Taking points for someone else and perverting the course of justice
One of the most serious offences that can come before a court is ‘perverting the course of justice’, this is because it strikes at the very heart of the justice system. Such offending includes taking points for someone else.
“Offences of perverting the course of justice are intrinsically so serious that they will almost always attract an immediate custodial sentence unless there are exceptional circumstances justifying a different course” (R v Cronin (2017)).
Know a family member sitting on nine penalty points?
The scenario is a common one. One person in the family already has 9 points on their driving licence. A Notice of Intended Prosecution drops through the door in relation to a further road traffic offence.
The new road traffic offence on its own is likely to be relatively minor. It will only result in 3 penalty points and a modest fine. But, in this instance, due to the previous points on the licence, it may well result in a driving disqualification.
It may be that another family member with a clean licence thinks about taking points for someone else. The thought process might go – how easy would it be for another person to take the blame? Abe made to name a relative abroad. Who would possibly find out?
Of course, the first mistake here is the belief that you will not be caught taking points for someone else.
In reality, however, the police take a keen interest in these cases, and often it requires only a modicum of detective work to reveal the true offender.
The consequences of the offending
The consequences of taking points for someone else can be horrendous. The points follow, as does the disqualification which now becomes a reality with no realistic prospect of arguing exceptional hardship. Worst of all, two people are arrested, possibly in the early hours, in front of friends and family, maybe even young children.
And finally, a prison sentence follows. All to avoid a few penalty points.
Considering taking points for someone else?
The irony of the situation as set out above is that in many cases the driving disqualification could have been avoided. This is particularly true if early advice had been obtained from an experienced road traffic law practitioner.
Many otherwise decent hardworking people find themselves before the court through decisions made in panic. Before acting always seek advice.
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