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Usually in such cases the facts of the basic offence (often motoring) are not in dispute.In the absence of any other aggravating features, it is unlikely that it will be appropriate to charge perverting the course of justice in the following circumstances: In these circumstances, the alternative offences of wasting police time and obstructing the police should be considered, but may not be necessary in the public interest depending upon the nature of the misrepresentation and the circumstances of the offence.The course of justice must be in existence at the time of the act(s).The course of justice starts when: [2002] EWCA Crim 1033 it was held that where the prosecution case is that a false allegation has been made, all that is required is that the person making the false allegation intended that it should be taken seriously by the police.

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The guidance set out in this charging standard: The following factors will be relevant to all public justice offences when assessing the relative seriousness of the conduct and which offence, when there is an option, should be charged.

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.

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.

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