Statistics in the news this week published by Highways England show that there were 75,371 incidents involving HGVs above 3.5 tonnes in 2015, an increased …Read More
DVSA Investigations and Interviews
Facing a DVSA Investigation? Called to Answer Questions? Get Expert Legal Advice Today
Have you been visited by the DVSA? Have they asked you to answer questions under caution? DVSA investigations and interviews are usually the first step in a wider enforcement process. An investigation can lead to a Public Inquiry with the Traffic Commissioner or even a criminal court. Early legal advice can make all the difference to the outcome for you and your business.
Call us today on 0115 9106218 for a free initial consultation. Fixed fees available.
What Do DVSA Investigations Involve?
Typically, a DVSA investigation will involve:
During a roadside stop of one of your vehicles the DVSA will carry out checks. They will want to inspect your vehicle and tachograph records. They will also want to speak to your driver. If they find any problems or offences they may then want to inspect of your operating centre.
Visiting Your Operating Centre
This can be either a arranged visit or an unannounced inspection. They will want to look at your maintenance, drivers hours and compliance records. They may also want to inspect the rest of your fleet. For more information read our specialist blog on what to expect during a DVSA visit
Questioning you under Caution
The DVSA will question you “under caution” if they think you may have committed an offence. Anything answers you give will be recorded. Your answers can also be given in evidence at any future Traffic Commissioner’s Public Inquiry or court proceedings. You have a right to have a lawyer present when you are questioned. You can find out more about your rights when interviewed under caution on our recent blog post.
The Benefits of Instructing a Transport Lawyer
Many drivers and operators under investigation worry that instructing a transport lawyer can “escalate” the situation. The opposite is actually true. We will:
- Help to prepare your business for an inspection
- Help you to provide documents to the DVSA
- Seek details in advance about the questions they want to ask you
We will also help you to quickly fix any problems identified during the investigation, and accompany you during any interview.
Instructing a transport solicitor at an early stage can help to demonstrate to the Traffic Commissioner and court that you take your responsibilities seriously.
Possible Outcomes: Public Inquires and Criminal Prosecutions
Sometimes a DVSA investigation uncovers serious problems. If this happens you will be called to a Public Inquiry hearing with the Traffic Commissioner. You could also be prosecuted in the criminal courts. If you are a professional driver, you can be called to a driver conduct hearing.
Some of the more serious failings that can arise during DVSA investigations can include:
- Tachograph and drivers hours offences
- Failing to maintain your vehicles properly
- Misleading or not cooperating with the investigation
- Failing to keep records or forging records
- Overloading and insecure load offences
- Insufficient financial standing to operate your vehicles
For more information about criminal prosecutions for transport offences, click here.