FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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Reception opening times are 8.30am to 6.00pm, messages can be taken outside office opening hours. Office opening hours are 9.00am to 5.30pm.

If the police want to speak to you regarding a criminal offence we strongly advise you use your right to free and independent legal advice and instruct a solicitor to represent you at the police station. The police investigate offences via questioning suspects in interview, either following arrest or by arrangement as a voluntary attendance at the police station.

Having legal representation is not a sign of guilt, does not mean you will stay at the police station for hours longer than being unrepresented, and is not to be dismissed because you think the matter is too minor and won’t result in prosecution. What you say in interview could make the difference between no further action or prosecution, what good reason is there for not obtaining free legal advice on what to do in interview, with your legal representative sitting next to you throughout the interview itself?

If you’ve already been charged, you are now facing your first court appearance to enter a plea to the charge (alternatively receiving a court summons). This is a critical stage in criminal proceedings and the decisions you take at this stage could have far reaching effects. The majority of football supporters charged with criminal offences will receive a notice of intention to apply for a football banning order (if convicted) this may be given to them by the police at the time of charge, or at court.
The court will expect you to plead guilty or not guilty, or for more serious matters, the case will be sent to the crown court. Being charged with an offence is not a finding of guilt by the police, a charge is subject to challenge by you at trial and it is for the court to determine guilt, or to acquit. The decision to plead guilty or dispute the charge will be difficult, you are without knowledge of the law, the strength of the evidence, the likely sentence if convicted or the potential for a football banning order. Your options are to represent yourself, or instruct a solicitor. The time to seek advice on what to do at court is before the day of the hearing as it is very likely that you will need to prepare for the hearing in advance.

Civil football banning order applications can be served on supporters in person, or by post. They are applied for by the Chief Constable of a supporter’s home area (for example, Cleveland, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, Thames Valley etc.) or by the Metropolitan Police. These applications seek football banning orders for between 3 to 5 years and to apply restrictions on the supporter’s freedom of movement on their club’s match days. Certain actions are mandatory: informing the Football Banning Order Authority of any change of address, reporting to a police station and surrendering your passport during the control period before international England or Wales overseas matches, are just two in a long list. Football banning orders will be registered on the police national computer and can be disclosed via a DBS check (previously known as CRB check).

There is a choice to make by any person served with a civil football banning order. To oppose the application and challenge the evidence at a contested hearing, or to allow the application to proceed unchallenged. Inevitably unchallenged applications will result in the making of a football banning order by the court. The law on football banning orders has been acknowledged as complex by the Court of Appeal. Before making any decision which could affect many aspects of your everyday life, we recommend seeking legal opinion on the merits of the application by the police.

Reception opening times are 8.30am to 6.00pm, messages can be taken outside office opening hours. Office opening hours are 9am to 5.30pm.

If the police want to speak to you regarding a criminal offence we strongly advise you use your right to free and independent legal advice and instruct a solicitor to represent you at the police station. The police investigate offences via questioning suspects in interview, either following arrest or by arrangement as a voluntary attendance at the police station.

Having legal representation is not a sign of guilt, does not mean you will stay at the police station for hours longer than being unrepresented, and is not to be dismissed because you think the matter is too minor and won’t result in prosecution. What you say in interview could make the difference between no further action or prosecution, what good reason is there for not obtaining free legal advice on what to do in interview, with your legal representative sitting next to you throughout the interview itself?

If you’ve already been charged, you are now facing your first court appearance to enter a plea to the charge (alternatively receiving a court summons). This is a critical stage in criminal proceedings and the decisions you take at this stage could have far reaching effects. The majority of football supporters charged with criminal offences will receive a notice of intention to apply for a football banning order (if convicted) this may be given to them by the police at the time of charge, or at court.
The court will expect you to plead guilty or not guilty, or for more serious matters, the case will be sent to the crown court. Being charged with an offence is not a finding of guilt by the police, a charge is subject to challenge by you at trial and it is for the court to determine guilt, or to acquit. The decision to plead guilty or dispute the charge will be difficult, you are without knowledge of the law, the strength of the evidence, the likely sentence if convicted or the potential for a football banning order. Your options are to represent yourself, or instruct a solicitor. The time to seek advice on what to do at court is before the day of the hearing as it is very likely that you will need to prepare for the hearing in advance.

Civil football banning order applications can be served on supporters in person, or by post. They are applied for by the Chief Constable of a supporter’s home area (for example, Cleveland, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, Thames Valley etc.) or by the Metropolitan Police. These applications seek football banning orders for between 3 to 5 years and to apply restrictions on the supporter’s freedom of movement on their club’s match days. Certain actions are mandatory: informing the Football Banning Order Authority of any change of address, reporting to a police station and surrendering your passport during the control period before international England or Wales overseas matches, are just two in a long list. Football banning orders will be registered on the police national computer and can be disclosed via a DBS check (previously known as CRB check).

There is a choice to make by any person served with a civil football banning order. To oppose the application and challenge the evidence at a contested hearing, or to allow the application to proceed unchallenged. Inevitably unchallenged applications will result in the making of a football banning order by the court. The law on football banning orders has been acknowledged as complex by the Court of Appeal. Before making any decision which could affect many aspects of your everyday life, we recommend seeking legal opinion on the merits of the application by the police.