Road Traffic Offences

Dangerous Driving, Careless Driving, Driving with Excess Alcohol / Drugs and being in charge, Special Reasons Hearings and Exceptional Hardship Hearings.

Penalty Point Offences – No Insurance, Careless Driving, Speeding 

You can be at risk of losing your driving licence if you face speeding charges or offences of driving without due care and attention and no Insurance especially if you already have points on your licence. If you receive 12 points on your licence you become what is known as a totter and can be disqualified from driving for a period of 6 months.  We can help you try and avoid a disqualification by persuading the Court to exercise their discretion firstly in not awarding so many points, so you do not lose your licence or to impose a lesser period of disqualification.  One way to do this is to argue that losing your licence would cause exceptional hardship to other family members or employees that you have due to your caring responsibilities.  If you have received a Court summons for road traffic offences and are concerned about losing your licence, please contact us.   

Drink Driving 

This is a serious offence and carries a mandatory driving ban for a minimum of 12 months and a punishment.   Depending on the alcohol reading the Court punishment can range from a fine to a prison sentence of 6 months.  There are a small number of defences to this offence, for instance, that you consumed the excess alcohol after you were driving, or that you were not driving on a road or in a public place.  Even if you are guilty of this offence, we can in limited circumstances advance a special reason as to why you were driving with excess alcohol.  Those special reasons can be driving in an emergency, and shortness of distance being the main special reasons. If a special reason is accepted the Court can exercise its discretion not to disqualify you from driving. A special reasons hearing is like a trial and you would give evidence.  You should be aware that Legal Aid is not usually available for special reasons hearings or basic drink driving offences. In addition, the duty solicitor at Court is not always able to represent you at Court for a drink driving offence unless there is a risk of a custodial sentence.   Please contact us to see if we can help you. 

Drunk in Charge of a Vehicle

This is an allegation that you were in charge of a motor vehicle and intended to drive whilst over the alcohol limit. This is often charged when people are “sleeping it off” in their car and have the keys in the ignition – perhaps to listen to the radio or have the heater on. It is a defence if you can show that you had no intention to drive until your alcohol limit was below the legal limit. If convicted, you could receive 10 penalty points or a driving ban.  We can assist in defending you at these types of trials. Please contact us to see if we can help you. 

 Drug Driving

It is now a criminal offence to have quite low levels of both illegal and prescription drugs in your system whilst driving. The Crown Prosecution Service no longer have to prove that your driving was impaired. If you are convicted or plead guilty to a drug driving offence, the minimum disqualification from driving period is 12 months plus a punishment ranging from a fine to 6 months imprisonment. Legal Aid is not always available for this type of offence and it will depend on the reading of the substance in your system. 

Dangerous Driving 

This is a serious offence that can be heard in the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court and can result in a prison sentence. The allegation is that the manner of driving falls far below the minimum acceptable standard expected of a competent and careful driver. It is important to receive legal advice if you are interviewed or are charged with this offence as the stakes could be high, a lengthy driving disqualification and a prison sentence. We may need to instruct experts to review the manner of your driving and expert cross examination may be required as often it is the police who consider that your driving was dangerous. Please contact us for representation either at the police station or the Court. 

Death by Dangerous / Careless Driving 

You should obtain legal advice in relation to this type of allegation at the earliest opportunity and especially at the police station.  It is often traffic police that will interview you regarding this type of matter and of course it is an offence that the 

It is awful for everyone involved, including the driver, when somebody dies as a result of a driving incident. The police quite rightly take these cases very seriously and specialist police officers are usually involved in both the interview and prosecution of these offences. Often there is a lot of media attention. We have experience of representing people facing these allegations. However bad you feel about what has happened and may wish to co-operate with the police as much as you can it is imperative that you obtain legal advice from the earliest stage possible. Decisions made early on in the investigation can impact on how these matters are finally dealt with. If necessary, we are able to instruct experts to analyse your case and test the prosecution evidence. Call us to discuss your case with a solicitor or to attend for interview.


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