What is revenge porn? Previously dealt with under existing Harassment or Malicious Communications law, there is now a specific offence. The offence is that of distributing a private sexual image of someone without consent, and with the intention of causing them distress. This is commonly called revenge porn. Revenge porn has become a growing phenomenon in recent years and usually involves the posting and sharing on the web of intimate images of former lovers without their consent. Such actions, often by spurned men, are designed to degrade and humiliate ex-partners in the most cruel and malicious way. Victims have spoken out of how they have been traumatised by the images of their bodies being ogled and mocked by thousands of men. The maximum custodial sentence is two years. Distributing an image has a wide definition. It can range from uploading the image to a pornographic website, sharing on social media, to simply sending it via sms to a friend’s handset. Therefore uploading a naked or pornographic image of a person without their consent is now illegal. This does not apply to offences committed before March 2015 when the Act relating to revenge porn came into force. Police powers in relation to revenge porn are the same as with any indictable offence. You may be arrested. Your phone and computer equipment seized, and browser history checked. You may be invited to the police station for a voluntary interview under caution. If you are invited for an interview under caution, then you should seek legal advice. Revenge porn has been described by the courts as “a highly vindictive invasion of privacy, done with the intention of humiliating and hurting your victim”. A number of people in the UK have already been convicted under the revenge porn laws, including a woman and a youth. One person was jailed for 16 weeks. Instagram and Facebook have been used.
Car accident. Should I report it? The answer is “it depends”. If you’re the driver of a mechanically propelled vehicle (car, motorcycle, bus, lorry etc.) that’s involved in a car accident on a road or public place and a person other than yourself is injured, or damage is caused to another vehicle or to someone else’s property – including street lamps, signs, bollards etc. or an animal, other than one in your own vehicle/trailer, has been killed or injured (animal means any horse, cattle, ass, mule, sheep, pig, goat or dog, but not a cat) then this is called a reportable accident and you must stop and provide your details to the other party. In some cases you must produce your insurance certificate. If you don’t provide your details to the other party then the car accident must be reported to the police – it’s against the law not to. Reports of a car accident cannot be made by phone, post or e-mail – a car accident report must be made in person. Car parks can be classed as public places e.g. supermarket and some multi story car parks. However, car parks belonging to private organisations where members of the public would not ordinarily be permitted are not classed as public places and a car accident occurring there should be reported directly to your insurance company. If in doubt it is better to report the car accident to the police and be guided by their advice. You should report every car accident to your insurance company even if you were not at fault. The insurance company bases your quote and policy on information provided to them and if that changes it could invalidate your insurance policy. Reportable road traffic accidents have to be reported as soon as is reasonably practicable and in any case, within twenty-four hours. If the police suspect you are at fault then they may conduct an interview under caution with you. If this happens then you should seek legal advice.
Police Powers. What are the police powers. What are your legal rights. With arrest rates plummeting following the strict application of Code G, more and more suspect are being invited into the police station for a voluntary interview under caution. What does this mean? what are your legal rights? Are they the same as being in police detention? Do you still need legal advice? Your right to free legal advice remains the same, but indications are that suspects are waiving the right to legal advice as a voluntary interview under caution is thought less serious or less formal. It is still your absolute right to obtain legal advice. It is still your absolute right to communicate with anyone outside the police station as well as obtain free legal advice. The police powers are significantly less if a suspect is not arrested. No police powers of search. No police powers to take fingerprints or DNA. If invited for an interview under caution it maybe that the police have no need to exercise the additional police powers available to them. Police powers increase if the suspect has been arrested and is in police detention. The desire to not exercise these additional police powers does not infer that the matter for which the interview under caution is being conducted is any less serious. If invited for a voluntary interview under caution then a suspect should still exercise his right to legal advice. The police still reserve the right to make an arrest should it become necessary. For instance, if the suspect does not attend when invited for voluntary interview. If the suspect attempts to leave the voluntary interview. If the police have doubts concerning the identity of the suspect, or doubts concerning the suspect’s address, which may make the service of a summons difficult, then they may exercise the police powers of arrest.
Entitlement to legal advice is a basic “human right”, Jeremy Corbyn told a rally aimed at defending public access to justice. In a speech at Conway Hall, central London, Corbyn condemned court closures and the withdrawal of free legal advice for employment tribunals, welfare benefit cases and other areas of law. We will support and defend the principle of legal aid, Corbyn said. “Courts and law centres are closing down. The opportunity to be represented at employment tribunals has gone. It’s a denial of justice. I would not say that legal aid is an economic benefit, it’s a basic human right.”
Victim, a witness or accused of a crime? What can and can’t the police do? What are your rights? What is an interview under caution? Ex-partner keeps sending texts and messages. Is it against the law? What can the police do? Is it harassment? Will he be arrested? Have the the police asked you to make a statement? What is a statement? Do you have to? What are the police powers? what is revenge porn? These are the sort of questions being asked of solicitors online. Growing number of websites offering legal advice online regarding police powers. Expert legal advice online available at fixed price. Anonymous and fast response to legal questions.
Search Warrant. Can the police search without a search warrant? Can the police search me in the street without a reason? Do you have to give your name or address to the police? Can the police stop my car? What reasons can the police breath test me? How do I complain about how the police? How long can the police keep you when arrested? Can I have a solicitor? Can the police search?
New psychological domestic abuse law now in force
“controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship” includes continuous or persistent:
• Isolating a person from their friends and family
• Controlling what they do, where they go, who they can see, what they wear and when they sleep
• Repeatedly putting them down, such as telling them they are worthless
• Enforcing rules and activity which humiliate, degrade or dehumanise the victim
• Financial abuse
• Threats to reveal or publish private information
The Appropriate Adult achieves a fairer justice system by safeguarding the welfare and rights of children and vulnerable adults when subjected to interview under caution by police, whether they be under arrest or invited to attend a voluntary interview under caution at the police station or elsewhere.
2016 expected to see an increase in solicitors online legal advice as citizens advice centres close and police invite more people to attend the police station for a voluntary interview under caution.
The number of law centres and free legal advice agencies has more than halved in the past decade, while demands for their services have increased in the wake of recent cuts to legal aid. A Ministry of Justice report released yesterday showed that the not-for-profit legal advice sector had contracted by 55 per cent in the past 10 years. More and more people are turning to the internet for help, and searching for expert legal advice online. Despite this, the number of solicitors offering legal advice online has not significantly increased.