Points, Lies and Prison
One of the most serious offences that can come before a court is ‘perverting the course of justice’. This is because it strikes at the very heart of the justice system.
Due to its seriousness, immediate custody almost always follows, yet there are a surprising number of people who commit this offence, thinking that they will easily get away with it.
“Offences of perverting the course of justice are intrinsically so serious that they will almost always attract an immediate custodial sentence unless there are exceptional circumstances justifying a different course” (R v Cronin (2017)).
The Panicked Driver
The scenario is a common one, one person in the family already has 9 points on their driving licence, and a notice of intended prosecution drops through the door in relation to another traffic offence.
A traffic offence that is in itself so relatively minor that it will only result in 3 penalty points and a modest fine. But, in this instance due to the previous points on the licence, it will possibly result in the loss of that licence. This was exactly the scenario that faced Chris Huhne in 2003, when he was a Liberal Democrat MP.
It might appear easy for another person to take the blame, perhaps even name a relative abroad; who would possibly find out? Of course, this is the breeding ground for a common mistake: the belief that you will not be caught.
In reality, however, the police take a keen interest in these cases, and often it requires only a modicum of detective work to reveal the true offender. The consequences can be horrendous, the points follow, as does the disqualification which now becomes a reality with no realistic prospect of arguing exceptional hardship, and worst of all, two people are arrested, possibly in the early hours, in front of friends and family, maybe even young children.
And finally, a prison sentence follows. All to avoid a few penalty points. The irony is that in many cases, the disqualification could have been avoided if early advice had been obtained from an experienced road traffic practitioner.
Many otherwise decent hardworking people find themselves before the court through decisions made in panic. Before acting, always seek advice.
Contact John Howey on 02073881658 or firstname.lastname@example.org for advice on all road traffic issues.
Please note that the information contained in this article was correct at the time of writing. There may have been updates to the law since the article was written, which may affect the information and advice given therein.