M.A.J. Law are the nation’s leading motoring defence solicitors. Our team are experts in challenging evidence and avoiding convictions. M.A.J. Law has a proven track record of successfully defending failing to provide cases.
Failing to provide a specimen is not the same offence as drink or drug driving. In fact, a sober person who has not been driving can be convicted of this offence, as unfair as it sounds. Any person charged with failing to provide should attend the first hearing with an open mind.
– Conor Johnstone
The police have a general power to stop any vehicle on the road. However, they do not have the power to conduct random roadside tests. To do this they must have reasonable grounds (i.e. a suspicion or belief). An officer may have reasonable grounds if:
If the roadside officer has reasonable grounds to, he may ask you to preliminary specimen (breath or saliva test), or he may arrest you immediately under Section 4 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (for driving whilst unfit). The purpose of the arrest is to obtain a more accurate specimen from you at the police station.
If you have been charged with failing to provide a specimen you will now be facing the prospect of attending court. No doubt you will be extremely worried about the court process and what will happen to you. You may be thinking of pleading guilty or you may be wondering if there is any possibility of defending the charge. Either way it is vital that you obtain professional advice and consider all your options.
The penalty for a failing to provide allegation can range from 10 points on your licence to a prison sentence, depending on the circumstances of the offence and the impairment level of the individual. If convicted, it can often mean:
|Nature of activity||Starting point||Range||Disqualification||Disqualification 2nd offence in 10 years|
|Moderate level of impairment and no aggravating factor||Band C fine||Band C fine||12 – 16 months||36 – 40 months|
|Moderate level of impairment and one or more aggravating factors||Band C fine||Band C fine||17 -22 months||36 – 46 months|
|High level of impairment and no aggravating factors||Medium level community order||low level community order to high level community order||23 -28 months||36 – 52 months|
|High level of impairment and one or more aggravating factors||12 weeks custody||High level community order to 26 weeks custody||29 – 36 months||36 – 60 months|
It’s important to understand that pleading guilty is not your only option. In fact, there could be a number of options available to you, depending on the exact circumstances of your case. Please see the table below for the sentencing guidelines used by the Magistrates Court for the offence of failing to provide a specimen.
Failing to provide a specimen is a serious offence, which is why the knowledge and expertise of a specialist solicitor is recommended. It’s crucial that we consider why you failed to provide, and build your defence around that. If your failure was reasonable, you may have a full defence. This is known as reasonable excuse. Here at M.A.J. Law, we have won many ‘failing to provide’ cases over the years by raising a reasonable excuse. Below is a list of just some of the ways that a defence could be raised:
There’s a chance that you may have a reasonable excuse defence without knowing it. If you do, and your defence is successful, the court will not convict you.
There is little incentive in entering a guilty plea before you’ve had the opportunity to check the evidence against you. Your disqualification will not be reduced by entering an ‘early’ guilty plea. – Marcus Johnstone
Please don’t make the mistake of thinking that a disqualification will be reduced if you plead guilty at the first court hearing.
M.A.J. Law will be able to identify and develop a personalised defence strategy for your case, which is typically done before the first court hearing. This allows us to safeguard your position, and advise you in clear detail from the outset. Our team is made-up of senior solicitors, barristers and expert witnesses.
By pleading ‘not guilty’ to failing to provide, you force the CPS to prepare its case and present the evidence. Most prosecution areas have huge difficulties correctly preparing cases, warning witnesses and presenting evidence. This is mainly due to;
Whatever the reason, if the CPS fail to serve evidence, you should not be convicted.
The entire criminal justice system relies on guilty pleas. By pleading guilty, you are accepting that the entire police investigation – the collection & preservation of evidence – from start to finish was correct, without checking the evidence. So why would you? We’ve already established that the length of disqualification will not increase if later found guilty. In our view, there is far more to gain by exploring the technicalities of your case, and checking all evidence. You might be surprised to find that it doesn’t exist.
Even if you are still considering entering a guilty plea, M.A.J. Law can help. By highlighting recent case law, we may be able to convince the CPS to give you 10 points, rather than a mandatory disqualification. Whatever your decision, our team will use their expertise to secure the best possible outcome in your case.
Any initial advice we give is completely free of charge. You may also want to learn more about special reasons and mitigation, as they could be applicable in your case. Our team of specialist solicitors have the knowledge, experience and expertise to help you build a successful defence, and achieve the best possible result.
M.A.J. Law are completely transparent about our fixed fee pricing structure and any potential costs that might be incurred throughout the case, so please don’t be afraid to ask. Our quoted fixed fees will not change, even if the case becomes more complicated than originally anticipated. Over the years, our team of specialist solicitors have built long-lasting, honest and trustworthy relationships with our clients. This has helped us become the leading motoring defence solicitors in the UK. M.A.J. Law also employs a number of Cost Recovery Administrators who will process your Defence Costs Order immediately. This allows you to claim back your costs from the Central Funds Office of the Government (subject to assessment).
If you’ve been accused of failing to provide a specimen – whether one of blood, breath or urine – then your next step is to find the right legal team. There are a number of factors that can define what makes a solicitor ‘right’ for you, for instance:
If the solicitor you’re considering is lacking in any of the above areas, then it could be beneficial to explore other options.
*off all FTP cases that proceeded to trial in 2018
M.A.J. Law’s specialist solicitors have years of experience representing clients in drink & drug driving cases across England and Wales. Get in touch today to discuss your case in detail
M.A.J. Law specialise in defending motorists nationwide. Our team have over 50 years of combined experience and first-hand knowledge of most courts in England and Wales. Free advice? Please get in touch.