Regulatory Offences

Legal Specialists in Criminal Law

We deal with all manner of regulatory offences.

These can include investigations by Natural Resources Wales (previously Environment Agency), Trading Standards, Local Authorities, VOSA, NHS, HMRC, RSPCA, Information Commissioner’s Office and many others.

Often these investigations take some time and can become extremely complicated. It is important to seek expert advice at the earliest opportunity.

As with all criminal and regulatory cases the first action any department or agency will take after an allegation has been made, or a suspected offence has been committed, is to investigate the matter. This will usually result in speaking to those suspected of being involved in the alleged offence at interview conducted under Caution, in compliance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE).

An interview conducted in this way enables the contents of the interview to form part of any court proceedings. It is obviously important that should you or one of your employees find themselves in a position where they are to be interviewed under Caution that you obtain the correct advice as to how to proceed in the interview

Interviews conducted in accordance with PACE provide the interviewee with the right to obtain legal advice. You or your employees should always take up this right, even when you do not think you have done anything wrong, as it will enable you to be fully advised as to what the allegations against you are and your options before the interview begins. Without a legal representative you will not be made aware of the details of the allegations before the interview begins. Sometimes things can be said during interview which unintentionally strengthen the case against them.

Interviews of this nature may be conducted by the Police but with more specialised investigations, for example those conducted by the Information Commissioner’s Office, civilian investigators from that organisation will usually have conduct over the entire investigation, including the interview under Caution.

This is important to note for two reasons;

  1. The interviewers will usually be specialised in their specific field of investigation and will therefore know a great deal about the area they are investigating and the legislation that accompanies it. It is therefore important to obtain legal advice yourself so that you are placed on a more level playing field.
  2. Whilst you are entitled to legal advice this is not available free of charge under the Duty Solicitor scheme, as it would be at a Police Station, unless the interview is conducted by, or in the presence of, a Police Officer. We will always keep you fully informed about our prospective costs and provide you with you a realistic quote based on the type of investigation you have been requested to attend.

Should any of the investigations lead to you receiving a summons to court for the alleged offences we are also able to offer representation at Court and will be able to fully advise you as to your best course of action in respect of plea, success at trial and any likely sentence.

Criminal & Regulatory investigations and proceedings can be conducted by, but not limited to, the following organisations:

  • Natural Resources Wales who deal with offences including waste disposal, tree felling and farming.
  • Trading Standards who investigate and prosecute matters including sales and purchases of counterfeit goods.
  • Local Authorities who deal with matters including fly tipping, littering, Tree Preservation Orders and non-school attendance.
  • Driver Vehicle Standards Agency (formerly VOSA)
  • NHS who investigate and prosecute matters including billing practices and compliance within their internal regulations.
  • HMRC who deal with matters relating to fraud, tax, VAT, bribery and money laundering.
  • Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) who deal with breaches of the Data Protection Act such as subject access requests.
  • Chief Constable where challenging the revocation of the Firearms Licences.

Should you be in doubt as to whether any of the above organisations wish to speak with you under Caution or you are concerned about potential court proceedings please contact our office so that we can make the relevant enquiries and offer our advice and assistance.

As a National Farmers Union (NFU) Panel Firm we regularly represent individuals and business owners who are accused of falling foul of the many regulations imposed upon Farmers’.

You can read some of our latest case studies here.

For more information regarding regulatory offences, please contact our criminal team on 01978 291000 or alternatively email [email protected]