Can I get some quick legal advice about my motoring problem?
Can I get quick legal advice about my motoring problem?
Motoring and road traffic offences are amongst the most common committed in the country. Richard Brown & Co specialise in providing full defence representation for every traffic offence and have decades of experience in this specialist field.
Our Solicitors have conducted literally hundreds of successful motoring cases over the years and we are pleased to say that our team include some of the best known and most experienced advocates in Cambridgeshire.
To book an initial consultation either over the phone or at our offices in Peterborough City Centre please telephone 01733 311472.
Initial consultation – £90.00 including VAT
Exceptional hardship argument (to keep you driving with 12 or more points on your licence) – £600.00
Guilty plea to speeding offence (to keep you driving despite high speed) – £360.00
Guilty plea to drink driving (to reduce the length of automatic ban) – £360.00
Guilty to plea to most other motoring offences – £360.00
Trial fee when client is pleading not guilty to a motoring charge typically £600.00 to £1200.00 (depending on the complexity of the issues involved)
I’ve been caught speeding! What happens now?
Step 1 – Being caught speeding
If you have been caught speeding by a camera you normally won’t know about it. At night time or in poor weather conditions you may see a flash from a static speed camera but often these days the police simply video you and there is no actual “flash”
Step 2 – Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP)
Unless you are stopped and spoken to by a police officer at the actual scene of the alleged offence then the police are automatically obliged to send you a letter called “notice of intended prosecution” (NIP) to the registered keeper of the vehicle within 14 days, no matter whether it be an individual or a Company.
If the police have not sent the registered keeper a NIP within 14 days then it means that you cannot be prosecuted.
Once you have received an NIP you are obliged to provide details of the person driving that vehicle. This is not a problem if you were the driver, you simply enter your name and address on the form and then send it back to the police. If however you don’t know or are unsure as to the identity of the driver of the car at that time, then you are fully entitled to see the photograph or video image of the alleged speeding offence. Most Constabularies will make this available to you.
Most people are unaware it is a criminal offence not to tell the police the name and address of the person driving the vehicle. If the Court finds you guilty of this offence then you can be fined and disqualified from driving for a period up to twelve months.
Step 3 – Fixed Penalty
Once the police have received your notice of intended prosecution back with the details of the driver on it, then they may offer you a fixed penalty rather like a parking ticket. You will receive a fine, currently £100.00 and three penalty points on your licence plus a limited amount of the costs, roughly £40.00.
However the police cannot give you a further three points and the fine if you already have nine points or more on your driving licence because you would then be liable to a ban incurred under the “totting up” provisions.
Step 4 – Court Summons
If you have nine points on your licence already, or if you were travelling well in excess of the speed limit for that road then you will be sent a Court Summons.
The police have up to six months from the date of the offence to issue the summons at the Court. If they do not act within that period then you cannot be prosecuted.
Step 5 – Attending Court with your Solicitor
There are two main reasons why we go to Court with clients, first for a high speed offence and secondly for the “totting up” procedure.
Generally speaking if you are guilty of speeding at 20 or certainly 30 miles an hour above the speed limit, then the Magistrates will consider banning you just for that offence itself, even though you may possess a clean licence and have previously had a good driving record.
As you probably know if you receive twelve points on your licence during any three year period then you must be banned under the “totting up” provisions for at least six months. If such a ban could be shown to cause you “exceptional hardship” then the Magistrates have the scope to reduce that six month ban or impose no ban at all.
Normally “exceptional hardship” involves the loss of your job and we have routinely argued this successfully on behalf of clients who then avoid a disqualification altogether. However there is no exact definition of “exceptional hardship”. Historically we have had successful cases where our clients have been responsible when driving their children to and from school or even when acting as drivers for disabled members of their family. The best thing to do is to call us for advice.
Please note that any reason for exceptional hardship can only be used once in a three year period and if you get caught speeding again within that period then you will almost certainly be banned for at least the minimum six months because you cannot repeatedly use the same “exceptional hardship” reason. If however a different “exceptional hardship” reason can be proved in the meantime then you are legally able to use that in your argument.
Frequently Asked Questions
What motoring offences result in penalty points going onto my licence?
Almost all motoring offences carry penalty points but some offences carry more points than others. For example if you have a bald tyre then you will get three penalty points, whereas if you have no insurance then you may receive as many as eight points. Some offences, for example not having an MOT certificate or parking offences do not carry penalty points at all.
Do the Court always impose penalty points?
In most cases, yes. But there are sometimes particular situations which we call “special reasons” where we can persuade the Court not to impose penalty points because it would deemed as unfair. When we discuss your case with you we will be looking out for these “special reasons”.
How long do penalty points stay on my licence?
What happens when I reach 12 points?
You must be banned for at least six months.
Can I avoid the six month ban?
If the Court feels that the six months ban would cause you “exceptional hardship” (normally losing your job) then they can reduce the length of your driving ban or decide that you should not be banned at all.
What are the penalties for drink driving or failing to provide a specimen?
You must be banned for a period of at least twelve months although any ban can be reduced by a quarter if you attend a drink drive rehabilitation course.
Can I avoid disqualification?
In certain circumstances “special reasons” will apply which means it would be unfair to disqualify you. Once again when we talk to you we will be the lookout for these special reasons.
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