How has the virus affected initial remand and the right to a solicitor?
As with every other area of life, the Justice system has scrambled to keep up with the changes necessary in response to COVID-19, and in turn has the remand system. Although the situation is mostly in-flux, it is being monitored all the time and police stations find themselves on the front line. The information below was correct as of 26 March, 2020.
With arrests still occurring, police forces are working as normally as possible and police station detainees are still entitled to legal representation. Social distancing has ensured that in all possible areas, remaining a minimum of two metres (six feet) apart from other people can be remedied by video calls.
Cartwright King is working with police stations across the UK to ensure that those held in police custody can obtain expert legal advice and representation, even in urgent situations.
With the ability to work remotely we are enabled to speak to people face to face using technology at this uncertain time, and still abide by government regulation. Those remanded in custody need to call 0808 0808 168 5550 for help from one of our specialist solicitors.
The current position in the courts can be found here.
If you have a summons to attend court, or are bailed to a hearing you should not attend but contact the court who will give you directions and a new date. Any bail conditions applying will continue. Please contact us and we can monitor your case and keep in touch with the authorities for you.
It is vital to keep in touch and closely monitor your mail, as cases will be given a new court date when COVID-19 cases has lowered.
Motorists need to be aware that cases in the Single Justice Procedure will also be adjourned. Again it is vital to keep a track of these processes and contact us if in any doubt. The courts will contact you to advise any new dates, but please do not ignore letters from the courts. If you have any questions on this, we can help if you contact us.
The responsibility to ensure that your vehicle is legal, insured and roadworthy remains. It seems that from 30th March MOT’s may be extended for 6 months but we await the legislation to confirm this. Such an extension will not excuse many offences, for example driving with tyres that do not meet legal requirements.
We understand that the DVLA is not accepting any new driver applications, and theory tests have been suspended. If you need to renew your licence because of age or category you can still do this, but only online here.
Cartwright King has lawyers in most areas of law, and the current information we are sharing is written by criminal motoring specialist lawyer Andy Cash of Cartwright King.