Perverting the Course of Justice
Adam Law Solicitors offer expert legal advice for anyone facing, or worried about facing, prosecution for Perverting the Course of Justice. We have a dedicated criminal defence team who have many years experience of all charges of criminal activity.
If you are concerned you may be facing charges for Perverting the Course of Justice, or are already facing charges, it is essential you contact us as quickly as possible. Phone us now on 0114 256 0111, or email us or use the form on this page.
Being charged with Perverting the Course of Justice
Perverting the course of justice is a serious offence. It can only be tried on indictment and carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. The offence is committed where a person:
- does an act (a positive act or series of acts is required; mere inaction is insufficient);
- which has a tendency to pervert; and
- which is intended to pervert the course of public justice.
The course of justice includes the police investigation of a possible crime (it is not necessary for legal proceedings to have begun). A false allegation which risks the arrest or wrongful conviction of an innocent person is enough. The word pervert can mean “alter” but the behaviour does not have to go that far – any act that interferes with an investigation or causes it to head in the wrong direction may tend to pervert the course of justice. The prosecution must prove there is a possibility that what the complainant has done “without more” might lead to a wrongful consequence, such as the arrest of an innocent person.
Intention is not the same as motive. However, the motive of the complainant is likely to be important if the public interest stage is reached. The prosecution must prove an intention either to pervert the course of justice or to do something which, if achieved, would pervert the course of justice. All that is necessary is proof of knowledge of all the circumstances, and the intentional doing of an act which has a tendency, when objectively viewed, to pervert the course of justice.
This article is based on public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v2.0. The original information can be found here; https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/public-order-offences-incorporating-charging-standard