Criminal Defence

Criminal Defence Solicitors
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Licensing lawyers for criminal defence for licensed premises – Ince solicitors

A Premises Licence is a valuable asset, but it comes with responsibilities for the licence holder, underpinned by the requirement to promote the four licensing objectives. If convicted of offences relating to licensing law, the penalties are often harsh and can result in the loss of your Personal Licence.

If you and your premises face a criminal investigation, the police may begin with an interview under caution. We are able to prepare you for this interview and advise you accordingly whilst ensuring all steps are taken to avoid prosecution and conviction.

At the same time, there may be parallel proceedings brought by the police or the licensing authority under the Licensing Act 2003 to review your Premises Licence. You can find more information on licence reviews here.

If a decision is made to bring criminal proceedings, licence holders may have a defence if they can show they took all reasonable precautions to avoid committing an offence. We have considerable experience in arguing this defence on behalf of our clients. A key way to demonstrate that you have taken all reasonable precautions to avoid committing an offence, is to give your staff detailed training on how they can comply with the licensing objectives. Our specialist tutors can offer training which covers this.You can find out more information on licensing training here

We have acted in criminal proceedings for pub companies and supermarket chains, as well as for individual licence holders prosecuted for breaches of licensing law and other legislation.

Examples of our current and previous work includes:

  • We act for companies and individuals accused of underage alcohol sales by putting forward due diligence defences.
  • We have acted for a national drinks supplier accused of selling alcohol without a licence. Our engagement ensured no prosecution was brought.
  • We successfully appealed a Magistrates Court sentence against a client who had pled guilty to nine licensing and food safety related offences.
  • We acted for a shopkeeper in Slough who was accused of having non-duty paid cigarettes and alcohol for sale in his shop. His premises licence was revoked following a licence review. We were instructed to appeal the decision, ensuring that his licence was restored pending the appeal, which was eventually successful.
  • We acted for an operator of a convenience store who faced 23 charges under the Licensing Act 2003. The shopkeeper was acquitted of all charges.