Criminal Defence

Being arrested, interviewed and charged with any Criminal offence is a worrying and distressing experience. At Austin and Carnley we are able to provide clear legal advice and assistance in this process.

As holders of a Legal Aid Agency Criminal Contract we can represent you free of charge at any Police Station in England and Wales. We have somebody on call every day of the week throughout the year (a 24hour/365days service). After arrest you are always given the right to legal advice, all you need do is ask for Austin and Carnley and we will attend.

Having the benefit of Legal advice at a Police Station is often crucial to the way in which a Criminal case is investigated.

If you are being investigated by the Police and have a date/time to attend the police station please contact us before your attendance.

If you are charged with a criminal offence we can represent you for free if Legal Aid is available. If Legal Aid is not available we will let you know how much our fees will be.

Austin and Carnley have experience in dealing with the whole range of Criminal offences including prosecutions that are not brought by the Police/Crown Prosecution Service. These include prosecutions for Benefit Fraud, Environmental Prosecutions (fly tipping), RSPCA prosecutions and Department of Transport prosecutions (tachograph offences, overloading lorries).

Fraud 

An allegation of white collar fraud or business malpractice can easily cause lasting damage to an individual’s or company’s reputation from which it can be difficult or in many circumstances, impossible to recover. This is likely to be the case whether or not charges are brought or proven, the old saying “there’s no smoke without fire” still holds sway in many areas of the commercial world.

Possible prosecution for offences such as Fraud, Money Laundering and Corporate Manslaughter are becoming more prevalent with the Serious Fraud Office, Trading Standards, HMRC and various regulatory bodies paying close attention to commercial and financial activities.

With the introduction into law of the Bribery Act 2010 what was formerly considered normal business practice could now be seen as giving rise to criminal liability. Under this piece of legislation which came into force on 1 July 2011 a business can be liable on behalf of the actions of one individual. There are defences available if proper procedures are in place and for genuine hospitality expenditure.

When an allegation of this type is made access to your assets can be restricted or even completely withheld during the investigation stage. This is done to preserve assets for future confiscation. The Court will allow an individual an allowance from restricted assets. If this is insufficient it will be necessary to apply to the court for an increase. The period between investigation and eventual court proceedings can last for years causing significant disruption and in many cases, hardship to both individuals and business.

It is prudent to take legal advice at the earliest opportunity. This can often be the crucial factor in whether a matter reaches court. A court hearing will be conducted in the public eye and draw negative publicity irrespective of the eventual verdict. Early legal advice in white collar fraud cases will improve the possibility of avoiding court proceedings and the ramifications of adverse publicity; either by the matter being dropped or a negotiated settlement reached.

From their experience in this field our crime team understand the stress and concerns raised by such investigations and will be more than happy to discuss your case in confidence.

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Partner

David Backhouse

David has Higher Rights of Audience which means he can represent Clients at the Crown Court as well as the Magistrates Court.

He undertakes Private and Legal Aid criminal cases including Road Traffic Offences. David qualified in 1997 and became Partner in 2010.

David is a Duty Solicitor on the Bedford Duty Solicitor Scheme, the Luton and Dunstable Duty Solicitor Scheme and the Milton Keynes Duty Solicitor Scheme.

davidb@austinandcarnley.co.uk

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Partner

Mary Donaghy

Mary trained with Austin and Carnley and qualified as a Solicitor in June 2010. She undertakes Private and Legal Aid criminal cases including Road Traffic Offences. Mary is also our Duty Solicitor on the Bedford Duty Solicitor Scheme, the Luton and Dunstable Duty Solicitor Scheme and the Milton Keynes Duty Solicitor Scheme.

maryd@austinandcarnley.co.uk

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Legal Secretary

Susan Tompkins

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Solicitor

Jaclin Bastian

Jaclin qualified as a solicitor in 2004 when she worked for and was trained by David.

In 2009 Jaclin gained her Higher Rights of Audience enabling her to represent clients in the Crown Court. Jaclin undertakes Private and Legal Aid criminal cases including Road Traffic Offences.

Jaclin is a Duty Solicitor in Bedford, Luton & Dunstable and Milton Keynes.

Jaclin is a compassionate solicitor who, when preparing every case, tries to ensure that all clients’ feel that they are being listened to.

jaclinb@austinandcarnley.co.uk

Personal Assistant to Senior Partner, David Backhouse 

Kristina Richardson

Join Us

If you are interested in joining our team please email a CV and covering letter to: