As new laws are continually introduced, many people are doing things that are simply illegal without knowing it, says a leading criminal lawyer in the region.

Top of the illegal habits is for people to eat chocolate in the supermarket only to have finished it by the time they get to the checkout and pay for an empty bar.

Rachel Adamson, criminal law specialist at regional niche law firm Adkirk Law based in Preston, said: “Worryingly, new legislation is also catching people out such as the illegal use of wi-fi or the illegal downloading of music or certain documents, which now seem entirely natural to do without asking.

“It is also illegal to send unsolicited mail to another person without their consent under the data protection laws and people have been prosecuted for it.”

The laws on data protection say that you can only send emails to individual subscribers if they have ‘previously notified the sender’ of their specific consent to receiving such emails.

Rachel’s message to the public is: “Be careful. We should all consider the possible consequences before we engage into some of these things – you could be breaking the law on something important and end up in court. Take advice first if you are in any doubt.”

Adkirk Law is a leading UK Law firm offering a niche practice with expertise in regulatory law including serious fraud, regulation and police misconduct.

Regulatory breaches can result in enforcement action being taken against businesses or individuals. Any breach of regulations or obligations can result in loss of registration with regulators, criminal prosecution, prohibition notices and other serious sanctions.