Terrorism offences are covered by several pieces of legislation including the Terrorism Act 2000 (Amended 2006) and the Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001.
In cases of fund raising for terrorist organisations or diverting funds for the purposes of terrorism, a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act may also be made.
Section 1 of the Terrorism Act defines terrorism as:
The use or threat of serious force against person, property, health or safety or electronic system, which is done for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, ideological or racial cause, which is designed to influence a government or to intimidate the public, or involves the use of firearms or explosives.
The definition can cover a wide range of circumstances – there is no single offence of “terrorism” as such and a charge relating to supporting to a proscribed organisation or banned organisation is just one of a number of proscription offences under the Terrorism Act.
Because of the various threats around the world, terrorism prosecutions are becoming more common – and it is vital to seek expert legal advice from a specialist terrorism solicitors like Duncan Lewis if under investigation for terrorism links, or if interview under caution or detention is likely.
Under the Terrorism Act, the Home Secretary may proscribe an organisation, if the organisation:
Other factors which might be taken into account include:
Once an organisation is proscribed, membership of the organisation, inviting others to support the organisation, holding meetings in support of a proscribed organisation – or wearing clothing or carrying items in public “to arouse reasonable suspicion that an individual is a member or supporter of the proscribed organisation” are all criminal offences, whether the organisation is UK-based or is based overseas.
Investigations into members of proscribed organisations can involve detention or a Control Order, which may in effect place an individual under house arrest and barred from using a telephone or computer. In some cases there may be breaches of human rights under the Human Rights Act – as well as Restraint Orders which freeze financial assets while the investigation is conducted.
Proscription offences carry a maximum sentence of ten years in prison and/or a fine.
In cases where a member of a banned organisation has been convicted for wearing clothes or displaying materials identifying them as a member of a proscribed organisation, the maximum penalty is six months in prison and/or a fine of up to £5,000.
Taking legal advice at an early stage of a police or National Crime Agency (NCA) investigation is vital.
Duncan Lewis terrorism solicitors have acknowledged expertise in complex cases involving terrorism charges and cross-border prosecutions, as well as successful departments able to advise on Immigration law, Civil Liberties and the Human Rights Act and claims for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment, all of which may be relevant in a terrorism allegation.
The Duncan Lewis Crime Department is ranked in Legal 500 2014 for its General Crime and White Collar Fraud Work.
Duncan Lewis crime lawyers have acknowledged expertise in case building based on a sound knowledge of the criminal justice system – and the ability to assemble compelling evidence and documentation in cases involving belonging to a proscribed organisation.
Duncan Lewis represents clients at Police Stations, Magistrates’ Courts, Crown Courts, and at Appeal Courts such as the Court of Appeal – and has highly experienced Higher Court Advocates with a background in conducting serious matters such as terrorism, murder and rape.
Clients do not have to wait until they have been arrested to contact Duncan Lewis about any criminal charges – our team can advise from the initial stages of a police inquiry involving allegations of supporting a proscribed organisation.
Duncan Lewis crime lawyers can also advise on appeals against conviction and sentencing for proscription offences.
All Duncan Lewis terrorism solicitors are highly trained and highly experienced – and are dedicated to offering the best criminal defence services to our clients at police stations, courts and prisons.
There are Duncan Lewis offices nationwide – including more than 20 offices across London and the southeast and in all major cities across England and Wales.
A member of the Duncan Lewis criminal defence team can usually reach a client at a police station or court within 45 minutes to offer expert legal advice on all terrorism charges and for police interview under caution.
We aim for the best possible outcome for clients facing charges for supporting a proscribed organisation – call Duncan Lewis any time on 020 7923 4020 for expert legal advice.
For 24/7 help at a police station in England and Wales, call the Duncan Lewis Emergency Hotline on 020 7275 2036.
Duncan Lewis can advise further on Legal Aid at the initial client meeting.
In cases where a client may not be eligible for Legal Aid, Duncan Lewis terrorism solicitors offer competitively-priced fee levels for private client representation – with fixed fees and advance notice of any costs whenever possible.
In some criminal cases, after the event insurance may be an option and Duncan Lewis will advise on an appropriate level of insurance to cover the potential costs of defending a criminal case and to pay any costs imposed by the court.
Call Duncan Lewis Terrorism Solicitors to discuss offences relating to supporting a proscribed organisation on 020 7923 4020.