Prosecutions for HIV transmission offences are very rare, but there are a much larger number of allegations and investigations.
Most successful prosecutions happen simply because the person accused pleads guilty.
If I plead not guilty, can I still be convicted?
Where people have pleaded not guilty but been successfully convicted, it was because of a combination of scientific, clinical and individual evidence (see How Do You Prove It?).
It is important to understand that the police can ask to access your medical records if an allegation is made, and they often do so. However, they don’t have a right to do this unless they have already charged you with an offence. You should take legal advice before giving them your permission.
They may also enter your house and seize your computer and mobile phone, as well as anything you have written down. All these kinds of evidence can be used in court, along with any statements you have made.
Successful prosecutions are not always justified
This is because:
- The defence may be poorly prepared.
- Inaccurate claims made by the prosecution can be left unchallenged by the defence.
- An inexperienced defence solicitor or barrister might advise someone to make the wrong plea.
This is why, if you are accused, it’s vital to get experienced legal advice.
If you’re unsure where to find a solicitor, or are concerned that your lawyer may not know much about the issue, contact THT Direct to get a referral or information which you can then pass on to your solicitor.