The Home Office have outlawed the existence of a long list of groups that have the potential for stirring up hate, glorifying violence or promoting poisonous and toxic ideologies.
Being a member of or inviting support of a terror organisation or what is known as a proscribed organisation is a criminal offence that can involve a hefty prison sentence of up to 10 years.
Even arranging a meeting or assisting in the arrangement of a meeting of any banned, proscribed, organisation can also mean a ten-year prison sentence for those who are found to be guilty and convicted in Court.
UK law follows the principle that everyone is ‘innocent until proven guilty’, but in cases of this nature, it’s likely that a person will feel guilty until they prove themselves innocent. It’s a crime that is not taken lightly by the courts, or socially.
If you’re involved in a case of membership, support or meeting a proscribed organisation, you will feel concerned about what the outcome might be. You’ll likely to be suffering from anxiety, sleep disturbance and you’ll feel as though you have a black cloud handing over you. There will typically be a negative impact on your well-being, your business and your dependents will feel concerned that your financial support may be removed if you are given a prison sentence.
Those who are professionals and have a serious career will feel concerned about what allegations such as this can do to their career. There will be a general feeling of pressure and a disturbance to your sleep.
To support you as you go through this time, we have posted a number of questions and answers that are typically asked by our clients. Anybody who is involved in a meeting, support or membership of a proscribed organisation investigation will feel vulnerable and concerned about how their life could be transformed and not for the better.
If you have any questions that we haven’t answered here, please contact us to find out more information about what to expect in an investigation or case of this nature. You can call us on 0208 888 5225.
Have you been Charged or arrested for membership, support or meeting with proscribed organisations?
If you or somebody close to you has been charged or arrested in connection to a membership, support or meeting with proscribed organisations case, you will be feeling very confused, worried, stressed and concerned about what’s going to happen.
For the prosecution to prove membership, support or meeting with proscribed organisations case has occurred, they must show:
- communication with others with the purpose of inviting them to attend a meeting with a proscribed organisation
- verbally supporting hatred of others based on religion, race, disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity
- communication has occurred with the intention of inviting to support through social media, mobile phone, letters, verbally or email
It is the role of the prosecution to prove your guilty, it’s not for you to prove your innocence.
There could be a chance that at the conclusion of the trial, you will be imprisoned and identified as a hate crime offender.
What are acts that are membership, support or meeting with proscribed organisations?
The actions that take place to create an offence of membership, support or meeting with proscribed organisations may include:
Spending time in chatrooms to find people who can get involved in membership, support, meeting with proscribed organisations – for example, spending time for the purpose of advancing a cause which is designed to intimidate the public or influence the government based on religious, ideological or racial matters. This may also happen on a social media platform.
Being caught in the act by an undercover police officer – for instance, the undercover police officer will pretend to be a member of the public and contact may include asking for membership, support or invitation to a meeting with a proscribed organisation.
If you are being investigated for any of these offences, it’s critical that you take professional legal advice as quickly as possible.
What happens in a membership, support, meeting with proscribed organisations investigation?
Any time you find yourself part of an investigation in membership, support or a meeting with proscribed organisations case, it can be a very worrying time. You’ll wonder how it will affect your primary relationship, that with your children and other family members. What will the effect be on your career or business? You may worry that you’ll be imprisoned and that you won’t have enough funds to cover bills, food and anything else that your family and dependents need. Your world feels upside down, and it will feel as though it has a very dark shadow over it.
The investigation may have been initiated by a complaint from a teacher, the police, parents or a social worker. There may be a red flag from a website that highlights the dealings of an individual who is encouraging hatred either online or in real life.
Have you been falsely accused of membership, support or meeting with proscribed organisations?
If you know that you did not take part in membership, support or meeting with proscribed organisations activities and the allegations against you are untrue, it is vital that you take the guidance of a lawyer. A competent and knowledgeable lawyer may be able to help you to get the case dismissed before it reaches the court stage.
It is critical that you hire somebody who has in-depth knowledge of and experience in defending meeting, support or membership of proscribed organisations offences.
Uncover further evidence with a lawyer on your side
If you have been asked to attend a police interview, you will discover that you cannot find out much about what you’re being accused of before the meeting. A lawyer will be able to ask to see the evidence against you, or at the least discover if the police have evidence on you that they have not fully disclosed yet.
It is important to note that membership, support or meeting with proscribed organisations legal expertise is developed with practice and access to large volumes of work. It is not something that can be picked up in a matter of days. Those who attempt to legally represent themselves do not have the necessary expertise or experience to do so effectively.
What should you do if you get arrested or charged with membership, support or meeting with proscribed organisations?
You first step is to seek advice from a legal professional who has experience in the membership, support or meeting with proscribed organisations legal field. If a lawyer has represented others in the area of supporting, meeting or even fund raising for terrorist organisations or banned groups, there’s a chance that they will have the expertise required to help.
We will work with you to understand your account of events and then decide how best to present your side of the story. In doing this, we will analyse the prosecution’s case in detail; we will contest the admissibility of evidence and fight rigorously to ensure all disclosure has been provided, especially materially which may assist the development of an effective defence strategy. .
We will explore and collect any indirect and circumstantial evidence which supports your case and falls in line with the defence strategy. If we can gather material which proves the complainant to be a prolific liar, for example, these are the sorts of investigations we will make.
We will engage superb specialist membership, support or meeting proscribed organisations barristers who will stand with us side by side throughout your case. If there is any reason to explore mobile phone evidence or computer evidence, we will engage specialists who do just that and then invite them to present their findings to the Court.
Can the police search my home?
The police can search your home as they will be seeking evidence. The authorities will have granted access to your property, and the police will carry through the search. They are likely to seize your devices and look through your belongings for evidence that can be used against you in Court.
Could you go to prison membership, support, meeting with proscribed organisations?
Membership, support, meeting with proscribed organisations is a significant offence and most times, you will receive a prison sentence. However, it’s not the case every time. In some situations, you may even be able to get your case resolved outside of the court system, depending on how serious it is and the quality of your lawyer.
We handle membership, support and meeting proscribed groups offence cases regularly and have in-depth knowledge of this arena.
What type of sentence could you get for membership, support, meeting with proscribed organisations?
Depending on what you are charged with, you may receive maximum imprisonment of ten years.
Read more about sentencing for Membership of Proscribed Organisations / Terrorist Groups offences
What mitigating factors may be considered in sentencing?
When sentencing for membership, support or meeting with proscribed organisations, your case will be looked at carefully for how much harm you have caused the victim, mentally and physically.
Does a conviction for membership, support or meeting with proscribed organisations case go on your criminal record?
If your membership, support or meeting with proscribed organisations case progresses to Court and you are found guilty, you will be given a permanent criminal record.
How Can Stuart Miller Solicitors Help?
Specialist teams with endless resources prosecute membership, support or meeting with proscribed organisations offenders of this nature. Every detail will have been thoroughly analysed and preserved to be used as evidence against you. It is therefore of greater importance to be defended by those who not only possess the expertise and the knowledge but also have the tenacity to protect you.
Our membership, support or meeting with proscribed organisations solicitors have successfully defended many cases just like yours. We understand the defences available to you and can work with you and your circumstances to extract and present the information needed for success. We do this by methodically analysing the case of the prosecution. We then contest the admissibility of illegally obtained evidence, draw out crucial evidence which the prosecutors may not be disclosing, and we will challenge the credibility of those witnesses you tell us are lying.
We will work with renowned and award-winning Barristers who will stand with us side by side throughout your case. We have excellent relationships with forensic experts and digital communication analysts who can be called upon to give evidence in your favour. We appreciate that the smallest detail in the prosecution’s evidence or your defence material could make the difference to the result of the case. We are committed to creating an early start, to exploring all avenues, to securing all potential evidence and to offering you the best solutions.
What will happen when I instruct a membership, support, meeting with proscribed organisations lawyer?
If you have been accused of membership, support or meeting with proscribed organisations offences then it is of utmost importance that you contact us immediately. The way that we can help you best is by engaging your legal team as quickly as possible. We are here to not only listen to when you tell us what happened, but to also work on a defence that will get you the best outcome.
At Stuart Miller Solicitors, we have had over thirty years of defending those who have been accused of membership, support or meeting with proscribed organisations offences. We provide highly trusted legal advice but also ensure that every member of our legal team is approachable and open-minded.
Discuss your situation before instructing us
We offer a no obligation chat to anybody who needs one, which we offer in the form of a 30 minute consultation. If you feel this would help you then, call us today on 0208 888 5225.
In addition to giving you this free consultation, we can also represent you at the police station if you’ve been arrested. We can look at securing your legal aid. If for some reason, you do not qualify for legal aid, you need to know that our prices are very competitive and we do not add on surprise charges, without discussing prices with you first, when possible.
Please contact us for a face to face meeting or a telephone call. There is a WhatsApp link at the bottom of the page if that is your preference.