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Do I have a right to Legal Advice prior to providing a specimen when suspected of drink driving?

Can I speak to a solicitor prior to providing a specimen?  Failing to provide a specimen of breath, urine or blood without reasonable excuse is a criminal offence . Often, a person may have a reasonable excuse for not providing a sample meaning...

Can parental responsibility be removed from an absent father?

Firstly, what is parental responsibility? Parental responsibility governs parents’ relationship with their children. Parties with parental responsibility have the ability to make decisions (usually jointly where more than one party has it) including...

He loves me, he loves me not...

He loves me, he loves me not... (A modern fairytale, or is it?) * N.B. The characters described in this story are fictitious. Sally* and David* met online, after David had sent her a friend request on Facebook, thinking she looked...

What happens if I am arrested?

Whether you are arrested for a driving offence, shoplifting or murder the process of making an arrest and detention is the same. If you have never been in trouble with the Police before, you are unlikely to know exactly what happens if you are arrested. ...

I have been accused of lying about my child's illness - what does this mean?

FII stands for “Fabricated or Induced Illness” and it occurs where a parent or carer of a child exaggerates or causes a child to present with symptoms of an illness. FII is considered as a rare form of child abuse with the mother of a child being...

Court Bail: An Overview & Bail Conditions

At Emery Johnson Astills our highly skilled and experienced criminal defence advocates regularly represent clients before the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts to deal with the issue of bail. Can you be bailed by the Magistrates' Court? If remanded...

What is involved in selling my property?

A sale transaction may sound simple and straightforward but there is a lot of work that needs to be carried out by Solicitors. Sale transactions can easily become complicated or prolonged. Not all transactions are the same and this is due to various reasons...

We are participating in Will Aid

Did you know that since 1988, the legal profession has raised over £20 million for Will Aid charities!   Johnson Astills have teamed up with Will Aid this year to help support their fundraising campaign which involves nine of the...

Are the laws on using a mobile phone whilst driving changing?

Following a successful appeal against a conviction of using a mobile phone whilst driving the law around driving and mobile phones has been criticised by two High Court Judges. At the hearing the High Court judges agreed that mobile phone laws from 2003 had...

Emery Johnson Astills has been busy!

Leicester Pride 2019 Emery Johnson Astills had a successful day at Leicester Pride on Saturday 31 st August 2019. The event is Leicester’s annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) festival and takes place at Victoria Park which is a...

Tenancy Deposit Protection

If you are a Landlord renting a residential property under an assured shorthold tenancy that started after 6 April 2007, you are required to put the Tenant’s deposit in a government backed tenancy deposit scheme. The deposit must be placed into a...

Should I make a Lasting Power of Attorney?

At Emery Johnson Astills , our Wills and Probate Department can take the stress away and can assist with drafting and registering your LPAs. A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets the donor (you) appoint one or more people known...

Should the Special Guardianship Order be Reformed?

Background of the Special Guardianship Order (SGO): The purpose of an SGO is to give one or more individuals parental responsibility (PR) and to exercise this ‘to the exclusion of all others’.  A Special Guardian can exercise their PR...

Social Services are involved with my family - when should I seek legal advice?

For the Local Authority to become involved with your family a referral has to be made. A referral can be made from a variety of agencies such as education, health and the police. The first formal stage when legal advice should be obtained is when a Child...

The Official Solicitor in Family Proceedings - who are they and what is their role?

The Official Solicitor’s full job title is the Official Solicitor to Senior Courts. If someone lacks capacity within the meaning of Mental Capacity Act 2005 to conduct proceedings that person will require a litigation friend in those proceedings. ...

What are reporting restrictions and do they apply to social media?

What are “reporting resticitions” In certain cases the court issues “reporting restrictions” preventing anything being published that would lead to the identification of a witness in the case. This could mean that you can’t...

ID documentation required in a Conveyancing transaction

Why do I need to provide so many ID documents to my Solicitor in a Conveyancing transaction?   The risk of fraud in the legal market has significantly increased and become an attractive target for fraudsters, particularly in conveyancing. The...

Will I need to go to Court to sort out finances in divorce?

There is a common perception that when a couple get divorced, their finances are automatically settled. Unfortunately this is not the case as finances are considered as a completely separate entity to the divorce. This means that if you have started divorce...

Children Act 1989 - 30 Years On......

The Children Act 1989 was granted Royal Assent on 16 th November 1989 and came into force on 14 th October 1991. It made radical changes to the law relating to children and their families both in relation to private and public law.  The Act made...

What is Threshold Criteria in Case Proceedings?

The Threshold Criteria are the facts that the Local Authority must prove if they want the Court to make a Care or Supervision Order. The Threshold Criteria is found under Section 31 of the Children Act 1989. In order to justify making a care or supervision...

What is IHT?

By Jessica Huczmann, Solicitor in our Wills and Probate Team Reading time: approximately 4 minutes   What is IHT? IHT is the abbreviated term used for Inheritance Tax. This is a tax on the estate of someone who has died. There is usually no tax...

My social worker has asked me to engage with Functional Family Therapy (FFT) - what is this?

When the Local Authority has concerns about the welfare of a child in a person’s care, they may complete various assessments to establish what support the family may need. Early Help and Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST) are both forms of intensive...

My child has been made a Ward of Court - what does this mean?

Under the power of Wardship, the High Court can become a legal guardian for a child. This is only used when it has become necessary to protect and safeguard a child’s welfare. What is Wardship? Wardship is the name that is given to Court...

Oritse Williams - Found not guilty of rape

We have been following the case of Oritse Williams from chart topping boyband JLS closely after he was charged with rape 3 years ago, today he was found not guilty by a jury after just two hours. Whilst he has now been declared a free man by the criminal...

Is there a need for an inquiry into abusive parents' access to children?

Dozens of parents have told the BBC Victoria Derbyshire programme their abusive ex-partners were granted unsupervised contact with their child. When parents separate and they are unable to agree arrangements for their children, they may find themselves...

What is an intermediary and how can they assist me at Court?

For some people Court is a very stressful and daunting place, particularly if they are vulnerable in terms of mental health issues or learning disabilities. What is an intermediary? An intermediary works within the Justice system with vulnerable victims,...

Equity Release - What is it?

Equity release is a way to access the cash tied up in your property if you are over the age of 55. You can take the money you release in several smaller amounts or as a lump sum and you do not need to have a fully paid off mortgage to do this. Two Equity...

Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental health is not talked about enough. Statistics show that mental health issues are much more common that you would think. 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem each year 1 in 6 people experience a mental health problem each week ...

Mobile Phone Penalties

It has been illegal to use mobile phones whilst driving since 2003.  However despite many high-profile campaigns, including adverts on the radio and TV, motorists still continue to text and call whilst driving causing accidents, which in some incidents...

Is it time to redeem your Help to Buy Equity Scheme Loan?

In 2013, the Government created the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme to assist first time buyers and homeowners buy a property. Under the scheme, the Government lends up to 20% of the cost of your newly built home, so you’ll only need a 5% cash deposit...

Will my Children be placed together in Foster Care?

If you and your children are going through Care Proceedings and it has been agreed that a Sibling Attachment Assessment is required, here’s what to expect… Sibling relationships are emotionally powerful and critically important not only in...

What is a Section 7 report?

A Section 7 report is a report written by a CAFCASS worker or a social worker from the Local Authority in cases where an application has been made to the Court under Section 8 of The Children Act 1989. A Section 7 report may be required in private...

Isabel Wilson wins Senior Solicitor of the Year at LLS Awards

Isabel Wilson, a Partner and highly experienced Solicitor-Advocate in the criminal team at Emery Johnson Astills, has been awarded Senior Solicitor of the Year by the Leicestershire Law Society. The awards which took place at Athena on Friday 26 th ...

I was only shoved around a bit and shouted at. That can't be domestic abuse, can it?

All too often, particularly if it occurs over a long period of time, victims of domestic abuse seek advice from us, not really realising the extent of the abuse.  They become desensitised. Many of our clients, on speaking with us, tell us things like...

Social Services have suggested that I have neglected my children - what does this mean?

One of the first images that pops into a person’s mind when they hear that someone has social services involvement with their children is that of children who are severely neglected. The NSPCC website defines neglect as the “ongoing failure to...

Why are rape victims being told their case may be dropped?

Rape victims are among those who will be asked to hand their smart phones over to the police or risk the prosecution against the suspect being dropped. Why have rape cases been collapsing? This new measure follows the collapse of several rape and...

Bank Holiday Drinking? Reminder to Drivers....

It is easy to get caught up in the bank holiday spirit, but, did you know that you may possibly still be over the drink drive limit the following day? Offences we deal with include being in charge of a vehicle while above the legal limit or unfit through...

What is arbitration?

Arbitration is an alternative form of dispute resolution where parties are encouraged to work together to reach a reasonable outcome for all parties involved, without going to Court. A qualified arbitrator is agreed upon by parties to adjudicate the dispute,...

Probate fee hike delay

In order to obtain a Grant of Representation from the Probate Registry (which includes a Grant of Probate), an application fee must be paid. The application fee is currently a flat fee of £155 if a Solicitor makes the application or £215 if the...

Upskirting Offence - 12th April 2019

‘Upskirting’ is the term used when referring to the action of a camera or mobile phone being placed beneath a persons skirt to take a ‘voyeuristic’ photograph without their permission. Today, a new law has come into effect making...

Detectors for using a mobile phone whilst driving

Forces are rolling out technology that show when motorists are using their phones. A sign will flash at the driver telling them to stop using their mobile - but the detectors cannot tell if it is a passenger or driver using the phone. The technology will ...

How could Family Law principles change after Brexit?

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, there are several family law agreements that will be effected and potentially no longer apply to the UK. This will mainly affect the principles surrounding the country that family law disputes are heard in and how the...

Is it a good thing to name and shame third parties during divorce proceedings?

Whilst on a basic human level, naming the co-respondent seems logical, maybe even obvious and necessary; as specialist family solicitors we advise our clients not to include this information in a divorce petition. But Why? To begin with,  there is...

Failed to provide a breath specimen - What happens next?

If you are suspected of driving with excess alcohol in your body, you may be asked to provide a breath sample at the roadside. You will be arrested and take to the police station if that sample is positive. Why do I have to do provide a further sample at...

What is Private FDR or a Private Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing?

A Financial Dispute Resolution, also known as a FDR is a court hearing in relation to financial proceedings. Attendance at a Court FDR is compulsory. The hearing is listed for parties in financial matters to obtain advice from a Judge regarding the likely...

Divorce- Reforms to end the "blame game"

In the last year, in England and Wales, some 118,000 people commenced divorce proceedings. Currently divorce laws mean spouses have to provide evidence for a divorce if one partner does not agree to it. Under current laws, unless someone can prove there was...

Can an Interim Care Order last beyond a child's 17th birthday?

Our Care team at Emery Johnson Astills can assist on a range of Child Law related matters. Whether that is representation at case conferences and/or at Court. We have specialist solicitors who can assist you. In relation to the question posted, the law on...

What is Exceptional Hardship?

Are you at risk from being disqualified from driving? Can you argue Exceptional Hardship?   View our video presented by Michelle Harding, Partner and Solicitor Advocate in our Criminal department .   For advice and assistance please contact...

Female Genital Mutilation, what's changed?

In 2019, the press published the shocking story of a mother who became the first person to be convicted of performing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in England and Wales. The mother was sentenced to 11 years in prison. FGM is illegal in the UK. The World...

What is a Knife Crime Prevention Order?

In order to enhance police powers the Government is seeking an amendment to the Offensive Weapons Bill to introduce Knife Crime Prevention Orders. What is a Knife Crime Prevention Order? It is proposed that anyone aged 12 or over can be made subject to...
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