Am I eligible to apply for criminal legal aid and how do I do it?

Am I eligible to apply for criminal legal aid and how do I do it?

If you are taken to a police station and interviewed under caution or arrested, you are entitled to free legal advice regardless of your financial situation. Legal aid at court To apply for legal aid at court, you will automatically qualify if you: are under 18 receive specific state benefits, which are: income support income-based job seeker’s allowance guaranteed state pension credit income-related employment and support allowance Universal Credit If these do not apply to…

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Can a young person receive a community sentence?

Can a young person receive a community sentence?

If the court gives you a community sentence, you will have to do unpaid community service or attend education or treatment programmes. You wont be locked up. Find out about the types of community sentences you can get. Why is a community sentence given to a young person? If you are under 18 and found guilty of a first or minor crime, the court will usually give you a community sentence. Community sentences: mean you…

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Can children receive criminal convictions?

Can children receive criminal convictions?

If a child commits a crime and is apprehended by the police, they may receive a criminal conviction depending on the circumstances. How do police deal with children? If the police think that a young person has been involved in a crime, they can stop them anywhere in public; however, if they go to their home, they should speak to the parents or carer first. If the police arrest someone under 18 and take them…

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Can I appeal a criminal conviction?

Can I appeal a criminal conviction?

If you disagree with the verdict reached in a Magistrates’ or Crown Court, you may be able to appeal against the conviction in an appellate court. If you would like to appeal a criminal conviction, you should first seek specialist legal advice. If your case is being appealed from a magistrates’ court, the appellate court will be the Crown Court. However, if you were originally convicted in a magistrates’ court, appealed at the Crown Court…

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Can I appeal a drink driving conviction?

Can I appeal a drink driving conviction?

Yes, you an appeal a drink driving conviction. There are several different types of drink driving offences. All, except causing death by drink driving, are tried initially in the Magistrates’ Court, with either a district judge presiding or a panel of three lay magistrates. The trial is a summary trial, without a jury. If you are found guilty of a drink driving sentence, the Court will impose a sentence on you – and will ordinarily…

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Can I be punished for having sex in public?

Can I be punished for having sex in public?

If you are caught having sex in public then it is possible that you will be charged with a criminal offence. The law and the punishment evoked as a result of breaking it will largely depend on the circumstances in which you are caught having sex. Whilst it is understandable that people can get carried away in the moment, it is also reasonable that there must be some kind of law protecting people, and particularly…

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Can I be tried for the same offence twice?

Can I be tried for the same offence twice?

There was a time when a defendant could not be tried for the same offence twice. This ruling, often referred to as “double jeopardy”, was on the basis that as the individual had been found not guilty, it should be left at that. This was to avoid a scenario where an innocent party could be continually retried until the police, or prosecution, got the result they were looking for. It could perhaps also be seen…

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Can I earn money if I am in prison?

Can I earn money if I am in prison?

For security reasons, prisons throughout England and Wales prohibit working prisoners being paid in the form of notes and coins. However, as a prisoner, you will earn ‘credit’ instead, which goes towards an account in your name that you can use to purchase items such as toiletries and cigarettes. Your account is held by the prison and you can earn the privilege to receive top-ups from family members and friends. The Prison Service offers work…

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Can I get compensation as a victim of crime?

Can I get compensation as a victim of crime?

If you have been the victim of a violent crime, you could be eligible to receive compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). CICA is a government organisation that can pay money to anyone who has been physically or mentally injured as the innocent victim of a violent crime. If you require further help on a matter of criminal law you can use our solicitor directory to the right of this article to look for…

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Can I get protection as a victim or witness to a crime?

Can I get protection as a victim or witness to a crime?

If you’re a victim of crime or a witness, you shouldn’t be afraid to go the police or give evidence in court. There are laws and services to protect you. Find out what they are and how they can help you. If you’re afraid to come forward If you’ve been a victim of crime or witnessed one, you may be feeling upset or worried. You may have doubts about coming forward to the police or…

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Can I get rehabilitation and treatment after being charged with drink driving?

Can I get rehabilitation and treatment after being charged with drink driving?

If you are convicted of drink driving in the UK, the sentencing authority (usually the magistrates’ court in England and Wales or the sheriff in Scotland) may give you the opportunity to attend a rehabilitation course. You will have to pay for the course, but ordinarily the court will reduce the duration of your driving ban if you complete the course. Course content The rehabilitation courses usually take place in several sessions over a number…

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Can I make a medical negligence claim as a prisoner?

Can I make a medical negligence claim as a prisoner?

Arguably as a result of an increasing prison population, coupled with budgetary restraints in the prison service and the NHS, medical negligence claims from prisoners have been on the rise. Indeed, over £10 million in compensation has been awarded to prisoners over the last five years, and a significant proportion of this has been as a result of medical negligence claims. What level of healthcare are prisoners entitled to? Under the European Convention on Human…

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Can I sue if I am the victim of a crime?

Can I sue if I am the victim of a crime?

If you suffered an injury, property damage, or theft as a result of a crime, you may be able to sue the perpetrator for compensation — even if he or she is acquitted of all criminal charges. Following the crime, you should keep a record of all the expenses you incur, lost earnings or profits, and any money you received as a result of the offence (e.g., from your insurance company). Do not throw away…

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Can I use force to protect my home from intruders?

Can I use force to protect my home from intruders?

Being confronted by an intruder in your own home can be a terrifying experience. Fortunately, it is rare. However, confusion exists among members of the general public about the right of householders to defend their homes against intruders. This guide summarises the legal position.   What is reasonable force? If a crime is being committed inside your home, you can use ‘reasonable force’ to: Protect yourself and others ‘in the heat of the moment,’ which…

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Can I use self defence to protect myself from a violent crime?

Can I use self defence to protect myself from a violent crime?

Self defence is often argued as a general defence to a number of crimes, particularly in relation to offences against the person. Strictly speaking, self defence is not actually a defence to a crime but rather a claim that a lawful amount of force was used as opposed to an unlawful amount. An example to demonstrate this point is the fact that acting under duress is a defence: you admit that you caused the illegal…

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Can parents be held responsible for a child’s anti-social behaviour?

Can parents be held responsible for a child’s anti-social behaviour?

If a child falls foul of the law, their parents can occasionally be held legally responsible if: a) their child continually gets into trouble b) they do not take reasonable steps to control their child’s behaviour. What measures can be taken against parents for their child’s illegal conduct? A number of supportive measures can be applied to parents in an effort to prevent their child repeating the offending behaviour. Normally, these are voluntary in nature…

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Can someone else open my post?

Can someone else open my post?

Unfortunately there are thousands of cases in the UK of individuals not receiving their post. This may be due to a variety of reasons including the post being intercepted by somebody else. It appears that many people are not aware that opening or throwing away somebody else’s post is illegal in the UK, providing certain criteria are met. Postal Services Act 2000 Under the Postal Services Act 2000: “A person commits an offence if he,…

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Charged with drink driving – what should I do?

Charged with drink driving – what should I do?

1. Consult a solicitor Do not underestimate how seriously the criminal justice system views drink driving. Courts impose far stiffer penalties for drink driving convictions than other road traffic offences. If you’ve been charged with a drink driving related offence, you need to know the law and consider your position very carefully. In every case, you are strongly advised to seek legal counsel. A solicitor will explain the elements of the offence you’ve been charged…

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Crime victims FAQs

Crime victims FAQs

I am a victim of crime. Do I have to report it? You have no legal obligation to report the crime to the police. If you fail to report the crime, however, the police cannot bring the perpetrator to justice. Reporting the crime should deter the wrongdoer from committing the offence again and may protect others from becoming victims. Even if you feel okay and that the crime was relatively minor, you should give careful…

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Drink driving defence: do I need a solicitor?

Drink driving defence: do I need a solicitor?

If you’ve been charged with a drink driving offence, you need to consider your position very carefully as the penalties can be severe. In every case, you are strongly advised to seek legal advice. Mounting a defence If you don’t think you’re guilty of committing a drink driving offence, you’ll probably need to challenge the scientific evidence advanced by the police and Crown Prosecution Service. Proving the prosecution evidence is unreliable is usually very hard….

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Drink driving FAQs

Drink driving FAQs

Frequently asked questions about drink driving What is the drink driving limit? It illegal to drive or be in charge of a vehicle after consuming so much alcohol that the proportion of it in the blood, breath, or urine exceeds the ‘prescribed limit’, which is currently set at: 35 milligrammes (mg) of alcohol in 100 millilitres (ml) of breath; 80 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood; or 107 mg of alcohol in 100…

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How can a court order protect me?

How can a court order protect me?

A court order is a ruling by a court, usually made by a judge or panel of judges, that often declares that something must be done or that something should not be done. As it is an order from a court, the order carries the force of law, and a failure to comply with a court order can often result in a contempt of court charge, or a variety of punishments. Court orders are used…

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How can I contact Victim Support?

How can I contact Victim Support?

Victim Support is a national charity for victims of crime. Local schemes offer information and support to victims of crime, witnesses, their families and friends, whether or not it has been reported and regardless of when it happened. It also operates Crown Court Witness Services in all crown courts in England and Wales. Victim Support Contact point Victim Support Address National Office Hallam House 56-60 Hallam Street London W1W 6JL Phone number National Office 020…

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How can I get offenders to improve my neighbourhood?

How can I get offenders to improve my neighbourhood?

If there’s something you think may improve your neighbourhood, like removing graffiti, litter or clearing an overgrown public area, let your local Probation Service know. They can get the work done by offenders as part of their punishment. It’s a scheme called Community Payback. Suggest a project for Community Payback If you live in England or Wales, you can suggest projects that will improve your neighbourhood by contacting your local Probation Service. You can suggest…

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How can I keep my child safe from knife crime?

How can I keep my child safe from knife crime?

It can be distressing to think that your child may be involved in something as serious and dangerous as knife crime. It may be that your child is not carrying a knife, but they may be keeping company with people who are. The consequences of not acting on any suspicion you have are too severe, so you must try to do something about it. This guide will provide you with some steps you can take…

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How can I keep my child safe while out and about?

How can I keep my child safe while out and about?

Occasionally, young children are vulnerable even when you are with them. To keep them safe when you are out on the streets, take these precautions: Keep your children close to you and certainly within your view or that of another adult you know and trust Use a harness for your toddler. This will keep them nearby, even if you happen to get distracted momentarily When you and your child are out of the house, always…

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How can I prevent my child from getting involved in crime?

How can I prevent my child from getting involved in crime?

To help prevent your child getting involved in crime, it is crucial to understand the motivation for young people offending in the first place. Why do children get involved in crime? There is no universal set of reasons that explain why young people get involved in crime. However, there are a number of features, which in combination, can make them more likely to engage in criminal activity. This includes: Academic underperformance Truanting Challenging family dynamics…

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How can I protect my belongings from criminals?

How can I protect my belongings from criminals?

Everyone wants their belongings to be safe and secure, especially in their own home. This guide will give you valuable hints and tips on how to protect your belongings from criminals. If you require further help on a matter of criminal law you can use our solicitor directory to the right of this article to look for legal advice near you.     Protecting your keys Key safety is an important aspect of home security. If…

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How can I protect my child from drug-related crime?

How can I protect my child from drug-related crime?

The main reason children do not get involved in drug-related crime – which includes alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs – is because of their parents. This guide will show you a few ways you can build a relationship with your children so that you can protect them from drug-related crime. Encourage open communication with your children The more you know about your children (and the more they know about you), the easier it will be…

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How can I protect my children when they leave home?

How can I protect my children when they leave home?

It can be a worrying time when your child leaves home for the first time – whether it is to move into their own place or to go to university and live in their private quarters or halls of residence. To protect your child from crime when they leave home for the first time, it is a good idea to pass on crime prevention tips that they can incorporate into their everyday lives. Safeguard your…

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How can I protect my home from being burgled?

How can I protect my home from being burgled?

If your home is not fitted with any security measures, it is much more likely that you will experience being burgled at some point. However, by just taking a few simple steps, you can protect your home from burglary.   Here are a few tips: Every time you leave your home – even if only for a short time – lock all doors and windows. Remember to double-lock any UPVC doors by lifting the handle…

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How can I protect myself from crime?

How can I protect myself from crime?

There are many things you can do to prevent yourself becoming a victim of crime on the streets, at home and in your car. The least costly measure you can adopt to protect yourself against crime is to develop security-conscious habits and make them a part of your daily routine to make you feel less vulnerable.   On the streets When you are walking on the streets, be alert and look confident Avoid walking on…

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How can I protect myself from online harassment?

How can I protect myself from online harassment?

Social media has exploded over the past decade with the internet enabling people to contact each other from all over the world instantly and often. Whilst the thriving nature of social media has brought numerous advantages, inevitably there have been some negative effects. Indeed, there have been an increasing number of harassment allegations made following the surge in social networking. As a result of the pace with which social media has expanded throughout the world,…

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How can I protect the belongings in my car from criminals?

How can I protect the belongings in my car from criminals?

Burglars and thieves are constantly on the lookout for vulnerable targets – whether that is your home or your car. This guide provides you with advice on how to protect your belongings from car thieves.   Statistics show that a car that has been fitted with special security equipment is over 10 times safer than one that has not been so equipped. Electronic engine immobilisers significantly reduce the likelihood of a car being stolen in…

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How can I report extremism and terrorism online?

How can I report extremism and terrorism online?

The internet is used by some people to promote terrorism and extremism. You can challenge and report extremist or terrorist content you find online which you feel is offensive, or illegal. Find out what makes online content illegal and how to report it. What makes offensive content illegal Seen something online that’s worried you? Not all offensive content is illegal. The Terrorism Acts 2000 and 2006 made it illegal to: have or share information that…

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How can I stop my child being involved in gangs?

How can I stop my child being involved in gangs?

Your child may join a gang or start one of their own, thinking that doing so will protect them and give them fast access to money. However, the reality is very different.   What is a gang? A gang is a group of three or more persons who may be involved in criminal activities, such as violence and drug dealing. Organised street gangs typically have an established leader who runs the gang and its members…

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How can I stop my mobile phone being stolen?

How can I stop my mobile phone being stolen?

This guide explains what you should do to prevent your mobile phone being stolen, the precautions you should take in the event that your phone is stolen and what you should do afterwards.   Prevention  In the streets during the day – Try to avoid carrying your phone where potential thieves can see it. It is good to get into the habit of placing it in your front pockets or zip-up hand and shoulder bags. On…

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How do I apply to become a magistrate?

How do I apply to become a magistrate?

What is a magistrate? Derived from the Latin ‘magistratus,’ which translates as ‘administrator,’ a magistrate is a civil officer who administers the law. A magistrate sits in a court that handles minor offences. They also hold preliminary hearings for more serious matters. Who can become a magistrate? A magistrate is a volunteer drawn from the local community served by the court in which they sit – the magistrates’ court. Ideally, the magistrates’ candidate pool should…

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How do I find a court?

How do I find a court?

You can search for your nearest court to find out about how you can attend court cases. Overview The vast majority of court cases are open to the public. Being able to contact and attend your local court is an important part of your democratic rights. How to use this service This online service allows you to search for your local court information like contact details, opening times, facilities available and maps. Court finder Disclaimer:…

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How do I report a crime?

How do I report a crime?

This page explains what you should do if you are the victim of a crime or see a crime being committed. If you are the victim of a crime, or see one being committed, it is important that you report it to the police. You can: go to your nearest police station; phone 999 (only if it is an emergency). If you need an interpreter, tell the person who answers the call which language you…

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How do I report non-emergency crime?

How do I report non-emergency crime?

What can I do if I am a victim or a witness to a non-emergency crime If you are aware a crime has been committed but it is unnecessary for police to rush to the scene then you can use a non-emergency telephone number to report the crime. The number, which is available in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, is – 101 When should I use the 101 number? The 101 number can be…

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How do I stay safe online?

How do I stay safe online?

The internet is a world of opportunities, but it can also be a dangerous place, especially when you are not web-savvy. Here are some tips that will keep you safe while you are online.   Keep your machine clean Keep your security software up-to-date: ensuring that you have the most recent security software, internet browser and operating system are solid defences against viruses, malware and other online dangers. Turn on software updates: if the option…

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How do I volunteer as a magistrate?

How do I volunteer as a magistrate?

What is a magistrate? Magistrates are regular citizens who volunteer to hear court cases in their community. Normally, each case is heard by a panel of three magistrates, including one who is trained to act as a chairperson. In court, a legal adviser gives magistrates legal advice and ensures that they follow the correct procedures.   What are the qualifications for serving as a magistrate? Although you do not need to hold formal qualifications or…

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How do the criminal courts work?

How do the criminal courts work?

Criminal courts handle cases where a crime has been committed and there is sufficient evidence collected against the alleged offender for there to be a reasonable prospect of conviction. If you require further help on a matter of property law you can use our solicitor directory to the right of this article to look for legal advice near you.    Magistrates’ Court All criminal cases start in the Magistrates’ Court and most of them will…

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How does the prison service deal with a mentally ill offender?

How does the prison service deal with a mentally ill offender?

What is a mentally ill offender? There are various terms applied to people with mental illness in the criminal justice system, such as: Mentally disordered offender Prisoner-patient Prisoner with mental illness.   There is no one definition of mental disorder and a wide range of disorders can be categorised as mental illness, including common mental health problems such as anxiety, depressive disorders and psychosis. What are prison primary care services? Present healthcare policy states that…

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How is sentencing worked out?

How is sentencing worked out?

Sentencing is the act of determining a suitable punishment after someone has admitted guilt, or been found guilty, of a crime. In the UK sentencing is usually carried out by a member of the judiciary, often a magistrate or judge. Sentences for crimes vary enormously. They vary between crimes, with the seriousness of the offence usually calling for a harsher punishment, but they also vary for the same offence, reflecting differing circumstances that may have…

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How will a drink driving conviction affect my career?

How will a drink driving conviction affect my career?

How will a drink driving conviction affect my career?

Depending on the field you work in, a drink driving conviction may have a significant impact on your employment and job prospects. Indeed, as discussed below, a conviction may mean the end of your career in certain professions. If you need legal advice in situations such as this you can contact a local solicitor through our solicitor directory. Do I have to notify my employer? Some employment contracts stipulate that you tell your employer immediately…

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I don’t think I was over the limit – what should I do?

I don’t think I was over the limit – what should I do?

So you don’t think you were over the limit. But the police say you were, and they probably have test results to prove it. In this situation, you may wish to challenge the results. However, it is usually very difficult to try to argue in court that the evidence against you is unreliable. Most defendants who succeed manage to either convince the court that the breath test machine calibrations were outside acceptable boundaries or demonstrate…

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I have been charged with a crime. What should I do?

I have been charged with a crime. What should I do?

Once you have been arrested for a crime, you have the legal right to consult a criminal solicitor who will advise you of your rights, the charges you face and the potential punishments that can be meted out. When you are charged, you will be given a charge sheet, which details the crime you are accused of having committed. Your solicitor will guide you through the procedure. If you have been charged with a crime…

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Is it illegal to be a vigilante?

Is it illegal to be a vigilante?

Vigilante comes from the Spanish word ‘vigilare’, meaning ‘to keep watch’. A vigilante is someone who gets together with a group of like-minded people to protect their property or local community. This type of action is generally taken when it is felt that the police are not providing sufficient protection and people need to make a stand to protect themselves and their property. Taking direct action to prevent criminals from attacking your own and your…

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Is there any defence to drink driving?

Is there any defence to drink driving?

For the most part, in the modern era it is very hard to establish a defence to a drink driving charge. There are, however, a number of potential defences available, which do succeed from time to time if they are valid and there is appropriate proof. This article takes a look at them. (1) Driver consumed alcohol after driving but before police administered test Essentially, the defence is that since the driver consumed alcohol between…

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Stopped by the police FAQs

What age can I do that?

What age can I do that?

There are a number of activities that are restricted to children and teenagers. Here are a few of them, and their respective legal age-limits. This article covers: drinking driving gambling marriage sex smoking voting working   Drinking In the UK it is illegal to sell alcohol to anybody under the age of 18.  If you are guilty of selling alcohol to anybody under the age of 18 you may face criminal punishment and have your…

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What are my child’s rights if they have been arrested and/or charged?

What are my child’s rights if they have been arrested and/or charged?

Various rights apply to children who are arrested and charged. As a parent, you should be aware of these rights (as well as your own), which are effective the moment your child is arrested. Police and Criminal Evidence Act The procedures relating to the treatment of children by the police are laid down in the Codes of Practice drafted as a result of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE). If the police do not…

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What are my child’s rights if they are detained in a young offender institution?

What are my child’s rights if they are detained in a young offender institution?

People under the age of 18 who are placed in custody are not sent to adult prisons. They are sent to secure centres for young people instead. If you require further help on a matter of criminal law you can use our solicitor directory to the right of this article to look for legal advice near you.   Secure centres for young people Secure centres for young people come in three forms: Secure Children’s Homes (SCHs) Secure Training…

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What are my rights as a victim of crime?

What are my rights as a victim of crime?

Being a victim of crime is a difficult and sometimes frightening matter. Crime can take many forms, and the effect that being a victim of crime will have will always vary not only on the offence committed but also from person to person. Regardless of how you feel about being a victim of crime, the law and the justice system sets out to ensure that victims of crime are supported and are given rights. What…

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What are my rights as a witness to a crime?

What are my rights as a witness to a crime?

As a witness, youre entitled to support from the police, courts and others involved in the criminal justice system. For example, if youre afraid to give evidence in court, you can ask if you can sit behind a screen. Find out what help youre entitled to. What the Witness Charter promises There are no special laws to say what help you should get as a witness. But there is a Witness Charter, which describes the…

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What are my rights if I am arrested?

What are my rights if I am arrested?

If the police suspect you of being involved in a crime they can arrest you and you will temporarily lose your right to freedom, but while you are under arrest and in police custody, you still have a number of other rights available to you and laws which protect you. Your rights on arrest When making an arrest, the police have a legal obligation to: use reasonable force to effect the arrest advise the person…

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What are the benefits of being a magistrate?

What are the benefits of being a magistrate?

Serving as a magistrate can provide invaluable benefits to you and your community. You’ll make an important contribution to upholding the law, and develop a deeper and broader understanding of your local community. Individual and community benefits There are a number of personal benefits you can gain as a magistrate, including: developing personal skills, such as decision-making, communicating and team-working, which can benefit your career and your employer developing an understanding of your local community…

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What are the limits and penalties for drink driving?

What are the limits and penalties for drink driving?

Limits The UK has clear limits on how much alcohol can be in your body if you are driving a vehicle. The legal limits are: 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood 107 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine Penalties If you are found with more alcohol in your body than what is stated you may be charged with a number of…

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What are the penalties for drink driving?

What are the penalties for drink driving?

What are the penalties for drink driving?

This article provides an overview of drink driving penalties. As you’ll notice there are a number of nuances, and many aggravating and mitigating factors for each offence. (1) Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs This is the most serious drink driving offence. As the level of alcohol consumption increases, so does the severity of the penalty. The maximum penalty is an unlimited fine and/or 14 years imprisonment; an…

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What can a solicitor do for me if I have been charged with a crime?

What can a solicitor do for me if I have been charged with a crime?

  Your solicitor should advise you about what you can do, and the best choices for your situation. You may not need to get an injunction to be safe from a violent or abusive partner. Sometimes a strongly worded letter from a solicitor can stop your partner abusing you again. Your solicitor should check whether you can get public funding (legal aid) to pay for any court proceedings. Whether you can receive public funding depends…

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What can I do about bullying at school?

What can I do about bullying at school?

What is bullying? Bullying is any harmful behaviour, which is normally repeated (and escalated) over an extended period of time. According to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), bullying includes: verbal abuse, such as name calling and gossiping non-verbal abuse, such as hand signs and text messages emotional abuse, such as threatening or intimidating someone exclusion, such as ignoring or isolating someone undermining by constantly criticising or spreading rumours racial…

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What can I do about bullying through mobile phones?

What can I do about bullying through mobile phones?

Bullying through a mobile phone is known as ‘cyber bullying’ or ‘online bullying.’ This is when a person or a group of people use digital technology to threaten, tease, upset or humiliate someone.   Cyber bullying and the law Whilst bullying is not illegal, harassment and threatening behaviour is. If your child receives a series of calls or the calls are part of a larger scheme of bullying, this may constitute harassment, which is unlawful…

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What can I do about bullying through social networks?

What can I do about bullying through social networks?

Bullying isn’t something that just happens in the real world. More and more teenagers are being bullied online through social networking sites. If you are getting threatening messages online, there are a number of ways to get them stopped. What are online social networks? There are lots of online social networks that let you chat with other internet users. You create your own profile and user name and fill in a few details about your…

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What can I do about bullying?

What can I do about bullying?

Whether you or someone you know is being bullied, make sure you tell someone who you trust what’s going on. There’s also a number of things you can do if you’re bullying others and you want to stop it. If you’re being bullied The first thing that you should do if you’re being bullied is to tell someone about it. You shouldn’t suffer in silence. You can tell a friend, a parent or a teacher…

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What can I do if I am a witness to a crime?

What can I do if I am a witness to a crime?

Witnessing a crime can be a very difficult and potentially harrowing experience. In some cases the victim may even have little idea a crime against them has occurred, whilst those who stand as eye-witnesses are left to experience the whole thing. If you see a crime being committed or see something that you think may be linked to the commission of a crime, then you can play an important role in reporting that crime to…

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What can I do if I am the victim of an abusive relationship?

What can I do if I am the victim of an abusive relationship?

What is relationship abuse? ‘Relationship abuse’ is abusive or coercive behaviour perpetrated to maintain control over a current or former intimate partner. The abuse, which tends to form a pattern and escalates over time, may be emotional, financial, sexual or physical and can include threats, isolation and intimidation. Relationship abuse is commonly known as domestic abuse or domestic violence. What is the Family Law Act and how does it relate to relationship abuse? The Family…

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What can I do if I have been bullied online?

What can I do if I have been bullied online?

Social networking sites, messaging and online discussions can all be used to bully and make fun of someone. Even if the bullying seems to be coming from someone you don’t know, that doesn’t mean that you can’t stop it happening. Being bullied online Internet bullying doesn’t only happen on social networks like Facebook and YouTube. Cyberbullies can use other ways to upset someone, like sending rude emails or instant messages. Here are some examples of…

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What can I do if I know a teenager is in an abusive relationship?

What can I do if I know a teenager is in an abusive relationship?

What is “relationship abuse”? Relationship abuse concerns negative behaviour by one person on another within a relationship.  Relationship abuse can be physical, emotional or sexual. Physical abuse consists of hitting, punching, pulling hair and kicking. Emotional abuse consists of bullying, threatening, putting down and humiliating a partner. Sexual abuse consists of any kind of sexual activity where one person is forced into said activity against their wishes.  In many instances, victims of such abuse may…

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What can I do if I think a sentence is too lenient?

What can I do if I think a sentence is too lenient?

If you think someone has received a too lenient sentence after they have been tried at a crown court there is the option to request the case been reviewed. If you require further help on a matter of criminal law you can use our solicitor directory to the right of this article to look for legal advice near you.   Who reviews a case I think has received a too lenient sentence? You can request a…

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What can I do if my child has been abducted and taken out of the UK?

What can I do if my child has been abducted and taken out of the UK?

If your child is abducted and taken overseas, you are advised to inform the police, as a criminal offence may have been committed. Getting your child back Your chance of recovering your child will depend on the customs and laws of the country to which the child has been taken, as well as the attitude of, and your relationship with, the person who has taken the child. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides advice…

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What can I do if my partner is abusive?

What can I do if my partner is abusive?

What if my partner is violent to me or to the children? If you need to, first get yourself (and the children) away from your partner as soon as you can. Then call the police. If you have been badly hurt, go to your doctor or the local hospital. Explain what has happened and ask them to record your injuries so that they can give evidence about them if you need it. It may be…

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What can I do if the person abusing me is not my partner?

What can I do if the person abusing me is not my partner?

You can get an injunction in the civil court under the Family Law Act 1996 if the person abusing you is: your current or former husband, wife or civil partner; someone you are or were in a relationship with, whether or not you were living together; someone you are or have been engaged to marry, or agreed to form a civil partnership with; someone you live with or have lived with (but not your tenant…

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What can I do to avoid drink driving?

What can I do to avoid drink driving?

Seven common sense tips to avoid a drink driving conviction 1. If there’s a chance you may drink alcohol, always leave your vehicle at home If you are going out for a drink, always leave your vehicle at home. Remember it only takes one or two drinks to push you over the limit. While this tip may seem obvious, many people tend to ignore it for the temporary convenience of making a quicker outward journey….

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What can I do to make sure I can access a court if I am disabled?

What can I do to make sure I can access a court if I am disabled?

If you need to go to court as a defendant, respondent, applicant victim, witness or juror and you have a disability, you made need extra support or facilities. Preparation Before you visit a court in any of the above capacities, you will be sent the following information: the date and time of the hearing the court’s opening hours and location current arrangements, facilities and support for people with disabilities a telephone or text phone number…

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What could happen if I get involved with drugs abroad?

What could happen if I get involved with drugs abroad?

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has released figures showing that 850 Britons are currently imprisoned overseas for drug-related offences. ‘Zero tolerance’ approach to drug offences abroad What might be a cautionary offence in the UK will not necessarily be treated the same way internationally. The ‘zero tolerance’ approach to drugs in some countries means that penalties for drug offences abroad can be considerable – ranging from lengthy prison terms of up to 39 years…

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What do I need to know about Actual Bodily Harm and the law?

What do I need to know about Actual Bodily Harm and the law?

What is Actual Bodily Harm (ABH)? Actual bodily harm is a more severe form of assault. If the victim has needed significant medical assistance and/or the injuries are permanent then actual bodily harm may have occurred. If the injuries are less serious an offender may find themselves charged with assault. What sentence can I expect if I am convicted of actual bodily harm? The sentence you are likely to receive if you are found guilty…

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What do I need to know about alcohol-related crime?

What do I need to know about alcohol-related crime?

What is ‘alcohol-related crime’? ‘Alcohol-related crime’ is a term used to refer to two types of offences: Alcohol-defined offences include offences involving drunkenness, such as driving under the influence Offences in which alcohol consumption may be a contributing cause of the offence. Examples include assault, breach of the peace, criminal damage and other public order offences.   In which serious crimes does alcohol play a factor? According to the National Probation Service, “alcohol is a…

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What do I need to know about alcohol, young people and the law?

What do I need to know about alcohol, young people and the law?

The law governing alcohol consumption is very strict in the UK, and this is especially true with regard to young people. Below you will find information both on the law on the consumption of alcohol by those younger than eighteen years old as well as information on the consequences of breaking those laws. Finally, you will find some medical guidelines on alcohol consumption for young people. What does the law say in connection to alcohol…

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What do I need to know about anti-social behaviour and the law?

What do I need to know about anti-social behaviour and the law?

What is anti-social behaviour? Anti-social behaviour is any action that causing harrassment, alarm or distress to another person or persons. This includes: using threatening behaviour, dog barking and fouling, vandalism and drug dealing on streets or residential areas.   What is a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO)? CBOs have replaced a type of Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) called an ASBO on conviction. A court can issue a CBO when a person has been found guilty of…

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What do I need to know about ASBOs and other behaviour orders as a parent?

What do I need to know about ASBOs and other behaviour orders as a parent?

  If your child is responsible for anti-social behaviour or gets in trouble with the police, you may be held responsible. As a parent, you will be held to account if your child repeatedly gets into trouble or you fail to take reasonable steps to control your child’s behaviour. Therefore, the law puts certain measures in place to enforce parental discipline of their children. Anti-Social Behaviour Order If your child is 10 or older, they…

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What do I need to know about assault and the law

What do I need to know about assault and the law

What is meant by ‘assault’? Assault occurs when one person uses unlawful force on another. It comes in many different forms depending on the severity of the assault, circumstances surrounding the assault and who was assaulted. Depending on these factors the type of assault charge and the sentence someone receives if they are found or plead guilty varies. Assault cases fall in the the following areas: Common assault – Common assault occurs when a person uses…

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What do I need to know about assisted suicide and the law?

What do I need to know about assisted suicide and the law?

The subject of assisted suicide is one of the most debated and controversial legal and moral issues of our time. Whilst there can really be no ‘right’ answer morally as to whether an individual should be able to choose the right to die, or whether somebody who assists a person who wants to die should be punished, in legal terms an answer must be provided so people are aware if the act is punishable. Is…

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What do I need to know about assisting in a crime and the law?

What do I need to know about assisting in a crime and the law?

If you require further help on a matter of criminal law you can use our solicitor directory to the right of this article to look for legal advice near you. Assisting a crime is a criminal offence. It is an ‘inchoate’ offence in that the defendant has not personally performed the ‘actus reus’ (guilty act), however they are sufficiently close to doing so (or persuading a third party to do so) that the law finds the…

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What do I need to know about being arrested and imprisoned abroad?

What do I need to know about being arrested and imprisoned abroad?

If a British national is arrested or detained overseas, the local British Consul will try to help. The Consul cannot get you out of jail, but will take action if your rights have been denied or abused. If you are arrested If you are arrested abroad, the first thing you should do is contact the British Consul. Give them as much information as possible about your situation. For example, you should try to provide: the…

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What do I need to know about bigamy and the law?

What do I need to know about bigamy and the law?

If a person gets married in the UK and is already legally married, then they are committing bigamy and the marriage will be considered void. Is bigamy a criminal offence? Bigamy is a crime under section 57 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. If someone is caught entering into another marriage whilst still being legally married and is convicted on indictment, they are liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years….

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What do I need to know about blackmail and extortion?

What do I need to know about blackmail and extortion?

What is blackmail and how does it differ from extortion? Section 21 of the Theft Act 1968 defines blackmail as the criminal offence of making an unwarranted demand with menaces with a view to making a gain or causing a loss. To prove blackmail, the defendant must have done the following: Made a demand With menaces The demand was unwarranted The defendant has a view to make a gain for himself or another or intend…

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What do I need to know about bomb hoaxes and the law?

What do I need to know about bomb hoaxes and the law?

The Criminal Law Act (CLA) 1977 makes it illegal to issue bomb threats and create bomb hoaxes: Section 51(1) of the CLA makes it an offence to place or dispatch an article to cause a bomb hoax Section 51(2) of the CLA makes it an offence to communicate false information alleging the presence of a bomb.   Section 51(1) of the CLA  Under section 51(1) of the CLA, a person who places an article somewhere…

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What do I need to know about burglary and the law?

What do I need to know about burglary and the law?

What do I need to know about burglary and the law?

Section 9 of the Theft Act 1968 creates two offences of burglary – under sections 9(1)(a) and 9(1)(b) respectively. In certain circumstances, the same course of conduct can amount to an offence under both sections. In addition, section 10 of the Theft Act creates an offence of ‘aggravated burglary.’ If you require further help on a matter of criminal law you can use our solicitor directory to the right of this article to look for legal…

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What do I need to know about car vandalism and the law?

What do I need to know about car vandalism and the law?

Vandalism is a criminal offence and anybody found guilty will face criminal punishment, which could be a large fine or imprisonment depending on the severity of the action. The act of vandalism is defined as a deliberate act with the intention to cause damage to somebody else’s property. You therefore do not commit vandalism if you cause damage accidentally, though you may still be liable in civil law, or even face criminal punishment if you…

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What do I need to know about causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs?

What do I need to know about causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs?

The most serious drink driving offence is ‘causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs’. The charge can only be heard in the Crown Court. Elements of the offence To prove this offence, the prosecution must show beyond reasonable doubt that a driver: caused the death of another person; fell below the standard expected of a reasonable, prudent and competent driver in the circumstances; and the driver was unfit through…

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What do I need to know about changing my plea?

What do I need to know about changing my plea?

If you are charged for a criminal offence you will be asked whether you wish to plead guilty or not guilty to the offence. Naturally, if you plead guilty and then wish to change to a not-guilty plea a jury is likely to draw significant inferences from your decision to plead guilty and then subsequently change to not guilty. A more common situation is when an individual is charged with a criminal offence and pleads…

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What do I need to know about community sentencing?

What do I need to know about community sentencing?

What is a ‘community sentence’? A ‘community sentence’ is a punishment handed down by the courts, which has three main objectives: 1. to punish the offender 2. to change the offender’s behaviour to prevent repeat offending (‘recidivism’), which may involve the use of rehabilitation programmes, such as for drug addiction or alcoholism 3. to enable the offender to make amends to the victim of their crime (or local community). What types of community sentences are…

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What do I need to know about computer hacking and the law?

What do I need to know about computer hacking and the law?

Computer hacking is illegal and carries a possible sanction of imprisonment. Computer hacking has been thrown into the public eye recently with increasing allegations that certain newspapers hired private investigators to hack into people’s phones and computers in order to obtain stories that would sell. Computer Misuse Act Under the Computer Misuse Act it is an offence to hack into somebody else’s computer or send them a form of virus that allows them to obtain…

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What do I need to know about conspiracy and the law?

What do I need to know about conspiracy and the law?

If you require further help on a matter of property law you can use our solicitor directory to the right of this article to look for legal advice near you.   What is an ‘inchoate offence’? A person commits an ‘inchoate offence’ when they take certain steps towards committing a crime. It is not a requirement that they actually committed the main offence. Inchoate offences fall into three types: Incitement Attempt Conspiracy. The steps you…

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What do I need to know about corporate manslaughter and the law?

What do I need to know about corporate manslaughter and the law?

If you require further help on a matter of criminal law you can use our solicitor directory to the right of this article to look for legal advice near you. What does the law say about corporate manslaughter? The law relating to corporate manslaughter is laid down in the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act (CMCHA) 2007. The CMCHA provides that companies and organisations can be found guilty of corporate manslaughter as a result of serious…

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What do I need to know about crime statistics?

What do I need to know about crime statistics?

Crime rates are published each year in an annual report that looks at both reported and unreported crimes. National and local statistics and crime maps are available online so that you can see how your own community measures up. How crime is measured Crime is measured in two ways: the police keep a record of all crimes reported to them the government conducts an annual survey of crime victims, called the British Crime survey  …

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What do I need to know about criminal legal aid?

What do I need to know about criminal legal aid?

Legal aid helps people pay for the cost of getting legal advice. You must meet certain conditions to be eligible for legal aid. Find out how legal aid works and what costs legal aid can help with. What is legal aid? Legal aid is a scheme that helps people pay for legal advice. You might get legal aid if you meet certain conditions. These include: the type of problem you have your financial circumstances how…

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What do I need to know about cruelty to animals and the law?

What do I need to know about cruelty to animals and the law?

In 2007, the Animal Welfare Act 2006 came into force in England and Wales, bringing together more than 20 pieces of legislation and leading to a complete overhaul of pet abuse laws. Under the Act, it is not only against the law to be cruel to an animal, but it places a duty on animal owners to ensure that their welfare needs are met. Animal Welfare Act 2006 The Act places a responsibility on owners…

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What do I need to know about domestic violence and the law?

What do I need to know about domestic violence and the law?

What is domestic violence? Domestic violence tends to form a pattern and escalates over time, may be emotional, financial, sexual or physical and can include threats, isolation and intimidation. What is the Family Law Act and how does it relate to domestic violence? The Family Law Act 1996 (FLA), as amended by the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act 2004, enables a man or woman to obtain an injunction (court order) to protect them from…

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What do I need to know about drink driving and the law?

What do I need to know about drink driving and the law?

This article provides an overview of drink driving law in the UK. It starts with a brief history of legislation in the area, then turns to the current offences and penalties for drink driving, and ends by looking at the way the police test drink driving suspects. (1) History of Drink Driving Law The UK passed its first drink driving law in 1872. No automobiles existed then, so it only applied to driving a carriage,…

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What do I need to know about drugs and crime?

What do I need to know about drugs and crime?

You may think that the police will only arrest someone who’s caught dealing drugs, but even using drugs could land you a large fine or worse. Find out more about the laws on drugs and drug use. How drugs are classified All drugs are put into one of three categories based on how dangerous they are. Class A drugs are drugs that have the most harmful effects. These drugs include heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and LSD….

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What do I need to know about drugs and my children?

What do I need to know about drugs and my children?

Research shows that children who feel they can talk to their parents about drugs will put off or avoid taking them more than those who do not. What are the risks? There are risks. And your child may not have thought of all of them. When you calmly talk through the situation with your child, you could outline the following possible dangers: the user can never be sure of exactly what they are taking what…

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What do I need to know about elder abuse?

What do I need to know about elder abuse?

What is elder abuse? Elder abuse happens when a person in a position of trust hurts or abuses an elderly person in some way. It can include actions intending to harm, harming without intent and neglect that leads to harm. Elder abuse can take many different forms including: Financial or material: theft, fraud or coercion regarding your will and any financial transactions Psychological: emotional abuse, threats of harm, threats of leaving or discontinuing care, lack…

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What do I need to know about false imprisonment?

What do I need to know about false imprisonment?

False imprisonment is a common law offence involving the illegal and intentional or reckless detention of a person. If you require further help on a matter of criminal law you can use our solicitor directory to the right of this article to look for legal advice near you.   Examples of false imprisonment are: A person locking you in a room without your consent A person holding something valuable to you with the intention of making…

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What do I need to know about forgery, counterfeiting and the law?

What do I need to know about forgery, counterfeiting and the law?

Forgery and counterfeiting are criminal offences. Under the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981, the following activities are illegal: Forgery: creating a false instrument Copying a false instrument Using a false instrument Using a copy of a false instrument Having custody or control of false instruments and manufacturing, having custody or control of equipment or materials to make them.   ‘False instrument’ A ‘false instrument’ is defined as any document that a person in control of…

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What do I need to know about fraud and the law?

What do I need to know about fraud and the law?

Fraud is a criminal act involving the use of a lie, a false position or the prejudice of another person’s rights, in order to derive a personal benefit. Fraud is perhaps wrongly viewed as a crime involving large sums of money, committed in the financial sector. Whilst this view encompasses part of the definition of fraud, other frauds can be as simple as lying to obtain a state benefit, or wrongly using a blue disabled-parking…

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What do I need to know about going to prison as a visitor?

What do I need to know about going to prison as a visitor?

If you know somebody who is serving time in prison, visits can help you stay in touch. Each prison can have slightly different rules on when and how often prisoners can be visited. Find out what to expect. How to plan your visit Each prison has its own rules about how many visits each prisoner is allowed, and how and when those visits can happen. Before you can visit any prison, you need a document…

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What do I need to know about grievous bodily harm (GBH) and the law?

What do I need to know about grievous bodily harm (GBH) and the law?

Grievous bodily harm, more commonly known simply as GBH, refers to any “really serious harm” which is inflicted on an individual. GBH is often associated with ABH (actual bodily harm) which, as its name suggests, is harm to an individual which is not as great as that caused by GBH in that it is not deemed “really serious” harm. A solicitor should be able to give advice as to which category any harm falls into,…

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What do I need to know about gun crime?

What do I need to know about gun crime?

Gun crime or firearms offences, are incidents in UK criminal law involving guns. It is a criminal offence to possess some types of firearms, but the term ‘gun crime’ also includes other types of offences such as robbery or murder, when they involve firearms. According to the Firearms Act 1968 a firearm is a lethal, barrelled weapon, from which a bullet or missile can be discharged (fired). The Act includes not just weapons but also…

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What do I need to know about harassment and the law?

What do I need to know about harassment and the law?

What is harassment? harassment occurs when a person acts in a way that causes distress or fear in another person or a group of people. This can be a unique event or occur repeatedly over a longer period of time. For example, harassment could involved unwanted physical contact or communications; inappropriate jokes or questioning; criticism; or unwanted social media communications. Harassment can be carried out by an individual or a group. If you would like…

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What do I need to know about hoax 999 calls?

What do I need to know about hoax 999 calls?

A hoax 999 call is when a person deliberately calls the emergency services, including the fire, police and ambulance services, to falsely inform them that there is an emergency when in fact there is not. Sometimes, people make hoax 999 calls not even to report that there has been a (false) emergency, but simply to abuse the emergency services or as a part of a ‘joke’. The law It is a criminal offence to make…

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What do I need to know about honour-based violence?

What do I need to know about honour-based violence?

What is honour-based violence? Honour-based violence is any violent act carried out that is intended to protect the honour of a family or community. Honour violence and honour killing sometimes occur if a family or community is unhappy if: a member of their family or community has a relationship with someone from another culture or religion a member of their family or community is attempting to leave or avoid an arranged marriage a member of…

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What do I need to know about human trafficking and the law?

What do I need to know about human trafficking and the law?

Human trafficking describes when people are taken against their will in order to be exploited. It is essentially forcing somebody to be a slave and is, therefore, illegal in the UK and almost anywhere in the world. If you become aware of somebody who is part of a trafficking gang or fear you may be at risk of being taken against your will you should contact the police at the earliest possible opportunity. Types of…

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What do I need to know about hunting and the law?

What do I need to know about hunting and the law?

Under UK law, ‘hunting’ means using one or more dogs to chase a wild animal with the intention of catching and killing it. Hunting is illegal in the UK, subject to a few exceptions. The Hunting Act 2004 came into force in early 2005 under the Tony Blair Government. It was seen as a compromise between anti-hunting demonstrators and pro-hunting lobbyists. The Act, however, has come under increasing pressure with the Government due to decide…

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What do I need to know about identity theft and the law?

What do I need to know about identity theft and the law?

What is the difference between identity theft and identity fraud? Identity theft occurs when your personal information is stolen and identity fraud happens when your details are used to commit some type of fraud. Identity theft can happen when criminals gain sufficient access to your identity (such as your name, date of birth, current or previous address) to commit identity fraud. It can take place whether you are alive or dead. If you become a…

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What do I need to know about illegally downloading MP3s and films and the law?

What do I need to know about illegally downloading MP3s and films and the law?

If you download a song, film, game or software from a file-sharing website or another website (such as a page on a social-networking site) where it’s made available, and you do not pay for the item or otherwise obtain it under licence from the copyright holder, then you are infringing someone’s copyright. The main dangers of infringing copyright in this way are (i) the potential for civil liability to the copyright holder, and (ii) the…

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What do I need to know about incitement and the law?

What do I need to know about incitement and the law?

Incitement is an inchoate offence, which means that the offence occurs as a result of actions or agreements entered into in preparation for a substantive offence. The creation of inchoate offences allows the police to intervene before a substantive crime is carried out and harm has been caused. Other inchoate offences include ‘conspiracy’ and ‘attempt’. On 1 October 2008, the offence of incitement was abolished; however, before then it was a common-law offence committed by…

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What do I need to know about intimidation and the law?

What do I need to know about intimidation and the law?

Intimidation or harassment is a type of anti-social behaviour, which targets certain individuals. In some instances, you live in close proximity to the perpetrator – oftentimes, as neighbours – which sometimes makes it difficult for you to take a stand. If you require further help on a matter of criminal law you can use our solicitor directory to the right of this article to look for legal advice near you.   What civil action can be…

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What do I need to know about kidnapping and the law?

What do I need to know about kidnapping and the law?

If you require further help on a matter of criminal law you can use our solicitor directory to the right of this article to look for legal advice near you.   What is kidnapping? Kidnapping is a common law offence – that is, it was developed through the court system rather than being defined by an Act of Parliament. It consists of four elements: The taking or carrying away of one person by another By force…

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What do I need to know about knife crime?

What do I need to know about knife crime?

What do I need to know about knife crime?

Knife crime is a term used to describe any crime committed using a knife, whether or not the knife is actually used to inflict harm on the victim. The definition of a knife includes any sharpened weapon with a blade. Knife crime in the UK is serious, and there is evidence that in some parts of the UK knife crime remains very prevalent, with statistics released in 2013 showing that in London alone there were…

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What do I need to know about migrant smuggling and the law?

What do I need to know about migrant smuggling and the law?

What do I need to know about migrant smuggling and the law?

Migrants who risk their lives in order to have a better one are often held to ransom by the people who smuggle them into the country. On occasion, they are detained and even subject to torture by the people they pay to help them across borders. How much do migrants pay to be smuggled? The amount a migrant pays to be smuggled depends on a number of factors: The distance The destination The level of…

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What do I need to know about modern slavery and the law?

What do I need to know about modern slavery and the law?

What obligation does the Modern Slavery Act 2015 impose on commercial organisations? Under section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, commercial bodies with a minimum annual turnover of £36m are required to publish a “slavery and human trafficking statement” (also known as an ‘anti-slavery statement’) every financial year. This statement either: Outlines the steps that an organisation has taken during the financial year to ensure that slavery and human trafficking are not occurring in…

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What do I need to know about money laundering and the law?

What do I need to know about money laundering and the law?

Money laundering is the process of channelling ‘bad’ money into ‘good ‘money in order to hide the fact the money originated from criminal activity. For example, if an individual had stolen £200 and he was later stopped by a policeman and asked where he had got his £200 from, he would not be able to show where it came from as he would have no receipt, bank statement or wage slip showing where the money…

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What do I need to know about murder and the law?

What do I need to know about murder and the law?

If you require further help on a matter of criminal law you can use our solicitor directory to the right of this article to look for legal advice near you.   What is murder? Murder is a ‘common law’ offence, which means it was developed completely by the court system and therefore has no legal definition in statute. To be guilty of murder, you must meet the following requirements: You must intend to kill or cause…

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What do I need to know about obscenity and the law?

What do I need to know about obscenity and the law?

Everyone has the legal right to freedom of expression. However, there are some restrictions on this general rule. There are prohibitions against: Obscene material Indecent material Unacceptable behaviour on the grounds of race Unacceptable behaviour on the grounds of religion.   The limitations on obscene material are covered by two pieces of legislation: The Obscene Publications Act 1959 The Obscene Publications Act 1964.   What is obscenity? The test for obscenity is set out in…

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What do I need to know about Parenting Orders?

What do I need to know about Parenting Orders?

As your child grows up, parenting can present a challenge. If they have been truanting, misbehaving at school or getting into trouble with the police, your local Youth Offending Team (YOT) or Local Education Authority (LEA) may establish contact with you to work out what help they can offer, including a potential Parenting Order. What is a Parenting Order? A Parenting Order is an order designed to: help steer your child from offending and/or engaging…

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What do I need to know about perverting the course of justice and the law?

What do I need to know about perverting the course of justice and the law?

Perverting the course of justice is a type of criminal offence created in common law in England and Wales. This means that whilst there is no law passed by Parliament defining the offence of perverting the course of justice, it has been defined by case law created by judges in courts. Perverting the course of justice is a serious offence, and is only triable on indictment, meaning it would only be tried in a Crown…

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What do I need to know about phone hacking and the law?

What do I need to know about phone hacking and the law?

The act of intercepting someone’s telephone calls is a criminal, rather than a civil, offence and it is punishable by a either fine or up to two years’ imprisonment or both. Phone hacking also involves civil causes of action, which allows its victims to sue for damages. However, greater clarity surrounding the law governing phone hacking has been called for recently in light of an unprecedented phone-hacking scandal. News International, owner of the Sunday newspaper…

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What do I need to know about pleading a mistake?

What do I need to know about pleading a mistake?

When a person acts under a mistaken belief as to the circumstances, the law may afford them the defence of mistake. This operates to prevent the formation of the necessary mental state to commit the crime. If you require further help on a matter of criminal law you can use our solicitor directory to the right of this article to look for legal advice near you.   Is mistake of law a defence to a crime?…

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What Do I need to know about pleading automatism?

What Do I need to know about pleading automatism?

What is the automatism defence? In common law, for a crime to be established, the prosecution must prove that the defendant performed a voluntary act of which they were conscious. Automatism is a defence that seeks to show that a crime was committed due to an involuntary act caused by an external factor.   What are the elements of non-insane automatism? Non-insane automatism is a defence that can be asserted when: a person commits a crime in…

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What do I need to know about pleading insanity?

What do I need to know about pleading insanity?

Insanity is a general defence, which is applicable to all crimes. Where a court finds a defendant insane, it instructs the jury to reach a special verdict of ‘not guilty by reason of insanity.’ If the punishment for the offence is fixed by law – for example, murder – the defendant will face mandatory detention in secure accommodation. In all other circumstances, detention will be at the discretion of the judge. If you require further…

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What do I need to know about pleading intoxication?

What do I need to know about pleading intoxication?

Your level of intoxication may prevent you forming the necessary mental state required to commit a crime due to the effect of the intoxicating element you have consumed, whether that is alcohol, drugs or something similar. Intoxication can provide a partial or complete defence when you are intoxicated and commit a crime. Therefore, in certain circumstances, rather than you being completely exonerated of all criminal liability, you will be charged with the ‘lesser included’ offence….

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What do I need to know about pleading necessity?

What do I need to know about pleading necessity?

There are rare situations in which the law recognises the existence of overwhelmingly urgent circumstances that justify a person breaking the law (a crime) or doing a civil wrong (a tort).   What is the defence of necessity in criminal law? In criminal law, the defence of necessity involves a defendant pleading that it was necessary for them to commit a crime. The necessity defence has three elements: The criminal act is required to avoid…

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What do I need to know about poisons and the law?

What do I need to know about poisons and the law?

This guide looks at the main changes to the Poisons Act 1972 in relation to the pharmaceutical sale of poisons following the introduction of the Deregulation Act 2015, which came into force on 26 May 2015.   The Deregulation Act: The Deregulation Act abolished the Poisons Board, which was the statutory body responsible for advising the Home Secretary on issues connected to poisons removed the poisons list and most of the poisons schedules.   Regulated…

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What do I need to know about prison procedures and prisoner rights?

What do I need to know about prison procedures and prisoner rights?

What do I need to know about prison procedures and prisoner rights?

When a person is sentenced to a term of imprisonment, they must participate in a minimum of one interview and an assessment on arrival at prison. These sessions are conducted with several purposes in mind: to educate the prisoner about prison rules, practices and procedures to advise the prisoner about the nature of their rights to inform the prisoner of courses available to them to alert the prisoner to appropriate healthcare channels. The prisoner is…

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What do I need to know about probation?

What do I need to know about probation?

If you require further help on a matter of criminal law you can use our solicitor directory to the right of this article to look for legal advice near you.   What is probation? When you are on ‘probation,’ it means that you are serving your sentence, but you are not physically in prison. You may be placed on probation for one of two reasons: You are serving a community sentence You have been released from…

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What do I need to know about public indecency?

What do I need to know about public indecency?

If you require further help on a matter of criminal law you can use our solicitor directory to the right of this article to look for legal advice near you.   What is public decency? Public decency is conduct that is generally accepted in the public and is not lewd, obscene or disgusting to onlookers.   What is the offence of ‘outraging public decency’? It is a criminal offence for a person to ‘outrage public decency.’…

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What do I need to know about rape and the law?

What do I need to know about rape and the law?

If you require further help on a matter of criminal law you can use our solicitor directory to the right of this article to look for legal advice near you.   Rape Rape is an indictable offence, which means it is a serious crime which can only be handled in the Crown Court. The crime can only be committed by a man on a woman or another man. It cannot be committed by a woman. Under…

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What do I need to know about religious hate crime and the law?

What do I need to know about religious hate crime and the law?

What is a religious hate crime? A religious hate crime is an offence that is carried out due to hostility towards or prejudice against the victim’s religion. It can take various forms, including: Verbal and physical abuse Bullying Threatening behaviour Online abuse Property damage.   Religious hate crime can be an isolated incident or part of a systematic campaign of harassment or intimidation. It can not only be carried out by strangers but can also by…

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What do I need to know about revenge porn and the law?

What do I need to know about revenge porn and the law?

What do I need to know about revenge porn and the law?

What is “revenge porn”? Revenge porn is a term used when a sexual act is recorded and uploaded to the internet or distributed without a participant or participants’ consent. It has been labelled “revenge porn” as in many cases the images or videos have been released to shame and embarrass a previous partner once a relationship has broken down. What can I do if someone has published images or a video of me without my…

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What do I need to know about robbery and the law?

What do I need to know about robbery and the law?

What is robbery? According to section 8 of the Theft Act 1968, “a person is guilty of robbery if he steals, and immediately before or at the time of doing so, and in order to do so, he uses force on any person or puts or seeks to put any person in fear of being then and there subjected to force.” By this definition, robbery is a kind of aggravated theft because it involves theft…

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What do I need to know about rogue trading and the law?

What do I need to know about rogue trading and the law?

A rogue trader is somebody who works in a large financial institution and makes independent decisions on buying and selling financial assets, despite not being legally allowed to. Essentially a rogue trader abuses their position by making large speculative bets on the future of financial instruments which could potentially lead to the company which employees the rogue trader losing millions of pounds. Nick Leeson, Rogue Trader The phrase ‘rogue trader’ was placed firmly in the…

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What do I need to know about sexual assault and the law?

What do I need to know about sexual assault and the law?

Sexual assault The Sexual Offences Act 2003 defines the criminal offence of sexual assault. Under section 3(1) of the Act, a person commits sexual assault if: They intentionally touch the complainant The touching is sexual in nature The complainant did not consent to being touched They did not reasonably believe that the complainant consented.   Touching For the purposes of section 3(1), the following acts constitute ‘touching’: Touching using a part of the body –…

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What do I need to know about stalking and the law?

What do I need to know about stalking and the law?

Stalking is a term used to describe a type of harassment. If you believe you are a victim of stalking, it is important to become familiar with the laws that are in place to protect you and the precautions you can take to protect yourself. Harassment includes actions that cause alarm and distress. Stalking in particular is behaviour that is repeated and unwanted by the victim. It can include actions that, although when isolated may…

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What do I need to know about terrorism and the law?

What do I need to know about terrorism and the law?

The laws explaining what terrorism is are known as the Terrorism Acts. Anybody who is involved with terrorism in any way can be prosecuted under these laws. Find out what these laws are and what they mean to you. The counter-terrorism laws The work done by the police and the government to prevent terrorism attacks and identify would-be terrorists is known as counter-terrorism. The laws on counter-terrorism are mainly contained within five Acts. These Acts…

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What do I need to know about the Code of Practice for victims of crime?

What do I need to know about the Code of Practice for victims of crime?

What is the purpose of the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime? The Code of Practice for Victims of Crime sets out the rights of victims of crime and governs the services provided to them by various criminal justice organisations. What is the legal basis of the Code of Practice? The Code of Practice is given force of law by section 32 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 and is issued…

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What do I need to know about the Computer Misuse Act 1990?

What do I need to know about the Computer Misuse Act 1990?

The problem of computer hacking has been around for as long as the internet has existed. Before 1990, there was no legislation to tackle the problem even though people knew the practice was wrong. In 1990, the Computer Misuse Act was introduced to enable hackers to be prosecuted under the law. The Act recognises four offences: Unauthorised access to computer material Unauthorised access with intent to commit or facilitate commission of further offences Unauthorised modification…

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What do I need to know about the court charge?

What do I need to know about the court charge?

What are court charges? Update – The court charges will no longer be in operation from 24 December 2015. The court charges were introduced in 2014. They are issued to those convicted of a crime to help with the running costs of UK courts. Court charges are issued if you are found guilty of a crime. Also, they may be issued if you are unsuccessful in an appeal, you fail to attend hearings or you…

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What do I need to know about the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)?

What do I need to know about the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)?

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) was created in 1985 under the Prosecution of Offences Act and began operating in 1986. It is responsible for prosecuting people in England and Wales who have been charged with a criminal offence following investigations by the police. It is headed by the Director of Public Prosecutions and is divided into 13 geographical areas across England and Wales, with each area being led by a Chief Crown Prosecutor. The CPS…

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What do I need to know about the dark web?

What do I need to know about the dark web?

The ‘dark web’ is a group of websites that are visible to the public, but whose IP server addresses are hidden. The government has created a dedicated cybercrime unit called the Joint Operations Cell – a combination of the National Crime Agency and the government communications headquarters, GCHQ – to fight the dark web, with the intention of clamping down on child pornography, drug markets and serious crime rings. What is the ‘dark web’? Dark…

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What do I need to know about the Magistracy and the role of a magistrate?

What do I need to know about the Magistracy and the role of a magistrate?

If you care about justice and would like to gain valuable skills while serving your community, becoming a magistrate could be the role for you. What are magistrates and what do they do? Magistrates – also known as ‘Justices of the Peace’ – are volunteers who run a lower court that handles minor (‘summary’) offences and conducts preliminary hearings for more serious matters (‘offences triable either way’ and ‘indictable offences’). What are the requirements for…

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What do I need to know about the prison service?

What do I need to know about the prison service?

What is the Prison Service? Her Majesty’s Prison Service (HMPS) is an executive agency sponsored by the Ministry of Justice. HMPS provides a public service by keeping in custody those individuals who have been committed by the court system. It has a legal duty to care for those detained with humanity and help them lead meaningful, law-abiding lives during their time in custody and after their release into the community.   Objectives The main objective…

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What do I need to know about treason and the law?

What do I need to know about treason and the law?

  What is treason? Treason is one of the longest-standing offences on the statute books, the majority of which dates back to the Treason Act 1351, which was passed during the reign of Edward III during wartime. The original law on treason distinguished between ‘high treason’ and ‘petty treason’ – the former offence being committed against the sovereign and the latter against a ‘lesser mortal.’ In 1828, petty treason was abolished, therefore treason is now…

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What do I need to know about vandalism and the law?

What do I need to know about vandalism and the law?

‘Vandalism’ – also referred to as criminal damage – is a criminal offence. It involves a person or group destroying property. It covers a broad spectrum of criminal offences concerned with defacement and/or destruction of property. The Criminal Damage Act 1971 is the main piece of legislation governing vandalism. Under the Act, any person who, without lawful excuse, intends to destroy, destroys or damages property that belongs to someone else (or is sufficiently reckless as…

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What do I need to know about weapons and the law?

What do I need to know about weapons and the law?

The threat of violent crime with the use of weapons is becoming ever more prominent in modern society. Therefore, it is important that there are sufficient laws in place to deter and punish offenders. If you require further help on a matter of criminal law you can use our solicitor directory to the right of this article to look for legal advice near you. Possession of an offensive weapon Section 1 of the Prevention of Crime Act…

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What do I need to know about women’s safety?

What do I need to know about women’s safety?

Women and girls are often the targets of violence, including domestic violence, sexual assault, forced marriage, and trafficking. If you are a victim, you don’t have to put up with it. Find out where to get support and advice. Violence against women: the numbers Studies done by the British Crime Survey and similar surveys show that: nearly one in three women have experienced domestic violence nearly one in four women have experienced some form of…

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What do I need to know about young offenders?

What do I need to know about young offenders?

The age of criminal responsibility in England and Wales is 10 years old; however, not all offenders are treated in the same way when they have committed a criminal offence. Youth offenders are typically those aged between 10 and 17 years old. For the purposes of the criminal law, offenders aged 18 and above are treated as adults, although if given a prison sentence they would normally be sent to a place designed to hold…

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What happens during a police station interview and what are my rights?

What happens during a police station interview and what are my rights?

What happens during a police station interview and what are my rights?

Once a suspect’s detention at the police station has been authorised, the officer investigating the offence may wish to carry out an audibly recorded interview about the suspect’s alleged involvement in the offence(s). If you are interviewed at a police station, such interviews must comply with the requirements of the Code of Practice for the Detention, Treatment and Questioning of Persons by Police Officers (Code C) and the Code of Practice on Audio Recording Interviews…

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What happens if a young person goes to court as witness?

What happens if a young person goes to court as witness?

If you are under 18 and have been a victim or witness of a crime you may be asked to give evidence. Appearing in court can feel intimidating, so you can give evidence in other ways like using a video link or on videotape. Find out what these are. Appearing in court as a witness or a victim You might be allowed to give evidence in private, in writing or by video Extra care is…

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What happens if I am a teenager and I go court after being charged with a crime?

What happens if I am a teenager and I go court after being charged with a crime?

The criminal justice system sets out to ensure fairness for all when considering criminal matters and the effects of crime on victims. Always the balance is in ensuring justice is served, and that prosecutions are in the public interest. The system must ensure that criminals are punished, victims heard, and the innocent acquitted. Balancing these matters is difficult, and the criminal justice system does not always get the balance right. One important area where the…

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What happens if I fail to provide a roadside breath test sample?

What happens if I fail to provide a roadside breath test sample?

1. Power to request a roadside breath test A uniformed police constable may legally request a breath specimen for analysis if he or she has reasonable cause to suspect that: you are currently committing, or recently committed, a moving traffic offence; you have driven or attempted to drive or been in charge of a motor vehicle on a road or other public place with alcohol in your body; or you were driving, attempting to drive,…

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What happens if I go to court as a witness?

What happens if I go to court as a witness?

Why have I been called to give evidence as a witness in court? There are a number of reasons why a court might ask a person to attend court as a witness: a) the person may have seen a crime being committed or observed a dispute in progress b) the person may have specialist (‘expert’) knowledge of a subject that may assist the court in its understanding of the facts of the case; or c)…

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What happens if I’m a repeat drink driving offender?

What happens if I’m a repeat drink driving offender?

If you are a repeat offender you can expect to receive a penalty for drink driving 2-3 times more severe than someone caught for the first time. Indeed, if you are convicted of drink driving offences twice inside 10 years, you will be subject to the High Risk Offender Scheme and a mandatory long-term driving disqualification. Minimum 3 year driving ban If you have a conviction for a similar offence within a ten year period…

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What happens to young people when placed in custody?

What happens to young people when placed in custody?

If you are under 18 and sent to custody you will be treated very differently from adults. You will be given help with education, training, and improving your behaviour. Find out where you can be sent to custody and what it will be like. Why young people are sent to custody You will be given a custodial sentence if you commit a very serious crime If you are found guilty of a crime, you could…

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What happens when a child goes to court as a witness or victim?

What happens when a child goes to court as a witness or victim?

Some people find giving evidence in court as a witness or a victim especially difficult. By law, children and young people aged 17 and under, victims of sexual offences and people with communication difficulties are automatically entitled to additional support when attending court to give evidence as a witness or a victim. Described as ‘vulnerable’ or ‘intimidated’ witnesses, these people may be permitted to use special measures to assist them in giving their evidence in…

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What happens when I go to court as a defendant?

What happens when I go to court as a defendant?

A person who is subjected to criminal proceedings in a court of law is known as a ‘criminal defendant’. If you require further help on a matter of criminal law you can use our solicitor directory to the right of this article to look for legal advice near you. Initial hearing at court On their first appearance in a criminal court, the defendant is asked to ‘enter’ their plea. In other words, they must declare in open…

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What is ‘Crime Reduction Initiatives’?

What is ‘Crime Reduction Initiatives’?

Who are they? Crime Reduction Initiatives is a charity registered in the UK which has the goal of promoting safer and healthier communities. The charity operates a number of different initiatives, usually within areas of the country that have been subject to high levels of crime or drug abuse. Many of the charity’s initiatives focus on the rehabilitation of an individual who has perhaps undertaken criminal activity and appears to have few options to change…

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What is ‘cyberbullying’?

What is ‘cyberbullying’?

Cyberbullying is when one person or a group of people try to threaten or embarrass someone else using a mobile phone or the internet. Cyberbullying is just as harmful as bullying in the real world. If you see it happening, report it. Don’t ignore it. Are you a part of it? Those who take part in online bullying often use a group of friends to target their victims. They can askothers to add a comment…

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What is a non-molestation order and how do I apply for one?

What is a non-molestation order and how do I apply for one?

Domestic abuse is a serious matter, and the law has been amended to afford specific protections for victims of domestic abuse. The law in question is the Family Law Act 1996, which provides for two types of court order that can be granted to protect someone from domestic abuse: occupation orders and non-molestation orders. What is a non-molestation order? Non-molestation orders are a civil court order designed to protect people from domestic violence. They are…

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What is an occupation order and how do I apply for one?

What is an occupation order and how do I apply for one?

Domestic abuse and violence is a crime, and is now a matter that is being taken increasingly seriously by law makers, the police and support groups. The law has been set up to help protect those who are victims of domestic violence, by providing a range of court orders to help protect victims from their abusers. The Family Law Act 1996 provides for two types of court order that can be granted to protect someone…

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What is bail and how does it work?

What is bail and how does it work?

Bail is the term used when a person is under suspicion or has been charged with a criminal offence but is released from police custody until he or she next appears in court or at a police station. If you require further help on a matter of criminal law you can use our solicitor directory to look for legal advice near you. Two types of bail Police bail – If a person has been arrested on suspicion of a crime…

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What is contempt of court?

What is contempt of court?

What is contempt of court? Contempt of court can be defined as “an act or omission calculated to interfere with the administration of justice.” If a contempt of court has been committed, the Attorney-General (A-G) can initiate legal proceedings if to do so would be in the public interest. If there are concerns about a certain case, the A-G can publish an advisory note to the media and the public advising people to take care…

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What is happy slapping and what does the law say about it?

What is happy slapping and what does the law say about it?

What is ‘happy slapping’? ‘Happy slapping’ describes a filmed assault on a person. Typically, the assault involves a random stranger bring struck while an accompanying person or persons take photographs or record video footage of the incident on their mobile phones. The pictures and footage are normally circulated by mobile phone and/or uploaded to the internet. In the assault, the victim is completely blindsided and does not see the attack coming. Victims are often walking,…

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What is hate crime?

What is hate crime?

Hate crime is a term used to describe any criminal activity that is caused by an extremely discriminatory or prejudicial view. Generally, those targeted during acts of hate crime will be targeted as a result of their race, skin colour, sexual orientation or religious belief. Hate crime is essentially when a criminal act takes place and the motivation behind the crime is to attack or harm a particular group or person because they are of…

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What is homophobic and transphobic hate crime?

What is homophobic and transphobic hate crime?

What is homophobic hate crime? Homophobic hate crime is any criminal action that is motivated by a person’s sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation. This can include: physcial abuse, verbal abuse and damage to property. What is transphobic hate crime? Transphobic hate crime is any criminal action that is motivated by the victim’s transgender identity or perceived to be transgender. This can include: physcial abuse, verbal abuse and damage to property. How do I report…

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What is meant by ‘Witness Protection’?

What is meant by ‘Witness Protection’?

Witness protection is often required when witnesses are fearful of giving evidence because they believe that they or their family may be at risk of harm if their identity is revealed to the defendant or their associates during or following criminal proceedings. This is often particularly the case in prosecutions for homicides, gun crime and organised crime. If prosecutors or police are informed that a witness in proceedings is fearful of giving evidence, they must…

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What is meant by ‘summary offence,’ ‘triable either way’ and ‘indictment’?

What is meant by ‘summary offence,’ ‘triable either way’ and ‘indictment’?

What is meant by ‘summary offence,’ ‘triable either way’ and ‘indictment’? In England, offences fall into three categories (in order of seriousness): Summary-only Triable either way Indictable-only.   Summary-only offences Summary-only offences involve cases that are almost invariably tried in the Magistrates’ Court, in which the maximum sentence that can be handed down is six months’ imprisonment. Examples of summary-only offences include: Motoring offences Lesser Public Order offences, such as being drunk and disorderly Common…

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What is meant by extradition?

What is meant by extradition?

Extradition is the legal process whereby someone is removed from one country and transferred to another against their will. It is covered by the Extradition Act 2003. The procedure may be used for the purpose of criminal prosecution; if someone has been convicted of a crime and needs to be sentenced; or if a sentence has already been imposed (and evaded) and needs to be carried out. Without extradition, people would be able to escape…

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What is meant by joint enterprise?

What is meant by joint enterprise?

What is joint enterprise? Joint enterprise, sometimes also known as common purpose, means that more than one person can be considered liable for a crime. Are there different forms of joint enterprise? There are three different types of joint enterprise: When two or more people commit a single crime – for example two to more people plan and carry out a robbery. When one person assists or encourages another to commit a crime – for…

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What is meant by sanctuary?

What is meant by sanctuary?

Sanctuary in churches Between the fourth and the seventeenth century, English law recognised churches as sacred places where fugitives could flee in order to achieve immunity from arrest. Although they may then be required to pay a fine, forfeit goods, go into exile or perform penance, their life and body would be preserved. During the Reformation (whereby the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church in…

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What is the Bribery Act?

What is the Bribery Act?

The Bribery Act is an act of Parliament that has been implemented into UK law in order to not only prevent various forms and elements of bribery, but also to open up how firms conduct their business, and make sure appropriate safeguards are in place to avoid any dishonest activities. What is bribery? Bribery itself is defined as both the giving and receiving of bribes in terms of someone who facilitates, gives or receives an…

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What is the difference between probation and a suspended sentence?

What is the difference between probation and a suspended sentence?

What is the difference between probation and a suspended sentence?

Probation is sometimes used as an alternative to sending a defendant to prison. It will often be used when an individual is guilty of a crime but that crime is either deemed not sufficiently serious, or the defendant’s previous record indicates that a prison sentence is perhaps not suitable. A criminal solicitor should be able to indicate whether probation is appropriate in your circumstances. If you require further help on a matter of criminal law you…

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What is the drink driving limit?

What is the drink driving limit?

When speaking of the ‘drink driving limit’ one should actually use the plural since there is more than one: one limit for alcohol in the breath, another for blood, and one for urine. The current drink driving limits for England Wales and Northern Ireland have been in place since 1967 and are as follows: 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres (ml) of breath; 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 ml of blood; or 107…

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What is the International Criminal Court?

What is the International Criminal Court?

The International Criminal Court is the international court which attempts to bring to justice any individual who has committed or instructed anybody to carry out acts of one of the four international crimes. These are: Genocide War crimes Crimes against humanity Crimes of aggression   The Court was formally opened and began commencing proceedings against people guilty of war crimes in 2002; this means that is has no jurisdiction to bring claims against any crimes…

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What is the Malicious Communications Act?

What is the Malicious Communications Act?

Most people use the internet and mobile phones safely, sensibly and without incident. However, when this technology is abused or used to intimidate, threaten or harass other people, serious legal consequences may follow. London 2012 Olympic Games and the Malicious Communications Act Until the Twitter outrage involving Olympic diver, Tom Daley, the general public had heard very little about the Malicious Communication Act, let alone how wide-ranging its provisions are. After failing to secure a…

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What items should I not take on a plane?

What items should I not take on a plane?

In order to prevent dangerous items from being taken on board planes, the UK has in place strict security measures, particularly in relation to hand luggage. What are dangerous items? Some items that may appear to be harmless may pose a significant risk if taken on board a flight. ‘Dangerous’ goods are those that pose the same danger irrespective of whether they are carried in checked baggage or hand luggage and passengers are therefore prohibited…

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What legal steps can I take over domestic violence, abuse and harassment?

What legal steps can I take over domestic violence, abuse and harassment?

Once you have thought about the practical things you need to do to ensure your short-term safety, you can take some legal steps to make sure the law can protect you. You can get help from the criminal law and the civil law together or separately. You have a number of choices, depending on: what has happened; what you want to do; and what you can afford. There are several reasons why you may need…

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What should I do if I am the victim of rape or sexual assault?

What should I do if I am the victim of rape or sexual assault?

What to do if you have been raped or sexually assaulted Rape and sexual assault are serious crimes in the UK. If you think you, or someone you know, has been raped or sexually assaulted then the guidance below may be of use. Have I been raped or sexually assaulted? Rape and sexual assault involves any unwanted sexual behaviour towards one person by another. If you have been in a sexual situation that you did…

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What should I do if I have been abused?

What should I do if I have been abused?

The first thing is to make sure that you and any children are safe. If you need protection during a violent incident, call the police on 999. If you are using a mobile phone, tell the operator where you are immediately, because they cannot find out by tracing your call. The police have a duty to protect you and any children and make sure you are safe. They may arrest your partner. They may go…

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What should I expect if I’m tested for drink driving?

What should I expect if I’m tested for drink driving?

The police are authorised by law to stop your vehicle at random. However, they do not have the power to conduct a completely random preliminary breath alcohol test for drink driving.   What is a preliminary breath alcohol test? The Road Traffic Act 1988 defines a breath alcohol test as “a procedure whereby the person to whom the test is administered provides a specimen of breath to be used for the purpose of obtaining, by…

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What support can I get for myself and my family as a prisoner?

What support can I get for myself and my family as a prisoner?

If you are sent to prison, it will likely affect your entire family. For you, as prisoner, being separated from your family and friends will be one of the most difficult parts of serving your sentence. This guide contains information on the support available to you and your family while you are in prison. Prisoner support There are various people who can help you in prison. Chaplain – If you are upset, concerned about something or…

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When do the police need a warrant?

When do the police need a warrant?

The police have the right to search your property and seize any items that are linked with a crime, but they must do so lawfully. Any search which is not done lawfully will be in breach of Article 8 of the Human Rights Act which protects a suspect’s right to respect for his private and family life. The police must therefore ensure any attempts to search property and seize goods are reasonably necessary and proportionate…

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Where can I get crime figures for my area?

Where can I get crime figures for my area?

Find information about crime and anti-social behaviour in neighbourhoods across England and Wales. How to use this service The Crime Mapper website allows you to access information on a range of crime types. You can search by village, town, postcode, police force or by using the interactive map. National crime map Disclaimer: If you cannot find what you are looking for on Findlaw.co.uk please let us know by contacting us at: findlaw.portalmanager@thomsonreuters.com. Furthermore, please be…

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Where can I get further support as a victim of domestic violence, abuse and harassment?

Where can I get further support as a victim of domestic violence, abuse and harassment?

Resolution phone: 01689 820272 website: www.resolution.org.uk The Law Society of England and Wales phone: 020 7242 1222 website: www.lawsociety.org.uk The Department for Constitutional Affairs For useful leaflets for couples with children, and information about domestic violence phone: 020 7210 8500 website: www.dca.gov.uk/family/famfr.htm The Courts Service website For copies of forms and leaflets about injunctions and divorce website: www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk Alcoholics Anonymous phone: 0845 769 7555 website: www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk Al Anon phone: 020 7403 0888 website: www.al-anonuk.org.uk Rights…

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Where can I get help and advice as a victim of drink driving?

Where can I get help and advice as a victim of drink driving?

Victims of drink driving have a number of places to go for help and advice. If you’re a victim, this article explains your options and outlines the support that is available. 1. Legal Help and Advice If you’re a victim of drink driving and suffer an injury or property damage, or one of your loved ones is injured or passes away following the accident, you may be able to claim compensation. There are many things…

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Where can I get help and support as a victim of crime?

Where can I get help and support as a victim of crime?

If you have been a victim of crime there are a number of services and organisations that could help you. Victims’ Information Service (victimsinformationservice.org.uk) The Victims’ Information Service offers advice and support for victims of crime. The Victims’ Information Service lets you use your postcode to find support services such: Counselling Finding a safe place to stay Finding practical help Finding emotional support The Victims’ Information Service also has advice online concerning specific types of…

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Where can I get support as a parent with a child involved in crime?

Where can I get support as a parent with a child involved in crime?

If you are a parent and you believe that your child has become involved with crime, there are people who can help. If you think your child is at risk from criminals or gangs, you can get free support and advice. Dedicated youth offending teams Youth offending teams play an important role in dealing with youth crime. Made up of representatives from the police, social services, health and education departments and housing, these teams look…

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Why do I bully people and what are the effects of bullying?

Why do I bully people and what are the effects of bullying?

You may think teasing people at school is a bit of harmless fun, but for the victim, it can be no fun at all. There are lots of organisations and useful websites that can help if you want to stop bullying someone. Why bully someone? If you are bullying someone, think about why you’re doing it. Are you trying to look good or portray a certain image to your group of friends? There are a…

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