From 1st April 2013 the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act will end legal aid for foreign national prisoner (FNP) deportation appeals unless they seek to argue deportation would be contrary to the refugee convention or be a breach of article 3 ECHR.
A real case studyThe defence of insanity is one which is rarely touched by Defence lawyers; it is raised in under one percent of criminal trials in the United Kingdom and only a quarter of those raised succeed. If a defendant has been charged with a criminal offence and there is any suspicion that that person is either currently suffering with mental health illness or was suffering from mental health illness at the time of the alleged offences; then there is a potential defence of insanity arising. The burden of proof is reversed onto the defence when insanity is raised. If the defence is successful at trial; the Jury must provide a special verdict of ‘not guilty by reason of insanity’.
Light-fingered staff in the workplace was at one time the main culprit, when it came to complaints businesses made about pens and A4 paper going missing. In recent years, thanks to the great advances in technology, theft in the workplace has reached new and unprecedented heights of sophistication and is proving positively catastrophic for many companies, especially those involved in the financial sector.
The idea behind money laundering is that criminals can effectively disguise the origins of the money they steal in one way or another. The criminal group generates an illegal profit and it is essential for their unhindered enjoyment of that profit that its origins be disguised in some way.
In countries where monogamy is the normal practice, such as in the UK, bigamy involves entering into a marriage arrangement with someone whilst still being legally married to someone else, and is considered a criminal act. If a bigamous marriage was entered into abroad, under some circumstances it may be recognised in the UK for legal purposes.
Defendants convicted of any kind of sentence, including a custodial sentence, have the right to appeal against the decision. If a prisoner is convicted at the Crown Court, for example, they may launch an appeal against the sentence at the Court of Appeal, and they do this by completing form NG to the Crown Court concerned within a period of not more than 28 days.
There is an offence commonly referred to as a “S5 Public Order” as it relates to the section number of the 1986 Act from which it is derived. The offence is committed when a person uses threatening abusive or insulting words or behaviour. The normal protocol for a police officer when he hears such words, would be to warn the person regarding their behaviour and if repeated, this often leads to an arrest.
How do you prove after having made a successful bail application to the Crown Court, that your client has been granted bail? The answer, rather unbelievably, is ‘with great difficulty’.
The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 is commonly known as the ‘anti-stalking law,’ but it does not actually use the word ‘stalking’ and does not properly define what constitutes ‘harassment.’ It is, in the end, down to the individual court to decide whether the conduct in a particular case amounts to harassment.
Given the seemingly unstoppable growth of the internet, there are ever more opportunities for using it for criminal purposes for personal gain. This is basically what Cyber crime is, illegal activity on the internet. There are numerous security risks that come with connecting up to a network and anyone with an internet connection, a decent PC and the right sort of knowledge has all they require for launching a career in software piracy, email espionage, credit card fraud and a whole raft of other illegal activities.
Intercepting someone else’s telephone calls is a criminal rather than a civil offence and can result in the imposition of a fine, a prison sentence of up to two years or both. There may also be civil actions involved in phone hacking cases, so the victims are able to sue the hacker for damages.
In the UK, it is against the law to carry guns or knives and even carrying an imitation or replica gun is illegal. Anyone caught carrying, selling or buying such weapons is liable to prosecution, for example, it is against the law for a shop to sell a knife to anyone under 18 years of age; this includes even cutlery and kitchen knives. It is also illegal for a shop to sell an imitation gun to anyone under 18 or indeed to sell realistic replica guns to anyone at all. If you purchase any such item and you are in that age bracket you will be prosecuted and are liable to serve a prison sentence.
If you find yourself being questioned by the police, at the police station or anywhere else, and whether or not you have been arrested, you are entitled to legal aid. Even if you have initially informed the police that you do not wish to see a solicitor you can subsequently change your mind at any stage. Legal aid is completely free and everyone is entitled to receive it when they are being questioned, whatever their savings or income level.
The worst sorts of corporate failures, in terms of efficient health and safety management can be effectively prosecuted by means of corporate manslaughter legislation.
Represented a mental health patient who made admissions regarding historic murders and sexual offences. The case involved very complex issues turning on mental capacity at that time as well as this the specialist team included the foremost forensic psychiatrists in their field.
In the last few days there have been a series of damage to property, burglary over a number of major cities in the UK, most notably in London. The Metropolitan Police number approximately 3000 of those only a small number are qualified and trained in tactical support, namely riots.
Duncan Lewis has a 24 hour emergency crime number 07920 077 057. If you or anyone you know has been arrested or maybe arrested , don't delay but call us immediatley for free advice and assistance at the police station.
Operation Overt was the largest operation to infiltrate what prosecutors said was a plot to murder people using liquid bombs on planes by using distilled concentrations of Hydrogen Peroxide masked as “Fizzy Drinks”.
We live in a democratic society where all citizens have the right to access justice and the right to a fair trial….don’t we? Unfortunately loss of funding to Citizens Advice Bureaus and the recent government plans set to reduce the legal aid budget by £350 million would suggest otherwise.
The emergence of new scientific evidence has resulted in the re-trial of two men previously acquitted of the murder of Stephen Lawrence. The 800 year old Double Jeopardy Rule preventing a person from being tried for the same crime twice was abolished 6 years ago in April 2005.
This case involved an organised gang, who stole cars to order over a relatively wide geographical area covered, between March/April 2011.
We in crime, continue to deal at ever increasing rates with individuals who have mental health difficulties but are living within the community. Regrettably the support systems that are supposed to be a primary care point for them appear to be failing everyone.
The new government can expect nothing but challenges in the coming months in terms of immigration, tax, the economy and banking reform. In terms of criminal law then what is in the national interest?
A prison designated with "units" designed to house the worst criminals and those with the highest risk of escape features as the most stringent form of detention in our prison system. These prisons are more commonly referred to as ‘super-max’, and as its name suggests seeks to ensure that the most dangerous criminals and those who pose the greatest threat to national security do not escape these walls.
Convicted defendants (and their partners) are facing higher, in some cases ruinous, legal costs. But what about those acquitted? Naturally, they do not have to meet the costs of their prosecution, but what of their own costs?
The government has announced plans to try and reduce the prison population by reviewing sentencing policy and stopping short custodial sentences. Coupled with this will be a reduction in funding for the probation service whilst at the same time paying private firms and groups according to how many prisoners they rehabilitate. The aim they say is to turn criminals into law abiding citizens.
The Home Secretary, Teresa May recently said “We need to make anti-social behaviour what it once was, unusual, abnormal and something to stand up to, instead of what it has become frequent, normal and tolerated…it is time to move beyond the ASBO.”
Duncan Lewis is happy announce that Crime Solicitor Andre Crump and Duncan Roberts, both based at Duncan Lewis Hackney Branch have recently become Crime Duty Solicitors.
Duncan Lewis is pleased to announce the appointment of Ian Powell to join us as the Crime Practice Manager at Duncan Lewis from 4 January 2011.
Duncan Lewis is happy to welcome six crime freelance consultants to Duncan Lewis who have all joined us from AP Law.
Duncan Lewis’ ever growing Crime department is set to expand further. The Legal Services Commission (LSC) has awarded a Crime contract for their office in Shepherd Bush.
Stacey qualified as a Solicitor in 2004 and joined Duncan Lewis in April 2010 specialising in Criminal Law. She has gained Police Station Advisor Accreditation as well as the Magistrates Court Duty Accreditation and joins Duncan Lewis as a Qualified Duty Solicitor.
Siobhan joined Duncan Lewis in January 2010 and is a Criminal Solicitor based at the Clapham Junction office.
An appearance in the criminal court may await a property owner who tried to be too clever with his local planning department
In an unusual case, the House of Lords has confirmed that a person cannot benefit from their own wrongdoing
A man who allowed his bank account to be used to lodge funds that amounted to criminal property was guilty of the crime of converting criminal property
The House of Lords has ruled that changes in the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 mean that lawyers who are defending children aged ten years or over who are charged with a crime cannot use the defence that children are incapable of committing a crime
In a significant decision, the court has ruled that a defendant in criminal proceedings cannot rely on the ‘right of silence’ to refuse to give up a password which will allow access to encrypted information held on his or her computer.
Jim Fitzpatrick, the Transport Minister, has set out new guidelines on penalties for speeding in a Road Safety consultation paper.
In principle, the notion of self-defence is straightforward. A person is entitled to use reasonable force to defend themselves against attack and in certain other circumstances.
When assessing the value of something for the purposes of making a confiscation order, the way the figure is arrived at is of importance, not least to the criminal whose assets are being seized.
The civil (as opposed to criminal) burden of proof is that of the ‘balance of probabilities’ – whether something is more probable than not.
The Court of Appeal has dismissed a £150,000 damages claim brought against the Royal British Legion by a woman who broke her leg when she fell into a hole in a patch of village green where a maypole used to be placed.
Under the current law, the offence of murder is committed when a person kills with intent or where death is the virtually certain outcome of their behaviour and they are aware of that. It is also murder when a death results from causing serious bodily harm with intent. A conviction for murder can currently be reduced to one of voluntary manslaughter where a defence of provocation or diminished responsibility (where the crime is committed when the person is not fully responsible for their actions) can be made out or where the death was part of a suicide pact.
Although not widely publicised, new legislation is coming into effect which will make it an offence for a person responsible for animals not to take reasonable steps to make sure that their needs are met. It may be surprising that this is new law, but the position in England prior to 6 April 2007 (the end of March in Wales) is that the law only comes into play in most cases when an animal has been subjected to cruelty.
Most travellers know that large quantities of cigarettes and tobacco can be brought back to the UK from another EU country, provided duty and tax have been paid on them in that country and they are for personal consumption only. In this context, personal consumption includes gifts to family and friends.
A recent Court of Appeal decision dealing with appeals against sentences by six drivers found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving has provided assistance in ascertaining the length of sentence that is likely to be imposed in such cases.
Recent reported increases in fraud (reports by accountants BDO Stoy Hayward and KPMG both indicate a rapidly increasing problem) will focus the minds of business managers on this issue. Fortunately, there is a new weapon against fraudsters – at least those whose frauds are detected – in the form of the Fraud Act 2006.
Police and courts are nightmares to most of us. We always try to avoid issues related to police and courts. Keith Richards quotes, “I’ve never had problem with drugs, I had problem with police”. This view is shared by the majority.
The courts seem to be showing increasing impatience with drivers who attempt to overturn convictions for speeding by raising technical objections to them.