Crime

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Criminal Defence

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James Watson (Managing Partner)
Serious Crime & Complex Fraud Specialist

Since Jimmy Watson founded the firm in 1988, we have developed an enviable reputation for the successful defence of cases of serious crime. We have acted in some of the most high profile cases in this region and nationally over the past 25 years. As one of the largest criminal defence firms in the North East, the firm has amassed a wealth of knowledge and skill in defending the most serious of crimes.


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Sean Grainger (Partner)
High Court Advocate & Crime Specialist

During what is likely to be an extremely stressful period of your life, we will undertake the most rigorous preparation in the defence of your case. This will involve subjecting the prosecution case to intense scrutiny, and as much face-to-face contact as is required to ensure that you are kept both fully informed and that we have all the relevant material to be used in building your defence. Where clients plead guilty, we assist in the preparation of detailed mitigation for presentation before the Court to assist as to sentence.


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Robert Mochrie
Barrister

We employ a team of in-house Counsel and High Court Advocates meaning that you will have access to your full defence team from the beginning until the end of your case. We will also instruct independent Barristers where this is deemed more suitable for your personal circumstances.

At Watson Woodhouse Solicitors our serious fraud team has delivered a continuous stream of successful results over the past 20 years.

We are a Very High Cost Case Accredited organisation and are committed to providing our clients with the finest legal advice and the highest standards of care.

Based in Middlesbrough, Watson Woodhouse Solicitors specialises in defending allegations of fraud, white collar crime, tax fraud, money laundering and serious crime with clients in the North East and nationally.

We are highly experienced in dealing with cases prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service Complex Case Unit, HM Revenue and Customs and the Police at local, regional and national level. 

We also have a number of specialist barristers, both internal and external, and forensic accountants whom we regularly instruct to help successfully deal with any fraud investigation.

A conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime at some time in the future. To be convicted of this crime it must be proved that an agreement existed between at least two people to commit a criminal offence. Offences can range from, but are not limited to, murder, robbery, rape, burglary, money laundering and to import or supply drugs to more minor offences such as theft, public order or assault.

The offence is extremely serious and can only be prosecuted at the Crown Court. We recommend that you contact us as soon as you can to ensure you receive the best legal advice as early in the proceedings as possible.

The criminal team are experienced court martial advocates having represented soldiers and air personnel at court martial's and service police stations in the UK, Germany and Cyprus. Our team of specialist advocates can attend anywhere in Europe or further a field with short notice to attend clients in custody or at court martial's.

Our firm has a long history of successfully defending clients suspected of, or charged with, offences involving conspiracy to import drugs, drug importation or conspiracy to supply drugs or drug supply. These offences usually involve drugs such as heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, amphetamine and cannabis, but include the full range of Class A, B and C drugs.

These investigations are usually very lengthy and will involve a number of organisations; from local Police to HMRC, SOCA and sometimes collaboration with international police forces. A conviction in these types of case will usually lead to very lengthy custodial sentences and orders for confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Watson Woodhouse Solicitors have significant experience in these types of cases, securing our services as soon as you are arrested will ensure that you obtain the expertise required to defend you in what are likely to be very complex and lengthy proceedings.

Our firm has a long history of successfully defending clients suspected of, or charged with, offences involving conspiracy to import drugs, drug importation or conspiracy to supply drugs or drug supply. These offences usually involve drugs such as heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, amphetamine and cannabis, but include the full range of Class A, B and C drugs.

These investigations are usually very lengthy and will involve a number of organisations; from local Police to HMRC, SOCA and sometimes collaboration with international police forces. A conviction in these types of case will usually lead to very lengthy custodial sentences and orders for confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Watson Woodhouse Solicitors have significant experience in these types of cases, securing our services as soon as you are arrested will ensure that you obtain the expertise required to defend you in what are likely to be very complex and lengthy proceedings.

Illegal possession of a firearm carries a minimum sentence of 5 years imprisonment. It is therefore clear that this offence is extremely serious and demands the best possible legal advice and attention.

If you have been charged with this offence do not hesitate to contact us. We have substantial experience in dealing with these matters and early advice is essential.

Watson Woodhouse Solicitors have represented over 100 clients charged with murder over our 25 year history. Our experience tells us that these cases are typically very lengthy and deeply stressful for all parties. Murder is the only offence that attracts a mandatory life sentence.

Being investigated or prosecuted for murder, conspiracy to murder, manslaughter or corporate manslaughter is a very serious matter. You will need the most dedicated, experienced team available to you. At Watson Woodhouse Solicitors we have the experience and staff to ensure that we represent your best interests from the point of arrest to the conclusion of your case.

If you, or someone you know, are being investigated or charged with matters relating to Murder or Manslaughter please contact us immediately. The sooner you get in touch the sooner we can begin to build your case and ensure you receive the most relevant and timely advice possible. You may even have already instructed another firm of Solicitors. In this instance we can advise on transferring cases - the most important thing is to ensure you have the right team working for you./p>

The crime of robbery is defined as taking or attempting to take something of value by force or threat of force or by putting the victim in fear. A range of offences are covered, from attempted robbery, street robbery, armed robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. It is a much more serious offence than burglary by virtue of its use of violence and intimidation.

To be convicted of the offence it must be proved that the client used or threatened violence towards the victim and the client stole or attempted to steal an item or items of property from the victim. Robbery is an indictable only offence which means that it can only be dealt with in the Crown Court and usually carries a substantial sentence of imprisonment (robbery whilst in possession of a firearm attracts an automatic life sentence). In light of this it is essential to try and obtain detailed legal advice as early in the proceedings as possible.

Sexual offences include rape, sexual assault and assault by penetration. They are extremely serious and carry very lengthy custodial sentences.

The defence of such cases can be very distressing and complicated. Given the offence is often prosecuted only on the evidence of the victim of the alleged offence, it is essential to receive expert legal advice at the first opportunity.

Watson Woodhouse Solicitors have a team of Solicitors and in-house Counsel who are specialists in defending these types of proceedings. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have been subject to investigation or have been charged with any type of sex offence.

Global terrorist atrocities have let to the continuous drafting of legislation by the Government to deal with and eliminate arising offences. Given the nature of these crimes it is essential to obtain expert legal advice at an early stage.

New terrorism legislation is far reaching and enables the Police to detain suspects for longer than they would ordinarily be allowed. The associated investigation and prosecutions are often dealt with by officers and prosecutors who are specialists in this area of work and are often brought as a result of lengthy intelligence gathering exercises and cross border collaboration.

If you are suspected of or have been charged with any type of terrorism offence you must seek legal advice immediately. Our serious crime team will be happy to assist you.

Our firm is of the size and has the experience to be able to send a partner to Egypt to interview potential witnesses and gather evidence in a terrorist case.