Violent Crime Defence Lawyers

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Defending Allegations of a Violent Crime


Being convicted of a violent crime carries very serious punishment, up to a lifetime prison sentence, depending on the exact nature of the crime. If you have been arrested on suspicion of committing a violent crime, it is essential that you seek immediate legal representation from one of our experienced Violent Crime Lawyers.

Here at Clifford Johnston & Co, our specialist team of Violent Crime Lawyers have a proven track record of successfully representing individuals who have been charged with violent crime offences. We have the legal knowledge, experience and expertise to ensure the most favourable outcome from your case, whether proving your innocence or negotiating a reduced sentence where imprisonment is unavoidable.

We are perfectly positioned to assist you from your initial arrest to court proceedings. Our team will gather all relevant evidence to build a strong defence case on your behalf, so it’s vital that you are open and honest with us from the offset to allow us to represent you to the best of our ability.

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What is a violent crime?

A violent crime is any form of crime or criminal activity which poses a threat to the safety of others, with or without the use of a weapon. Even instances where a threat is made but no actual harm is caused can be classed as an act of violence, and the perpetrator can be charged and sentenced accordingly.

Violent crimes fall into two categories as follows:

Common Law Offences

  • Assault – An individual is said to have committed common law assault if they have caused physical harm to another, and if they have displayed intent to cause distress to another despite not causing physical harm.
  • Battery – The threshold of harm in a battery offence is low and can include touching an individual without their consent, or throwing an object at an individual which causes harm.

Statutory Offences

  • Assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH) – This offence is committed when the conduct of an individual causes physical or psychological harm to another. This can also include causing the victim to lose consciousness or suffer from shock.
  • Malicious wounding/infliction of grievous bodily harm (GBH) – This offence pertains to an individual who has either planned to inflict injury or showed no care that their actions would cause harm to another. Breaking the skin of a victim constitutes wounding, regardless of the seriousness of the injury, while GBH relates to serious harm, such as broken bones, significant bruising, lacerations, and spreading of diseases.
  • Wounding or causing GBH with intent – As above, this offence pertains to the wounding or harming of a victim in which skin is broken, bleeding/bruising occurs, or diseases are spread. However, the main difference here is the intent to harm the victim.

Some examples of the types of violent offences we have experience dealing with include:

What are the punishments for violent crimes?

The punishment for a violent crime typically depends on several factors, including the type, severity and frequency of the crime, as well as the previous criminal record of the defendant. For example, a conviction for common assault with no previous convictions may result in a low-level community order and/or a fine, whilst the most serious violent crimes, such as murder, carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

There are number of aggravating and mitigating factors which may come into play when decisions are being made regarding sentencing, including:

  • A violent crime being religiously or racially aggravated
  • A violent crime motivated by hostility based on disability, gender identity or sexual orientation
  • A violent offence being committed by an individual whilst on bail
  • Whether or not the defendant has any previous convictions
  • Failure of the defendant to comply with court orders
  • The defendant showing remorse for the crime
  • The defendant’s age and/or lack of maturity
  • Previous exemplary conduct and good character
  • The defendant suffering from a mental disorder unrelated to the offence

As your legal representation, we review all available evidence and compile the strongest defence possible for your case. For example, if you have no previous convictions or are very remorseful for your crime, we can aim to make this work in your favour during sentencing.

What is the defence for a violent crime charge?

When building your case for defence, we may take several different approaches depending on the circumstances of the offence in question. It is, therefore, vital to be completely open and honest with your solicitor and provide us with all the details.

We aim to ensure you receive the most favourable outcome when your case goes to court. For example, if prison time is inevitable, we will work hard to ensure the sentence is as minimal as possible.

Some of the most common defence strategies include:

  • Presenting evidence to show that the violent actions were taken in self defence
  • Demonstrating that the actions and injuries fail to fulfil the criteria of the offence
  • Providing clear evidence to show that there were mitigating circumstances involved
  • Highlighting where there is a lack of evidence to prove the testimony of a witness
  • Advising the defendant to plead guilty to a lesser charge

If you’ve been charged with committing a violent crime and would like to find out how we can help you navigate your impending court case, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team will be glad to assist you.

What happens if I’m arrested for a violent crime?

Being accused of a violent crime is very serious. Whether you committed the crime or have been falsely accused, it is vital that you contact a specialist violent crime solicitor as soon as possible. After being accused of committing a violent crime, there are a number of things that will happen:

  1. You will be arrested by the police and held in custody while you await questioning.
  2. The police will carry out a recorded investigation during which they will explain your rights and question you about the allegations that have led to your arrest.
  3. Once the police have finished questioning you they will either release you without charge, or charge you with the crime in question. If you are charged with committing a violent crime you will be given a charge sheet which states the details of your charge.
  4. If you have been charged, you will either be allowed to return home on bail until your court hearing, or you will be detained in police custody until the hearing.

Serious violent crimes such as rape and murder fall under the category of indictable offences and will be passed onto the Crown Court straight away for trial or sentencing.

Our specialist team of Criminal Defence Solicitors have a great deal of experience handling cases like yours, with a proven success rate. We’re here to guide you through the whole process, from your initial arrest to your court hearing and sentencing, ensuring you are kept up to date with proceedings. We endeavour to maintain regular contact with our clients, but if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Need some professional advice?

Do you have any issues that you are worried about? Contact our professional team for a free, no-obligation informal discussion, where we can discuss your particular requirements in greater detail.

Clifford Johnston & Co. Accreditations

  • assault defence lawyers