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for over 50 years,

we have succeeded for our clients in every court in the land

Crimes of Violence

We defend clients accused of crimes of violence in courts throughout Scotland. If you have been accused of a violent crime, no matter how serious, we can help.

Our solicitors and solicitor advocates can represent you in every court in Scotland. No matter how seemingly insurmountable the odds, our solicitors have the expertise, experience and guile to provide a robust and thorough defence.

We defend clients charged with:


An assault, in law, is any attack or act which is intended to cause injury, whether or not it actually does. Even if the act only causes the victim to fear some bodily harm, that is sufficient in law for the charge to be made out.

An assault cannot be committed by accident – there must be some intent on the part of the accused. Similarly, you cannot consent to being assaulted. Just because you were involved in a ‘square-go’ does not mean you cannot be convicted of assault.

Assault is aggravated if there is some factor which makes the offence worse. These ‘aggravations’ include sectarian or racial elements to the offence or the use of weapons. The seriousness of the assault can also be an aggravation. If the victim is left scarred or is put in fear of their life, then the assault may be considered aggravated. The penalties for aggravated assault are obviously more serious than for common assault.

The main defence positions in relation to a charge of assault are self-defence and provocation. The criteria for establishing these defences are high. As such, you should take expert advice at the earliest possible opportunity.

Offensive Weapons or Carrying a Knife

It is an offense to be in charge of an offensive weapon in a public place in Scotland. Given Scotland’s high level of knife crime this is an offence taken particularly seriously by the authorities. The offence is committed when an individual carries a weapon which is designed or adapted for the purposes of causing injury. Defences to this charge include ‘reasonable excuse’ (a mechanic walking home in possession of a forgotten screwdriver, for instance) or ‘lawful authority’ – this includes situations like a soldier in possession of a Bayonet on parade.

One of the issues which arises increasingly is the legality of stop and search procedures, which the police often mis-conduct. For instance, did they act with reasonable suspicion?

You can be convicted for carrying a knife above a certain length if you have no reasonable excuse, such as requiring the knife for work.

If you have been stopped by the police in possession of an offensive weapon, we can help. Call us today for immediate expert advice.

Murder, Attempted Murder and Culpable Homicide

Clearly, charges of murder or attempted murder are among the most serious of all criminal charges. In Scotland, contrary to popular belief, a charge of murder carries with it a mandatory life sentence. If you, or a loved one, have been charged with murder contact us immediately.

Murder, in Scots law, is any act which ends the life of another person either intentionally, or with a wicked or utterly reckless disregard for the consequences of the actions which caused the death.

There are defences to a charge of murder including self-defence or provocation. Some defences are ‘complete’ defences which means the accused is exonerated while others reduce the seriousness of the charge. Our Solicitor advocates have extensive experience of defending clients charged with even the most serious of crimes and can represent you in every court in Scotland. Call us immediately for advice and representation. 

Culpable homicide is a lesser charge than murder. The crime of culpable homicide (sometimes erroneously called ‘manslaughter’) is committed when an act or failure to act results in the loss of the victim’s life. There are many cases where a simple fistfight or push has resulted in death, with a charge of culpable homicide the result. With a skilled defence, our solicitors may be able to reduce a charge of murder to one of culpable homicide which may considerably reduce the sentence.

Domestic Violence

In the last few years, the authorities in Scotland have cracked down on domestic abuse. There is now a ‘Zero tolerance’ policy in effect.

Domestic assaults and Breaches of the Peace are now prosecuted in specialist domestic violence courts.

A charge of domestic abuse is a serious one and is an extremely difficult time for all concerned.

If you have been charged with domestic abuse then you may be granted bail but only with special conditions. This will be granted with special conditions which will prevent you from contacting or approaching your partner and possibly any children you have together. As such, you should contact us without delay. We can advise on the best possible approach to maximise your chances of a successful outcome.

In our experience it is very often the case that people who have otherwise been law-abiding, good, responsible members of society are suddenly brought into the criminal justice system and find it difficult to cope because of the potential consequences as far as the relationship, employment and life are concerned. Many of these cases, in our experience, should not be in the Court at all. But the zero tolerance attitude to domestic results in many people being dragged through the system each year, only for Beltrami’s criminal defence lawyers to secure an acquittal at the end of the trial.

Why Beltrami? The law firm that other lawyers recommend

Having acted in more than 150,000 cases in 60 years in every court in Scotland, the firm boasts a wealth of legal knowledge and expertise, particularly in the field of criminal law, employing creative legal thinkers to interpret the law and provide imaginative legal problem solving techniques.

Our team is led by Gary McAteer. Comprising 4 Solicitor Advocates, 1 Queens Counsel and 9 Solicitors along with qualified support staff, we boast unrivalled criminal defence expertise.

The Legal 500 place us in their top tier for crime, fraud and licensing law and note that we enjoy “An unrivalled reputation in Glasgow”.

We are the criminal lawyers other lawyers recommend. No matter how serious an offence you have been charged with, Beltrami and company have the skills and expertise to defend you.

Contact Beltrami & Company

Beltrami and Company offer a high quality service to all clients, whether the case is legal aided or privately funded. Clients can be assured of complete confidentiality and discretion.

Beltrami & Company are conveniently based near Glasgow city centre but operate throughout Scotland. The firm offers a 24-hour, 365-day a year service for clients in police custody.  Any calls to our offices out with normal business hours can be dealt with by an experienced solicitor.

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