I LOVE shows like Special Victims Unit, Murder She Wrote, Diagnosis Murder and other Crime shows. I know most of these shows last for around an hour and, in that hour you get to see the crime being committed, the hunt for the criminal and a resolve at the end. However in reality, criminal proceedings can be a lot more complicated and tedious.

On today’s show I was joined by George Kampenella, who has over 22 years of experience in the criminal legal field and-was great to talk to.

He lent us his insight into the Paralympian Oscar Pistorious’ case as well as the Anni Dewani murder trial that is still underway. I was curious to find out why such cases took so much time? One interesting explanation George offered was that media attention surrounding the case can lead to it influencing a case. Hence there can be a delay to ensure the media ‘hype’ calms down before proceedings take place to ensure that members of the jury are not influenced by the media stories they read.

George also discussed driving convictions. Many people get their UK driving licence and sadly get points for various reasons. He clearly stated that having convictions on your licence could have an impact on your immigration status (EG, PR/Passport approval) in the UK and Europe. So it was imperative for EVERYONE to keep their licence as clean as possible, as this can not only have an effect on a person’s nationality but also their job applications. (If a person is convicted of a driving offence and asked about it whilst submitting an application for employment, it may be a reason for not being hired).

We also talked about benefit fraud. It is clear that there are 2 types of people who commit it: those who do it knowingly and those who do it without realising. In the latter, language barrier often acts as a major hindrance. Therefore to avoid being penalised for not knowing or being able to understand the small print one should always take someone to translate and ask questions if something was unclear when signing up to benefits.

George highlighted that even though legal aid was being wiped out in many cases, it was still there for criminal cases and legal representation should always be sought.

George also placed great emphasis on the fact that parents from all backgrounds should educate their children to ensure that they do not have any brushes with the law-As it will ultimately affect their future life in relation to travelling and ultimately employability.