Forensic Testing - Is your conviction safe ?

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Forensic Testing - Is your conviction safe ?

New details have emerged about forensic testing deficiencies at two of the country's leading laboratories. Police are currently investigating the circumstances, and a number of people have been arrested.

 

Randox Testing Services (RTS) and Trimega Laboratories handle samples for some of the most high-profile criminal and family law cases, the accuracy of the tests being of paramount importance to people facing criminal prosecution for offences ranging from drink driving to murder.

 

Home Office Minister Nick Hurd told parliament:

 

'Most drug tests from RTS between 2013 and 2017 are being treated as potentially unreliable. RTS was mainly commissioned by individual police forces when investigating criminal offences.'

 

It is believed that the results from as many as 10,000 tests could be under question.

 

Is Your Conviction Safe?

 

If a conviction in your case rested wholly or partially on the reliability of forensic tests, it is essential that you seek further legal advice.

 

While the Crown Prosecution Service will be carrying out a review into criminal cases, this will take a considerable period of time, and many will question whether the body that brought the prosecution in the first place is ideally placed to make decisions as to the safety or otherwise of a conviction.

 

Those affected will, therefore, wish to consider whether any further forensic testing ought to take place, and even whether or not there are grounds to appeal. All convictions will need to be considered on a case by case basis.

 

Even if your cases did not involve the two laboratories currently under investigation, this scandal throws a spotlight on the hidden world of forensic testing and calls in to doubt results from other forensic testing providers.

 

How We Can Assist

 

Regardless of whether we handled your case initially our experienced team of lawyers has the expertise to ensure the safety of your conviction is beyond question.

 

If you believe that inaccurate forensic testing may have led you to be wrongfully convicted (and that includes pleading guilty to an offence), please contact Damien Morrison on 01904 666 888 or dm@maasolicitors.co.uk.

 

None for the road...

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None for The Road

As we put Halloween and Bonfire Night behind us, easing into those dark wintry nights, it isn't long before Christmas is in our sights and party season gets underway.

As night follows day, this time also coincides with a national police initiative concerning drink driving, as forces across the country prepare for a spike in the numbers of those tested and arrested for drink and drug driving offences.

While these offences may not seem particularly serious when viewed against other offences, what is not often understood is the real impact that a conviction can have.

Research shows that loss of a licence leads in a great many cases to loss of employment, in turn to loss of housing as bills cannot be paid, and sometimes it is the final straw that breaks a relationship. The financial costs will be felt for many years thereafter as insurance premiums will be greatly increased.

What we also see is that a great many people come before the courts with alcohol readings that are not high, and where offences have been detected the 'morning after'. Offences that can be said to have been committed perhaps more out of ignorance than a wilful disregard for others.

A single error of judgment with devastating consequences.

 

What is a safe level of drinking if I propose to drive?

No alcohol is the safest level as it ensures that when you get behind the wheel, your reactions are not impaired to any degree at all.

Crucially it also prevents the guesswork that brings so many people before the courts.

Urban myths such as '2 pints are ok' have long since been proved to be false, as have back of the envelope guesses as to how long it takes alcohol to leave the body.

Different people will deal with alcohol in different ways, and even this can vary for a single person depending on a multitude of factors.

Merely feeling OK to drive is not a reliable indicator as to whether you are below the legal limit or not.

As we get merry, we reach a tipping point; we can make foolish choices that will prove costly, sometimes not just measured in financial terms but in injury and even loss of life.

You do not hear a lawyer say this often - but we do not wish to see you this Christmas.

 

Think, before you drink and drive.

 

How we can assist ?

If you do find yourself in trouble, there is a lot we can do to assist.

The police must follow complex procedures to establish a case against you – we can ensure that this has been done.

We can also investigate issues such as 'laced drinks' and 'special reasons'.

Well-presented mitigation can make a real difference to the outcome and even where a disqualification cannot be avoided, we can often achieve a reduction in length.

 

Contact Damien Morrison on (01904) 666 888 or dm@maasolicitors.co.uk to discuss any driving related matters.