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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70193
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi, this morning I was stopped by police during a routine christmas

Resolved Question:

Hi, this morning I was stopped by police during a routine christmas drink driving check and was found to be in possession of 4 joints of cannabis (not drunk or DUI) and because I was arrested earlier this year for cultivation of cannabis (resulted in a caution as was only 9 plants) I was arrested and taken to my local police station where after 4hours in custody I was charged with possession of cannabis and bailed to appear in court on the 18th December and I have been doing some research this evening and it seems I should have been offered a PND (Penalty Notice for Disorder) for a second offence (only been arrested twice in my life, both times this year) is this correct and is there anything I can do to appeal their decision to charge me?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
On what basis ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Not sure I know what you mean on what basis?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
On what basis do you want to appeal?
You don't appeal decisions to charge. You go to court and plead not guilty and contest the charge.
You can, in principle, judicially review a decision to charge. It is a lot easier to judicially review a decision not to charge than one. To judicially review a decision to charge you have to show that the police have acted in bad faith which is impossible because they won't have done.
CPS do often act in a negligent and incompetent way. Sometimes they are driven by politics rather than justice. More often they are just mindlessly ticking boxes. They do not often act in a corrupt way which is what the law requires.
There is clear case law to the effect that CPS is not liable in negligence to a defendant for their prosecutorial decisions.
I am sorry but I have to give you truthful information.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

So in essence I just go to court, and what would possibly happen should I plead guilty/not guilty?

It seems me being honest and forthright with the police and not wanting to waste tax payers money by requesting a legal aid solicitor has backfired on me as I was expecting them to caution me for the possession of a mere 4 joint

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
It is because of your previous for cultivation that they charged you. They were never going to caution you in those circumstances.
Being honest and forthright with the police and not having a solicitor was a disastrous idea. You must never lie because that isn't ethical but this should have been a no comment interview as a solicitor would have told you.
If you have admitted the offence then your only option is to plead guilty realistically.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

From what I understand as this was a second cannabis related offence and as my cultivation resulted in a caution as it was only 9 plants then on my second arrest they could have given me a PND or am I incorrect?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
They can do anything but it wouldn't be appropriate.
This was always going to be a charge. Even if it weren't you shouldn't be admitting offences unless a caution or PNd is overtly offered.
These factors aren't really anything you need to worry about. That is why we always have the solicitor we are offered in police custody.
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