What constitutes Terrorism?
This is a very serious offence usually defined as a threat or an action, inside or outside the UK, designed to influence a governmental organisation or intimidate the public. The act must be for the benefit of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause.
What will the Crown Prosecution Service consider when deciding to charge someone with terrorism?
The actual commission of the act is not necessary for an individual to be charged with this offence. Simply planning, assisting or collecting information for the purpose of a terrorist act is seen as enough for the CPS to make a decision to charge an individual in relation to terrorism. Therefore, Schedule 2 of the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 contains a list of offences which a judge may conclude to have a terrorist connection and Section 30 of the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 imposes special custodial sentences for those found guilty of offences falling under this schedule.
How can a solicitor assist?
Given the seriousness of this offence and the right of an individual to legal representation, it is advisable that one seek the assistance of a solicitor as early as possible. One would require the assistance of a criminal defence solicitor.
At ULA Solicitors we are dedicated to providing the best advice to you in order to ensure that you receive the best outcome possible. This may be to advice at the police station which reduces the chances of you further incriminating yourself, or whether it be the advice of pleading guilty early in order to allow for a 25% reduction in sentence, or getting you an experienced barrister to ensure that you have the best chance if your matter was to proceed to trial. We will always listen to our client's instructions and act in accordance with these and their best interest.
As with other criminal law matters the government provides funding by way of legal aid. This is the same in the instance where the individual is charged in relation to a terrorism offence. The individual would have to qualify for legal aid on two grounds. Firstly, their disposable income must be below a certain amount and secondly, it must be in the interests of justice that they be represented. With such offences, as they carry lengthy custodial sentences the individual would most definitely satisfy the latter criterion.