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APR
22

Another Instruction for LNL Computer Crime Specialists

Miles Herman has been instructed by an individual facing serious complex allegations relating to computer interception and hacking. This is a major investigation by the E-Crime unit of the Metropolitan Police.

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APR
21

More Criminal Defence Success for LNL & Unan Choudhury

Yet another example of our successful, pro-active approach to criminal defence. Unan Choudhury represented an individual stopped when driving a car in the early hours of the morning. Police found a substantial amount of cocaine hidden behind the panel near the driver’s seat, together with a substantial amount of cash and two mobile phones.

After raising a robust legal argument the Judge directed that the client be acquitted.

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APR
19

Criminal records checks – and old convictions

The Home Office has started work on changing the law to make sure certain old and minor cautions and convictions will no longer be disclosed on the certificates issued after criminal records checks.

The move follows a Court of Appeal ruling earlier this year, which stated that the disclosure of all cautions and convictions on a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) Certificate, previously known as a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) certificate, was incompatible with Article 8 of the Convention for Human Rights.

Current position

At the moment, the criminal record checking service allows employers to access the criminal record history of people working, or seeking to work in certain positions. This includes roles such as doctors, dentists, lawyers and accountants - and people applying for jobs in which they would have contact with children and vulnerable adults.

However, concerns have been expressed over the extent of the checks, and the fact that they highlight certain old and minor convictions and cautions that may actually no longer be relevant.

Disproportionate

The issue came to the fore at the end of January this year, when the Court of Appeal ruled that the automatic disclosure of all convictions and cautions on CRB checks, regardless of their relevance to the job in question, is disproportionate – and therefore incompatible with the right to private life under article 8 of the Human Rights Act.

The case in question was that of “T”. It concerned a 21-year-old man who received warnings from Manchester Police when he was 11-years-old in connection with two stolen bikes. This information was disclosed on two occasions; when he applied for a part-time job at a local football club at the age of 17 and later when he applied for a University course in sports studies.

Court ruling

The Court found that the relevance of a conviction or caution to a particular job application depended on a number of factors including seriousness of the offence; age at time of the offence; sentence or otherwise imposed; time since offence committed; whether the individual has reoffended; and the nature of the job applied for.

The Court ruled that the disclosure system had the potential to interfere with privacy rights because “as a conviction recedes into the past, it becomes part of the individual’s private life” and “the administering of a caution is part of an individual’s private life from the outset”.

According to Corinna Ferguson, Legal Officer for human rights group Liberty, the ruling was sensible, requiring “the Government to introduce a more nuanced system for disclosing this type of sensitive personal data to employers.”

Proposals

Since then the Government has been working to develop a set of filtering rules that would remove certain old and minor convictions and cautions from a DBS certificate.

The filtering rules which are now before Parliament for consideration are:

  • An adult conviction will be removed from a criminal record certificate if,
    • 11 years have elapsed since the date of conviction
    • it is the person’s only offence
    • it did not result in a custodial sentence, and
    • it does not appear on the list of specified offences.
    • If a person has more than one offence, then details of all their convictions will always be included.
  • An adult caution will be removed after 6 years have elapsed since the date of the caution - and if it does not appear on the list of specified offences.
  • For those under 18 at the time of the offence, a conviction received as a young person would become eligible for filtering after 5.5 years - unless it is on the list of specified offences, a custodial sentence was received or the individual has more than one conviction.
  • A caution administered to a young person will not be disclosed if 2 years have elapsed since the date of issue - but only if it does not appear on the list of specified offences

The changes will not come into force until after the legislation has completed its passage through Parliament.

Contact our Criminal Lawyers in London

For specialist legal advice and criminal defence in the UK, please contact Jeffrey Lewis or Siobhain Egan on 020 7387 2032 or complete our online enquiry form here.

This blog is provided as a news item only. No connection between LNL and the parties involved is intended or implied

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APR
19

Driving ban for motorist ‘high’ on loud music

A Bristol man has received a driving ban after police pulled him over for erratic driving caused, unusually, because he was “high on drum and Bass”, reports the Independent.

The 25-year-old was stopped by police after they saw him driving through two red lights and taking a very sharp turn.

According to the Bristol Post, driver Aaron Cogley did not fail a breathalyser test and when asked about his poor driving said "he was listening to drum and bass and was in a hurry."

Mr Cogley pled guilty to a charge of dangerous driving. His defence lawyer said, in mitigation, that he had been "carried away because of the intoxicating effects of drum and bass music."

Dangerous driving is one of the most serious driving offences and can result in a prison sentence. A driving ban is always imposed and an extended re-test is required.

On this occasion, according to the Bristol Post, Mr Cogley was banned from driving for a year and ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pass the extended driving test and to pay a £60 victim surcharge.

Contact our Criminal Lawyers in London

For specialist legal advice and defence for motoring offence charges in the UK, please contact Jeffrey Lewis or Siobhain Egan on 020 7387 2032 or complete our online enquiry form here.

This blog is provided as a news item only. No connection between LNL and the parties involved is intended or implied.

 

 

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APR
19

Land bank fraud arrests by FCA

The FCA have just announced the prosecution of eight individuals allegedly involved in land bank frauds concerning three separate companies , as a result of Operation Cotton.

Land banking, unregulated collective investment, schemes have come to the attention of both the FCA and various trading standards authorities up and down the country over the last few years. There have been a handful of high profile prosecutions since 2012.

Land banking, per se, is NOT illegal, and we have successfully defended many individuals and companies who have come to the attention of the authorities (both investigations and prosecutions) by showing that these individuals/companies ran legitimate businesses. The authorities have taken a negative "blanket view" of the industry as a whole, none the less.

Land banking has attracted the attentions of largely small investors (often "sophisticated investors") anxious to secure modest returns on often modest investments.

The land banking companies will buy land, and then sell off parcels of this land to investors, on the basis that the land is genuinely theirs to sell and that it is likely to increase in value.

The land maybe well located near a town, likely to receive planning permission to build upon or benefit from a fresh designation from green belt to brown belt. This is all against a background of this government repeatedly stating that it will encourage the loosening of planning rules and revoking green belt designations.

If you are facing such an investigation/prosecution, you will need to instruct established, successful fraud defence lawyers, who understand how the authorities prosecute these cases. You will need lawyers who also understand how these companies and the property market works.

At LNL we offer, a multi-disciplinary approach. We draw upon our successful expertise in: fraud defence; asset confiscation; money laundering; property and civil litigation.

We are currently advising individuals facing investigation /prosecution facing these matters and have successfully concluded a number of these investigations, avoiding the prosecution of our clients this year.

Contact Jeffrey Lewis; Siobhain Egan; Miles Herman or Keith Wood.

This blog is provided as a news item only. No connection between LNL and the parties involved is intended or implied

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