Changes to the Cost of Criminal Law - Has Justice left the UK?

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posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 05:32 AM
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In the UK up until recently for criminal cases, prosecutions in the Magistrates and Crown Courts were paid for by the State as its Regina V the Defendant. I understood all Crown Court Proceedings were paid for by the State.

Although the unemployed will not have to pay, suddenly this appears to have changed for the employed. Someone I know has been charged and is due to appear in a Magistrate's Court and unless it is dropped presumably will go onto the Crown Court. They have had to supply information concerning their salary, savings, and assets, which seemed strange at the time as they were told 'That it is only an alleged incident etc'. This apparently means the Police aren't sure and will let a Jury/Court decide, despite the fact witnesses have been interviewed who said it was not true, so its not a straight forward 'Guilty Mi Lord!'

This guy has just had a bill for this 'alleged' incident at £8,000 for his legal costs and a demand for his car plus £900 in 4 weeks time to be paid to some agency he has never heard of before.

A Magistrates Court hearing is usually a short affair either referring someone on to the Crown or doling out a fine or short prison sentence. So £8000 is astounding, even in Cameron's England. If you think of every Magistrate's Court under the Regina V system and the level of fees that people who are in work will now have to pay, they are minting it in order to keep our trundling, dead sheep brigade and their little lieutenants living in a financial state they have become accustomed to.

It may be that one has to pay this sum or similar amounts up front, clearly before a case is dealt with and then claim it back when aquitted. How many people can afford today to do this, so has Justice left the UK for working people?

edit on 6-8-2013 by Shiloh7 because: Messed up the Subject so altered it to read right.




posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 05:44 AM
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That is pretty astonishing.

Getting more and more taxes and making people pay personnel fees so dipping less into the huge tax money.

Do you have any links to any material on this?



posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 06:39 AM
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Does this have anything to do with G4S I wonder



posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 06:47 AM
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reply to post by Biigs
 


No, I knew nothing about it until the guy told me.

He is distraught because he doesn't earn enough to pay £8,ooo and with his mortgage and outgoings this will ultimately bankrupt him and he says his solicitor told him it will take about a year to come to Court. Like many he doesn't have enough equity due to the market to borrow against etc. This is unbelievable, no wonder they kept it quiet.



posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 07:29 AM
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Originally posted by Shiloh7
reply to post by Biigs
 


No, I knew nothing about it until the guy told me.

He is distraught because he doesn't earn enough to pay £8,ooo and with his mortgage and outgoings this will ultimately bankrupt him and he says his solicitor told him it will take about a year to come to Court. Like many he doesn't have enough equity due to the market to borrow against etc. This is unbelievable, no wonder they kept it quiet.



I wouldnt even bother to get represented. They cant throw everyone in prison, it would cost to much lol



posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 09:23 AM
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reply to post by Shiloh7
 


This is huge step backwards without a doubt.

Justice used to be and should be everyone's entitlement, regardless of financial status - now it is yours only if you have money you buy it.

Our jails will soon be filled with innocent poor folk, and rich criminals will be enjoying liberty.

What an absolute corrupt shambles our once great country has descended into.



posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 09:24 AM
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There is no justice in the world of the Master and the Slave.



posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 09:27 AM
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Anybody have any proof of this or is it just hearsay?



posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 11:14 AM
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reply to post by johnb
 


I have known this guy for 30 odd years and he had both the letter from the Magistrate's Court and the letter from this Agency trying to start collecting his money and demanding his car. He was asking if we would be character witnesses. He knew something was going on when his own solicitor wanted details of his finances etc, but not this...

The implications for this are worrying for anyone working or with savings. I wonder if we will slowly find that our Courts will only be prosecuting those who have assets or are about to come into assets. I read sometime ago that many people there for violent crimes seem to walk and when our Government says crime is falling, sure that's great but it depends on who the police chose to arrest and later charge.

I understand that Legal Aid had been withdrawn from some parts of the legal system but not for criminal proceedings surely - another guy said well, if Regina want to prosecute then Regina pays. So many laws have been passed and the police seem to arrest for the slightest reason before they even investigate a case, so I wonder how many of us not au fait with the laws that exist today are up to date.



posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 11:34 AM
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Something doesn't ring true with this sequence of events

Legal Costs are from his lawyer so he would know about them and how much it would have cost to defend him.

Court costs are presented after the case has gone to conclusion and are usually included as part of the verdict

I don't know anything about the agency or who that is but surely your friend would know

Interesting

Riouz



posted on Aug, 10 2013 @ 05:09 AM
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The guy's solicitor has confirmed that this is the normal case today if you are working. He thinks the costs are excessive and now has the papers and is dealing with it. The collection firm's name is Rossendales. He doesn't know yet whether he will have to pay monthly or have to part with his car or whether he will have to pay at a later date, hopefully he will win his case, but the worry of this is apparently badly affecting him already - Justice in Britain!



posted on Aug, 10 2013 @ 06:04 AM
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reply to post by Shiloh7
 


Whilst it is indeed getting harder for the 'ordinary working man' to get Legal Aid etc it's certainly not impossible and not even uncommon.

Some things about this just don't sound right



....is due to appear in a Magistrate's Court and unless it is dropped presumably will go onto the Crown Court.


That all depends on the severity of the charge.
If found guilty then the Magistrate can either pass sentence or if the punishment could be too severe for a Magistrate's remit then it could be referred to Crown for sentencing.



'That it is only an alleged incident etc'. This apparently means the Police aren't sure and will let a Jury/Court decide, despite the fact witnesses have been interviewed who said it was not true, so its not a straight forward 'Guilty Mi Lord!'


The police can decide to drop charges but the final decision on whether a case goes to Magistrates or straight to Crown or get's dropped ultimately lies with The Crown Prosecution Service's, CPS. They allegedly judge a case on the strength and type of evidence etc and then take whatever course of action they deem appropriate.



This guy has just had a bill for this 'alleged' incident at £8,000 for his legal costs and a demand for his car plus £900 in 4 weeks time to be paid to some agency he has never heard of before.


Who has he had the 'bill' off?
The Crown will not charge any costs that they deem is required until after final sentencing, so they can not have sent him the bill.
So it can only be the legal firm he has asked to represent him - if it's anyone else I'd suggest it's an attempt to fraud.

ETA

Rossendales are a bona fide debt collecting agency, the bill can only have come from the legal firm representing him who must have notified him prior to engaging Rossendales.

Has there been any legal action taken against him to recover these costs?
Without a court order etc then these demands are absolutely toothless.

As an aside, the legal profession is one of the most corrupt and amoral extortion rackets running in this country.
If you have any complaints about the service they have provided, costs etc then there is an appeal process you can go through whereby lawyers pass judgement on other lawyers - how often do you think they decide in favour of the complainant?
edit on 10/8/13 by Freeborn because: Add ETA



posted on Aug, 11 2013 @ 03:37 PM
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reply to post by Freeborn
 


Apparently the Solicitor who represents him thought the costs were very high but did not tell him that his firm had instructed this Agency. I will tell him tomorrow if I can what you have said and he can take it from there. I am just astounded about the whole thing. I thought the police use to investigate a crime and make a decision, send it to the CPS and then they OK'd or Nay'd it but no. Perhaps the Solicitors are getting short of work.

What also bothers me is the attitude of the police. Some natty little programme showed two PC's leaving the station with the idea of "Who can we Arrest?' I had seen this attitude before on the tv but a second time and the implications of what this can mean for Joe Public is horrendous and its not acceptable. This unsubtle change in policing is only going to led to more distrust and lack of cooperation with the police, which benefits noone ultimately.



posted on Aug, 11 2013 @ 04:37 PM
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reply to post by Shiloh7
 


The thing is everything is about money and targets.

Legal firms want to make large amounts of money; here probably isn't the right place to discuss the duplicitous and avaricious nature of the legal profession but it's my experience that far too many lawyers, solicitors etc are more concerned with personal gain and advancement than justice and the interests of those who they represent.
And it is very much a money-go-round which both defence and prosecution wish to maintain.

But there is no denying that the changes in Legal Aid rules are having an effect on how legal firms proceed with court actions.

The police and the CPS, like everybody it seems nowadays, are managed by numbers and have become target driven.
There is an obsession with number of crimes solved, crime rates, successful prosecution percentages etc and the pencil pushers scrutinise every penny spent.
Even the P.C. on the beat has a quota of convictions to meet.
And whether we like it or not the police are always under pressure to adhere to the political dictates of the day.

The best bit of advice I could give your friend is to contact the Citizens Advice Bureau and arrange free consultation.
CAB are still by far the best group to give free and impartial advice on legal matters - for those of us who have no legal training etc it can be a quagmire and things that may seem incredibly trivial to us can be hugely important to lawyers and the judiciary, and vice versa.
edit on 11/8/13 by Freeborn because: grammar and clarity





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