Environmental law prosecutions are complex and penalties for infringing environmental laws are potentially severe.
When facing sentence for breaches of some aspect of environmental law, you could well be facing a significant fine – and even the potential of imprisonment of directors in particularly serious cases.
We can help you with any environmental law prosecutions throughout Wiltshire, Hampshire, Dorset and Somerset – and further afield – from our offices in Salisbury, Andover, Fordingbridge and Amesbury.
Early involvement by an experienced solicitor is often vital to minimise or avoid the consequences. Our solicitors can assist you with all aspects of environmental law prosecutions from environmental protection authorities (including the Environment Agency, Natural England
and the Health and Safety Executive) defending and prosecuting cases for both local authorities and business clients.
We offer expert advice with regard to water, land, air and noise pollution and handling and disposal of waste.
Will I be prosecuted?
Depending on the breach involved, the various agencies have a range of civil enforcement actions as well as criminal prosecutions available to them.
In general terms a criminal prosecution will only proceed (according to the Code for Crown Prosecutors), only if:
1. there is sufficient evidence for a ‘realistic prospect of conviction against each defendant on each charge’, and
2. where there is a realistic prospect of conviction, it is in “the public interest” to proceed
Of the various environmental protection authorities, it is the environment agency which is responsible for most enforcement action. Their stated policy is to “normally consider all other options before considering criminal proceedings. Generally, prosecution is our last resort.”
How our Environmental Law Solicitors can help
- If you experience an environmental pollution incident, we can represent you in any formal interview under caution
- If you have had a summons alleging pollution offences, we can advise you and represent you at Court