Our specialist Criminal Defence team, headed by Paul Hinton, operates throughout South Wales from our office at Pontypridd. We represent defendants in the Police Station, Youth Court, Magistrates’ Court, Crown Court and Court of Appeal. We are able to attend the Police Station if required, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We deal with all forms of criminal offences ranging from basic offences such as Shoplift up to complex cases such as Rape and Murder.  We specialise in Road Traffic Act cases, for example exceeding the speed limit, driving without due care and attention, excess alcohol and drug driving.

We represent defendants who are either publically funded by the Legal Aid Agency, and for those Defendants who are not eligible for Legal Aid, on a private fee basis.


The Criminal Department consists of Helen Smith             , 

along with Lynne Ford who is a secretary.  

Helen Smith is an experienced Criminal Law specialist. She regularly represents Defendants at the Police Station, Magistrates’ Court and Crown Court and has represented literally hundreds of defendants in matters ranging from the most minor to the most serious. Her time is 100% dedicated to criminal defence work.

Helen Smith is supervised by Mr Paul Hinton, a Solicitor with a number of years experience in dealing with all types of criminal matters.

Costs Information

Our quotes cover summary only offences under Part 1 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984 to be dealt with at the Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates’ Court. For cases heard at other Magistrates’ Courts the below fixed fees apply but subject to a supplement determined by the distance we are required to travel to reach the applicable court and the time it takes us to travel. For travelling to and from the applicable court we charge at £100 plus VAT per hour in addition to the fixed fee and the fuel costs of travelling to and from that court will be charged in addition at the rate of 0.45p per mile.

Guilty plea (dealt with that day) – Fixed Fee of £250.00 plus VAT*
Not Guilty Plea (listed for Trial) – Fixed Fee to be agreed dependant on work required*

* If a Guilty Plea,payments are to be made in full prior to the hearing. If a Not Guilty plea, payments are to be made in full prior to the Trial, but an initial payment of £250 is required*

The Guilty Plea Fixed Fee includes:

  • Attendance/Preparation:
      • considering evidence
      • taking your instructions
      • providing advice on likely sentence
  • Attendance and representation at a single hearing at the Magistrates Court
  • Further attendances at the Magistrates Court will attract a fee of £100.00 plus VAT per attendance (plus travel time and mileage as specified above if the case at heard other than at Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates’ Court.

The Guilty Plea fixed fee does not include:

  • Instruction of any expert witnesses
  • Taking statements from any witnesses
  • Advice and assistance or representation in relation to a special reasons hearing
  • Advice or assistance in relation to any appeal
  • Travelling to provide representation at  a Magistrates Court other than Merthyr Tydfil
  • Preparation/Representation at Trial

Key Stages

The key stages of your matter are based on the presumption that you will enter a guilty plea and have a date for your hearing and consist of the following;

  • Meet with your solicitor to provide instructions on what happened.
  • We will consider initial disclosure and any other evidence and provide advice to you
  • Arranging to take and/or consider defence witness statements if necessary (this will

have an additional cost, to be agreed)

  • We will explain the court procedure to you so you know what to expect on the day of

your hearing, and the sentencing options available to the court.

  • We will conduct any further preparatory work, obtain further instructions from you if

necessary and answer any follow up queries you have.
We cannot provide a timescale for  your hearing  as this depends on the court listing for
that day.

  • We will attend court on the day and meet with you before going before the Justices. We

anticipate being at court for between 1 and 2 hours (should there not be the need for a Pre Sentence Report)

  • We will discuss the outcome with you. If advice is required on appeal, this will carry an

additional cost.

Time Scales

We are clearly in the hands of the court as to how long it talks for summary only matters to conclude.

If the matter is resolved by way of a Guilty plea, we anticipate the matter being resolved at one hearing.

If the matter is the subject of a Not Guilty plea we anticipate there will be two hearings, a plea hearing and a trial. The number of hearings and the time scale will of course depend upon the court’s adjudication in any individual matter and could last up to 3 months from the date the summons was received.

Please contact our Criminal Department for all crime queries on 01443 402420. Should you require any assistance out of office hours, please contact 07525911477



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