If your business has been investigated by any enforcement agency then it is possible that criminal court proceedings could follow or you may be required to appear before some other tribunal to consider the fitness of your business to hold its licence.
It is strongly advised that you seek court representation to achieve the best possible case outcome and that you do so promptly.
In criminal proceedings summonses or charges may be brought against a sole trader or partners in a business. Where a limited company is prosecuted then directors may also be pursued as individuals too. In serious cases very significant fines and other sanctions up to and including imprisonment can be imposed.
We can assist in proceedings in the Magistrates’ Court and the Crown Court by advising you about:
- the strength of evidence and defences
- whether pleas of guilty or not guilty should be entered
- court procedure
- likely prospects of acquittal or likely sentence if convicted
- costs and other orders such as confiscation (POCA).
Examples of prosecuting authorities include HSE, Environment Agency, Trading Standards, local government, police, DVSA, DEFRA, HMRC and there are many more.
Further we can advise and assist in relation to representation before many other tribunals or regulatory bodies outside criminal proceedings where action may be taken for breaches of licences by the regulatory authority.
Please contact Tim Ridyard and Tim Norris in our Regulatory team for advice.