Road traffic offences are taken extremely seriously under UK law, and there are ways in which you could find yourself accused of an offence simply because you did not follow due process after being involved in an incident.
If you are in a road traffic accident and you fail to stop in order to exchange details or report it, the police may wish to interview you as a suspect and you can be prosecuted. Equally, if you receive a speeding ticket or notice of intended prosecution (NIP) it is likely you will receive a court summons if you fail to identify the driver.
If you are facing allegations of any of these offences, you should seek expert legal advice immediately from our motoring offence solicitors in order to ensure the best possible outcome in your case.
What does failing to stop after an accident mean?
If an accident has resulted in injury, or damage is caused to another vehicle or property, the driver should stop and make reasonable endeavours to ensure that details are exchanged with the other driver or owner of the property.
In simple terms, if this cannot happen, the law requires the driver to report the accident to the police within 24 hours.
If injury has been caused as a result of the accident, insurance details must also be exchanged at the scene, or afterwards if that is not possible.
What is the difference between failing to stop and failing to report?
The offences are separate, although it is common for both to be charged at the same time. Legal defences to both charges are available and it is necessary to carefully consider the circumstances before deciding how to plead.
What are the legal penalties for failing to stop and failing to report?
The penalties for both offences are significant. The court can impose a prison sentence and will consider adding further driving penalties, such as between 5-10 penalty points to a driving licence or a driving disqualification.
It is a common misconception that if you ignore a speeding ticket or NIP that it will go away, and it is likely you will receive a court summons for failing to identify the driver.
However, if you do not complete the NIP correctly or return it within the specified time of 28 days, you will commit an offence contrary to Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 of failing to provide the details of a driver, for which you may receive penalty points and a fine of up to £1000.
A notice will be sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle, who must provide the name and address of the driver at the time of the offence, to the best of their knowledge.
What are the penalties for providing false details to police?
Knowingly giving false details in order to avoid penalty points is a very serious offence of perverting the course of justice for which you will be sent to the Crown Court, and it is likely that you will face immediate imprisonment.
And if I am accused of one of these offences?
The legal team at Lincoln Lawrence are experts in motoring offences, and have extensive experience in advising and defending these matters. It is crucial that you contact us immediately on 020 3917 9999 or email email@example.com to discuss your situation and receive immediate assistance and help.
Failure to provide a specimen of breath, blood or urine is a subdivision of the drink driving laws.
It covers the situation when you have been arrested for drunk driving, but for whatever reason don’t manage to provide a specimen.
If a police officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that a person may have been drink driving or in charge of a vehicle whilst over the legally prescribed alcohol limit, that person may be asked to provide a sample of breath, blood or urine for analysis.
A failure to provide a specimen of breath at the roadside is an offence and can entitle an officer to arrest that person. In those circumstances, the arrested person would be taken to a nearby police station where they would be asked to provide an evidential sample of breath. At that stage, a failure to provide a breath sample without a reasonable excuse would lead to that person probably being charged with that offence.
There may be occasions when a breath sample cannot be obtained, perhaps for medical reasons. In these circumstances, the officer conducting the procedure may ask for a blood or urine sample to be provided instead.
Failure to provide a blood specimen or to provide a urine sample may equally result in charges. The choice as to what replacement sample is taken is one that the officer will make. Any replacement sample of blood would be taken by a doctor.
The courts often view a person’s “failure to provide” as serious, as if that person had actually provided a positive breath reading which showed that they were over the legally prescribed limit. It is therefore treated as seriously as drunk driving and can bring all the driving penalties that go with that.
Courts will sometimes view the fact that the person failed to provide a sample of breath as more serious than if the person had provided a positive sample, as the court can sometimes conclude that the failure was deliberate and an attempt to avoid giving what may have been a very high reading. In coming to this decision the court can assess the standard of driving or level of impairment.
Sometimes there may be very valid reasons why a sample could not or was not provided, so this is a highly technical area of drunk driving law and mistakes can frequently be made if the complex procedures are not followed correctly.
Contact us on 020 3917 9999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for a free initial consultation.
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