Criminal Solicitor Newcastle

Criminal Defence

If you’re facing criminal investigation or proceedings, our criminal defence solicitors in Newcastle and North Tyneside can provide expert legal assistance.

How we can help

Our experienced and respected criminal solicitors have an excellent track record in successfully defending our clients facing criminal charges not only at Police Stations and Magistrates’ Courts but also at the Crown Court and The Court of Appeal.

We operate a 24-hour emergency service, 365 days a year to ensure that you receive continuous high-quality service throughout your case. Our emergency number is 07800 995 885.

We provide an unrivalled experience across the breadth of the Criminal Justice System, from Initial Police Station Attendance, through the Magistrates and Crown Court to the Court of Appeal and beyond with our team of criminal defence lawyers Newcastle.

As a fixture of the Wallsend and Newcastle upon Tyne landscapes, we have a knowledge of clients going back a number of generations and are uniquely personable with all of our clients regardless of their background or the criminal offences or allegations they face.

Additionally, our criminal defence lawyers will represent you no matter where in England and Wales you are based. We handle every type of criminal matter from corporate high-value white collar crime, Health & Safety Prosecutions and Trade Description cases, through to the prosecution of minor crimes.

Our criminal defence solicitors are here to assist you and have an unrivalled depth of knowledge and experience across our team of advocates and support staff.

Hay & Kilner's criminal defence team deliver our services to defined quality standards. We encourage and act on feedback to improve everything we do. We hold the Law Society’s Lexcel Practice Management Standard, and the ISO 9001 quality standard.

We are members of LawNet, the UK’s leading network of independent law firms and were awarded the LawNet Mark of Excellence Award in recognition of our defence solicitors commitment to delivering an excellent level of client care.

Legal aid

We provide advice and assistance to those who are eligible for legal aid funding and will assess an individual’s financial eligibility at the commencement of a case.

For those who are not entitled to legal aid we offer competitive legal representation rates and are able to tailor any financial cost to an individual, whether paying per hour or on a fixed fee basis. We can tailor the level of representation and are transparent from the outset in terms of our fees.

  • Fraud

    Fraud allegations can be damaging for you as an individual or to your business. It is essential that you receive expert legal advice immediately and suitable action is taken without delay.
    We regularly represent individuals and businesses in multi-million-pound fraud allegations, tax evasion, money laundering and mortgage and property fraud.

    Our lawyers have extensive experience of dealing with the various agencies that conduct fraud investigations, such as the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) – (previously the Financial Services Authority (FSA)) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – and trading standards departments.

    If you end up under investigation you could have you bank account or assets frozen under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 prior to being interviewed or taken to court. This will likely cause huge disruption to your day-to-day life or the running of your business. We have expertise in these types of cases, to remove or vary such orders, so that you can continue as usual whilst the investigation is ongoing.

  • Money Laundering

    We specialise in defending clients at all stages of money laundering investigations.

    If you are prosecuted, we will proactively defend your case, thoroughly reviewing and challenging all the evidence to rebut any prosecution inferences. We have access to some of the most respected barristers and experts with specialist knowledge in wide ranging business areas to assist in the most complex and lengthy cases.

    Under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, investigating authorities can apply to restrain the assets of a company or an individual if they believe they are the proceeds of criminality. We have the experience and expertise to deal with these orders and have them either discharged or varied to enable you to continue with your business or day to day life.

  • Firearms


    Receiving advice at an early stage may avoid your certificate being revoked or not renewed. If revocation has already taken place, we may be able to negotiate with the police to see if they will reconsider their decision. If this is not possible then you can appeal to the crown court within 21 days of the decision.

    We can assist with:

    • Firearm and shotgun certificate application
    • Advice on revocation or refusal of certificates
    • Appeals against revocation of certificates
    • Licensing for shooting clubs
    • Firearms offences and penalties


    We have considerable experience in offences relating to the illegal possession of firearms and imitation firearms, illegal conversion of weapons and possession of antique and de-activated weapons, the criminal use of firearms and poaching offences.
    Firearms offences often attract lengthy prison sentences. If you are arrested, or are to be interviewed by the police on suspicion of a firearms offence, it is important you source expert legal advice immediately.

  • Driving Offences

    We understand how important your driving licence is and how losing it could have a damaging impact for both your job and your family.

    Whether you have been charged or have received a notice of intended prosecution for a motoring or driving offence, we can assist you. We can take the stress and anxiety away by representing you at court and putting forward a strong defence or mitigation.

    We have extensive experience in arguing ‘Special Reasons’ to avoid penalty points being endorsed on a driving licence or advancing ‘Exceptional Hardship’ arguments to avoid being disqualified under the courts totting-up provisions.

    We are also able to apply to re-open matters where defendants have been convicted in their absence because they were unaware of the proceedings. This typically results in the penalty points or disqualification being set aside and an opportunity to put forward a defence or mitigation.

    We strive to be as open and honest as possible about our fees. Costs for driving offences.

  • Murder & Manslaughter

    We have considerable experience in dealing with complex murder and manslaughter cases and provide a dedicated and dependable service. We also understand the effect such proceedings have on family members and the need for them to be kept up to date throughout the case as it progresses.

    We have access to the most experienced Leading Counsel, Barristers and forensic experts and we will work together to secure the best possible outcome for you.

  • Sexual Offences

    This is often a complex area of the law that requires discretion, understanding and sensitivity.
    The social stigma, publicity and potential damage to reputation can be traumatic if you are the person being accused. We can provide expert advice and support you and your family when you need it most. Our priority is to achieve the best possible outcome whilst limiting any damage to your reputation.

    Our lawyers specialise in representing those accused of the following allegations:

    • Rape and sexual assault
    • Historic sexual abuse
    • Child abuse
    • Internet offences such as indecent images and publication of private images
    • Malicious communications
    • Breaches or variations of Sexual Offences Prevention Orders (SOPOs), Sexual Risk Orders (SROs) and Sexual Harm Prevention Orders (SHPOs); and
    • Issues relating to the Sex Offenders Register
  • Drugs Offences

    We have a vast expertise in defending all types of drugs related offences – from those arrested for the possession of small quantities of drugs, through to complex and demanding multi-handed conspiracies involving multiple defendants. Recent experience in cases involving evidence derived from so called “encro-chat” mobile telephone phone devices has honed our expertise in drafting and presenting complicated legal arguments, ensuring those who instruct our firm are always properly and carefully represented.

  • Prison Law

    Our Prison Law Contract with the Legal Aid Agency allows us to represent the interests of clients even after sentence. Mark Styles brings a huge depth of experience to the department, regularly representing those post sentence who face everything from contested parole hearings to determine their release, to internal disciplinary hearings for more minor disciplinary infractions.

I have used Mark Harrison for many years, his level of professionalism and the knowledge he has is second to none! Would highly recommend.


Hay & Kilner are a local firm who punch way above their weight. Their criminal and regulatory team has real strength in depth from the most junior associate to the senior partner. They can be relied upon to provide timely, accurate and tactically astute advice and assistance from before arrests up to the court of appeal.

Legal 500

The star performers are Mark Harrison, Matthew Purves, Jonathan Cousins and Karen Minhas. They show superior dedication and skill in representing their lay clients. They demonstrate real patience and empathy when dealing with young defendants or those who suffer from mental ill health. I rely upon them for timely and accurate instructions, and we always work effectively as a team.

Legal 500

I feel what makes this team unique to other firms is their understanding of the complex needs of a lot of children and young adults who sadly enter the criminal justice system. This includes the team gaining a good understanding of any trauma they have experienced, asking for reports and advice on any additional needs or communication issues they may have and ensuring this is adhered to during interviews and court hearings. I also feel that the team’s interaction with children and vulnerable young adults is positive and that they display empathy.

Legal 500

I just wanted to say a huge thank you for all your help with my Grandson, and as usual doing your magic. It's was such a relief when the other solicitors pulled out and you took this case.


I would like to thank you and everyone else who was involved with my case. I will be forever grateful that you all have enabled me another chance at life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and take care.


Hay and Kilner are a team of dedicated, well informed and caring individuals. They work tirelessly to ensure that their clients are well prepared and well equipped to deal with the trial process whilst ensuring that clients are realistic about their prospects. They take the time to understand their clients and ensure that they are well resources and able to ensure that they are up to date with changes in legislation and court and sentencing practice.

Legal 500

All of the people at Hay and Kilner are extremely impressive individuals.

Legal 500

Hay & Kilner are a fantastic firm. Their criminal team are well led and they have considerable strength and depth.

Legal 500

Hay & Kilner provide sensible and timely advice to their clients and clearly place their best interests at the heart of the case.

Legal 500

Meet the team

Get in touch

For further information on how we can help, click below to leave us a message and we will be back in touch as soon as possible.

‘Hay & Kilner’ and ‘Hay & Kilner Law Firm’ are both trading names of Hay & Kilner LLP, a limited liability partnership registered in England & Wales with registered number OC418767. Our registered office is at The Lumen, St James' Boulevard, Newcastle Helix, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 5BZ and we are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (Authorisation number 643191). We use the word ‘partner’ to refer to a member of Hay & Kilner LLP. A list of the members is available at our registered office.