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Didn't he have a solicitor at the police station?
That was probably a fatal error.
They can change the charge to the more serious but they probably wouldn't have done so if he'd had solicitor.
The duty solicitor will be fine at court but there's nothing that can be done now about the damage he's already done. There's no magic wands that make evidence go away. All that can be done now is damage limitation.
They do offer a solicitor to everybody arrested. He said no. There are lots of problems with the justice system but this is not one of them. The decision to refuse a solicitor is down to him alone. He would have been offered legal advice on the telephone and a solicitor in person and would have had to sign the custody record to say that he did not want one. There is no excuse. The days have gone when the police discouraged solicitors.
He's probably said lots of things in interview that have made the whole thing worse and thats probably why they were able to charge a higher offence.
He will see a solicitor in person at court although nothing can be done now about what he said at the police station.
He would have been offered a chance to call you. Everybody who comes into custody has the right to make a phone to inform somebody of his arrest unless certain exceptions apply. I was a police station legal adviser for years and what he is saying just doesn't happen in the police station and hasn't done since the 1970s. I think if you are scared to death then you probably ask for a solicitor rather than refuse one.
If this is dangerous driving then its the highest form of driving offence arising from the manner of driving. People do regularly go to prison for it. It would depend how dangerous his driving was and I suppose what he has said in interview. It will certainly involve more than merely driving fast. There must be more to that whatever he has told you.
The duty solicitor probably won't speak to you. You are not their client.
The answer from JOMO is correct and you should accept it. Your son is 18 and is treated as an adult by the system. The offer of a call to inform someone of the arrest is at the discretion of the police, but is usually offered and will be recorded on the custoody record. It will not be on tape unless the CCTV in the custody office has that technology.
Turning down a solicitor is your son's decision, as was whatever he said to the police. You can ask for a solicitor at court and ask for further time to consider the evidence and get detailed advice.
As your son is an adult it is for him to instruct solicitor, not you. If he does have a solicitor acting for him it will be your son's choice as to whether you are able to speak to him. It is also your son's choice whether you are able to address the court on his behalf.
It is my experience that concerned parents make very poor legal advisers as their children rarely wish to tell them the whole truth and they often let their emotions get in the way of common sense.
I do not mean this to be a personal criticism of you. I suggest you support your son by advising him to get a solicitor. You can make yourself available should you be called upon to assist but you should not direct or interfere with the way his case is presented.
If the police are able to confirm the manner of driving of the other car and get the CCTV footage from the garage then there is a possible defence to the manner of driving whether careless or dangerous. The essence of the defence would be "necessity".
It is difficult to advance this defence as there was no need to drive at speed if being followed by another car. He sped up to try to lose the following car. This is not a safe or necessary thing to do, however worried he was. He might have felt intimidated, but that is no justification to drive erratically and at speed.
Community service work can be arranged to fit around work hours.
I have no idea how a disqualification would affect your son's work. You would need to ask him.
He would be disqualified from driving on a public road or any other place to which the public have access.
I think you need to ensure that your son gets good, impartial advice on the evidence from an experienced criminal defence solicitor. You will have ample time to discuss the advice with your son to allow a considered decision to be made, by him, as to how the case should be handled.