What do you do when the CPS have charged you of a crime without any strong evidence, and you face a court process of over a year to clear your name?
Come to see Kyles!
Well done to our newest duty solicitor Mark Styles, who had two serious charges of child neglect dismissed yesterday at Newcastle Crown Court – an excellent result for a client who had done nothing wrong and yet still suffered a 2 year nightmare waiting for the outcome of his criminal proceedings. Even more worryingly, the case was listed for trial in summer next year, meaning the client faced further months of stress and uncertainty.
The client was charged in relation to injuries to a child who was not his own, which he always denied causing or even knowing about. Having gone through a lengthy Family Court process with Kyles, which had been so successful it resulted in the Judge commenting that he believed the client had not been to blame in any way, the Crown Prosecution Service still chose to pursue criminal charges.
Mark took the case up at the Crown Court and challenged the CPS decision to charge, by threatening judicial review action in the High Court, particularly mentioning the Family Court Judge’s detailed decision. After over a month of pursuing this, the CPS conceded there was no evidence to support any charge against our client and the case was dismissed, saving months of anxiety and worry for a client whom it was clear had done nothing wrong, and more importantly, seeing justice finally done.
Good day at the office!
So, what is judicial review? In short, judicial review is a way of challenging decisions that are felt to be unreasonable, irrational or illegal by taking the issue to the High Court. The court will then rule on the issue raised.
The process starts with a letter before action, challenging the decision in question and giving the authority who has decided (in this case the CPS) a period of time to reconsider their decision and/or offer to put the situation right. If they decline, then proceedings can be started in the High Court.
Can I start a judicial review? Not all decisions can be challenged, but as shown here, it can pay to raise the unfair issues at an early stage and ask the authorities to re-look at them. Anyone who has been through the court system will know it is not quick, and acting promptly can save a lot of anxiety.
At Kyles we can look at judicial reviews of issues relating to our practice, so issues of criminal law, prison law and on occasion family law. If you contact us, we should be able to quickly tell you whether you could have a case.
Will I have to pay? As with most areas of law, judicial review can be funded privately or under legal aid. Again, our solicitors can advise you of whether you will or won’t qualify.
Contact us today – 0191 257 1051