Perverting the Course of Justice in Driving Cases
Perverting or attempting to pervert the course of justice is not typically a motoring offence but is often committed in relation to road traffic matters. It is an extremely serious offence, for which you can be sent to prison for life.
What is Perverting the Course of Justice?
It is the doing of some act which has a tendency and is intended to pervert the administration of public justice.
An act done with the intention of perverting the course of justice is not enough; the act must also have that tendency. To establish a tendency or a possibility, the prosecution does not have to prove that the tendency or possibility resulted. There must be a possibility that what the accused has done might lead to injustice without intervention.
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Examples of perverting the course of justice may include:
- Nominating someone as the driver when you know they were not driving
- Responding to a request for driver information by giving information that you know is not true
- Taking penalty points when you know you were not the driver
- Allowing someone else to take penalty points for you
- Using a laser jammer on your car when speeding
- Entering a guilty plea on someone else’s behalf and without their permission
You may not realise the seriousness of your actions, but the consequences are severe. If you are tempted to take someone’s points for them or pay someone to take yours, bear in mind that you are highly likely to go to prison if you get caught. Even first-time offenders typically receive 3-4 months’ imprisonment.
We have experience in representing people charged perverting the course of justice and have even taken cases to the Court of Appeal. We can help with police interviews and court hearings.
For more information please see our FAQs on perverting the course of justice offences below.
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Perverting the Course of Justice FAQs
What do the police have to prove for an offence of perverting the course of justice?
The prosecution must prove that:
You did an act which has a tendency to pervert the course of justice; and,
You intended to pervert the administration of public justice.
Perverting the course of justice usually means preventing.
Will I avoid prison If I own up to the offence before I get caught?
It is possible that you will avoid an immediate prison sentence but, even so, you are likely to receive a suspended prison sentence.
It will depend on factors including the nature of the act, how sophisticated it was and any previous convictions.
If I don't respond to a request for driver information, can I be convicted of perverting the course of justice?
No. Perverting the course of justice requires a positive act. If you simply fail to do something, you will not be perverting the course of justice.
You may be guilty of a different offence such as failing to give driver details.
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