Failing to Provide a Specimen for Analysis
If you were arrested on suspicion of committing an offence (usually drink/drug driving) you will likely have been required to give a specimen of either breath, blood or urine. If this request was made whilst you were in hospital then please click here.
The reasons why you failed to provide are absolutely crucial so it is important that you seek advice at the earliest opportunity. Not only could this make a huge different to the end result in your case but, you will hopefully find that it puts some of your concerns to rest and makes you feel better about the position you have found yourself in.
It is important that you realise from the outset that whilst you may have failed to give a specimen, this does not always mean that you can (or should) be convicted!
We provide free initial telephone advice and would be happy to help so please contact us to discuss.
You must be confident in your representation and if our statistics are not enough to convince you of our expertise, we invite you to review our web pages, client testimonials and case studies.
Most motorists who approach us assume that they have only one option – to plead guilty. As specialists in motor law, there are a number of unique strategies and techniques that enable us to successfully defend you and we urge you to contact us so we can explain your options in detail. Being charged with this offence can be an intimidating process and we want you to be able to make informed decisions on how best to proceed with your case.
What makes Olliers Motor Law different from other Motoring Lawyers?
Even amongst specialist firms our success rate is extremely impressive. Many firms may claim to be specialists in this area and boast of their “success rate” but claims can often be misleading. When we refer to a success rate we mean only cases where our client has been found not guilty or the charges dropped.
Road Traffic Law is a very niche area of criminal law and there are literally only a handful of firms with genuine expertise in this area. As specialists, there are a number of strategies and techniques that have been developed and fine tuned over the years that set us apart from our competitors.
At Olliers we only use qualified solicitors to prepare your case. Many firms of specialist motoring lawyers operate in a call centre environment using non-qualified paralegals to prepare your case who have no experience of appearing in court. As experienced solicitors who regularly appear in courts nationwide dealing with motoring offences we can advise you fully as to the processes and procedures and we understand from a practical and realistic viewpoint what is likely to succeed and what will not succeed.
Defences to failing to provide a specimen
If you instruct us to help you, there are a number of aspects in every case that we will scrutinise which include:
- Procedure: the procedure that led up to you being required to give a sample. It is crucial that officers conduct the procedure correctly and we often argue successfully that breaches of the procedure mean there was no lawful requirement for you to give a sample and therefore no failure to provide.
- Genuine reason for failure: the reasons why you failed. For the majority of people, the machines in use are too difficult to provide a sample on provided proper direction is given in its use. If you have genuinely tried, it follows logically that there must be some other reason to explain the failure or inability to provide. If we can establish that there was a “reasonable excuse” for you failing to provide a sample then you should be acquitted.
- Evidence: Is the evidence itself strong enough? To secure a conviction in the UK the court must be satisfied that you are guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. To a non-specialist drink driving lawyer the evidence against you may seem substantial however when we review the strength of the case we almost invariably find flaws and have evidence disregarded. The result? The case against you simply isn’t strong enough to convince the court that you are guilty.
- Disclosure: Whether all evidence has been disclosed is another area that results in acquittals. It is vital that you receive a fair trial and there are many cases where this is simply not possible due to certain evidence not being disclosed to us. We have successfully argued that non-disclosure prevents a fair trial which results in an acquittal.
There is no definitive list of circumstances that amount to a “reasonable excuse” so we would strongly recommend contacting us even if you have spoken to non-specialists to ensure you get the most accurate advice in how to proceed.
Potential Penalties and Consequences
Failing to provide a specimen is one of the more serious motoring offences and the penalties are almost equal to those applied to cases of drink or drug driving. This is to deter suspects from failing to provide on purpose to guarantee them a lesser penalty.
The courts have little discretion and must impose a minimum disqualification period of 12 months (or 3 years if it is your second offence within a 10 year period) but in more serious cases where there is evidence of severe intoxication or you are a repeat offender, then disqualifications can be as long as 5 years and you may also be at risk of a prison sentence or community order. You can find out more about the factors that the court consider when imposing penalties here.
There is also a Level 5 fine attached to this offence which is unlimited.
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
Let Us Help You
Court proceedings for failing to provide a specimen can be one of the most daunting experiences a motorist goes through as for many, the consequences can be catastrophic due to the driving ban they face. Our lawyers will not judge you and we understand the impact that a conviction could have upon a person’s life. This process can be a distressing time yet having representation can help you deal with the situation you are in.
We would recommend writing down everything you remember about the day/night in question and include as much detail as you can. Smaller details that may first appear minor can often have a significant impact on a case and how it is prepared so ensure that you cover your movements on the day, what you had to drink and at what times and also as much as you can remember about what happened from the moment the police became involved and what they said to 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 available please visit our dedicated costs page here.