Q. Do you do legal aid work?
A. No we do not but dependent upon where you live we may be able to refer you to a criminal legal aid firm who can assist you.
Q. Do you do appeals against conviction and/or sentence?
A. It is rare that we will do an appeal. They are so difficult to succeed with and are soul destroying both for the lawyers involved and Appellants. Dependent upon the nature of the case and how compelling the potential appeal is, we will consider it.
Q. Will the police tell me in advance of the interview what the allegations are?
A. If you are arrested or a volunteer, if you have representation (duty representation at the police station or our firm) the police will almost definitely give an outline of the case against you so that you are aware of who is complaining about you and what it is that you are said to have done wrong. In some cases, where the police have been examining devices such as phones and laptops, they will often give information in relation to their findings on such devices, in anticipation of the interview. If you are arrested and taken to a police station and you do not have us in attendance, this should not matter.
Q. Can I take any action against the Complainant when no further action has been taken against me?
A. It is highly unlikely. We are not the firm to ask this question to. It is particularly a matter for the police and the CPS as to whether anybody who has made a seemingly false complaint is questioned and/or prosecuted. The vast majority of Complainants can complaint with impunity.
Q. Why are Social Services involved in my case?
A. If you have relevant children ie children under the age of 16 or are dependent upon for some other reason for example they have some kind of disability, the Social Services will want to do a “safeguarding” assessment of you and your family unit. This may mean that if you are on bail, one of the conditions is that you have no unsupervised with a person under the age of 16 or 18 years and in the alternative you may be asked to live somewhere other than at your home address (where your children presumably reside). Any contact that you have will need to be supervised by your partner, a social worker or someone else over the age of 18. However, once the assessment has been concluded, bail or otherwise, it is likely that you will be allowed to return home and/or be allowed to have unsupervised contact with your own children. Applications can sometimes be made to the police for bail restrictions in relation to one’s own children to be varied so that the restriction remains in place as regards any other child but not one’s own children (of course this would not be the case if one’s own children were the Complainants).
Q. How long will it take for my devices to be forensically examined?
A. This can take a very long time. Sometimes it can be as little as six months but we have known cases to be 12 months and more. If you have more than one device that needs to be reviewed then you are more than likely to be in the longer waiting time, than the shorter.
Q. Can I seek compensation if I am found not guilty or no further action is taken against me?
A. We do not get involved in cases like this. It may be possible but we do not have the expertise to deal with these matters. We advise that if you “walk away” from these cases it is probably best for you to be satisfied with that and let the matter rest where it is. It could become a very expensive exercise to try to take action of your own against the person who has complained about you.