Criminal Defence Solicitors

Our Criminal Defence Solicitors act on behalf of clients across England and Wales and offer impartial and confidential expert advice and representation. Find out how we can help you.

More about Criminal Defence Solicitors

Our criminal defence solicitors undertake a full range of work in this field, providing our expertise to those accused of everything from motoring offences to manslaughter or murder. Our specialist team of dedicated criminal defence lawyers offer services nationally and have extensive experience of high-profile cases. Whatever your circumstances, we want to ensure that you have access to the best criminal defence law firm for your situation, with the aim of achieving the best possible outcome.

We are ranked in tier 1 in both the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners guides.

Our areas of specialism for defences in criminal law include, but are not limited to:

Our criminal defence solicitors service operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so there is always legal help and support available when you need it.

Common defences in criminal law

Common defences in criminal law

Whilst every situation is different and building a defence can be very complex in some cases, there are several common defences in criminal law in the UK. These which include:


When the act is done by the body of someone not conscious of what they are doing, i.e. their mind is not in control of their body.


Where intoxication by drink or drugs, whether voluntary or involuntary, removes the mental element required for the offence to be committed. The distinction between voluntary intoxication, where the defendant chose to become intoxicated, and involuntary intoxication, where the defendant was not responsible for becoming intoxicated e.g. their drink was spiked, can be very important.


Where the defendant was mistaken about the circumstances or consequences of an act and had no criminal intention. This defence can only be used in certain offences.


When it can be proven that the accused was not capable of knowing the nature and quality of the act they committed at the time of the offence, due to a disease of the mind.


Where the offence was carried out by the defendant only due to a threat of harm being made by another person, either towards the defendant or a third person.

Self-defence and defence of others or property

Where the defendant honestly believed that the force that they used was necessary and proportionate in the circumstances to protect themselves, others or property from serious harm.

How do I find good criminal defence solicitors near me?

How do I find good criminal defence solicitors near me?

If you have been arrested or believe that you might face criminal charges, getting access to the best possible legal advice and representation is very important. Good criminal defence solicitors will be available when you need them, day or night.

Forbes run a 24/7 criminal defence service, 365 days a year, and operate nationally, so can attend police stations as required. What happens at the early stages after arrest can be very important, so ensuring that you have expert legal assistance is essential.

How much should I expect to pay a criminal defence lawyer in the UK?

The cost of legal representation and support in a criminal case will depend entirely on the circumstances and the level of legal work involved. There are some situations where fixed fees can be appropriate e.g. trials at Magistrates Court and some where hourly rate packages will be needed.

For straightforward cases, for example where a guilty plea is entered, it can often be possible to agree the exact fees to be paid up front. Where the situation is more complex, there will usually need to be an hourly rate introduced, which can be agreed with your criminal defence lawyer beforehand and regular updates can be given, to help keep track of legal fees.

Can I get legal aid for a criminal defence solicitor?

Can I get legal aid for a criminal defence solicitor?

All legal assistance at the police station is automatically covered by the Legal Aid Scheme. Any Legal Aid provision after this will depend on meeting certain criteria, such as income or whether you are in receipt of certain government benefits.

In some cases, a contribution will be required towards legal fees, with some of the cost subsidised by the Legal Aid Scheme. This will all be explained to you in discussions with your solicitor.

Why choose us as your criminal defence lawyers?

Why choose us as your criminal defence lawyers?

At Forbes, we have a proven track record of achieving successful outcomes in all manner of criminal defence cases, with our proactive and sympathetic approach being key elements. Our expert team assist with cases from arrest right through the court system, with our comprehensive criminal defence service providing truly specialist support at every stage.

With serious and complex crime cases, we have a dedicated Special Case Work Unit who focus on assisting every client with focus and determination. We use the latest technology, alongside our extensive experience in cases of this type, to analyse, prepare and present serious crime cases throughout the entire legal process.

Our dedicated Crime team


Consultant, Crime

Daniel King

Craig Liversidge.jpg

Partner, Crime

Craig Liversidge


Partner, Crime

Craig MacKenzie

Contact Us

0800 689 3206 - Monday - Friday: 09:00 - 17:00

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© 2024 Forbes Solicitors is the trading name of Forbes Solicitors LLP Offices in Preston, Manchester, Salford, Blackburn, Blackpool, London and Leeds UK Main Office: Rutherford House, 4 Wellington Street (St Johns), Blackburn, Lancashire, BB1 8DD • Vat No: 174 394 344 Forbes Solicitors is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA No. 816356). Details of the SRA’s Standards and Regulations can be found here. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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