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MJS Criminal Defence Lawyers

Criminal Law news & updates from our expert criminal defence lawyers

Understanding the Impact of Scotland's New Hate Crime Laws

Hate Crime Act Scotland

Scotland's Hate Crime and Public Order Act criminalises actions that stir up hatred against protected groups, including race, religion, and sexual orientation, as of April 1, 2024. This Act aims to modernise and consolidate existing hate crime laws, and , as such, marks a crucial step forward in protecting the rights and dignity of marginalised communities within Scotland - however it has not been without controversy.

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194 Hits

How many years do you get for murder UK?

One of the most frequently asked questions regarding murder cases in Scotland is, "How many years do you get for murder?"

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286 Hits

What happens to a person who commits fraud?

Fraud is a serious offence in Scotland, encompassing a wide range of deceptive activities that aim to obtain financial or other benefits through dishonest means. In this article, we will delve into the legal aspects surrounding fraud in Scotland, exploring the investigative process, the role of the procurator fiscal, court proceedings, and the potential consequences for those found guilty of committing fraud.
 
If you are under investigation for Fraud, it is crucial you reach out to a solicitor as soon as possible.  For more information contact our team today.
 

Reporting and Investigation of a Crime

When a crime is reported, the initial investigation is conducted by the police or other reporting agencies. If sufficient evidence is found, a report may be submitted to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) for further consideration. The procurator fiscal, a prosecution lawyer working for COPFS, then assesses the evidence to determine the appropriate course of action in the public interest.

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299 Hits

What is the punishment for falsely accusing someone?

Accusing someone falsely of a crime, especially serious offences such as sexual crimes and historical sexual offences, is a grave matter. This blog explores the legal implications and charges that can be brought against individuals making false accusations, shedding light on the complex legal framework designed to uphold the integrity of the justice system in Scotland.

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299 Hits

Scots criminal gang's paymaster found with £14,000 in an Asda shopping bag

Gerard McTaggart, 47, of Glasgow, has been sentenced to four years and eight months in prison for acting as a "wages" paymaster for prominent gangland members and their families.

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478 Hits

Concerns about use of loopholes as modified hunting laws in Scotland

"The result of the motion 7600 in the name of Mairi McAllan is Yes, 90, and No, 30. There were no abstentions. The motion is therefore agreed, and the Hunting with Dogs Scotland Bill is passed."

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570 Hits

Have you been accused of a sexual offence?

If you have been accused of a sexual offence, our criminal defence lawyers can guide you through the process from start to finish. Facing such a serious accusation is daunting, so you’re likely to have many questions. We have put together some FAQs to help you.

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496 Hits

Domestic Abuse: Frequently Asked Questions

The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 came into force on 1st April 2019, creating the crime of psychological abuse within a relationship. In this guide, we cover some of the most commonly asked questions about domestic abuse in Scotland: 

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846 Hits

Accused of revenge porn? What you need to know

With an increasing number of platforms available to upload photographs, it has now become second nature for people to share moments of their life on a weekly, daily and even hourly basis. While there is no law against how many images you can take and distribute, it’s important to know what material could result in a criminal conviction.

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2423 Hits

Fraud in Scotland - Your questions answered

With an increased reliance on technology coupled with a financially challenging time for many, it’s no surprise the number of fraud cases continues to rise. In fact, the latest Scottish Government’s data revealed a 60% year-on-year increase in fraud cases compared with January 2020.

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2047 Hits

How is the criminal justice system adapting to the coronavirus pandemic?

While all areas of business are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, essential services such as courts and tribunals must ensure minimal disruption to the lives of the public. The criminal justice system is an integral part of society, and as a result, has had to adapt and adopt new working methods to continue running. 

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1073 Hits

Coronavirus: The possible future of criminal proceedings via video links

The COVID-19 outbreak has required organisations all over the world to adapt to new ways of working. The Scottish Criminal Courts are in the same position, and as an essential service, the courts must adopt modern technology to continue to function. However, unlike other businesses, the courts face the distinct challenge of balancing the right to a fair trial, with dispensing justice. 

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1127 Hits

Domestic Abuse and the Law in Scotland: A Guide

In a previous article we discussed the ground-breaking domestic abuse legislation that came into force in Scotland in 2019. The law introduced last year recognises domestic abuse crime. If it can be proven that a person has engaged in abusive behaviour towards a current or former partner, they can be prosecuted and charged with the offence.

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2022 Hits

Martin, Johnston & Socha shortlisted as a finalist in the Scottish Legal Awards 2020 for Criminal Defence Team of the Year

We are proud to announce that Martin, Johnston & Socha have received a nomination for Criminal Defence Firm of the Year at the 2020 Scottish Legal Awards.

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1304 Hits

Drinking and driving over Christmas - is it worth it?

Recent research from Confused.com revealed more than half of UK motorists will be going to a Christmas party this month, meaning there is a higher level of temptation than usual to drive home after a few glasses of alcohol. A shocking 5,000 people were caught driving under the influence of alcohol last December; which is the equivalent to more than 160 people a day.

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1130 Hits

Review of The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act

In April 2019, ground breaking legislation criminalising psychological abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour came into force in Scotland. The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 has now been in effect for six months and has been supported by a widespread public awareness campaign to encourage understanding of the type of behaviour which may amount to domestic abuse under the new laws.

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1744 Hits

First public consultation of its kind to 'demystify' Scotland's sentencing process

The Scottish Sentencing Council will reveal how judges arrive at their sentencing decisions and will ask criminal justice organisations, charities, academics, and the wider public if they agree.

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1179 Hits

A quarter of millennials look at social media while driving

Recent research from Privilege Car Insurance revealed that 23 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds cannot resist using their phones to check their social media accounts when behind the wheel. This dangerous obsession with mobiles has also led to 28 per cent of millennials reading and sending text messages while driving.

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1347 Hits

Firearm offences in Scotland at a record low

According to the latest data, there were 348 firearm offences recorded in Scotland during 2017-18, a drop of one per cent from the previous year (350 offences) and 13 per cent from 2015-16 (402 offences); the lowest figure since records began in 1980.

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1405 Hits

Police Scotland announces new campaign to combat online child abuse

#StopItNow is the new hard-hitting campaign from Police Scotland that directly addresses predators who attempt to engage with children online for sexual purposes.

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1283 Hits

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