Driving offence solicitors

The consequences of your actions behind the wheel can be immeasurable. To assuage these it is imperative you get in touch swiftly, as getting the right legal advice at an early stage could vastly reduce the effects of your actions on you and your loved ones.
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If you find yourself facing a motoring offence prosecution, following the correct legal procedures is paramount. Dealing with motoring offences is a specialism at Britton & Time, as we have decades of success in defending cases ranging from speeding offences to drink driving, failing to furnish and driving without insurance.

Keeping your licence and staying on the road are understandably your foremost concerns, which is why having the correct representation is so important.

Our knowledge of motoring law is unparalleled, and our team of experts will defend your case with absolute diligence in the pursuit of the right result.

Specialisms:

  • Driving without insurance
  • Driving without tax
  • Driving without MOT
  • Driving otherwise in accordance with a licence
  • Driving whilst drunk or under the influence of drugs
  • Speeding offences

Motoring offences

Our specialist road traffic defence solicitors are dedicated to providing clear and transparent pricing for motoring offences in the magistrates court. We help you find the best option to the circumstances.

What’s the average cost of a case?

The cost of your case will depend on a number of different factors including the type of offence, if you enter into a guilty plea or your case goes to Trial and the individual circumstances of your case.

Offence

 

Speeding

Trial £3,000-£5,000

Guilty plea £1,500

 

Exceptional hardship application

£2,500-£3,800

 

Drink driving – including in-charge and failure to provide a specimen

£6,000-£9,000

Guilty plea £1,500

 

Careless driving

£4,000-£6,500

Guilty plea £1,500

 

Using a mobile phone whilst driving

£5,000-£8,000

Guilty plea £1,500

 

Failure to furnish (provide driver ID)

£3,000-£5,500

Guilty plea £1,500

 

Failure to stop (report accident)

£3,000-£8,000

Guilty plea £1,500

 

Driving without insurance

£4,000-£8,000

Guilty plea £1,500

 

Disqualification

£2,000-£8,000

Guilty plea £1,500

VAT is charged in addition at 20%.

Hourly rates

Our hourly rates range from £145 to £300 plus vat depending on the complexity of your case. Based on your circumstances we will advise on the best option.

What’s included?

We quote a fixed fee for your matter once we know the circumstance and that fee will cover all the costs included in your case to trial or guilty plea.

How long will my case take?

It will depend on the offence and if the case is a guilty plea or is going to trial. The usual timescale is three to six months.

Get in touch today for a professional, cost-effective way forward.

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Driving Offences: The Facts

What are driving offences?

Driving offences range from so-called document offences, (an example of which would be when a person fails to produce a copy of their driving licence), right through to cases involving the death of another person.

Document offences include:

  • Driving without a driving licence covering a vehicle of the class being driven
  • Driving without insurance
  • Driving without an MOT

It is also an offence to fail to produce a driving licence (section 164 (1) Road Traffic Act 1988, an MOT certificate or insurance certificate) section 165 Road Traffic Act 1988.

The keeper (note not necessarily the driver) commits an offence if they fail to provide information about the identification of the driver at the time of any offence (section 172 (2)(a))

Any other person commits an offence if they fail to provide information which it is in their power to give, which may lead to the identification of the driver (section 172 (2)(b))

Dangerous driving

A dangerous driving offence is committed under section 2 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 when the defendant’s driving “falls far below the standard expected of a competent and careful driver and it would be obvious that driving in that way would be dangerous” (section 2A of the RTA 1988).

Examples of dangerous driving: 

  • Driving under the influence of drink or drugs, (including prescription drugs)
  • Knowing the vehicle has a dangerous fault or an unsafe load
  • Driving when unfit, including having an injury, being unable to see clearly, not taking prescribed drugs, or being sleepy
  • Ignoring traffic lights, road signs or warnings from passengers
  • Going too fast, racing, or driving aggressively
  • Overtaking dangerously
  • Driving while avoidably and dangerously distracted ie. using a phone or any other hand-held equipment; reading or looking at a map; talking to and looking at a passenger; lighting a cigarette; changing a CD or tape; tuning the radio

You can lose your licence immediately if you’re caught driving while on your mobile phone, and you passed your test less than two years ago.

Speeding offences

The most common driving offence in the UK is speeding. It is an offence under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 to exceed the speed limit for a vehicle of the class that is being driven.

Under Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, where the driver of a vehicle is alleged to have committed an offence. If you think you have committed any form of speeding offence, you need a specialist speeding solicitor, such as Britton and Time Solicitors. 

Not providing a specimen

Failure to provide a specimen during a road side breath test or at a police station if you are suspected of driving under the influence of drink or drugs is an offence. This is treated as seriously as driving whilst under the influence of alcohol. If you suspect you may have committed any form of drink driving or drugs offence, you need the advice of a specialist drink driving solicitor immediately. Call Britton and Time Solicitors without delay if this applies to you.

When do driving offenders need legal advice?

The moment you have or think you might have committed any driving offence, regardless of the severity, you should seek immediate legal advice from Britton and Time Solicitors.

What are the benefits of getting legal support from a driving offence solicitor during a driving offence charge?

Whenever you are involved in a driving offence of any severity, you should seek legal advice immediately, but this is particularly pertinent if any of the following apply: 

  • If there is anyone else involved in your offence
  • If you are involved in or witness someone else’s offence
  • If you need your driving licence for work
  • If you need your driving licence to look after your family

Britton and Time’s expert driving offence solicitors have an innate knowledge of the laws relating to each and every driving offence, which is why our advice is so necessary and valuable. 

What are potential outcomes of driving offences?

The most serious of offences, such as driving while under the influence of alcohol or dangerous driving, are dealt with at a magistrates’ court. It’s imperative you seek legal advice from a solicitor as soon as possible, and definitely before going to court, especially if you’re intending to plead ‘not guilty’.

Whilst in court, magistrates will consider your driving record, the circumstances surrounding the event and any mitigating circumstances you have provided. If they choose to impose a fine, it may be dependent on your income and ability to pay off the penalty.

For some offences (generally those which won’t result in a driving ban) you don’t need to attend court on the day and you can provide your plea by letter.

Speeding

Speeding will usually earn you a £100 fine and three penalty points on your licence.

Guidelines suggest drivers are only prosecuted when exceeding the speed limit by 10% plus 2mph, but police are not required to stick to this rigidly. Never assume that you have this leeway.

If you’re caught exceeding the speed limit by even the smallest margin, you may be offered a speed awareness course.

If you’re caught at more than 45% over the speed limit, the case is likely to be passed to magistrates’ court, where you could face a substantial fine or a driving ban.

Mobile phones

Since 1st March 2017, £200 roadside fines and six penalty points can be handed out for using a mobile phone whilst driving.

You could also go to court, which might lead to a driving ban or a fine of up to £1,000. This includes handheld mobile phone use while sitting in traffic.

However, it is legal to use a mobile phone connected to an approved ‘hands-free’ device. 

Driving with undue care and attention

Careless driving covers a number of offences, from showing poor lane discipline on the motorway to swerving while changing the radio station.

Police can now hand out on-the-spot £100 fines and three penalty points for the offence. More serious cases go to court and can result in a fine of up to £2,500 and disqualification.

If you’re involved in a fatal crash and are found to be responsible for a momentary lack of concentration that led to the incident, you could be prosecuted for causing death by careless driving.

This could result in a driving ban, an unlimited fine, or a prison sentence of up to five years.

Dangerous driving

This is more serious than careless driving, and is classed as driving which “falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driving, and it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous.”

It ranges from driving aggressively, overtaking in dangerous locations and racing other vehicles.

Dangerous driving offences are dealt with by the Magistrates’ Court or Crown Court, depending on the severity. 

If found guilty, you could face an unlimited fine, a driving ban and up to 14 years in prison.

Drink driving

The legal alcohol limit for driving in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is 80 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood. In Scotland it is 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

The amount you can drink while remaining under this limit varies depending on various factors, from your body size to how much you’ve had to eat.

You shouldn’t drink alcohol at all if you’re driving, and should always be cautious about driving the day after a night out.

Police can stop you at any time when you’re driving, and if they suspect you of being over the limit they’ll probably use a breathalyser to test the amount of alcohol on your breath. If you fail this preliminary test, or fail to comply, you will be arrested under suspicion of drink driving and taken to a police station to provide a more accurate evidential breath test.

If this shows you’re over the limit, you face a possible driving ban, an unlimited fine and up to six months imprisonment.

If you’re involved in a crash while over the limit and you’re found to be responsible for another person’s death, you could go to prison for up to 14 years, with an unlimited fine and a driving ban of at least two years.

You may have to take an extended driving test to get your licence back.

Drug driving

Police can carry out roadside drug tests if they suspect you of being unfit to drive, due to legal or illegal drugs.

Don’t assume you’re safe from being prosecuted for drug driving if you don’t take illegal drugs such as cannabis or cocaine. Prescription medicines such as amphetamines and morphine can also have an adverse affect on your driving.

Penalties for drug driving include a driving ban of at least one year, an unlimited fine and six months in prison.

Like drink driving, you’ll get a criminal record and could face problems getting car insurance in the future or when seeking employment in the future.

Driving without insurance

If you drive a vehicle without insurance on a public road, you risk triggering a police ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) camera, paying a penalty of £300 and having six penalty points on your licence.

Police also have the power to seize uninsured vehicles.

The same punishments apply for any car you’re driving without the appropriate insurance – even if it’s insured in someone else’s name.

If the case goes to court, you could receive an unlimited fine and a driving ban.

Car seat offences

Under new car seat laws, you risk a £500 fine if caught using an unsuitable or incorrectly fitted car seat.

Previously, children who weighed as little as 15kg could use backless booster seats, but concerns over safety resulted in a change to the law.

From 1st March 2017, all new-to-market backless booster seats are only approved for children weighing more than 22kg or taller than 125cm.

It’s important to note that the regulations affect newly designed and manufactured booster seats sold after 1st March. The older rules still apply for seats manufactured prior to this date.

Only seats approved by the EU are legal in the UK: these have a label with a capital ‘E’ in a circle.

Driving without a licence

Driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence covers a myriad of offences –including driving while under-age, driving with a provisional licence without a supervisor and L-plates, and driving without a licence at all.

The punishment for doing so includes a fine of up to £1,000, up to six points on your licence and a possible disqualification.

Driving when disqualified

If you’re caught driving when you’re already banned from doing so, the police will arrest you on the spot and a court will decide the outcome. Expect your disqualification to be extended, along with a substantial fine. The court may feel you’ve shown disrespect for the law and decide to impose a prison sentence.

Driving without an MOT

If a car doesn’t have a current MOT, it’ll flag up on a police car’s ANPR system, so it is highly likely to be pulled over at some stage. 

Generally, you’ll be handed a £100 on-the-spot fine, and receive no penalty points. If the case goes to court, it could result in a fine of up to £1,000.

The punishment will be more severe if the vehicle is found to be unroadworthy by the police.

You can be issued with a fine and points on your licence for each fault discovered – such as an illegal tyre or defective brakes, each of which could result in a £100 fine and three points per fault.

If your car has four tyres below the 1.6mm legal tread-depth, you will receive a £400 fine and 12 penalty points (which could result in a driving ban).

These rules apply to any unroadworthy vehicle, even if it has a valid MOT.

Fixed Penalty Notices

Many offences can be dealt with by a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN). If you’ve been stopped by the police and they consider a FPN to be an appropriate punishment, you can decide whether to accept the fine (usually along with points) or reject it – in which case you’ll be summoned to appear in court.

Fixed Penalty Notices can be split into endorsable FPNs (with points) and non-endorsable FPNs (without points). 

They are:

£50 non-endorsable FPNs

These include stopping on the motorway hard shoulder, using the horn at night and cycling on the pavement.

£100 non-endorsable FPNs

These include driving a vehicle without a valid MOT and failing to wear a seatbelt.

£100 endorsable FPNs

This is the most common type of Fixed Penalty Notice and includes speeding, careless driving and driving on the hard shoulder.

£200 endorsable FPNs

These include using a hand-held mobile phone while driving – something that has recently had its penalty doubled to £200 and six penalty points.

£300 endorsable FPNs

The most expensive fixed penalty, this is reserved for drivers on the road without insurance.

If you have questions regarding any of the above, or have been involved in any manner of driving offence, contact Britton and Time Solicitors today.

Get in touch today for a professional, cost-effective way forward.

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