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Appearing in the Magistrates Court (Adults) – 10 things you should know.

If you need help advice at Magistrates Court from our specialist Criminal Solicitor in Middlesbrough, call us for free advice on 01642 293427 or 07949 186589 out of hours. We can talk to you about your case and whether you would get legal aid, free of charge.

Our Criminal Defence Solicitors writes;-

1) What to do first:-

Usually it is not a good idea to attend without first taking legal advice from a specialist Criminal Defence Solicitor.

Your Criminal Solicitor can advise you whether it would be a good idea to have legal representation at Court.

Your Criminal Solicitor will also advise you whether

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What happens at a Child Protection Conference?

Our Family Solicitor in Middlesbrough explains what happens at a Child Protection Meeting;-

The child protection meeting will be led by the Chair; this is an independent safeguarding officer who makes sure that the meeting follows the correct schedule.

There will also be a minute-taker at the child protection meeting, who writes down everything that happens, to allow a report to be provided to everyone involved.

At the meeting it has to be decided whether the child is at “continuing risk of significant harm”.

The test for this is in three parts;-

1. The child can be shown to have suffered ill-treatment or impairment of health or development as a

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Legal Advice at the Police Station

criminal-solicitor-middlesbroughShould you have a Solicitor with you when you are interviewed by the Police?  Even if it’s just to “come in and have a chat”?

The short answer is “Yes”, whether it is a voluntary attendance or you have been arrested or are returning on bail and these are the reasons why;

It is Free of Charge. If you are arrested or asked to attend for a voluntary interview, you should ask for Paul J Watson Solicitor to be contacted.  This service is free of charge to everyone at any time of day and is not means tested.  Whatever your financial circumstances, you do not need to pay for a Solicitor’s advice at the police station. It is your right to have free and independent legal advice before answering any questions from the police. Anything that you discuss with our solicitors is confidential. When our Criminal Defence solicitors arrive at the police station they look at the custody record to ensure that you have not been mistreated by the police. From the moment you were arrested, we will endeavour to ensure that you are treated properly by the police until you are released. The only way of ensuring that you are dealt with fairly and correctly by the police is by using a solicitor. In order to know your full rights whilst at a police station, it is best to use a solicitor If you ask for a solicitor, the police have to provide that solicitor with the full details of any allegations against you. We can then tell you this information before the interview, making sure that you are fully prepared prior to the interview taking place. The solicitor will also advise on the best course of action for you to take during that interview, such as whether or not you should answer the police questions. A solicitor can stop the interview at any time if, for example the police are unduly pressurising you, or in order to provide you with further legal advice. Being arrested can be a daunting experience for anyone. By taking up the opportunity of having a solicitor, you will be advised of each step of the procedure, and what is likely to happen with you, whether it be a charge, bail or no further action. Having this understanding will go some way to putting you more at ease. Police may attempt to persuade you not to use a solicitor/legal representative. This is only because not having a solicitor present may be better for the police. It is certainly not better for you to go ahead with the interview without obtaining assistance from a solicitor. Police often say that you will be released from the police station quicker without a solicitor. This simply is not the case; “Research has found that the police sometimes use the prospect of further delay to persuade a suspect to agree to being interviewed without having received the advice the suspect initially wanted.” (Defending Suspects at Police Stations, the practitioner`s guide to advice and representation, sixth edition, 2011, Ed Cape)

Choosing our Criminal Defence Lawyers;-

  • Our clients consistently recommend us because we offer a high quality service, with very experienced Criminal

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Using the Duty Solicitor

Free Legal Advice at Police Stations

Everyone receives free legal aid to have a solicitor represent them at the police station, regardless of financial circumstances.

Do you know the difference between a duty solicitor and a trusted local solicitor? THERE ISN’T ONE! Most local criminal solicitors are on a rota which means that they are on duty on certain days/nights in case someone needs a criminal solicitor and doesn’t already have one.

But you never have to use a solicitor that you don’t already know if you don’t want to and you never have to use the duty solicitor.

Our

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Another great result for our Crime Team

R v W – Historical sexual abuse charges

Another client successfully defended in a 5 day trial which concluded at Teesside Crown Court today. The Jury took only 90 minutes to decide to acquit our client (find him not guilty) on every charge, after hearing evidence over the previous 4 days.  This brought to an end a nightmare for our client, whose life had effectively been put on hold since he was invited to the Police Station to answer allegations of historical sexual abuse.  Since then he had to endure months of waiting to prove his innocence, whilst at the same time having his life disrupted by the involvement of Social Services.

This

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What is a Contact Activity Order?

Family Solicitors

Our Middlesbrough Family Solicitor explains;-

If a judge has ordered you to so something within Children Act proceedings, this is often called a Contact Activity Order. This Order can cover issues such as attending a parenting course or attending family mediation.

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Changes to Legal Aid – April 2013

Family Solicitors

Our Middlesbrough Solicitor writes about the legal aid changes to family law;-

So the 1st April 2013 has brought major changes to welfare and benefits and your entitlement to legal aid – but what does this actually mean to you?

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children-solicitor-middlesbroughAdoption Process Guidance & FAQs -Our Family Solicitors in Middlesbrough explain;-

In order to be adopted, a child must:

  • be under the age of 18 when the adoption application is made;
  • not be (or have ever been) married or in a civil partnership.
  • The child’s birth parents

Normally, both birth parents have to agree (consent) to the adoption, unless:

  • They cannot be found
  • They are incapable of giving consent – e.g. due to a mental disability
  • The child would be put at risk if they were not adopted
  • Who can adopt a child?

You may be able to adopt a child if you are aged 21 or over (there is no upper age limit) and are either:

  • single;
  • married;
  • in a civil partnership;
  • an unmarried couple (same sex and opposite sex);
  • the partner of the child’s parent.
  • There are different rules for private adoptions and adoptions of looked-after children.

Do I have to live in the UK to adopt a child?

You do not need to be a British citizen to adopt a child, but:

  • At least one of you must have a fixed and permanent home in the UK (or the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man);
  • Both of you must have lived in the UK for at least one year before you begin the application process.
    Early stages of adoption

To adopt a child you can go through either:

  • The adoption agency that is part of your local council
  • A voluntary adoption agency

The adoption process

The basic process is as follows:

  • You contact an adoption agency – it will send you information about the adoption process.
  • The agency arranges to meet you – you may also be invited to a meeting with other people wanting to adopt a child.
  • If you and the agency agree to carry on, the agency will give you an application form.
  • The time it takes to adopt can vary – but it normally takes at least 8 months.

Adopting a stepchild

If you want to adopt your spouse’s or partner’s child, you need to tell your local council. You must do this at least 3 months before applying to a court

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Child Law – What is the Children Act 1989?

Family Solicitors

Our Middlesbrough Solicitor explains;-

The Children Act 1989 is the statute (i.e. the law) which states what a court can or cannot do when making orders about children. It covers all different kinds of situations, such as child residence, child contact and changing a child’s name, all the way through to care proceedings and child abduction.

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Child Law – What is the ‘welfare checklist’?

Family Solicitors

Our Middlesbrough Family Solicitors explain;-

When a court is considering any decision about the well-being and upbringing of a child then the child’s welfare should always be the priority of the judge. The welfare checklist sets out for the court and the professionals all the areas that must be considered when making a decision about a child, whether this is about child contact, child residence or other orders.

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