criminal law

Being investigated or prosecuted for a criminal offence can be an extremely stressful experience which is why it is important to be represented by an experienced and highly qualified representative who understands your needs and knows how to best represent you, be it at the Police Station, Magistrates’ Court, Crown Court or beyond.

At Meikles Solicitors you can be assured that you will be provided with a high level of representation from the outset of any dealings that we have with you. Individually and together we can bring a wealth of experience to meet your needs and requirements.

Our criminal team is composed of:

  • Lawrence Petterson, Senior Partner of the firm and Duty Solicitor for the South Durham & Darlington and Northallerton Rotas;
  • Peter Hamill, Partner, Higher Rights Advocate, qualified Supervisor, Criminal Contract Manager and Duty Solicitor for the South Durham & Darlington and Northallerton Rotas;
  • Stephen Hamill, Higher Rights Advocate and Duty Solicitor for the South Durham & Darlington and Northallerton Rotas;
  • Miss Elizabeth Aisbitt, Duty Solicitor for the South Durham & Darlington and Northallerton Rotas
  • Conor Leonard, Duty Solicitor for the South Durham & Darlington and Northallerton Rotas

We have experience in defending all manner of types of alleged criminal offences, including but not limited to the following areas:

  • Offences involving violence, including common assault, affray, violent disorder, wounding, manslaughter and murder;
  • Sexual offences, including sexual assault and rape;
  • Dishonesty offences, ranging from simple thefts, burglaries and including complex frauds and conspiracies to rob;
  • Offences involving firearms, to also include act on Firearm License & Shotgun License appeals;
  • Drugs offences, including simple possession and ranging to drugs conspiracies;
  • Regulatory offences, for example to include offences under the Insolvency Act, Environmental Act offences and Health & Safety Act offences to name a few;

We are also experienced in acting for matters involving Road Traffic Law including but not limited to the following areas:

  • Drink & drug driving offences, to include challenging procedures and ensuring that prosecutions have been properly brought;
  • Exceptional hardship applications wherein we have a high success rate in advancing such applications to help drivers keep their licenses after acquiring 12 penalty points or more;
  • Special reasons, where again we have a high success rate in arguing special reasons in order to persuade the Court not to endorse driving licences with penalty points where applicable.

We are different from other firms that operate in our area in that we pride ourselves on case ownership. This means that we strive to ensure that the same person who represents you from the start of your case is with you to conclusion.

Additionally we seek to ensure that you will be represented by a Solicitor whilst you are present in the police station, not simply a ‘police station rep’ who cannot later act for you in Court. We believe that this approach has set us apart from our competitors and ensured that we can provide you with a high quality level of representation.

If you have any queries or if you would like us to represent you we would be happy to contact you to discuss this.

We can represent anyone in the police station who is to be interviewed under caution, be it for a voluntary interview or under arrest, free of charge as this is covered by legal aid. Depending upon your financial circumstances you may also qualify for legal aid in the Magistrates’ Court. We can advise you if you are likely to qualify for your case.

All people, subject to an exception of a *disposable household income above £37,500, are entitled to legal aid in the Crown Court with a contribution, if applicable.

We offer a free 30 minute appointment to discuss your case. In the event that you would not qualify for legal aid and/or if you would like to be represented on a private basis we would advise you of our fees involved up-front so that no work would ever be undertaken without your express agreement. We offer reasonable and competitive fixed fees upon request.

military & courts martial

Should you face an investigation by way of interview under caution or whether you face a Court Martial you need representatives who are specialists in Military Law who provide an excellent level of representation.

At Meikles we understand that such matters can have potentially serious consequences for you and your career. You can be assured that we will provide you with an experienced representative who understands your needs and requirements, especially in the context of being a member of the armed forces.

We have experience of representing service personnel of the armed forces in interviews under caution be they in the United Kingdom or abroad, at the Court Martial in front of a Judge Advocate and including the Court Martial Appeal Court.

We can provide free representation at any interview under caution conducted by the Service Police (Royal Military Police & SIB) be they in the United Kingdom or abroad.

We can also provide representation at the Summary Appeal Court (when you appeal a decision made by your commanding officer), Court Martial Proceedings or at the Court Martial Appeal Court. Legal Aid is available for Summary Appeals, Court Martial and the Court Martial Appeal Court subject to a contribution to the Armed Forces Criminal Legal Aid Authority (AFCLAA).

We can represent you by way of legal aid, or in the event that you consider the contributions to AFCLAA are too high we can represent you for a fixed fee at what we consider are reasonable and competitive rates.

We offer a free appointment to discuss any matter you have relating to military law and if distance is an issue we can do appointments by way of telephone conference or potentially by way of video link.

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meet our criminal lawyers

Lawrence Petterson
Partner

Lawrence joined Meikles as an Articled Clerk in 1977 and has continued his career...

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Peter Hamill
Solicitor

Peter qualified as a solicitor in 2011. He specialises in all areas of criminal law...

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Stephen Hamill
Solicitor

Stephen qualified as a Solicitor in 2014 and joined the firm in 2015...

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Tracey Kyle
Solicitor

Tracey began her career with Meikles as a trainee solicitor in 2009, and qualified...

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Elizabeth Aisbitt
Solicitor

Elizabeth qualified as a solicitor in April 2016 and joined Meikles in 2018...

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Conor Leonard
Solicitor

Conor joined the firm as a paralegal in January 2017, he thereafter became...

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Amy Dodds
Trainee Solicitor

Amy is a trainee solicitor who commenced her Training Contract in March 2019...

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Meikles is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales (number  OC38797O)
Registered office 2 Clyde Terrace, Spennymoor, County Durham DL16 7SE. Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority SRA number 620405
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