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Pure Law Solicitors operate www.Prisonlaw.co.uk. We are the leading prison law firm for Recall, Parole, Adjudications, Early release on Home Detention Curfew and Re-Categorisation. We have a highly experience team of Prison Lawyers with in excess of 30 year experience in this specialist field. Contact our office now to see how we can help you or a loved one.
There are two types of Adjudications
These are for less serious matters and are head by one of the Governors in the Prison. The governor has the power to determine less serious offences. We are not allowed to attend the governor adjudications unless the case meets the Tarrant Criteria. This is a strict test and very rarely met. The governor does not have the power to issue extra days by way of punishment but can impose losses and other restrictions by way of punishment.
We are allowed to attend these hearings and can represent prisoners free of charge subject to a means test being satisfied, the vast majority of prisoners will be granted legal aid for these proceedings.
Independent Adjudications are normally dealt with by a District Judge. They are professionally trained with substantial experience in Prison Law.
Offences that commonly appear in independent adjunctions include:-
Possession of unauthorised articles
Possession of drugs
Possession of Mobile Phones
Refusing a lawful order
Endangering Heath and Safety
Fail Mandatory Drug Test
In the vast majority of cases a charge must laid upon the prisoner within 48 hours of the offence being committed, this should be done by way of the prisoner being provided with a formal adjudication sheet. This will have the Prisoners name, date of birth, prison number along with the Charge and the Prison Service Information information under which the charge has been brought.
There are strict technical defences that can be raised if the charge has been issues outside of the 48 hour time period. These defences are best presented by one of our specially trained prison law advocates who will be able to argue that all charges are dismissed and reinforce the legal argument with reference to relevant PSI and legislation where and when appropriate.
There are sentencing guidelines that have been issued to independent adjudicators to be used when dealing with sentence. These can prove very useful when dealing with potential appeals from adjudications. There is an appeal process that can be used to appeal the outcome of any adjudication to the Chief Magistrate. If a sentence is manifestly excessive or wrong in principle then they will intervene to quash the sentence.
Prison Law in general and specifically adjudications are littered with a number of technical defences which can often result in not guilty verdicts or the dismissal of serious cases. The manner in which charges are written can have a serious impact on the case against a detainee. Prisons often will include two or more offences on one charge, if the prison service are unable persuade the independent adjudicator that the detainee is guilty of all charges then this can result in all of the charges having to be dismissed. The importance of instructing a specialist prison lawyer is significant. All prison lawyers at
Case Study 1
Mr B was due to be released from HMP x in 15 days time, unfortunately he had provided a positive test for Cannabis and Spice, he instructed Pure Law Solicitors to represent him n the proceedings before the independent adjudicator. We took instructions from Mr B and a not guilty plea was entered. The independent adjudicator placed pressure on the detainee to plead guilty, the Prison Lawyer from pure law robustly reminded the independent adjudicator of the right for the detainee to have his urine sample independently analysed and the specific provisions for this in the PSI. The end result is that the adjudication trial was adjourned until after the release date of the detainee. The detainee was under no legal obligation to re attend prison for his trial and the Prison Service dismissed the allegation against the defendant.
Case Study 2
The detainee contacted Pure Law Solicitors and instructed us to represent him in relation to an allegation of possession of Spice in custody. He indicated that he was pleading guilty but wanted a solicitor o ensure that he received the least possible amount of extra days in this case. We attended for his adjudication and carefully considered the paperwork that had been provided to him. It was quickly spotted that the charge was outside of the relevant period and after a lengthy discussion with the prison service the charge against the detainee was discontinued.