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Failing to Provide a Specimen

Failing to Provide a Specimen for Analysis

 

If you were taken to hospital then please click here

 

If a police officer had reasonable suspicion that you committed an offence then they are able to require you to provide certain samples for analysis (breath, blood or urine). The term “reasonable suspicion” is hugely ambiguous and officers have justified requiring roadside breath samples and making arrests for seemingly trivial reasons such as a headlight being out.

 

Whilst the roadside requirement is important, it is not as significant as the requirement the officers make at the police station as if you fail to provide the sample at this stage the penalties are similar to those imposed for drink and drug driving.

 

If you are charged with this offence already it does not mean that you have to plead guilty and we have an outstanding success rate of defending these matters at trial.

 

The reasons why you failed and whether or not you genuinely tried to comply with the officers’ requirement is crucial so please contact us to discuss your case in more detail.

 

Why Instruct Duncan Lewis Solicitors?

 

The vast majority of our clients walking away from court with their licence intact.

 

Road Traffic Law is a niche and specialised area of criminal law. There are only a handful of firms with genuine expertise in this area. If you instruct us to help you, we rigorously scrutinise every aspect of your case which will include the following:

 

  • The reasons why you failed to provide are extremely important and there may be valid reasons for your failure. The breathalysers at the police station are not always easy to provide on particularly when poor instruction is offered by the conducting officer. If you have genuinely tried to satisfy the device then logic would suggest that there must be another explanation for your inability to give a breath sample and this may amount to a defence as a “reasonable excuse”.
  • In cases where blood or urine samples were required there are many more reasons why suspects may fail that are not entirely under their own control. Phobias play a significant role in such cases as well as biological factors that simply cannot be helped.
  • For the prosecution to secure a conviction, they must be able to prove that you are guilty beyond reasonable doubt and the results from the breath test are just one aspect of the case against you. Is the rest of the evidence strong enough to convince the court of your guilt? Many non-specialist lawyers are unaware of the technical defences that may exist in a case and we are confident that if you do have a defence, we will be able to find it.
  • The Prosecution have certain obligations that they must satisfy when preparing a case and we often see instances where they fail to do this. It is one of your basic legal rights to have the benefit of a fair trial and we have successfully argued that failings of the Prosecution prevent you from enjoying this right which results in the case against you being dismissed.
  • Whether special reasons apply

 

There is no definitive list of circumstances that amount to a “reasonable excuse” so we would strongly recommend contacting us on 0203 114 1145 for an informal chat about the specifics in your case.

 

Potential Penalties and Consequences

 

Failing to provide a specimen is treated in a similar way to cases of drink or drug driving. This is to deter suspects from failing to provide on purpose to guarantee them a lesser penalty when suspected of having committed an offence of driving whilst over the limit.

 

A minimum disqualification of 12 months must be imposed to those who plead guilty or are found guilty of failing to provide. When considering sentence, the court will look at:

 

  • Your previous convictions/driving history
  • The reasons why you failed to provide
  • Any evidence of severe impairment or intoxication

 

If it is your second offence within a 10 year period then you will lose your licence for a minimum of 3 years and in serious cases the court can consider a custodial penalty.

 

There is also a Level 5 (unlimited) fine attached to this offence .

 

A conviction for failing to provide a specimen will go onto your record as a criminal one but there are more far reaching consequences that are not immediately apparent such as:

 

  • A negative impact upon your chosen career or employment
  • Adverse effect upon your freedom to travel to certain countries
  • Significantly increase the costs of your vehicle insurance for at least the next 4 years
  • The social stigma attached to those who are ultimately convicted of drink driving

 

We Can Help Save Your Licence

 

Court proceedings can be one of the most daunting experiences that anyone goes through due to the potential consequences of a conviction. Our lawyers will listen and not judge you as we understand the impact that a conviction can have.

 

We have a proven track record of client-acquittals and this is an area we genuinely specialise in.

 

Please contact us to discuss your case further to see if we can help you.

 

How Much Does it Cost

 

The costs of representation will largely depend upon whether you decide to plead guilty or not guilty.

 

Your first court date will be when you must attend and confirm whether you are pleading “guilty” or “not guilty”.

 

If you plead guilty to the charge then in most cases only one hearing is required and we can agree a fixed fee. If you plead not guilty, then it may be several months before your trial date and the fees incurred will be influenced by:

 

  • How complex the case is; and
  • The number of hearings involved/duration of the proceedings

 

For more detail about the fee structure and payment options contact us on 0203 114 1145 to discuss your case in more detail.

 

Call us now on 033 3772 0409 or click here to send online enquiry.
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