Another job well done – challenging CPS charging decisions

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

Conveyancing at Kyles Legal

Kyles Legal are delighted to welcome Jeff Smith, Maria Rice and Viki Logan to the team, they will be working in our Conveyancing department from June 2016.

If you would like to speak with the team, please contact our office on 0191 2571051 and they will be happy to help.

Criminal Court Charges to come into force – 13 April 2015

Following 13 April 2015, defendants who attend a Criminal Court and either plead guilty or are found guilty of any offence in England and Wales will have to pay up to £1,200 towards the cost of their court case under The Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 (Criminal Courts Charge) Regulations 2015, it has been revealed.

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Is Legal Aid still available for family cases?

In April 2013 fundamental changes were made to legal aid following the implementation of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO).

Since those changes, the landscape for the provision of legal aid has changed beyond all belief and recognition and the figures from the first year of civil justice reforms show that access to civil legal aid has fallen by more than half and some categories of law have already become almost entirely inaccessible for state funding.

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Do I really need legal advice at the Police Station?

At the last count, there were 1.2 million persons arrested by the police for recorded crimes in 2011 to 2012.

People are arrested and interviewed by the Police when they are under suspicion of having committed a criminal offence.

The Police may arrest you or seek to interview you by prior appointment. Interviews can take place at a police station, your home or place of work, or other location such as a prison if you are already in custody or on occasion the Police may ask that you come to the police station voluntarily just to be spoken to.

However, you should be aware that there really is no such thing as having ‘a brief chat’ with the Police.

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