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.
Many police forces hold random stop checks, particularly over the festive season. If the circumstances would not give the officer reasonable grounds to suspect or believe that alcohol or some drug had been consumed, this may render your arrest unlawful. It’s also worth noting that the officer making the requirement for you to provide a roadside test must be in full police uniform.
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:
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.
|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|
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 GQS Solicitors, 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.
GQS Solicitors 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.
GQS Solicitors 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.
GQS Solicitors 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.
I would have no hesitation in recommending GQS Solicitors to my family and friends. A proven track record in serious crime, “they successfully defended my mate G.R and he was acquitted of Murder
Dave Courtney O.B.E
Warwick Crown Court
I was charged with serious offences of Kidnap, Firearms and was at risk of receiving a lengthy prion sentence. Thanks to the hard work GQS put into my case, I was found not guilty.
Birmingham Crown Court [July 2017]
I would like to say a massive thank you for representation at the Crown Court. I was found not guilty after trial. Brilliant Team !!
Birmingham Crown Court- June 2017
I was found not guilty of a shooting that I did not commit. Thank you GQS for all your hard work from me and my family.
Birmingham Crown Court- January 2018
I was represented at the police station, thanks for the proper advise, no further action was taken against me.
Solihull Police Station. 7.01.18
My husband was expecting to go to prison for a Fraud offence, against all the odds the Judge went outside the sentencing guidelines and was gave him a suspended sentence. Thanks to the support and advice from GQS we can now carry on living with our lives.
Inner London Court 10.01.18