Injustice is here

Last year I talked about the coming changes to Defence Costs Orders, which are the Orders made by courts that allow an innocent defendant to claim the cost of his defence back from the authorities who wrongly accused him or her.  These changes are now in force.

At the start of this year I was contacted by a defendant via the London Drink Driving Solicitor website.  He had been accused of failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis but said he was not guilty because he suffers from severe asthma and was physically unable to provide the breath specimen.

I explained the costs and the new Defence Costs Order system, which means that even if acquitted he might not get back all of the money he pays out to defend himself.

Last week he told me that he had decided he could not see the point of fighting and winning only to have to pay out as much as the fine would be if he pleaded guilty.  For him, he couldn't afford the risk of winning and losing his money as well as lost income from time off work for the trial etc. 

He made a financial decision to cut his losses and plead guilty to an offence he said he was innocent of committing.

The overriding objective of the Criminal Procedure Rules and thus the court and everybody involved in the Criminal Justice System includes, "acquitting the innocent and convicting the guilty".  That's the top, number 1 point made in the CrPR.  It is important.  Nowhere that I can find does it say that people should be forced to make financial decisions about whether they falsely admit to being a criminal in order to avoid potentially harsher financial consequences of being found not guilty!


  1. Finances forced my partner and myself to take the LIP approach. lt meant a great deal of studying online and to learn court procedures we attended court cases. l know this is frowned upon by the legal profession but for ourselves and many others it is the only avenue left open. The LIP approach has been successful for us.

  2. Over the years, little by little, the goalposts have been moved to favour the prosecution over the defence, and the process continues.

  3. Did he give blood or was he allergic to needles as well?Did he try and give urine but was worried about the police taking the piss?
    More detail please.Every drink-driver I have ever arrested had asthma.Even the ones that iv'e chased down the street before-hand.

    1. He says he wasn't given the option of blood or urine.

      Some people are liars and will say anything to get off, but at the same time some people really are asthmatic and can't provide a sample of breath. Which was he? I don't know. All I know is that he chose not to defend himself because of the financial risk of winning. That's what this post is about.

  4. Oh come on DB you know full well he would have been offered blood or urine if he couldn't blow.It's a standard form and the custody Sergeant has to read it our verbatim.
    My custody has full CCTV audio and video so there's no tomfoolery from either side.


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