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james bruce
james bruce, Solicitor-Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2112
Experience:  Owner at James Bruce Solicitors
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I need advice in criminal law

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I need advice in criminal law

Hello, I hope you are well. My name is***** am a solicitor advocate and I will be assisting you with your question today. I am very sorry to hear of the problem you are experiencing and I will do my best to help you with this matter.
Can I please ask you to give me some more detailed information regarding this matter so as to allow me to work with you and help resolve your enquiry.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Good morning James!
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Back in April, my husband and I had a conflict. Because I am recently in the country, not knowing the laws and system, I turned to the police. My husband was arrested, accused of domestic violence (3 cases), forbidden to back home, to approach and to communicate. A few days later, I wrote a retraction statement in which I indicated that I did not want to provide any evidence anymore and I want to normalise our relationship. In response, I received a letter from CPS stating that the process would not be stopped and in the future, most likely, they would send me a summons.
The trial was postponed for a long time. In August I left for Ukraine because my mother is sick. I also let police know the details. End of August I received a notice from the police that it was hearing and the ban on access to the house has been lifted. From my husband's brother, I learned that my husband returned to the apartment where we live. I also received an email from the police that the trial will take place on 08 October and I have to attend it.
As I said above, I have no complaints about my husband, I will not testify against him, won’t give any evidence. I have no money to come to Uk because I don't work, my husband is a sponsor, I can’t go to apartment we rent and I have no money to rent a place either (and this is at least 14 days of quarantine before the trial), there are no friends where I can stay. I do not want to be present at the hearing, I want everything to end as soon as possible and with minimal consequences for me, my husband and our family.
What are the options for the development of events and what are the consequences? May I not attend the hearing? In this case, will there be any consequences for me, for my visa history?

Thank you for the information.

The way the criminal justice system works in the U.K., once you made your first statement of complaint that lead to your husbands arrest, you became a witness for the prosecution as well as the alleged victim of domestic violence.
Although you later made a second statement, retracting your first about the incident, the CPS can still proceed with a case against your husband and still use your first statement of complaint in court. They would also have to use the retraction, so the court would hear both.
As a witness for the prosecution, the CPS would issue you with a witness summons to attend court to give evidence.

On the day of trial, if you have failed to attend court, Then the prosecution would really have two options open to them. First they could ask for an adjournment of the case to a new date and at the same time, ask the court to issue a warrant for your arrest for failure to attend court on the witness summons. Or, they could at that point, decide that because you did not attend, and had in fact made a retraction statement, they could decide to offer no evidence and discontinue the case.

If the CPS asked for an adjournment, then the most likely step then oils be for your husbands lawyer to appose the adjournment asking the court to dismiss the case due to the fact that you, the key witness had failed to attend court, and also based on the fact that you had made the retraction statement.

The choice would then be up to the court.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
How CPS can give me witness summons if I am out of Uk?

The CPS would send the summons to you last known address in the U.K.

If they have your overseas address they could also send a copy there.

If you are out of the country and having given the retraction statement, there is more chance that the case would be dropped and discontinued, rather than you having a warrant issued against you.

Thank you for using Just Answer and for allowing me to assist you with your legal enquiry. I am pleased I was able to be of assistance. Please do not hesitate to come back to me for further advice on this or any other legal matter. It will be my pleasure to be able to assist you again.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Even if CPS send witness summons to the address in Uk, my husband lives there and he cannot communicate with me, also if they send to the address out of Uk then the letter takes a long time and I will not receive it before trial. BTW I need to answer something to the police email. What can I say?
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Assuming everything goes well and the case is closed due to lack of a witness, will I face arrest, fines or other troubles when I return to the country?

What email from the police? You have not mentioned an email from the police before?

It is possible that the summons could be sent by email as they have your email address. If the CPS drop the case because you fail to attend court, then that would normally be the end of the matter.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
171;The above matter has now been adjourned for Trial on 08/10/2020 at Cannock Magistrates and your attendance is required at 10:00am. I need you to book a return flight and attend court on this date please.The following bail conditions are still in place for your home address at present: - Exclusion: not to contact directly or indirectly. Reasons: to prevent interference with witnesses or otherwise obstruct the course of justice, whether in relation to the defendant or any other person.Please can you reply back to this email and confirm your attendance with me?»
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
This is email from police. I have to reply something

Just to confirm, you are the witness is that correct.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Customer: replied 13 days ago.

Then in that case, as you are out of the country and on the basis that you do not wish to take part in the trial as a witness, I would suggest that you reply, that you have returned to the Ukraine, that you will be remaining there and that you have no intention to book a flight and return to the U.K.

That should put them on notice, that you are not in the U.K. which they already know, and that you do not wish and will not be taking parts in any return to the U.K. as a witness.

By replying like that, the CPS could well review the case and make a decision not to continue. I cannot guarantee that will happen, but a good chance.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
I got it. But I plan to return to Uk as soon as possible when case close.
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
that is my intention to rejoin with my husband and living together in UK. will I get any trouble on my return to UK as I didn't attend to the court on demand?
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
I think you have answered to this question. please accept my apologise as I am nervous and trying to understand clearly.
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
any case if i want to court, and will not give any evidence or witness, like i can say ''no comments'' to all their question. how will this situation effect to the case?

I am here to help, you can ask as many questions as you want, I want to make sure your mind is put at ease.

if they drop the case, that would be the end of the matter.

If you go to court, you would have to answer the questions. At court, you cannot go no comment. The prosecution would demand you answer the questions. They could treat you as a hostile witness and ask the court to order you to answer the questions, if you refuse you could be held in contempt of court.

so really, your best option is to inform them you are back in the Ukraine and do not plan to return at the moment.

Thank you for using Just Answer and for allowing me to assist you with your legal enquiry. I am pleased I was able to be of assistance. Please do not hesitate to come back to me for further advice on this or any other legal matter. It will be my pleasure to be able to assist you again.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Thank you very much James. much appreciated. I will contact you again if I have further inquiry.

Please do let me know.

Good luck and take care.

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