Agricultural: Investigations / Prosecutions Solicitors

At Ashtons Legal we understand how businesses in the agricultural sector have to manage and comply with various types of regulations.

These are overseen and enforced by various Government agencies. A failure to observe regulatory compliance can be very costly in terms of court fines and other penalties, not to mention to harm to reputation in the business community.

If you think that your business is likely to be or is being investigated or if it is being prosecuted by any enforcement agency it is vital that advice is taken at the earliest opportunity. Prompt action at the outset can make a huge positive impact. It can avoid formal action in many cases.

Often a business may be asked to attend formal interviews conducted under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE). The decision whether to attend such interviews or not and whether to provide written statements to the investigators can shape the whole case.

If a prosecution follows it is essential to be guided through the court procedure, the strength of the evidence and the defences available.

We can help you in the following areas:

  • Environment Agency cases (pollution/ waste/ permits and exemptions etc.)
  • health & safety investigations
  • DEFRA cases prosecuted through Crown Prosecution Service
  • agricultural transport matters e.g. cases brought by Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA)
  • Office of the Traffic Commissioner: operator’s licence preliminary hearings and public inquiry
  • interviews under caution
  • Magistrates’ and Crown Court and other tribunals
  • confiscation under Proceeds of Crime Act (increasingly sought to recover the benefit of unlawful activity).

Please contact Tim Ridyard and Tim Norris in our Regulatory Team for advice.