Mansfield Crime Solicitor Tim Haines complied with court directions in a ‘drug driving’ case which meant that the Crown were forced to drop a case on the day of trial.
His client was charged with ‘drug driving’. The prosecution case was that he had been driving with nearly eight times the legal level of the drug amphetamine in his system. The Defendant disputed this evidence. He was not helped in this because he had managed to misplace his blood sample provided by the police to allow his own expert analysis.
The obligation is on a client and his legal representative to complete a pre-trial review form each and every time a case is adjourned to trial in the Magistrates’ Court. In this case, Tim completed the form in great detail. I was made abundantly clear that the expert evidence relied upon by the prosecution could not be agreed as the findings were disputed.
Expert’s Findings Challenged
Perhaps more importantly, because the findings were challenged, the client directly challenged the prosecution to prove that the sample analysed was the correct one. The Crown was told that it would have to prove each evidential link between the sample being taken and analysed.
Despite this early identification of the relevant issues the prosecution failed to obtain and serve this evidence. As a result, on the day of the trial Tim made representations to the Magistrates that the prosecution case was fundamentally flawed. The Crown could not prove to the Court that the sample analysed by its expert was that taken from the Defendant after arrest.
Not an ‘ambush’ defence
An attempt was made by the prosecution to suggest that it had been ‘ambushed’. It was argued that the issue as to lack of continuity had not been raised by Tim sufficiently in advance of the trial. This contention could easily be refuted by reference to the case management form completed some 6 months earlier. This made it clear what the evidential issues were.
The Magistrates understandably refused the Crown application to adjourn the case to a fresh trial date. They were able to point out that the completed pre-trial form was fully and accurately completed. As a result the Crown had had 6 months to respond to the evidential challenge raised by the Defence. The Crown were left with no option but to offer no evidence against the Tim’s client and the charge was dismissed.
Tim’s client left court without conviction and what would have been a mandatory driving disqualification of at least 12 months. He was able to keep his employment, which would have been jeopardised if not lost altogether if he had been disqualified from driving.
Contact Tim Haines
Road traffic cases may seem straightforward but can be complex. If you wish to speak to Tim about a police investigation or court case for drug driving or any other matter please telephone him on 01623 675816 or email him here.