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Drug Driving No Further Action

Drug Driving No Further Action

Drug driving No Further Action – am I safe from prosecution now?

If the police tell you that in your case for alleged drug driving No Further Action will be taken, this can sound like the all-clear is being sounded.

However, it is important to know that a notification of No Further Action is not the same as being found “not guilty” or having your case fully dismissed with the help of a drug driving solicitor.

Reach out to one of our specialist drug driving solicitors today – for FREE and with no obligation – by giving us a call on 033 03411690 or by completing a Free Online Enquiry with zero commitment to use us.

Here is everything you need to know about what can and could happen when the police tell you they aren’t planning to take further action in your case – at least, not at this time…

Understanding Drug Driving Pre-Charge Terminology

No Further Action is one of the terms the police and Crown Prosecution Service use in the “pre-charge” phase of a drug driving case. This is the stage before any charges have been laid against you in court. Two of the most important pre-charge terms are:

1) Caution

Being given a caution is possible when you have been found to have committed a minor offence (too small for the courts to bother with) and that you accept you have committed that offence.

If you accept a caution, you will avoid prosecution. That’s potentially a good thing. However, a caution means that:

  1. You must accept you did what the police say you did
  2. You must accept the caution for doing so
  3. You will then have this caution marked on your criminal record (for future employers to see and potentially putting you at risk of a heavier sentence in the event of a similar future offence)

To give you a caution, the police must have sufficient evidence to believe that they could realistically prosecute you should it come to it. They must also judge that your offence is not serious enough to be in the public interest to go to all the cost and effort of prosecuting.

Accepting a caution might feel like an easy way to avoid going to court. Yet it is usually a mistake to see this as the automatically correct choice should the police tell you they want to caution you.

This is because of that requirement that the police prove have enough evidence to prosecute you. Without forcing them to disclose what evidence they have, you might not know whether they actually do.

If you are “offered” a caution by the police in relation to drug driving, it is always worth at least talking your situation over with a specialist solicitor before you decide whether or not to accept it.

2) No Further Action or “NFA”

In the pre-charge phase, the police may notify you that your case has been marked No Further Action or “NFA”.

This may be because they have decided there is not currently enough evidence to proceed with a case against you. They may also decide it is not in the public interest to prosecute you at this time (usually because this is a costly and time-consuming process and they aren’t sure of the evidence).

If your case has been marked for No Further Action:

  1. You will not be charged or cautioned at this time
  2. You won’t have it marked on your criminal record
  3. However, it does not mean your case is closed – yet

It is important to know that the police have up to six months to charge you after the date you were caught allegedly drug driving. This is the same for most motoring offences. However, if someone was injured or killed in the incident or it was otherwise more serious, there is no time limit.

Even if the police say they intend to take No Further Action against you, they still have up until this six-month window closes to change their mind. This may happen for several different reasons. The most common is that more evidence has been found.

However, the Victims’ Right to Review Scheme (or VRR, the method through which a victim of an incident might get the CPS to review why a case isn’t being taken to court) can also lead to a case marked as No Further Action being taken up again.

Drug Driving – No Further Action

No Further Action does generally mean that your case will not be going to court. It doesn’t mean that it definitely won’t though.

The police and prosecution have six months from the date of the alleged incident to re-open your case if new evidence comes to light or if the VRR raises an objection. If dangerous driving was involved or someone was injured or killed though, that six-month window is extended indefinitely.

Contact Us

As in all legal matters, your best bet is to at least discuss your situation with an expert. Chat with one of our specialist drug driving solicitors today on 033 03411690 or by completing a Free Online Enquiry to find out what No Further Action really means in your particular case.

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Please call us on 0330 341 1690 and we will get back to you shortly.

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Nigel Murray

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