February 2016 - Forrest Williams Archive - Forrest Williams February 2016 - Forrest Williams

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Archive for February, 2016

What Happens When You Lie To The Police?



What happens when you lie to the police?


I don’t mean a considered deliberate lie, but a ‘heat of the moment’ panic lie to the police?


We were recently contacted by a gentleman who had crashed his car into a phone box. No other vehicles were involved, no one was injured, no alcohol or other drugs were involved.


To put it simply our client was tired. More than that, he was exhausted. He had been up most of the previous night then all day and had again worked long into the night and now, at 2 am, was finally making his way home. It was dark, he was close to home and all he wanted was his bed. And in that moment, at low speed as he approached the final turn before he reached his home village, he closed his eyes and was gone.  He fell asleep.


He awoke split seconds later when his car hit the phone box.


He was alert enough to ring 999.  He knew he needed to get checked, he knew there was a risk of damaged electrics and exposed wires, of fire from the engine damage. And when the police asked him what had happened, in the heat of the moment and not wanting to say he fell asleep, he uttered the fateful words he came to regret: “I don’t know what happened, I must have blacked out for a second”.


He never wanted to or planned to lie to the police. 


Our client contacted us because his license was revoked for 6 months because the DVLA had been notified that he was experiencing “unexplained loss of consciousness”.


Of course our client knew what had happened, he fell asleep and hadn’t wanted to admit that.


We worked with our client to prepare a case to ask the DVLA to reconsider their position. We reviewed the medical records from the evening and provided specialist reports to the DVLA confirming that our client had been assessed and no suggestion of seizures or other health issues which can cause loss of consciousness had been found. We explained that our client had simply used the wrong words when explaining what had happened.


The DVLA have now invited our client to reapply for his licence.


At Forrest Williams we know that words can be misinterpreted, and that sometimes we use words we don’t realise could make a bad situation worse. We will work with you to make sure that your voice and your story is heard.


If you are experiencing a problem with the police, courts or DVLA then give the Forrest Williams Team a call on 01623 397200. We will listen to your side of the story, we will review the evidence against you and we will work with you to try and obtain the best possible outcome to you.


Drink Driving: I Can’t Remember What Happened!

Helen Newman of Forrest Williams

Helen Newman of Forrest Williams


Drink Driving: I Can’t Remember What Happened! 


We were recently contacted by a lady who appeared to have been drink driving; a respectable, responsible member of the community, well known and well liked, a wife, mother, and a professional educated woman.  And she had no memory of the period before her arrest.


She had attended her works Christmas party, arriving late because she was waiting for her husband to return home to take over child care duty. She drove to the venue due to the lateness of the hour however with no intention of driving home – she knew there was a secure car park at the venue and had already made arrangements to collect her car the following day. She wasn’t sure exactly what time the festivities would end so had not pre-booked a taxi but had every intention of getting one home.


She had no idea what changed and when.


To the best of her knowledge she had 3 glasses of wine, one she purchased herself, and two that were purchased for her.


According to the police report she was found several miles from home, in the wrong direction had she been travelling home, driving her car. The police had received a report from a member of the public regarding a vehicle driving erratically, they observed the vehicle swerving from side to side, stalling, rolling backwards down a hill – all suggesting a serious level of impairment.


She was arrested on suspicion of drink driving. She does not remember any of this.


Her last memory was of going to wait in her car for the taxi, her next memory was of being at the station, leaving a blank of potentially a couple of hours. She was covered in bruises and very disorientated and distressed.


She did not comply with the officer’s requests that she provide them with a breath specimen – she just didn’t understand what was happening at that point, why she was there or how she was there. She was very clear to me that had she understood she would have provided a sample, she did offer the police later once she was less agitated and understood what was happening, it was just too late.


She was charged with Failure to Provide a Specimen for Analysis, an offence which carries a disqualification of between 12-36 months along with penalties ranging from a fine to community service or even custody. And as she had failed to provide with evidence of serious impairment she would be towards the top level of punishment – so custody could be considered by the court, though as a first offence a suspended sentence could be an option.


Our client had two options. She could plead Guilty to the offence as technically she had refused to provide a sample, or she could plead Not Guilty and fight.


Our client advised us that as a community based nurse she needed her licence to get from patient to patient; that as a mother to a daughter with additional needs she needed her licence to attend weekly appointments and to transport her child in a ‘safe’ environment as public transport was extremely distressing with the unfamiliar noises and smells. All in all, she needed to try to save her licence.


She was very clear to us that she had only had 3 drinks and that there was no way 3 small glasses of wine should have had such a severe impact on her ability to function or remember the evening. She was certain that someone must have laced her drinks with some sort of drug, it could be the only explanation. Involuntary intoxication could be a defence, at the very least it would go a long way to explaining her actions at the station if needed in mitigation to the courts.


She pleaded Not Guilty and her case has now been adjourned to trial.


If you are charged with an offence then give the Forrest Williams team a call on 01623 397200. We know that there are always two sides to every story and we will make sure the courts hear yours.



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Case Study: Drink Driving Lawyers Secure Minimum Ban

Jess Sadler, paralegal at Forrest Williams solicitors

Jess Sadler, paralegal at Forrest Williams solicitors


Case Study: Drink Driving Lawyers Secure Minimum Ban


Rebecca came to Forrest Williams, specialist drink driving lawyers, just days after she had been involved in a car accident.


It was Rebecca’s first time in this sort of situation so she was understandably very upset, and really needed somebody just to listen to her and guide her through the whole process.


Rebecca had been out for the evening with her husband and some friends. Rebecca’s husband, Matt, does not drink due to an ongoing medical condition, so Rebecca had drank 2 glasses of wine, and Matt was intending to drive them both back home.


However, halfway through the night, Matt suddenly became very ill, and so Rebecca proceeded to drive Matt home so she could look after him in a safe environment.


Rebecca did not think about the fact that she was over the limit. She just wanted to get Matt home. The journey home was only ten minutes, so it seemed like a risk worth taking.


On the journey home Rebecca slowed down to around 25mph because she knew she was due to go around a sharp bend soon.


When she was halfway round this corner, she realised that there was a lorry coming from the opposite direction and the lorry had actually crossed over onto her side of the road.


Again Rebecca acted as anyone else would have, and swerved to avoid the lorry. However there was a car parked on double yellow lines on Rebecca’s side of the road, and Rebecca collided straight on with this car.


Rebecca could not remember much about the accident but there were several independent witnesses who had seen the accident who all said that it was the parked car that caused the major problem in the collision and that without it, Rebecca’s manoeuvre would have safely allowed her to avoid the lorry.


Rebecca sustained minor injuries from this accident. However this was not the thing on her mind.


Through police investigations it had been uncovered that the car was not insured, nor did it have a valid MOT.


Rebecca was charged with Drink Driving, Driving without Insurance, and Driving without valid MOT, as well as Driving without Due Care and Attention.


With these charges in mind, Rebecca was facing a 16 month disqualification, 9 penalty points and a fine.


Rebecca pleaded guilty to all of the charges.


Because Rebecca instructed us very early on we had plenty of time to prepare her mitigation so we could try and get her the most lenient sentence.


Rebecca had contact with the office every week and had support in gathering supporting documents that would help assist her case.


For the court hearing, Rebecca was represented by one of our premier London barristers, Craig Harris.


Craig phoned the office just minutes after the court hearing had finished to fill us in on the amazing result.


Rebecca was disqualified from driving for 12 months (the minimum possible for any drink driving conviction), reduced to 9 months if she completed the Drink Drive Rehabilitation Course and received a fine of £305.


It was an absolutely incredible result for Rebecca.


Because Rebecca took control and instructed us so early on, she was able to take full advantage of our care and support from the beginning to the end of her case.


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