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Ask Ash Your Own Question
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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i suffer from epilepsy and take keppra (an anti epilepsy medication)

Customer Question

i suffer from epilepsy and take keppra (an anti epilepsy medication) which has a common side effect of causing rage and anger in some people which had been identified in me a few weeks prior to me commiting an act of criminal damage ( i kicked a glass door at a shopping centre in january 2014).

On arrest I was told I would receive a police caution.

On arrival at the police station, during interview I was told i may temporarily not have had the mens rea due to the very strong medication I was taking and that in fact i may not receive a caution after all. I was bailed until 19th March and told that the police would seek medical evidence to confirm that I was taking this medicine and it has the effects I said I did.

I provided the contact details for my neurologist.

Today, out of the blue I received a short telephone call from the police telling me that a) they hadn’t bothered to seek any medical evidence because the onus was on me to provide it not them to obtain it (fine but why tell me the opposite was the case?) and that b) I would not be receiving a caution but the “decision maker” had instead decided I would be going to court!

I have already been suffering from sleepless nights worrying about the impact that having a caution is going to have on my career (I am almost 40 and have never been in trouble with the police before, in fact I am an independent custody visitor for kent police in my spare time!). Is there any way out of this living hell or am I basically going to have to accept that I am going to court or at the very least getting a caution?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

If it is going to Court then you can plead not guilty if it was because of the drugs and you did not know what you were doing.

Alex Watts :

When you go to Court you can plead not guilty.

Alex Watts :

Your Solicitor can then instruct an expert to prepare a report and say what effect the drugs have on you and whether or not you knew what you were doing.

Alex Watts :

Criminal damage is without a reasonable excuse you damage property.

Alex Watts :

If you had no knowledge or it was because of the drugs then you have not committed an offence and will be found not guilty.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

JACUSTOMER-412vbxtf- :

You have not told me anything that I did not know already!