The prospect of being under investigation for a criminal offence can be overwhelming. In times of uncertainty, a criminal defence solicitor will help you to achieve the best possible outcome.
Whatever the nature of your case, finding an experienced, thorough, hard-working criminal defence solicitor can put you in a reassuring position.
Rachel Fletcher is a Partner and Head of Crime at Slater Heelis. She is a Criminal Defence Solicitor, and in the past has worked alongside the notorious “Mr Loophole,” the controversial lawyer so nicknamed by the Press for obvious reasons.
What is your typical client?
As a Criminal Defence Solicitor, my typical client varies from people accused of drink-driving and motoring offences, petty crimes and minor assaults, all the way through to the more serious accusations such as murder. Increasingly, though, I am seeing a lot of cases involving young people as a result of social media.
For an example of some of the crime being organised through social media, take a look at this article from The Independent.
What does your role involve?
I will be with a client from the very start of an investigation through to the sentencing, so it encompasses a lot.
My role starts at the police station immediately following an arrest. This can mean that I am often called at 2:00 or 3:00 am to represent my client during questioning. I will then accompany the client through the entire process. Depending on the case, it can start in the Magistrates Court, and in some cases progress to the Crown Court, where I will act as the accused person’s Criminal Defence Solicitor.
Visit the dedicated page on our website for further information on what our Criminal Defence Solicitors can do for you if you are accused.
What are your biggest challenges?
There are many, but recent frustrations surround the ‘investigation’ stage, pre-charge. To put things into perspective, it can sometimes take the police up to a year to search an electronic device before charges are even brought. This puts a serious barrier in the way of proceedings and causes a lot of unnecessary stress and uncertainty for both the persons accused of a crime and the accuser, and this often extends to their families too.
What are the highlights of your job as a Criminal Defence Solicitor?
Helping people. People often ask me how I do it, defend criminals. My answer is that most of my cases involve vulnerable people who have made mistakes that need help. I’m passionate about my job and I enjoy helping people through a difficult time in their life. We can all make mistakes. Everyone is entitled to a defence, it’s one of our basic legal rights and it must be protected.
What do her clients say?
Rachel is so greatly dedicated to her job and it shows not only in the results that she achieves for her clients but in the feedback that she receives from them, too. Clients love her straightforward advice and often come to her by recommendation.
Nothing phases Rachel and she treats every case with the utmost dedication. Even having dealt with high profile and celebrity clients, she has the same levels of understanding and devotion to justice for everybody. Rachel prides herself on giving honest, robust advice. She is also a Law Society mentor under the Reignite Mentoring Programme which supports individuals seeking to return to, or progress in, their careers in law.
If you would like to speak with our Criminal Defence Solicitors about representation, please get in touch with our Crime and Regulation team.