All information contained in our entire website is strictly for informational purposes only, it is not legal advice or a substitute for legal advice, nor does it constitute advertising or a solicitation.
We are often asked about:
Barristers (sometimes referred to as Counsel) are legal practitioners specialising in advocacy and litigation. They include Senior Counsel (Q.C.s and S.C.s) and Junior Counsel. Barristers receive instructions from solicitors, who in turn take instructions from their clients.
Morley Chow Seto is a firm of solicitors. We maintain close ties with both Senior and Junior counsel in Hong Kong and overseas. We regularly instruct barristers in all the courts from the Magistrates’ Courts to the Court of Final Appeal. Barristers bring their wealth of experience to a wide range of practice areas. As a team, we work well and effectively with barristers to bring effective results for you.
The Hong Kong Police issues Certificates of No Criminal Convictions only for the purpose of a person’s application for a visa to visit or reside in another country, or for the adoption of children. Local people have to attend in person, and pay a fee at the Police Headquarters in Arsenal House, Wanchai. Overseas applicants can write in with the necessary documents to Police headquarters. We can advise you on this and assist in the process.
A community service order (CSO) is a sentence requiring a defendant to perform unpaid work of benefit to the community. Before a court can make a CSO it must first obtain a report on the defendant’s suitability to perform work under a CSO. A CSO can be made up to a maximum of 240 hours and can only be made for offenders over 14. The courts have given some guidelines on the type of offender who is suitable for a CSO as follows: first offenders or offenders with little criminal record; good family and stable home situation; good work record; in employment or with the prospect of employment; genuinely remorseful with little or no risk of re-offending. These guidelines are not exhaustive.
The Commercial Crime Bureau is a special branch of the Hong Kong Police Force that investigates serious and complex commercial fraud; and the counterfeiting or forgery of currency, coinage, credit cards, other commercial instruments and travel and identity documents. It liaises very closely with international law enforcement agencies on the exchange of intelligence and in putting into requests for investigation from other jurisdictions alleging criminal conduct in relation to commercial transactions. The CCB offices are located at Arsenal Street in Admiralty. The Technology Crime Division is under the CCB and is tasked with carrying out technology related investigations, collection of digital evidence, and the forensic examination of computer system. See also White Collar Crime and Computer Crime.
The decision whether to prosecute a person vests in the Department of Justice, headed by the Director of Public Prosecutions. Sometimes for a first offender facing a charge for a non-serious offence, the effect of a conviction can nonetheless be serious and far-reaching. A conviction can have consequences for your employment or for your immigration status in Hong Kong or elsewhere. Sometimes, it may not be in the public interest that an individual is prosecuted having regard to the circumstances of the offence, the circumstances of the offender, or both. If faced with a criminal charge we can advise you and make representations on your behalf, if appropriate, to seek to persuade the Department of Justice to apply to the court to withdraw the charge and bind you over to be of good behaviour. If this course is adopted and accepted by the court, you are acquitted of the criminal charge and you do not have a criminal conviction. As long as you commit no further offence in the future, your criminal record remains clear.
For serious offences which are to be tried in the High Court a jury is empanelled to try the case. A jury normally consists of 7 persons but can proceed with more or less persons by order of the Judge. Jurors (those who sit on a jury) are first selected for a panel by the Registrar of the High Court. When the panel comes to the High Court they are then selected by a ballot in the Court. The Jury is directed in the law by the Judge. The Jury, having heard and seen all the evidence, decide whether the count on the indictment is proved beyond reasonable doubt. There is no right to a trial by jury in the Magistrates’ or District Courts.
If you have been arrested by the police this probably means that you are a SUSPECT, possibly based on a version of events which you may or may not agree with. In some situations, you may have an overwhelming urge to speak out your version of the events. We recommend that you seek legal advice before you decide whether to voice out your side of the story.
Following an arrest, you are likely to be brought to a police station for further investigation which may include, but is not limited to, cautioned interviews, body search, fingerprints and photographs. This may be a whole new experience to you that you find daunting. Our solicitors are familiar with the process and can advise you on what you can anticipate to happen in the course of an investigation.
To exercise your right to remain silent, you can say “I have nothing to say”. The police can continue to put questions to you and you can respond to those questions by repeating “I have nothing to say”. Some people find this situation confrontational and feel more comfortable if they are accompanied by a solicitor.
The police/ICAC can only enter your home or office if:-
(i) you consent to their entry;
(ii) they have a search warrant; or
(iii) in exceptional circumstances.
In the first situation, you can seek legal advice before deciding whether to give consent to the police/ICAC to enter you home. In any of the above situations, you may want to seek the assistance of a solicitor to ensure that the police/ICAC are not acting outside the scope of the warrant. Privilege may exist in some of the documents/materials that the police/ICAC may wish to seize from your home or office. If the documents are privileged you may want to ensure that the privilege is protected.
When the ICAC invites you to go their headquarters in North Point you may be assisting in their investigation as a potential witness or you may be the subject of their investigation (i.e. a suspect). Sometimes people are surprised that they are invited to attend to assist in an investigation but become a suspect. In either capacity, you are entitled to legal representation.
Depending on the nature of your complaint, you can make a report to the Police. Making a police report can be time consuming and frustrating. You can make the process more effective by compiling your own witness statement and supporting documents. Our solicitors have experience in assisting individuals in making reports to the police and assisting the police and other law enforcement agencies in their investigation.
It is possible that your bank account is subject to a restraint order. We can assist you in finding out whether your bank is subject to a restraint order and, if so, the reason for the restraint order. We can advise you on how to make an application to have the restraint order varied or discharged.
I have just received a traffic summons, is it possible to find out how many driving offence points I have incurred?
Yes, you can apply for a Certificate of Traffic Conviction Record which will set out your driving offence points and disqualification orders for the last 5 years. To apply for a Certificate of Traffic Conviction Record, you will have to attend in person, and pay a fee at the Police Traffic Conviction Records Office at the Police Headquarters in Arsenal House, Wanchai.
Didn’t find the answer?
Being convicted of a criminal offence can adversely affect your job,your personal relationships, reputation, and career opportunities, besides putting your freedom at risk. In any criminal matter, it is always best to have a knowledgeable, experienced and capable defence lawyer handling the legal aspects of your case. We assure you that it can make a dramatic difference in how your case evolves and in the consequences that follow.
In order to determine how our lawyers can help you, we encourage you to take advantage of our online enquiry form or e-mail us your contact details and a brief description of the nature of your inquiry.