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PERVERTING THE COURSE OF JUSTICE

Geoffrey Miller Solicitors are experts at defending Perverting The Course of Justice Motoring Offences. Call our team of expert motoring solicitors for some free initial advice.

Accusations and charges of perverting the course of justice are some of the most serious matters that we deal with at Geoffrey Miller Solicitors. It is possible, although extremely unlikely that a life sentence could be imposed if found guilty of this offence. A life sentence would not be imposed in cases relating to a driving incident. That said, shorter prison sentences can be and are often passed by the court.

When the stakes are so high it is vitally important to get expert legal advice from a solicitor right from the start. Our approach to defending a case involving an allegation of perverting the course of justice frequently results in a not guilty verdict, an alternative disposal or no charge being brought at all.

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How is Perverting The Course of Justice a Motoring Offence?

It isn’t! However, people can get themselves in all kinds of trouble by making decisions that may seem to involve “white lies” or minor untruths.

Other scenarios can involve a driver who receives a request from the police to identify the driver for a speeding offence caught on camera. They reply to the police naming a person that they know was not driving or naming a person who does not exist. The police make further investigations and find out that the information was not correct. This could well be held by a court to be an attempt to pervert the course of justice.

A similar but more serious scenario takes place if one person “takes penalty points” on their licence for a friend or relative when they know that they were not driving. This is the Chris Huhne/Vicky Price type of case.

Other scenarios

There are a number of other ways that the offence of perverting the course of justice could be committed these are some examples:

  • Making a false allegation of a crime
  • Perjury (giving false evidence in court)
  • Concealing the commission of an offence
  • Obstructing the police
  • Assisting a person to evade arrest by the police
  • Failing to prosecute an offence
  • Procuring or indemnifying sureties
  • Interfering with witnesses, evidence or jurors
  • Publishing material that could prejudice a fair trial

Scenarios that are NOT perverting the course of justice

If you are alleged to have done any of these things then you are not perverting the course of justice. They are all perfectly lawful things to do.

  • Refusing to be interviewed as a suspect by the police
  • Making no comment in a police interview
  • Asking the police to provide you with extra information before you admit something
  • Delaying a police interview to speak to a solicitor
  • Pleading not guilty and taking your case to trial

Police interviews and investigations

If the police want to interview you about perverting the course of justice you should take it seriously. An experienced solicitor can help you formulate the correct strategy and deal with the police interview process to your advantage. The police may seem quite friendly but remember “everything you say can be used in evidence”, the purpose of a police interview is to gather evidence for a case against you. Saying the wrong thing could lead to the police strengthening the case against you.

It is equally important to seek advice if the police are investigating you. It may be wise to contact the police before they try to arrest you. It may be better to avoid the police altogether. Every case is different.

The right advice can often lead to all of the allegations being dropped without the case even going to court.

Correcting misunderstandings

What is initially investigated as perverting the course of justice can often be resolved as a misunderstanding between the police and the suspect. In some situations an explanation to the police, the prosecution or the court can be enough to stop a prosecution in its tracks.

It is quite common for the police to suspect that someone is lying to them about a case only to find that they were simply seeking further information/clarification, telling the truth or what they have said has simply been misinterpreted by the police.

Alternatives

We always look to defend a case first but sometime the evidence that the police have is strong. There are a number of alternatives to a charge of perverting the course of justice and a Crown Court appearance that we may be able to secure. An expert solicitor can often negotiate with the police, Crown Prosecution Service and the courts for the best outcome.

A charge of obstructing the police is a much less serious offence. It is always dealt with in the magistrates’ court and although it is imprisonable it is normally dealt with by a fine.

A charge of wasting police time also has a lesser penalty that perverting the course of justice. It is again, a matter that will only be dealt with in the magistrates’ court.

The police can often be persuaded to administer a caution for the minor offences of obstructing the police or wasting police time if the allegations are less serious.

The police have the power to issue a fixed penalty ticket of £60.00 for wasting police time.

Sentences

The maximum sentence for perverting the course of justice is life imprisonment. It is possible for the Crown Court to impose a fine, a community order, a suspended sentence or a prison sentence of any length.

A sentence of 12 months in prison is quite common for lying to the police about the identity of a driver. The high profile case of Chris Huhne and Vicky Price attracted a sentence at that level. Chris Huhne was given 12 months but his sentence was reduced to 8 months when he pleaded guilty. Vicky Price’s sentence was reduced because she did not personally gain by taking the points for her husband.

This recent case of Rita McKenna and Natasha Jasper in Plymouth had a different result. They admitted to lying the police before the case went to court. The driver got a suspended sentence and her friend who volunteered to take the points received a community order. Neither of them went to prison.

Not Sure What to Do About Your Perverting The Course Of Justice Charge?

Most people who get in touch with our team of motor offence expert solicitors are uncertain of their options. They are unaware of any legal defences that may be available and find it difficult to believe that it might be possible to defend the drink driving offence charge they face by using loopholes that apply to the rich and famous! We do represent celebrities but we also represent many hardworking motorists like Brian and we want to help you make the right choice about what you do next.

We are always more than happy to chat things through with potential clients Free of Charge. Call us now on Freephone 0800 1389 123 to speak to one of our specialist motoring offence solicitors. It is only once you decide to instruct us that payment will become necessary and we can often arrange installment plans to assist you. Many satisfied clients have thanked us for offering this free consultation service as it has prevented them from following inaccurate non-expert advice which could have led to them accepting a driving ban unnecessarily.

If you would like to spend more time browsing on the site before you get in touch, make sure you have a look at our specialist motor offence guidance features such as our drink driving ban calculator which will help you to determine the penalty you may face if convicted and our money saving calculator which helps to outline some of the hidden costs of accepting a conviction.

We think we are simply the best in the business but if you are not satisfied in taking our word for it, our unique “ask our clients” testimonials scheme allows you to contact previous clients of the firm to seek a completely independent reference about us and what we might be able to do for you.

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Geoffrey Miller Solicitors are specialists defending drivers nationwide for all types of driving offences. Call our team of expert driving offence solicitors for some free initial advice.

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