Prompt legal advice from a motoring defence solicitor is essential if you have been charged with perverting the course of justice in relation to a driving offence. Oratto is on hand to help you ensure you receive the legal advice best suited to your case.
What is perverting the course of justice?
Although perverting the course of justice is not, strictly speaking, a motoring offence – failing to tell the police the truth in relation to a motoring offence is, and it can have serious ramifications.
Perverting the course of justice is a criminal offence that carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, although in cases of driving offences a 12 month sentence is considered by courts to be more appropriate.
The law defines perverting the course of justice as "the act of doing something which interferes with the justice system, such as fabricating or disposing of evidence, intimidating or threatening a witness or juror, intimidating or threatening a judge".
Motoring offence related situations which involve a driver perverting, or allegedly perverting, the course of justice typically involve one or more of the following:
- A person claiming to be the driver at the time of an offence
- A driver denying being the behind the wheel at the time of an offence
- Taking penalty points on behalf of a friend or relative
- Concealing the occurrence of an offence
- Obstructing the police
- Assisting a person to evade arrest
- Interfering with witnesses
- Interfering with the process of a fair trial
What is not perverting the course of justice?
Sometimes a driver might feel pressured into feeling they are doing something wrong if they do not cooperate in the way the police would like. However, as drivers and citizens we all have rights. And a person is within their rights to do any of the following:
- Make no comment during police interview
- To refuse to be interviewed as a suspect
- To delay interview until the arrival of a motoring defence solicitor
- To plead not guilty
- To require information or clarification before comment
Have you been accused of perverting the course of justice?
If you have been accused of perverting the course of justice in relation to a motoring offence it is vital that you seek legal advice from a suitably experienced motoring defence solicitor.
Solid advice and representation can help you negotiate the police interview process while ensuring that you do not say anything to your disadvantage.
In many cases, police believe that they have strong grounds for prosecuting a person for perverting the course of justice only to later discover that there has been a misunderstanding – without effective legal advice it is possible that those in this situation may find themselves unfairly prosecuted for an offence.
In other cases, ensuring an alternative charge of obstructing the police may be a better option for a defendant. This charge is not usually met with a custodial sentence, is dealt with by the magistrates court, and may be punished with only a fine.
Similarly, a charge of wasting police time may also be preferable; this charge is usually punished with a fixed penalty ticket of £60.
Oratto motoring defence solicitors
Oratto empowers you to make informed choices about your legal representation. Use our website to search for a specialist in defending perverting the course of justice cases related to driving offences.