November 30th, 2017
There are 3 million EU nationals living in the UK. About 1.2 million UK nationals live abroad in other EU countries.
In June 2016, a majority of UK voters said they wanted to leave the EU. This has become known as Brexit.
The expected leaving date is 29 March 2019, but the process to leave has already begun. At present the UK is still part of the EU.
Three things you should know if you’re an EU citizen living in the UK
1. EU laws are in force in the UK for as long as it’s part of the EU.
2. New laws have not come into force yet. Until they do, you have the same right to live, work and get benefits in the UK.
3. Any changes to the law will probably not happen straight away. You should be told about changes in advance.
After the UK leaves
The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill seeks to make EU law into UK law. So EU law will still apply after the UK leaves the EU. In the future, these laws may be changed or removed.
You can apply for settled status if you’ve legally lived in the UK for five years, under the current proposals. If you get settled status, you can still live, work and claim benefits after the UK leaves the EU.
Need legal advice?
This may be a worrying time for you. You can get help. For legal advice about your right to stay in the UK, you can see:
• an immigration adviser
• a solicitor
• a barrister
• a chartered legal executive or CILEx immigration practitioner
Find out more about other types of lawyers.
Article categories: Brexit
July 24th, 2017
April was National Pet Month – a chance to celebrate life with pets.
Most pet owners will do anything for their pets, whatever the time of year. Some even leave millions behind for their animal friends.
Sadly, other pet owners fail to meet even the basic needs of their pets required by law.
Three ways owning a pet could bring you into contact with the law
1. Leaving a gift for your pet in your will
You can leave something for your pet in your will. You may also want to leave money for the person who will look after your pet when you’re not around. A will writer could help you with this.
2. Pet pre-nup
You can get a pet pre-nup. A pet pre-nup (or ‘pet-nup’) legally documents who will have your pet if you and your partner split up. A family lawyer could help you write a pet-nup.
3. Breaking the law
From micro-chipping to buying a pet, there are many laws that apply to pets and pet owners. For example, as a dog owner, you need to make sure your dog is under control. If your dog bites and injures someone, you could be fined and sent to prison for up to six months.
If you want legal advice about your pet, see our types of lawyers section.
You can also find out about the court process, if you need to go to court.
Over to you!
We want to hear from you. Have you ever had a run-in with the law because of your pet? Did you get legal advice? Share your experiences by leaving a comment.
March 24th, 2017
How to stay on track
Driving laws help keep you and others safe. Some driving offences won’t land you in court, but others will.
New driving laws came into force in March. Every driver should know about them.
Three facts about the legal driving seat
1. Using your mobile phone
It is against the law to use a handheld mobile phone while you drive. If you get caught, you will incur six penalty points and pay a £200 fine. New drivers will lose their licence.
If you end up in court, you could be fined up to £1,000. Drivers of buses or goods vehicles can be fined up to £2,500.
The same penalties apply to using a handheld phone in standing traffic, at traffic lights or while parked up with your car’s engine running.
2. Using your smart phone as a sat nav
Many of us rely on Google Maps on our smart phones to navigate.
You can still use your smart phone as a sat nav, as long as you
• set it up before your journey
• do not touch it while driving
• place it in a holder correctly.
If you need to touch your phone – to change your route, for example – stop in a safe place first and turn off the engine.
You could be charged with careless driving if you let your sat nav distract you.
3. Car seats
We all want children to be safe. Children must use the correct type of car booster seat until they are 12 years old or 135cm tall.
If you are about to buy a booster seat, make sure you choose the best one.
New laws mean that backless booster seats first brought to market on or after 1 March 2017 can only be used by children who are taller than 125cm and weigh more than 22kg.
So, while you can legally keep on using backless booster seats you already own, it’s worth bearing in mind that many experts say backless booster seats are not safe for younger children. High-backed booster seats are a safer option.
If you are charged for a motoring offence and you aren’t sure what to do, think about seeking legal advice.
Article categories: driving