What is TWOC?
TWOC stands for Taking Without the Owner's Consent. It covers the scenario where a person takes a vehicle, without the owner's permission, for his or her own use. The offence is often referred to as ‘joy-riding’ and is less commonly charged these days, presumably because vehicle security has improved. It carries a maximum penalty of six months' imprisonment. A suspect could expect to be charged with theft of the vehicle, which has more serious sentencing consequences, if he or she intended to keep it. A passenger can also be charged if knowingly carried in a vehicle taken without consent.
I have had an accident and left the scene, should I go to the police?
Leaving the scene of an accident is ill-advised and has serious sentencing consequences if you are charged with an offence. We would advise you to make immediate contact with the police to explain the circumstances. A member of our team will be able to help you coordinate this and attend the police station with you.
I have no insurance on my car and now have to go to court, will I go to prison?
Whilst the personal consequences could be significant, you cannot receive a custodial sentence as driving without insurance is non-imprisonable.
Do I need a solicitor at court for a motoring offence?
If you have been required to attend court, it is likely that the implications of the charges are significant. This could include the prospect of disqualification or imprisonment. We will always be able to assist with court proceedings and advise as to law and procedure. We can discuss available fee options, which could include Legal Aid in the most serious cases.
I am a HGV driver and have been caught speeding, what should I do?
You should make immediate contact with a member of our team. The circumstances of the offence and the level of speed will determine whether a court appearance is necessary. Your employer should also be informed. Should a period of disqualification ensue, there could be implications for your future HGV licensing status.
What is the maximum number of points anyone can have on their driving licence?
Drivers generally face a minimum six-month disqualification on accumulating 12 points over a three-year period. Recent publicity has reflected upon drivers who have accumulated alarming levels of points and retained their licences. This is feasible when a driver can establish, by giving appropriate evidence, that he or she and/or third parties would suffer ‘exceptional hardship’ if he or she was banned. New Drivers who accumulate six points will have their licence revoked by the DVLA which will necessitate re-taking their test. This should be distinguished from a disqualification by the court.
Can I refuse to give my fingerprints?
No. On arrest, the police have the right to take your fingerprints and do not need your permission.
Can the police take my DNA?
Yes. On arrest, the police have the right to take your DNA and do not need your permission. The sample may, for example, be from a hair root.
What is a warrant?
A warrant is a document issued by a legal or governmental official authorising another body, usually the police, to make an arrest, search premises or carry out some other function relating to the administration of justice.
Can the police search my house?
The police have the power to enter your premises to affect an arrest and, in doing so, to search the house for evidence relating to the investigation in question. Once under arrest and detained, the police can search the house, on the authority of an officer of at least an inspector's rank, for evidence relating to the current or other offences.