Charles Cronin

Solicitor, Motoring & Criminal Law

t. 01225 400666

e.

About Charles

Charles is an expert criminal litigator with a full practice range developed over years of court and police station representation. He has extensive trial experience and can advise and represent you from the earliest concerns, through a police investigation, to the conclusion of a court case. Charles began his career as a Duty Solicitor working in and around London dealing with heavy court lists and serious crime. He now practices on a private basis which allows him to give the very best care and attention to each of his cases.

Charles has significant experience helping people who suffer with a variety of mental health issues which may have caused or contributed to the allegations that they face.  He has worked with people who have attempted suicide and those that have been diagnosed with anxiety and depression.  Charles understands the communication difficulties associated with Autism and the struggles faced in being properly diagnosed.

Charles has passed the Advanced Driving Test and is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists and is well placed and experienced in helping those facing motoring allegations.

Charles regularly provides the BBC with expert legal commentary.

Interests

As much as Charles loves the court room, he relishes the challenges of physical activity, training in jiu-jitsu and bush craft leading him to spend time in the great outdoors.

Charles is involved with www.3nchallenge.org which lead him to navigate and survive in the great northern wilderness of Ontario, Canada.  2018 saw Charles travel by canoe and on foot through 300km of arduous terrain raising money for research and the treatment of triple negative breast cancer at Guy’s Hospital, London.

This year will see Charles travel to the Arctic for another adventure with the 3NC team.

When relaxing at home, Charles can either be found gardening or listening to music whilst concocting new recipes in the kitchen.

Areas of Expertise

  • Sexual offences
  • Domestic assaults
  • Road traffic offences
  • Knives/bladed articles/offensive weapons

Recent Notable Cases

May 2019 Magistrates’ Court Sentence – Drink Driving Special Reasons. A suicide attempt in a vehicle found by the magistrates to be a special reason, the defendant was not disqualified from driving and was sentenced to a conditional discharge.

April 2019 Appeal - Speeding/exceptional hardship. The magistrates’ court disqualified the defendant from driving for 6 months. The decision was successfully appealed in the Crown Court. The defendant retained his driving licence.

February 2019 Magistrates’ Court Trial.  Driving with excess alcohol. Post driving consumption, technical defence, expert report. Not guilty verdict.

December 2018 The defendant was accused of racial abuse. There was no reliable evidence to support this and the complainant had already accepted assaulting the defendant. Charles made representations regarding the evidence and following this the case was dropped.

September 2018 The defendant was a professional driver and had been charged with careless driving. An off duty police officer provided evidence describing his driving as dangerous. The defendant denied the allegations and provided dash cam footage to prove his case. Regardless of the witness’s professional position as a police officer, the court accepted the dash cam evidence that corroborated the defendants account and accepted the application of the Highway Code as applied in this case by Charles. The defendant was found not guilty.

September 2018 The defendant was charged with speeding and entered a guilty plea.She already had 9 points endorsed on her licence. The magistrates endorsed a further 3 points in accordance with the sentencing guidelines meaning she had 12 points and faced a minimum 6 month disqualification from driving. Charles submitted that exceptional hardship would be caused if a ban was implemented. The loss of job, home and mental health issues were all taken into account. The defendant left court retaining her driving licence.

August 2018  The defendant was charged with speeding in excess of 108 mph and was facing a driving disqualification or an endorsement of 6 penalty points plus a fine. The defendant accepted driving at a lower speed of 90mph where an endorsement of 3 points and a fine would have been the appropriate sentence. The police refused to accept the lower speed and the court also refused to accept that the difference between the likely sentences did not warrant a contested hearing. Charles persisted and persuaded the Crown Prosecution Service to accept a plea to 90mph meaning the defendant was finally sentenced to a fine with 3 points being endorsed on his licence.

August 2018  The defendant was charged with careless driving following a significant road traffic collision on a major A road.  On review of the prosecution evidence it was clear the Police and the Crown Prosecution Service had chosen to ignore an independent witness statement that fully exonerated the defendant.  At Court Charles raised this issue and formally asked the Crown Prosecution Service to review the file and drop the case.  The Crown Prosecution Service initially refused but later served a notice of discontinuance having realised that Charles would raise evidence at trial that would show how unfairly the innocent defendant had been treated.

July 2018 The defendant was charged with benefit fraud to the value of over £10,000. She had made admissions during a police interview and faced a significant prison sentence. Despite the severity of her case Charles was able to mitigate and conclude the case with his client receiving a fine rather than a prison sentence. 

July 2018 The Crown Court sitting at Bristol. The defendant was charged with dangerous driving, possession of an offensive weapon and drug driving.  He entered guilty pleas at the magistrates’ court but due to the serious nature of the offences his case was committed to the Crown Court for sentence.  He was to expect a prison sentence in excess of 12 months.  Charles carefully mitigated on the defendants behalf and persuaded the Judge to sentence the defendant to a community order and an 18 month driving ban. A very lenient sentence in the circumstances.

June 2018 The defendant was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH). The defendant fell victim to two individuals who accused him of pushing then kicking a man on the ground. Charles raised significant inconsistencies within the prosecution witness accounts and reports to the emergency services.  This detailed and ‘no stone left unturned’ approach led to the magistrates finding the prosecution witnesses’ evidence very concerning and finding the defendants’ evidence consistent and credible. The defendant was acquitted having been fully believed by the court. Charles obtained permission for an application to recover the defendant’s costs.

March 2018 The defendant instructed Charles to appeal a driving ban of 6 months that he received for accruing too many penalty points in the magistrates court. Charles advised and assisted the defendant with preparing his case. Charles represented him at court persuading the Crown Court that the ban was wrong. The defendant left court without a driving ban.

January 2018 - Client was contacted by the police regarding a historic matter which he knew nothing about. He had been accused of speeding and failing to provide driver details years before. The court had found him guilty in his absence and had spent years trying to find him to proceed to sentence. The client knew nothing of this and been living at the same house, registered to vote with vehicles registered to that address. At court he was warned by the magistrates’ that he would lose his driving licence if he was guilty of the offences.  Charles was instructed who then made submissions that it was not in the public interest to pursue the case due to its age and other reasons.  The police accepted these submissions and the case was withdrawn. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

February 2017 Magistrates Sentence Client sentenced in relation to drink driving.  Magistrates ordered a disqualification lower than the recommended range accepting Charles’ representations.

2016 Magistrates Trial  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.

2016 Magistrates Trial Client allegedly speeding.  The client was unable to attend for trial due to business commitments. Prosecution unable to prove speed.  Acquitted.

2016 Magistrates Trial  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.

2016 Magistrates Trial  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.

2016 Magistrates Trial 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.

"Thank you so much for the hard work and determination you put into my case, for guiding me so well through the court case and reassuring me. I'm sure for you it was just another day in court, but to me it was genuinely frightening. I really do appreciate everything you have done for me."