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I was sat in my car after drinking - am I guilty of a Criminal Offence?

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Can I be arrested for sitting in my car drinking ?  Yes if you are sitting in the driver’s seat or are close to your car as if you are about to get in and drive it, the police can arrest you for being drunk in charge of a vehicle. Can I be...

Can I challenge my Police Bail Conditions?

Zara Cowan
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If you feel that the police have imposed strict and unworkable bail conditions on you, our expert criminal defence solicitors at Johnson Astills can make an application to the Magistrates’ Court to have them changed or removed. What is pre charge...

Dressing up for Halloween? Don't dress and drive!

Olivia Peck
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If you are considering dressing up for Halloween, to go to a party as a scary character, be careful that your costume does not obstruct your ability to drive. If your costume could affect your driving, you could be in breach of the Highway Code. An example...

What is an application for Exceptional Hardship?

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An application for exceptional hardship can be made when a driver has accumulated 12 or more penalty points on their licence within any 3 year period, resulting in the Court determining whether they are to be disqualified from driving under the totting up...

New Domestic Abuse Offences as of 7th June 2022

Olivia Peck
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Section 70 Domestic Abuse Act 2021, introduced offences of non-fatal strangulation and non-fatal suffocation, these offences came into force on 7 th June 2022. What is the offence of strangulation or suffocation? The legislation states that a person...

Sentencing for sexual offending involving a "sting" operation

Olivia Peck
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From 31 st May 2022, the sentencing guidelines for child sexual offences where no child existed or is harmed will be revised. What are the changes? The new guidelines coming into force provide Judges and Magistrates with guidance on how to sentence...

Sexual Offences & Sexsomnia (Sex while you sleep)

Helen Johnson
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WHAT IS SEXSOMNIA?  Sexsomnia is sexual behaviour while asleep. It is recognised in both sleep disorder and psychiatric classifications. Sexsomnia occurs when the brain is disassociated or partially disassociated and covers a wide range of sexual...

Caught driving whilst using a mobile phone?

Olivia Peck
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New legislation comes into force on 25 th March 2022 that prohibits the use, while driving a motor vehicle, of hand-held mobile telephones or other interactive communication devices, when performing an interactive communication function. This widens the...

WHAT SPEED CAN I DO BEFORE I GET A SPEEDING TICKET?

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The moment of dread. Did I activate that speed camera? Will I receive a ticket in the post? According to the latest official data 74% of all motoring offences are speed related and can be a major contributing factor to deaths and serious injuries on our...

Many people will know that it is an offence to have an offensive weapon in a public place but did you know that it can be a criminal offence to have this in a private dwelling?

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The increase in crimes of this nature has led to the implementation of the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 specifically Section 46. This came into force on the 14 th July 2021. This section made amendments to the Criminal Justice Act 1988 which included banning...

What happens if the police want to speak to me?

Olivia Peck
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If the police wish to speak with you under caution it is extremely important that you understand your legal rights. Even if you are not under arrest or placed in police custody you still have the right to free and independent legal advice. Voluntary...

Police Targeting Drink Driving at Christmas

Olivia Peck
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The Christmas season is coming... As the Christmas season approaches the party season gets underway. You may see Christmas drink drive campaigns starting to appear from local police forces, which will mean that once again police will be targeting drink...

I only threatened to share the image - I didn't actually do it - why do I have to go to Court?

Zara Cowan
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Many will know it is already an offence to disclose a private sexual film or photograph in which another person appears without the consent of that person. Earlier this year and because of the Domestic Abuse Bill, a new offence has been created under...

Having a drink whilst out on your Scooter, think again....

Olivia Peck
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Owning an E-Scooter legally is currently difficult, as there are strict rules on any privately owned E-Scooter to be used lawfully on a road or public place. The rider must have insurance, licence, safety equipment and vehicle tax. The Law E-Scooters are...

What if you're caught in charge of your motor vehicle whilst over the prescribed limit?

Olivia Peck
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With restrictions lifting there is an increase in drink driving offences , not only can you find yourself arrested for an offence of driving a motor vehicle whilst over the prescribed limited but also if you are found to be drunk in charge of a motor...

How long will my information stay on Police Record?

Zara Cowan
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The Police National Computer (PNC) holds all records of arrests and summons, regardless of the outcome, and is kept until the individual is 100 years old. DNA samples/profiles and fingerprints can be taken and retained as set out in the Police and...

Failing to provide a breath specimen the consequences

Olivia Peck
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The police can request a specimen of breath when they have reasonable grounds to suspect that you were driving, attempted to drive or drunk in charge of a vehicle where alcohol or drugs have been consumed. It is a criminal offence to refuse to provide a...

Revocation of driving licence for new drivers

Olivia Peck
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As a new driver your licence is particularly important to you, however are you aware that your driving licence is automatically revoked by the DVLA, if you build up six or more  penalty points  within two years of passing your first driving test? ...

Restricting your right to protest: the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 2019-2021

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On 16 th March 2021, the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill passed its Second Reading in the House of Commons. The Bill has already caused controversy within the media, particularly in relation to the restrictions it seeks to bring in, in respect of...

New Sentencing Guidelines for Drugs Offences

Zara Cowan
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The 1 st April 2021 will see updated and new sentencing guidelines for some drug offences come into force. These will apply to all cases sentenced on or after 1 st April 2021.   The updated and new guidelines are designed to take into consideration...

Did you know there is a legal requirement to restrain your dog in the car?

Olivia Peck
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Research shows that over a third of drivers fail to restrain pet passengers, with 1 in 10 allowing  pets to sit in the front seat of the car, and a further 9% of drivers, allowing their pet to sit on the back seat without a harness or seatbelt...

Mental Disorders and Sentencing - New Guidelines

Zara Cowan
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A new guideline for sentencing offenders with mental disorders, developmental disorders and neurological impairments has recently come into force. The new guidelines provide transparency and clarity for sentencing offenders with development disorders,...

Criminal Courts To Remain Open During Third Lockdown

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As the country goes into a third national lockdown the Lord Chancellor has confirmed that the criminal courts will not be closed. Attending court is a legal exemption to the national lockdown ‘stay at home’ restriction. Judges, jurors, court...

Special Reasons argument for Driving without Insurance

Olivia Peck
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What is a  Special Reasons argument? A special reasons argument is put forward to the Court in order to ask the court not to disqualify a motorist from driving or endorsing their licence with penalty points. A conviction for most road traffic offences...

Fail to Provide Driver Details - Company Prosecutions

Helen Johnson
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Does a Company have to provide details of their drivers’ (s172 notice)? If a vehicle is registered at DVLA as being owned by a Company then the Company must provide details of the driver's identity. How is driver information requested? The...

Affray just really what is it?

Olivia Peck
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Affray is a public order offence, the offence is committed if a person threatens or uses unlawful violence or force towards another person, which causes another person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for their safety. If two or more...

I have been accused of Rape. How is a Rape Investigated?

Zara Cowan
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It is regularly reported in the newspapers that the number of Rape prosecutions are falling. Early this year in order to identify areas for improvement the Crown Prosecution Service published a five-year strategy to look at all aspects of how Rape cases are...

Can my information be shared between my Care Proceedings and Criminal Proceedings?

Chelsea  Harris
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The simple answer is yes. Your information can be disclosed and shared between proceedings governed by the 2013 protocol and good practice model . In Care Proceedings, there is a form Annex D that the Local Authority will complete and send to the police to...

Supply of a psychoactive substance and offering to supply

Olivia Peck
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While many of these drugs were once legal, under the Psychoactive Substances Act, 2016, it is now illegal to produce, supply, or import them for human consumption, including for personal use. However, possession for personal use is not an offence. The...

I have been charged with Voyeurism aka "Up skirting"- what does this mean?

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What is Voyeurism? Voyeurism is a relatively new offence which was implemented by the Voyeurism (Offences) Act, 2019 and introduced 2 new offences. A person commits voyeurism under Section 67A (1): where they operate equipment, under another...

Bank Holiday Drinking? A warning to all from Johnson Astills

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Following the difficult times we have all suffered this year with the Covid-19 pandemic it will be easy to get caught up in the bank holiday spirit, especially as this bank holiday the bars in Leicester and other surrounding areas will finally be open, but,...

Can I use modern slavery as a defence to a crime?

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What is modern slavery? An offence of Modern Slavery is committed when someone holds another in slavery or servitude or when another person is made to perform forced or compulsory labour. What does modern slavery involve? The person must know or ought...