Our criminal solicitors have successfully argued the defence of modern slavery in numerous cases – including county lines drug offences. To find out more, please contact us for a free initial enquiry.

 

Criminal solicitors London

You can call us on 0333 009 6275. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You can also email us on enquiries@ashmanssolicitors.com or complete our Free Online Enquiry Form and we’ll be in touch soon.

 

Modern slavery in the UK

Modern slavery is when someone is held in a position of slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour. Or trafficked with the intention of exploitation.

Sadly, modern slavery still exists in the UK. Often, those subject to modern slavery are forced to carry out illegal acts. In fact, modern slavery is closely linked to ‘county lines’ drug rings. This is when children and vulnerable adults are made to smuggle drugs across the country. Typically, they are targeted by criminal organisations and feel they have little choice but to comply. Perhaps because they have been threatened, or perhaps because they fear arrest and punishment.

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Can modern slavery be used as a criminal defence?

The law recognises that victims of modern slavery may technically be guilty of committing a criminal offence, yet they were not acting of their own free will. In these situations, it is possible to argue a defence of modern slavery. This means the accused was compelled to carry out a criminal act due to slavery or exploitation.

Modern slavery can be used as a defence where the accused has been charged with –

  • County lines drugs offences
  • Immigration offences
  • Minor assaults
  • Theft
  • Conspiracy

However, the defence of modern slavery cannot be used in certain scenarios. This includes serious crimes such as murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, piracy and serious violence. Also, it is not applicable to firearms offences, robbery, burglary, arson, criminal damage, most sexual offences, and modern slavery offences.

 

What needs to be proved?

If you want to use the defence of modern slavery, it is first necessary to establish that you are (or were) a victim of slavery of exploitation. What happens next depends on whether you are under the age of 18, or over the age of 18.

For those over 18, it must be established that the criminal charges were committed under a compulsion due to slavery or exploitation. Your criminal solicitors must prove that –

  1. The crime was committed because you were made to do it
  2. You were made to do it for some reason connected to the slavery or exploitation
  3. A reasonable person, with the same characteristics, would not have had a realistic alternative in that situation

For those under 18, it must be established that the criminal charges were committed as a direct consequence of slavery or exploitation. Your criminal solicitors must prove that –

  1. The crime was committed as a result of you being (or having been) a victim of slavery or exploitation, and
  2. A reasonable person, with the same characteristics, would have done the same

 

How can we help?

If you were forced to carry out a criminal offence and have now been charged by the police, we understand how frightened you will feel. But there is help available. Our criminal solicitors can advise whether you have been the victim of modern slavery, and whether this defence can be argued in court. If so, we can act on your behalf, presenting a case that demonstrates your innocence.

We know that modern slavery cases often involve children and people who are vulnerable. You may even be scared to speak up. We promise to handle such cases with the utmost sensitivity.

 

Criminal solicitors London

If you would like to know more, contact our criminal solicitors for a free initial enquiry.

You can call us on 0333 009 6275. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You can also email us on enquiries@ashmanssolicitors.com or complete our Free Online Enquiry Form and we’ll be in touch soon. Cyber Crime Solicitors London 

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