Breach of Environmental Laws
Criminal lawyers at Taylor Law can assist if you’ve been arrested, the Police want to talk to you or you’re due in Court.
Why Taylor Law?
Breaching environmental rules can cause substantial disruption to businesses, with regulators having the power to close organisations as well as to impose fines and take enforcement action.
Sentences can be substantial, including fines and prison sentences, and during any investigation and subsequent legal case, reputations can be damaged. If you are faced with an environmental investigation, it is advisable to seek advice and representation as soon as possible.
Expert advice and representation
If your organisation is faced with environmental difficulties, it is essential to deal with them without delay. By addressing problems such as pollution incidents before an investigation begins, you can demonstrate to investigators your willingness to effectively manage a difficult situation.
We can advise you in respect to the best way to proceed if an incident occurs as well as helping you in issues of compliance, including obtaining permits and licences.
If you are being investigated or you have been charged with an offence, we can represent you throughout to ensure that your rights and interested are protected. We will attend any interviews under caution with you and if you are charged, we will prepare a strong case in your defence.
Environmental investigations and prosecution
Both the Environment Agency and local authorities have the powers to investigate and prosecute breaches of environmental law. The rules are complex and relate to compliance as well as incidents of environmental damage. Breaches of the rules can happen inadvertently, however liability is strict and you may find yourself facing charges even if you were not aware of any wrongdoing.
We are experienced in representing clients across a wide range of environmental issues, including the following:
- Not having the correct environmental permit in place
- Not complying with the terms of an environmental permit
- Unauthorised disposal of waste
- Improper disposal of dangerous substances
- Land contamination
- Illegal discharge
- Failing to obtain authority to act as a waste carrier
- Failing to comply with notices or sanctions
Penalties for environment offences
Breach of environmental law is usually a criminal offence although civil sanctions also exist. If environmental law is breached by a business, then it may be closed until matters have been rectified. Failure to comply with a stop notice is a criminal offence.
The Magistrates’ court may impose a fine of up to £50,000 and/or six months in prison. In the Crown Court, this increases to two years in prison and/or an unlimited fine.
Civil penalties include fixed fines and enforcement notices. The court also has the option to make other orders alongside these sanctions, including disqualifying a director, an order for recovery of assets where there has been a financial benefit from an environmental crime and issuing a serious crime prevention order.
Environment difficulties can be extremely damaging for a business. As well as damage to its reputation, the value of an organisation will be affected and it may be hard to sell or attract investment in the future if the situation is not properly managed.
It is advisable to seek legal advice as soon as possible once it becomes apparent that an environmental investigation is under way.
At Taylor Law we have an excellent track record of success in working with clients in respect of environmental matters, with expert civil and criminal defence solicitors in Leeds, Middlesbrough and London who can step in immediately to advise and represent you.
For an initial discussion, ring us on 0113 532 8100 (Leeds), 01642 221 108 (Middlesbrough) or 0203 780 7646 (London) or fill in our Contact Form.
“I used Scott Taylor to represent me when I sued the Police and Successfully won my case. I felt confident going to court as Scott walked me through everything and engaged an amazing barrister on my behalf. It took a while to get there but by god did we get there. I wouldn’t hesitate to use Scott again he knows what he is doing and supports you at all stages.”
Valerie Ann Cadman-Khan