Contact Law blog

Criminal law

Bullying partners could face prosecution in the UK under new offence

Home Secretary Theresa May has launched a consultation on the creation of a new offence of domestic abuse. The proposals would include psychological abuse as well as violence.

Domestic abuse is a hugely prevalent crime in the UK. HMIC (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary) figures for September 2012 to September 2013 show that it accounted for 1 million calls to police.

The latest Crime Survey for England and Wales suggests 30% of women and 16% of men will be victims of domestic abuse at some point.


Magistrates’ fines set to increase by 300% to punish offenders

New proposals are giving magistrates the power to set dramatically higher fines in order to punish and deter offenders.

The fine increases, which are the first since 1991, will see the maximum fine for speeding on a motorway increase from £2,500 to £10,000.

Justice Minister Jeremy Wright said the 300% rise in fines is necessary to help magistrates “deal with the day–to–day offences that impact their local communities.”


The ramifications of the Government’s criminal legal aid cuts exposed by Cameron’s brother

A serious fraud trial has today (01 May 2014) been halted due to the judge deciding that there was no prospect of a fair trial.

The reasoning is that the defendants will not be adequately represented because no barristers agreed to take on the case.


Criminal lawyers make a stand against legal aid reforms

Solicitors and barristers up and down the country are coming together and threatening strike action over the Government’s proposed reforms to the legal aid system in England and Wales.

Approximately 80 lawyers in Devon and Cornwall have become the latest legal professionals to make a stand against the proposals that would see criminal lawyers having to compete for a contract in order to be allowed to take on legal aid cases.


Speeding his way to jail

Last night Chris Huhne, the former cabinet minister, spent his first night in jail for lying about who was owed the speeding points handed to him in 2003.

It is a dramatic fall from grace for a politician who was once considered one of the most dynamic ministers in the coalition. He only became an MP in 2005, but was energy secretary in the early stages of the coalition before the scandal broke.


Texting driver jailed over car collision death

It seems the message that texting on a mobile phone while driving is extremely dangerous, as well as illegal, has not yet reached all car drivers.

With regard to this unsafe practice, a 29-year-old woman, Susan Noble from Armthorpe near Doncaster, was given a jail sentence at Teesside Crown Court on Monday. At an earlier hearing she had pleaded guilty to causing the death by dangerous driving of 25-year-old Alexandru Braninski, in December 2011.


London pharmacists alleged to sell controlled drugs illegally

An undercover investigation by the BBC reports its team found nine pharmacists in London willing to sell dangerous controlled drugs without seeing any prescriptions.

Furthermore, it is alleged that the pharmacists sold the medicines for high prices, far above the £7.50 NHS prescription charge.


HMRC has the scent of garlic smugglers

A garlic smuggler is on the run after being convicted of avoiding £2m in import duty, according to the BBC.

Murugasan Natarajan was sentenced to six years in prison after being caught out pretending thousands of tonnes of garlic was fresh ginger, which is not taxed.


Justice was a witch in the 1600s

As today is Halloween we thought we’d do something a bit different and have a look at the witch trials of the past, to show that while the justice system does have some creases in need of ironing, things used to be a great deal worse.

The most famous UK trial is the Pendle witch trial of 1612, in which twelve people from Pendle Hill, Lancashire, were charged with murdering a total of ten people by using witchcraft.


Young man claims police locked him up for filming on-duty officers

The Mail on Sunday reported yesterday that a 20-year-old man, Jake Coplestone, is claiming Wiltshire police locked him up overnight because he filmed some on-duty officers apparently taking a break.

Coplestone, who played ruby for south-west England under-16s, claims he saw five on-duty police officers gathered in a Marlborough café-bar one evening this September. He filmed them with his phone, but was spotted doing so and approached by two of the officers.


If you have been charged with a crime or motoring offence, you should get legal advice. In our blog we’ve covered current news on the UK criminal justice system. We also cover your frequent questions about speeding fines, driving offences and penalties.

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