Charged Drug Driving


Charged with drug driving? Immediate help is one phone call away.

If you are facing a drug-driving charge or are waiting for the results of a police blood test, having been arrested on suspicion of drug driving, then you must take immediate steps to seek legal advice. The clock is running against you, and steps can be taken immediately to give you the best possible chance of successfully fighting the charge.

Free immediate telephone advice is available. Call the number above now for a few minutes free initial advice. You have nothing to lose and the call may save your licence and reputation! The new offence of driving while having drugs in your system over a certain limit, brought into law in 2015 (the new section 5A offence), now runs alongside the old offence of driving while unfit (the old section 4 offence). Though you may think it to be unfair, both offences can be charged together, though this tends not to happen in practice.

If charged with either of the two drug driving offences, then the police will want to get you to court as quickly as they can. However, unfortunately for them, in the case of the new section 5A offence, now the usual offence to be charged, they must wait until they receive the results of the forensic tests on your blood: notice the choice of the plural word “tests” and not “test”: watch the video below if you want to know why this may be so important.

 

This delay is your first all important opportunity to take the initiative and challenge the police case, by instructing a lawyer who knows his or her way around this complex area of legislative and case law. Only by doing this can you give yourself a fighting chance of securing a discontinuance of the case, or, a court finding of “not guilty”. Remember, the police also are still getting up to speed when it comes to prosecuting the new section 5A offence. This fact is something which may work to your advantage. What also works to your advantage is that these prosecutions are fraught with difficulties for the police. The reason for this is because of the very complexity of the law. As a starting point, read “A. Defences – Police Procedures, etc.,” below. Moreover, as was noted in the academic legal book “Drink Drive Case Notes”, 2nd Edn. By Pauline. M Callow:

“The conviction rate is high, yet it is estimated that a considerable proportion of cases feature undetected procedural errors, which might have led to acquittal.”

 

You must also remember that these cases are criminal in nature carrying criminal punishment (driving disqualification, fine, possible prison sentence, etc.,): therefore, exactly the same burden of proof lies on the prosecution as in, say, a burglary or assault charge. The prosecution must prove their case, and you do not have to prove a thing. If you chose, you could simply sit back, plead “not guilty” and tell them to prove their case; not that that is something which any competent road traffic lawyer, or indeed this website, would suggest as being a proper or intelligent way to proceed. The far better course is to take the initiative by taking the battle to the prosecution. These are adversarial proceedings conducted in accordance with the rules of the court.

 

So then how do you do this – what are the possible “loophole” or technical defences?

The following comment from a former Senior Crown Prosecutor makes this vital point even more clearly: “I prosecuted for almost 20 years and was continuously amazed at how seemingly intelligent people would come to court and, after a short glance at the prosecution papers, plead guilty without having even thought about speaking to a lawyer. In their mind they had been under the influence, driven a vehicle and been stopped and arrested: that was, for them, enough; believingperhaps falsely – that the prosecution case couldn’t be challenged.

They simply wouldn’t question whether or not they should have pleaded guilty in the first place!

My job was simply to review the file (provided by the police) and, if everything appeared correct, accept the case and prosecute. I did not have access to all the case papers and therefore it would have been impossible for me to have confirmed, one way or another, whether there might have been some sort of technical defence.
Anyway that was a job for a defence lawyer and not me. If a defendant chose not to instruct a lawyer, then that was his or her business: it was not mine!”

The prosecution must prove every "element" of the case otherwise the case fails. Check out what can be done to fight the case.

What can be done?