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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69265
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My 17 yr old son has been charged with GBH and requires legal

Resolved Question:

My 17 yr old son has been charged with GBH and requires legal representation in adult court. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time and I'd like him to have the best chance in court.

Please advise fees.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

How can I help with this?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

How do I go about getting legal representation for a courtcase? My 17 yr old was visiting a friend, and on exiting the building was caught up in a scuffle with approx 7 boys. Someone was injured quite badly (I don't have many details) and all the boys have been arrested on GBH charges.


The boys were attacking and kicking someone who was on the floor. My son tried to pull one of the boys off the victim and has a small spot of blood on his chest. He was wearing gloves and his gloves and shoes I believe are clear.


I want him to be represented separately as he was not part of this group of boys that carried out the attack and I worry that if I don't get him the best representation he will be lumped in with boys who clearly are guilty of the attack.


I only have 1 week to sort this out because we are away on holday and when we come back the case is heard immediately. How do I go about this and what are the hourly rates of hiring someone?


Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
He did have a solicitor in interview?
He would have been offered one at the police station and have to sign the custody record to say he didn't want one?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jo


He got a solitor at the police station, but I am not very happy with him as he didn't even turn up for for the bail when my son was charged. This solicitor had been informed of the outcome previously and I belive that he was supposed to contact us, but we heard nothing. I still haven't heard anything from him. I didn't like the way he handled the police interview previously, so I don't know whether he is representing him in court.


I want someone who will put a defence together.


Should a 17 year old be tried in an adult court or a youth court?


I just need to know how to go about getting a good lawyer and I need to have an idea of fees if I hire someone myself.


Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Solicitors do not generally attend on bail backs now. The days of covering every bail back have long gone. The legal aid rules don't cover it.

To be wholly honest, there is absolutely no point at all in paying privately. You will only get the same choice of solicitors. All criminal firms do legal aided work and a non criminal specialist will not be able to deal with the case. That is not to say that you have to remain with this particular firm although the fact he didn't attend a bail back is not unusual.

If the offence was committed when he was 17 then he should be tried in the Youth Court unless its a grave offence in which case it could go to the Crown Court. A GBH could go to the Crown Court. It depends whether he is charged with S18 or S20 or both in the alternative. The kicking with shod feet is a specific aggravating factor. He is much better off in the Crown Court anyway if he is raising any form of defence.

He will be lumped in with the others. They will be saying its a joint attack. Whether the evidence supports that or not is another matter. A blood splatter alone really only proves that he was there at the time and was at least a distance away from the complianant at the time that he was injured which is really just as consistent with his account as with the Crown's allegation.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

It is section 18. In a case like this, surely the purpetrator who did the damage receives more of sentence than others where there is little/no evidence to support them as having physically punched/kicked the victim? They couldn't lump them all together under the same sentence could they?


Could the same solicitor be required to represent any of the other members of the group if there is a conflict of interest (the boys are all blaming each other? It wouldn't make sense for the same solicitor to represent different versions of events for different client?) Or would they all have different solicitors?


So really I should go back to the legal firm he was given and take it with them as to how they will defend him?


Thanks for your help. I have not had to do anything like this before.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No. A joint enterprise is a joint enterprise. You become responsible for the actions of every other member of the group.

The same solicitor can't act if there is a conflict.

You can use that firm. You can also move to another. They will not have legal aid to cover court yet so there would be no difficulty with that. If you have lost faith in them then its probably better to have somebody you do have faith in.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I don;t understand what you mean :

"They will not have legal aid to cover court yet so there would be no difficulty with that."


Does that mean I will have solicitor fees at court?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No, the legal aid that he has will cover police station work. You make a fresh application at court. People quite often do use different solicitors at court. Sometimes firms don't attend the first apearance although if this is a S18 destined for the Crown Court then I would imagine they would.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

How do I make a fresh application at court?


How bad is S18 a charge?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Its nothing for you to worry about. The solicitor will do it for you. Which court is this before?

A S18 is fairly bad. Its only one charge less serious than murder. I would concentrate on being acquitted.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Redhill courts (Surrey - South East Surrey Magistrates Court)


Does the whole group have to get an aquittal or can one or some of the group be acquitted?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Try this firm and ask them to brief this barrister

as she does youth violence.

The whole group doesn't need to be acquitted. They consider the position of each defendant individually. They have to prove that he was acting as part of the group although not necessarily that he delivered the blow that caused the injury.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69265
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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