Motoring Offences

Motoring Offences:

At Grech Gooden Solicitors we specialise in all motoring offences and in particular we have a excellent record in relation to applications to the court to avoid disqualification from driving.

CARELESS DRIVING

Driving without due care and attention otherwise known as careless driving is committed where a driver does not exercise a degree of care and attention that a reasonable competent and prudent driver would exercise in the circumstances. Such offences can often occur as a result of an accident or a serious road traffic accident.

DRIVING WITHOUT DUE CARE

The legal definition of driving without due care and attention is “driving a motor vehicle on a road in a manner that falls below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver”. This a fairly loose definition and is often a matter of the Police Officer’s opinion of your driving. As such there is often plenty of scope for argument. Demonstrating to the Court that you were exercising the relevant level of care and skill can involve expert witness evidence and is usually a factual dispute which requires careful cross examination of witnesses at Trial. The credibility of the driver in such cases is usually central to the Trial issue. The quality of the lawyer you instruct is also of the utmost importance when considering the penalties.

You may face a fine, disqualification and will certainly have points added to your licence if you are convicted.

DANGEROUS DRIVING

Dangerous driving is a serious charge. The penalties for dangerous driving in the Magistrates Court are a fine of up to £5,000.00 and up to 6 months imprisonment. In the Crown Court drivers face the prospect of an unlimited fine and up to 2 years’ imprisonment.

In both Courts drivers will usually face a disqualification for driving for a minimum of a year and the Court could order that you re-take your driving test.

The offence of dangerous driving is governed by the Road Traffic Act 1988 Sections 1 and 2. While there are many different types of conduct which may amount to dangerous driving the most common include:-

i. Excessive speeding
ii. Speeding in a built up area particularly near schools and hospitals
iii. Using a map or reading at the wheel
iv. Using a mobile phone to make or receive calls or send a text

The representation of an expert road traffic lawyer may be the difference between a charge of dangerous driving and a lesser charge of driving without due care and attention or careless driving.

POLICE INTERVIEW FOR DANGEROUS DRIVING

If you are arrested for dangerous driving you will most likely have to attend a Police interview. You have the right to legal advice before and during the interview. It is important that you contact us as early as possible.

DEATH BY DANGEROUS DRIVING

Death by dangerous driving is a very serious charge indeed since a conviction carries with it the possibility of a severe penalty – up to 14 years’ imprisonment. In addition you will face a lengthy disqualification from driving and a potentially unlimited fine. If you have been charged with causing death by dangerous driving your liberty is at stake along with your licence.

When defending a charge of dangerous driving given the gravity of the offence and potentially serious penalty, it pays to have expert motoring solicitors to assist in your case.

SENTENCES FOR DEATH BY DANGEROUS DRIVING

The most serious sentence is up to 14 years’ imprisonment. Lengthy sentences will be metered out in cases where there are no mitigating factors and the accused bears the brunt of the blame for the incident. In cases where there is less blame attached, or there is mitigation, a sentence of 2 to 7 years may be considered appropriate.

DRINK DRIVE

Our specialist motoring solicitors regularly advise and represent drink and drug related offences. They include the following:-

i. Driving or attempting to drive when unfit through drink or drugs
ii. Driving a vehicle whilst over the prescribed limit or under the influence of drugs
iii. Being in charge of a vehicle over the prescribed limit of alcohol or under the
influence of drugs
iv. Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drugs

As experienced motoring solicitors, we will analyse your case thoroughly and advise you of any defence, special reasons or mitigation that is relevant to your case. Using our specialist experience, we can represent you effectively in Court, advising on where necessary, expert scientific witnesses to challenge the reliability and accuracy of intoximeter and breath analysing devices.

If you are convicted and sentenced to a drink driving related matter we can represent you on an Appeal in the Crown Court. There are strict time limits (see above).

USE OF MOBILE PHONE

The offence of driving whilst using a mobile phone which is one that is becoming increasingly common given the increased use of mobile phones and increased focus on the offence. This is now one of the most common offences on which we offer advice and representation. While this may seem a straight forward offence, in reality it has many shades of grey. The key question is what constitutes “use” of a mobile phone. This may be difficult to prove in a great many cases.

“Use” is also constituted by sending or receiving text messages or emailing whilst driving.

Ultimately if the Prosecution cannot prove that you used a mobile phone when driving you will be acquitted of the offence.

Given the potential consequences it is important to take specialist legal advice at an early stage.

Driving without a licence or insurance

Motor Vehicle document offences

In addition to the above, there are a wide variety of motor related document offences all of which may result in criminal sanctions. Professional drivers in particular need to pay attention to their vehicle documentation and ensure that it is all present, correct and up to date.

As experienced motoring solicitors with a proven track record of defending road traffic cases, our representation and advice can be the difference between disqualification and a lighter sentence. If your livelihood is at stake, why risk it?

EXCEPTIONAL HARDSHIP

Losing your licence can have a very serious impact on your ability to earn a living or look after your family. If losing your licence is likely to cause serious detriment to your life or the lives of others the Court may accept an argument of “exceptional hardship”.

Totting up provisions

The majority of driving offences involve the imposition of penalty points. Rather than a disqualification being imposed by the Court, most driving bans are the result of the accrual of penalty points. If you are facing a ban as a result of totting up, it is vital that you have the right advice from experienced motoring Solicitors at the right time.

Avoiding a ban

If you are at risk of accruing 12 points or more within a 3 year period you may face a mandatory 6 month ban. The Courts are obliged to disqualify you for this period however there may be exceptional circumstances in which the Court may not disqualify you.

Our experienced motoring solicitors endeavour to persuade the Court not to disqualify you if there are exceptional hardship or special reasons which apply in your case.

Again getting the right advice at the right time could mean the difference between a disqualification and a lighter sentence.

Speeding Offences

The sentence for speeding can vary between three penalty points and a disqualification from driving. A speeding sentence can include a fine of or up to £4,000. The prosecution must always satisfy the court to the criminal standard that the drive was on the offence date guilty of the offence of speeding. This means that they must satisfy the court so that even the lay bench or district judge is sure of that individuals guilt. Nothing less will suffice.

It is always open to any driver who has been charged, summonsed or provided with a fixed penalty notice to deny his or her guilt.