Charles began his legal career working at what is now one of the largest criminal law firms in England and Wales. He represented clients who had been detained at police stations for a full spectrum of offences from assault to murder, theft to rape, drug dealing to death by dangerous driving. He was later retained as a trial advocate, dealing with a very high case load, working day and night in some of London’s toughest areas.
Charles gained experience and understanding in helping people with mental health issues, learning that mental issues are completely specific to the individual, often deeply rooted with hidden effects on day to day life that many people fail to appreciate.
Now heading up road traffic law at Mowbray Woodwards, his focus is on assisting individuals and businesses across a full range of road traffic offences. Charles regularly provides expert legal comment for the BBC.
“Motoring offences often involve the risk of individuals losing their driving licence through the accrual of penalty points (totting), or from a direct ban. Losing the ability to drive to work, drive for a living, pick the children up from school or even a simple shopping trip can cause serious pressure and uncertainty at home and at work. I draw on my background, adopt a winning approach and scrutinise the police allegation or prosecution case in order to offer clear, pragmatic advice and skilled representation to achieve the best possible outcome.”
Charles has passed his advanced driving test with the Institute of Advanced Motorists, expanding his knowledge of issues and standards that all motorists must consider.
Charles and the Criminal & Motoring team were recognised in the 2017 edition of The Legal 500, the UK's leading guide to law. They said:
The ‘committed and hard-working’ team of lawyers attract praise for having ‘a wealth of experience in the area of criminal defence law’.
The team have also made their debut in the well respected Chambers & Partners Guide this year, ranking in Band 1, alongside an impressive list of Bristol based firms.
As much as Charles loves the court room, he relishes the outdoor life and finds relaxation in cooking fine food.
Areas of Expertise
Recent Notable Cases
R v W - September 2017 – Acquittal at trial. Client accused of sexual assault. Fully denied and contested at trial. The prosecution evidence was full of inconsistencies which were carefully examined in court. The court was not satisfied that the assault took place and the defendant was acquitted.
R v T - July 2017 - The defendant was charged with driving otherwise in accordance with a license, driving without a seatbelt and driving whilst using a mobile phone. Charles prepared representations that were served on the police. Despite police evidence, the police reviewed the case and at a case management hearing at court, all three charges were dismissed. Charles’ client did not enter a police station or court once.
R v M - May 2017 - The defendant had pleaded guilty to being drunk in charge of a motor vehicle and was sentenced with their licence being endorsed with 10 points. Due to previous endorsements the total reached over 12 which required an exceptional hardship argument presented by Charles. This was successful and the defendant was not banned from driving. Soon after the defendant faced a further speeding allegation. Charles noticed that the prosecution had failed to provide the court with basic details of the offence within the allotted period of time. The speeding charge was withdrawn.
R v J – May 2017 – Appeal of sentence. The defendant received a 12 month driving ban in the magistrates’ court for totting after accumulating 18 penalty points. Charles appealed this case at the Crown Court and the 12 month ban was reduced to 2 months. As a result of the 2 month ban the 18 penalty points have been wiped out.
R v D (March 2017) - removal of driving license. Making an application after serving two years of a disqualification. Following carefully prepared submissions the court reduced the driving disqualification by 6 months. The court accepted the need of the applicant to drive to allow him to earn more money to care for his family.
R v AW – Magistrates Sentence (Feb 2017) – client sentenced in relation to drink driving. Magistrates ordered a disqualification lower than the recommended range accepting Charles’ representations.
R v JD – Magistrates Trial (Sep 2016) - client allegedly failed to provide a provisional sample of breath, drove without due care and attention and resist arrest. Acquitted at trial. Successfully arguing that the police had acted unlawfully and factually incorrect. Defence costs recovered. One of the police officers in associated proceedings stated that the defendant had paid for superior legal representation (Charles), who successfully cast doubt on the prosecution case, drawing on technical inconsistencies in the officers statements.
R v FM - Magistrates Trial (June 2016) – client allegedly speeding. The client was unable to attend for trial due to business commitments. Prosecution unable to prove speed. Acquitted.
R v FA -Magistrates Trial (2016) - A vulnerable client who was initially convicted of harassment related offences. Charles determinedly pursued this case. On appeal the prosecution did not open their case and the client was acquitted. The person who originally made a complaint regarding her has been charged and prosecuted for perverting the course of justice.
R v TH – Magistrates Trial (Nov 2016) – client charged with using a mobile phone whilst driving, obstructing a police officer and driving in a weight restricted area. The case was reliant on police witness accounts which the magistrates were not persuaded by. Acquitted on all charges.
R v AS – Magistrates Trial (Oct 2016) – client charged with driving without due care and attention. Fully denied the allegations. Attended court with witnesses to contest matter. The prosecution offered no evidence when they finally accepted that they could not prove the case.
Please note that if Charles is in court, a friendly member of the team will be available to speak to you and will put you in touch with Charles as soon as possible.
“Charles’ determined, analytical approach makes winning the norm”