The following are examples of acts which may constitute the offence, although General Charging Practice, above in this guidance and Charging Practice for Public Justice Offences, above in this guidance should be carefully considered before preferring a charge of perverting the course of justice: A prosecution may not be in the public interest if the principal proceedings are at a very early stage and the action taken by the defendant had only a minor impact on those proceedings.It is likely that perverting the course of justice will be the appropriate charge when: Cases involving an allegation of rape or domestic violence in which consideration is given to prosecuting the complainant for perverting the course of justice or for an alternative offence such as wasting police time should be handled by a prosecutor with the appropriate levels of skill and experience in light of the complex and sensitive issues that are likely to fall to be considered.It does not matter whether or not the acts result in a perversion of the course of justice: the offence is committed when acts tending and intended to pervert a course of justice are done. The offence of perverting the course of justice overlaps with a number of other statutory offences.The words "attempting to" should not appear in the charge. Before preferring such a charge, consideration must be given to the possible alternatives referred to in this Charging Standard and, where appropriate, any of the following offences: Perverting the course of justice covers a wide range of conduct.The purpose of charging standards is to make sure that the most appropriate charge is selected, in the light of the facts, which can be proved, at the earliest possible opportunity.
In line with the Casework Quality Standards, prosecutors should record and explain as fully as possible the evidential considerations and public interest factors they have taken into account when making their decisions.The offence of Perverting the Course of Justice is committed when an accused: The offence is contrary to common law and triable only on indictment.It carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and/or a fine.A large number of offences cover conduct, which hinders or frustrates the administration of justice, the work of the police, prosecutors and courts.This guidance sets out the key provisions in relation to perverting the course of justice.
Usually in such cases the facts of the basic offence (often motoring) are not in dispute.