manslaughter and murder. We have particular expertise in dealing with the most serious sexual offences and drugs matters.
In addition to matters brought by the Crown Prosecution Service, we regularly defend clients on actions brought by regulatory bodies such as the Health & Safety Executive, DEFRA, the local authority and the DWP. We also represent clients on private prosecutions brought by organisations such as the RSPCA.
If you are unfortunate enough to be arrested or are asked by the police to attend for interview, then you have the right to have legal representation at the police station. We provide a free 24-hour round the clock service at the police station. Simply tell the police that you wish to be represented by Bannisters or by one of our named individual solicitors and we will then be with you ready for interview. Remember, this is your right. Do not be fobbed off.
We attend both the Magistrates and the Crown Court on a daily basis. We have a reputation of robustly defending the interests of all our clients.
On the question of costs, our attendance at the police station is free. If you are then charged with an offence that means you having to attend at court, then we can apply for you to be represented at court under the legal aid scheme. Unfortunately, due to government cuts and restrictions, legal aid is not always available. Under those circumstances, we operate a fixed fee system of representation, so that you will know exactly what your legal costs are before you get to court. For more information on costs just call us on 01935 433133.
We regularly represent clients charged with driving offences, from the most serious including causing death by dangerous driving to driving without due care and attention or whilst using a mobile phone. We are experts in dealing with all aspects of motoring law. This includes offences involving allegations of speeding, no insurance, failing to stop/report an accident and of course drink/drug driving and breathalyser matters. We are instructed by drivers facing disqualification or penalty points and who face the possible loss of job together with the inevitable financial meltdown that follows loss of a driving licence.
If you are arrested or are facing the prospect of being arrested on a driving matter then you have the right to legal representation. We provide free 24-hour round the clock service at the police station. If your case goes to court, on the most serious of driving offences, legal aid may be available. However, on most driving offences our clients pay us on a private basis. Our clients have the reassurance that at court they are being represented by a solicitor who is extremely experienced and is on their side. As with all our costs what we charge is transparent, usually at fixed cost. Paying for expert legal advice right at the outset is often just a small fraction of the real cost of loss of licence.
Legal Aid is very important to clients with limited means who need representation in the courts. Legal aid is subject to means testing and this is causing considerable delays. If you need legal aid, we will need to submit an application as soon as possible. We can supply you with the necessary forms.
You will normally need to support your application with proof of your income (wage slips for you and your partner) OR a letter from the job centre confirming that you are in receipt of Universal Credit, Job Seekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance or Income Support and proof of your rent or mortgage if it is more than £500 per month. You will usually need to supply 3 months of original bank statements for each account that you hold.
If you or your partner are self employed, you must produce copies of your last set of accounts, and tax calculation, Bank statements for the last 3 months for your business and any other bank accounts that you or your partner have.
Your partner must also complete their details on the forms. If they refuse to sign the form your legal aid may be refused or if the case goes to the Crown Court you may have to pay sanctions by paying increased contributions towards your legal aid.
If your partner is the complainant in this case or they are also accused of the same or similar offences and there is a conflict between you, your partner does not need to provide their details or sign the form.
The information that you supply in these forms will be checked with the Benefits Agency and or the Inland Revenue.
Private Client / Fees
Many Clients wish to instruct us on a private client basis without recourse to Legal Aid. We aim to be as efficient as possible in representing clients in order to minimize any cost which will be incurred but at the same time we wish to maintain our high standards in robustly defending client’s interests.
Our charges are calculated mainly by reference to the time spent by Partner, other solicitors and executive staff in dealing with your matter. This includes advising, attending on you and others, dealing with papers, correspondence, memoranda etc., telephone calls, hearings, travelling and waiting time. Travelling and waiting time are charged at one half of our standard rate.
The rates quoted do not include VAT which will be added to the Bill.
Any disbursements which we incur on your behalf will also be added to the Bill. (Disbursements are additional expenses such as Court fees, travelling expenses etc.).
It is often difficult to estimate how many hours of work, letters and telephone calls will be necessary to complete your matter. We will inform you in writing if any unusual difficulties arise or if anything occurs which will have a substantial effect upon costs.
Following a change in the law, if you successfully defend this case, the court may only order the re-payment to you of a proportion of your costs. For our part we will try to deal with your case expeditiously but without incurring unnecessary cost which you may not be able to recover.
I must also warn you that if you lose the case, you may still be ordered by the Court to pay the whole or part of the prosecution's costs (often referred to as Court costs).
Tudor Chambers, Manor Road, Yeovil BA20 1UQ
Tel 01935 433133
1 Chartfield House, Castle Street, Taunton TA1 4AS
Tel 01823 785935
Bannisters are solicitors authorised and regulated by Solicitors Regulation Authority Firm Numbers 8003768 & 8004168.
Bannisters - Criminal and Motoring Lawyers LLP are registered at companies house, Companies House No.:CRN OC444095
We want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service, we have provided then you should inform us immediately, so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.
In the first instance it may be helpful to contact the person who is working on your case to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to resolve any issues. If you would like to make a formal complaint, then you can read our full complaints procedure. Click here for our complaints procedure. Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case.