Harris Paley Schone is a well-established criminal defence firm of solicitors in the Brighton area. We specialise in all forms of private criminal work (see Areas of Work above or through the Menu at the top on a mobile phone) ranging from the most serious violent and sexual offences including historic allegations to road traffic offences. Read the section on “Why instruct us?" above or again through the Menu at the top on a mobile phone.

We are listed by Chambers and Partners, the leading source of independent legal market intelligence for over 30 years, as a Band 1 (highest) crime department in the South.

We can represent you at the police station, free of charge or at the Magistrates Court or in the Crown Court. Read the section on “Do the police want to speak to you or someone you know?”  or "Charged with an offence or received a postal requisition to attend the Magistrates Court?" under the heading “How can we help?” at the top of the page or through the Menu at the top on a mobile phone.

Either call us, which we would prefer, or make an enquiry or book an appointment below, or e-mail us through the “Lawyers” section at the top of the page or through the Menu on a mobile phone. You can also read a bit about our lawyers there.

We are experts in these areas

In the Magistrates Court, we have recently successfully appealed the local council’s decision in respect of a taxi driver whose licence was revoked, on the basis that he was not a “fit and proper person” to hold a licence. The council went on to attempt to appeal the Magistrates decision in the Crown Court, but we were successful in resisting this appeal. The local council were not awarded their costs. Our client will be eligible to regain his licence next year.

You may well have heard in the news references to “County lines” drug operations where illegal drugs are transported from one area to another, often by children or vulnerable people coerced into it by gangs.

This area of law can be particularly complex, and result in serious consequences for drivers. We are able to provide comprehensive advice and representation in relation to all road traffic and motoring offences. We understand how disruptive it can be to receive penalty points on a driving licence, or be disqualified from driving altogether.

Offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 are rarely charged because gathering evidence against individuals is often a specialist task for the police. However, the authorities are becoming more concerned about the damage that hacking and unauthorised access to computers with intent impair operation is causing and the risks to national security. We anticipate that there will be more cases of this type coming through the Courts. There are a number of youths who engage in hacking activities.

Most drug related offences (class A, B and C) are charged under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. However we can also advise in relation to offences alleged under the more recent Psychoactive Substances Act 2016. Whether you have been charged with possession of a controlled drug, or whether you are accused of supplying a controlled drug, possession with intent to supply or production and cultivation of drugs, or permitting your premises to be used for that purpose, these are all matters we have considerable experience of dealing with, and can advise you about any defence that may be available. The legal definitions of terms such as ‘possession’, ‘supply,’ ‘being concerned in supply’ or ‘making an offer to supply’ can be complicated, and require more explanation. You may be charged with obstructing a drug search. The police may not have followed the correct procedure.

Allegations of violence are usually charged under the Offences against the Person Act 1861, or the Criminal Justice Act 1988. Whether you are accused of ‘battery’, ‘common assault’, ‘casing actual bodily harm’, ‘causing or inflicting grievous bodily harm with (s18) or without intent (s20)’ or other more serious offences, we can help establish whether you have a defence. For example, you may have been forced to strike out in order to defend yourself or someone else, or your property.

There are three ways in which fraud can be committed under the Fraud Act 2006:

  • Making a false representation
  • Failing to disclose information when there is a legal duty to do so
  • Abuse of position

The police, Crown prosecution and Courts take a robust stance on domestic violence that has occurred between people who are in a relationship or have been in a relationship. It is important that you receive advice if you are being investigated or have been charged with such an offence.

Allegations of sexual misconduct are naturally very serious, and while under investigation can seriously impact upon the lives of those accused and their families. We have strong experience in this field, and we genuinely appreciate the emotional distress caused to those accused of such crimes.

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