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Driving Offences and Legal Representation

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 17 Jun 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Legal Representation Driving Offences

Legal representation, or at very the least legal advice should be a taken by those who have been charged with driving offences. There are solicitors who deal specifically with motoring offences who will have extensive knowledge of road traffic offences and criminal law.

Driving Offences and the Need for Legal Representation

Different driving offences come with different penalties and fines. Some, such as Drink Driving offences, dangerous driving and driving without insurance are viewed as serious driving offences. Many driving offences will require court appearances and in these cases legal representation should be viewed as a necessity. Solicitors will have years of experience in defending drivers charged with a wide range of driving offences. Solicitors will also be able to use a number of different defences that may help to reduce fines and decrease the length of a driving ban if the defendant is found guilty.

The Price of Legal Representation

Hiring legal representation is not cheap and fees will be charged by the hour. The seniority of the solicitor within a law firm can make a difference to the price. If a defendant is found guilty they will have to pay their own solicitor’s costs plus prosecution costs; this is in addition to any conviction fines. A case that involves the solicitor gathering evidence from witnesses will also usually incur higher costs. The typical cost for a not guilty plea for a driving offence will be around £1500 plus VAT. It is a good idea to receive estimates from law firms as prices can vary between companies.

Obtaining Legal Aid for Driving Offences

In certain situations it may be possible for those charged with driving offences to obtain legal aid. Legal aid will help to cover part or all of the costs when hiring legal representation. Minor driving offences will not usually be covered by legal aid but it can be available for more serious offences. Driving offences where prison sentences could be an outcome may be covered by legal aid. A solicitor will be able to advise whether or not legal aid is available to a defendant.

How to Choose Legal Representation for a Driving Offence

Driving Offences are a common occurrence and most people will know someone who has, at one time or another committed a driving offence. Word of mouth is often one of the best ways of finding good legal representation. Personal recommendations from family and friends will usually be unbiased. There are solicitors that specialise in driving offences and details of these local law firms can be found on the internet. Remember that as with all businesses the saying, ‘you get what you pay for’ is worth considering.

Points to Remember when Choosing Legal Representation

There are a number of considerations to keep in mind when choosing Legal Representation for driving offences. Points to remember should include:

  • During the initial solicitor consultation ask various questions; the answers given will give an indication of the solicitor’s experience
  • When it comes to legal fees it is worth checking insurance policies as some do cover part or all legal fees
  • Obtain quotes from different legal firms to give an indication of price before choosing
  • Solicitors who specialise in motoring law should have more experience; always ask if they have dealt with this type of motoring offence
  • A duty solicitor may be available and will be free of charge but may not have a wide amount of experience in motoring offences
  • Try to obtain local legal representation; a solicitor who has to travel will add to legal costs
  • Solicitors cannot be hired on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis for criminal cases including driving offences
Always seek legal representation at the earliest point in order to give solicitors plenty of preparation time. Always undertake research on solicitors and law firms before choosing. There are many internet forums where a law firm’s reputation can be checked out. A simple check on a search engine can bring up information from clients who have not been happy with the service they have been provided with from certain law firms. It will be in the defendant’s best interests to undertake this research rather than simply picking a law firm at random from telephone directory.

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[Add a Comment]
TSharp - Your Question:
Hi, I was pulled over for speeding on the 22nd May. I received a letter dated 14 June giving me the notification which is way past the 14 days. Does the 14 days rule apply to being pulled over by an officer ofJust speed cameras?Thanks

Our Response:
No the 14 day rule does not apply if you are stopped at the time of the offence.
NoPenaltyPoints - 20-Jun-18 @ 3:40 PM
Hi, I was pulled over for speeding on the 22nd May. I received a letter dated 14 June giving me the notification which is way past the 14 days. Does the 14 days rule apply to being pulled over by an officer of Just speed cameras? Thanks
TSharp - 17-Jun-18 @ 9:57 AM
Have received a penalty due to crossing a red light 0.9 seconds I’m a professional taxi driver in London with a clean driving record of over 25 years can I appeal this
Rich - 2-Jun-18 @ 3:32 PM
Rosie- Your Question:
My sister in law had keys to her partners dads house and let herself in whilst no one was home, she took her partners car keys and took his car without consent. Now, she has no driving licence and was under the influence of alcohol and has written the car off. She had to be cut free from the car and taken to hospital. The police said they’ll be in touch because her partner has pressed charges but hasn’t heard anything back (it’s been 4 days) what’s the likely outcome? She has never been in trouble with the police before and is early 20’s.

Our Response:
We really can't say what a court will decide about this as she has committed several offences including:
Taking a vehicle without authority/car theft
Careless/ Dangerous Driving
Driving without the correct insurance
Driving or attempting to drive while above the legal limit or unfit through drink
NoPenaltyPoints - 22-May-18 @ 2:39 PM
My sister in law had keys to her partners dads house and let herself in whilst no one was home,she took her partners car keys and took his car without consent. Now, she has no driving licence and was under the influence of alcohol and has written the car off. She had to be cut free from the car and taken to hospital. The police said they’ll be in touch because her partner has pressed charges but hasn’t heard anything back (it’s been 4 days) what’s the likely outcome? She has never been in trouble with the police before and is early 20’s.
Rosie - 16-May-18 @ 11:47 AM
Scallen - Your Question:
Today I received two notifications of driving through red lights. One is dated 4 weeks ago and the other over 12 weeks ago Are these both classed as invalid due to not being notified within 14 days

Our Response:
This depends on whether you are the registered keeper of the vehicle (i.e it's not a hire car, company car, lease car etc), you haven't change vehicle or address recentlty. Please see our guide here for more information - it refers to speeding but the same principle applies.
NoPenaltyPoints - 11-Apr-18 @ 11:13 AM
Today I received two notifications of driving through red lights. One is dated 4 weeks ago and the other over 12 weeks ago Are these both classed as invalid due to not being notified within 14 days
Scallen - 10-Apr-18 @ 10:04 AM
daniel Newman - Your Question:
I was flashed by police yesterday morning and got scared to carry on driving eventually I gave up and they arrested me for driving with no insurance driving with no third party insurance and careless driving what do you think about home would be my only have a provisional licence as well please help

Our Response:
The courts will make their decision based on all the facts. The list of offences you have committed is too long to even think about the outcome: failure to stop, driving wihout insurance, careless drivng, driving other than in accordance with the correct driving licence etc.
NoPenaltyPoints - 23-Mar-18 @ 1:03 PM
I was flashed by police yesterday morning and got scared to carry on driving eventually I gave up and they arrested me for driving with no insurance driving with no third party insurance and careless driving what do you think about home would be my only have a provisional licence as well please help
daniel Newman - 20-Mar-18 @ 6:51 PM
I was pulled over for driving without insurance I didn't know my vehicle wasn't insured and the insurance sent an email to notify me on the wrong email address. I haven't had my citation and this happened 6 months ago. At the time I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression and lost my place at university, my job and my car my mental health had a huge impact on my life then and I am still suffering now. Is it possible I could have a defence. Thanks cara.
Caradoc - 17-Mar-18 @ 1:36 AM
Hi, I ran past flashing red light just before a police station. Not sure how I missed it, it was a sunny moring, not sure the glare. I stopped immediately after the white line seeing a police car emerging. The Police man was furious and came to my window and said he is reporting me for dangerous driving. I know dangerous driving is a serious offence. What do I do?
VF - 15-Feb-18 @ 10:42 AM
Red - Your Question:
The police are saying that I was driving on the phone asked them to show me the CTTV off three Car said no I in I ask agin see evidence still no reyply ask now I in court wot can I du ?

Our Response:
The police can be required to produce evidence in court, but they are not obliged to do so before hand. The evidence does not have to be photographic, it can be the eye witness report of a police officer.
NoPenaltyPoints - 24-Jan-18 @ 11:41 AM
Hi am in court on the 29th January, I was caught with no insurance - I wasn’t aware of no insurance and had my car taken away had to pay a fine and 6 points on my liecene I have since then been sent a letter to say I could get banned from driving, as I now have 12 points on my licence - I wasn’t aware of 12 points At some point last year I must have gone over the speed limit - my car was in my ex name and he said he had had a letter about it..... This was the last I heard about it. The 6 point where put on my licence without my knowledge and I only found out about them when a friend advices me to do a licence check, and it showed failed to give driver details... I have applied to the courts to have the points taken off my licence and this will happen on the 30th January In the mean time Am confused and worried as not sure what to do or if I need representing in court... Am currently out of work and can’t afford the £1000 quote I was given to have someone help me, so I thought I could try legal aid Regards
Rach - 23-Jan-18 @ 5:08 PM
The police are saying that I was driving on the phone asked them to show me the CTTV offthree Car said no I in I ask agin see evidence still no reyply ask now I incourtwot can I du ?
Red - 23-Jan-18 @ 12:50 PM
Dwayne - Your Question:
I went through a red light at 4.30am on the way to work and as I was a bit tired I didn't realise it was red. The letter I received said it was red for 67seconds. I admit it was my fault for not concentrating but I need my license for work and to pick my kids up from school could I lose it?

Our Response:
You may be offered a driver awareness course or fixed penalty of a fine plus points. If you receive a court summons, you could attend and give details of any mitigating circumstances (it might be worth consulting a lawyer if that happens).
NoPenaltyPoints - 12-Jan-18 @ 1:49 PM
I went through a red light at 4.30am on the way to work and as I was a bit tired I didn't realise it was red. The letter I received said it was red for 67seconds. I admit it was my fault for not concentrating but I need my license for work and to pick my kids up from school could I lose it?
Dwayne - 10-Jan-18 @ 5:59 PM
My nephew was driving on an empty North circular road at 03.10 am at 99 mph when the speed limit was 50 mph.Is he likely to be banned from driving if he pleads guilty to speeding?He also forgot to MOT his vehicle, and has been charged for this.Will this make a difference to the speeding penalty?Does he qualify for legal aid in answering these charges
meredith - 24-Nov-17 @ 5:12 PM
Albert - Your Question:
My wife was stopped for having no third party motoring insurance.She had paid the full year's premium, but had no knowledge of the company having cancelled the policy after 2 months as, they claim, she'd not responded to requests for NCB proof.Having no evidence of such requests, nor threats of cancellation, she simply trusted the firm and believed she was insured.With full NCB, and having paid all up front, she would need to be mad not to have responded.Now she has a penalty of 6 points and a £300 fine.She realises the law will blame her for a lack of vigilance, and pleads guilty to that.The question is will a mitigation plea to the court possibly get the penalty reduced? Not scrapped, but lessened.

Our Response:
She may have to consult a lawyer about this to see whether it's worth taking it to court. The insurer would have to provide evidence that they requested the NCB proof. This could be an email, a letter, or even as part of the intial policy acceptance.
NoPenaltyPoints - 21-Nov-17 @ 12:36 PM
My wife was stopped for having no third party motoring insurance. She had paid the full year's premium, but had no knowledge of the company having cancelled the policy after 2 months as, they claim, she'd not responded to requests for NCB proof. Having no evidence of such requests, nor threats of cancellation, she simply trusted the firm and believed she was insured. With full NCB, and having paid all up front, she would need to be mad not to have responded. Now she has a penalty of 6 points and a £300 fine. She realises the law will blame her for a lack of vigilance, and pleads guilty to that. The question is will a mitigation plea to the court possibly get the penalty reduced? Not scrapped, but lessened.
Albert - 20-Nov-17 @ 5:54 PM
Neil- Your Question:
Whilst driving my car which I forgot to change over the log book name I got a parking ticket that went unnoticed and went to court in my brothers name now my brother has a warrant out for his arrest The car was insured in my name at the time and was my responsibility how can I get this taken off of my brothers reord

Our Response:
Contact your brother's lawyer and tell them you are prepared to tell the truth about it. Why did your brother not respond to the intial parking notice?
NoPenaltyPoints - 7-Sep-17 @ 9:56 AM
Whilst driving my car which I forgot to change over the log book name I got a parking ticket that went unnoticed and went to court in my brothers name now my brother has a warrant out for his arrest The car was insured in my name at the time and was my responsibility how can I get this taken off of my brothers reord
Neil - 5-Sep-17 @ 7:37 AM
I've been the owner of a car and for the past couple of months, had it off the road. It was taxed but not insured. I never got round to sorting sorn out as i wanted to put it back on road. I had a fine to pay due to not sorting the sorn out. Now its got to the point where im getting charged of not meeting insurance requirements. Its never been on a road for nearly a year & im getting charged of not having insurance. Just wondered of what to do & what the consequences of it will be after its been to court?
BenjiP - 8-Jan-17 @ 11:08 PM
I was driving through London and could see a police officer on a bike behind me. He was following me for a while. On approaching lights the lights became amber, keeping in mind the wet road conditions since it was raining earlier and biker behind me, I went through. He stopped me after the lights, possibally breaking the signal by himself as well. Took my details done something in his handheld device and now I have received a conditional fixed penalty offer for £100 and 3 points. I have been a careful driver for the last many years with a clean driving license. This is the first ever alleged offence I have faced. I am not sure what to do. Any feedback or suggestion would be appreciated.
Kishi - 25-Dec-16 @ 10:59 AM
Hi I got a notice through the post today and was wondering if the following could be considered mitigating; When the light began to change I applied the breaks heavily as I was in the window where I could have quite gotten through before the red. However when I applied the brake there was a very strong vibration through the steering column which caused me to lose confidence in the brakes. Having released and reapplied the brakes the vibration continued. Checking the junction I chose to roll through as I could see there would not be an immediate danger. I have since booked and had my front brake discs replaced at the garage. Many Thanks.
Rob - 23-Sep-16 @ 7:22 PM
The photo evidence came back and shows my front wheel over the line on red, the next picture shows my rear wheels still on the correct side of the line still on red..so yes im about 3 or 4 feet forward into the red light a pedestrian in the same two images has actually travelled further in the same time frame than myself ..seriously its a bit of a joke
matrixnetuk - 21-Sep-16 @ 4:55 PM
Matrixnetuk - Your Question:
Hi, I was sat at the Red light for nearly its entire sequence (57 seconds) and then slipped off the clutch causing me to Jolt forward over the line.I of course hit the brakes and didn’t go much further than a couple of feet over the line.Once the red light changed to green I set off as normal.I wasn’t expecting a NIP so was truly shocked to receive one , is there a way I can appeal against this or am I stuck with “running a red light” even though I didn’t actually run the red light?

Our Response:
It will be very difficult to prove this. The cameras are usually set to record the number of seconds after the red light that a vehicle is across the line.
NoPenaltyPoints - 21-Sep-16 @ 11:16 AM
Hi, I was sat at the Red light for nearly its entire sequence (57 seconds)and then slipped off the clutch causing me to Jolt forward over the line ..I of course hit the brakes and didn’t go much further than a couple of feet over the line. Once the red light changed to green I set off as normal. I wasn’t expecting a NIP so was truly shocked to receive one , is there a way I can appeal against this or am I stuck with “running a red light” even though I didn’t actually run the red light?
Matrixnetuk - 19-Sep-16 @ 10:54 AM
I recently had a change of company car, which has a different satnav to the one previously. Driving in London over the last 48 hours, somewhere I don't normally drive, I started to use the Satnav but became confused because, unbeknown to me, the satnav had come pre-set to always find North, so everytime I made a turn the position/ direction on the sat nav changed. At a major, unusual junction the satnav seemed to be sending me in the wrong direction and, distracted, I went through a red light. I didn't see a camera but there was bound to be one. 48 hours later, when returning home, instead of taking me the easiest way the satnav took me through the City of London, another area I didn't know. When the phone rang on the hands free kit the satnav went blank, which caused confusion and, distracted, I'm fairly sure I went through a pedestrian crossing red light. I didn't see the pedestrian crossing as the light on the left seemed to be hidden by trees but, again, I'm fairly sure there was a flash and when I looked in the mirror I saw something flash amber and then green, indicating to me there was a crossing. If I'm correct, and I think I am, then whilst I'm grateful no-one was injured I feel really sick that I've gone through two red lights, period. The fact that both are within 48 hours and due to confusion caused by the satnav leaves me very worried, hence I'm writing this at 02.30hrs; the second incident happened yesterday. In almost 30 years of driving I've received one speeding ticket, when I was young. Any free advice as to what may happen, or how to handle it, would be welcome. Thanks.
Fred - 17-Jun-16 @ 2:47 AM
Pomi - Your Question:
Hi im taxi driver work in Manchester.06 clock in morning I was with customer driving on dual carriageway speed limit was 40.in head jaction traffic light going to be red. I break it cab was stopped before traffic light but cab front wheel was on white lane before traffic light red light camera flash two time even cab was stopped before traffic light and pedestrian crossing.today I recived letter get fixed plenty notice point and fine on my driving licence so please give me advice

Our Response:
Unfortunately if you have crossed the white line at a certain time, the camera is triggered and demonstrates that you weren't able to stop in time. The penalty is usually 3 points plus £100 fine, though sometimes the offer of a driver awareness course might be made instead.
NoPenaltyPoints - 27-May-16 @ 11:10 AM
Hi im taxi driver work in Manchester .06 clock in morning i was with customerdriving on dual carriageway speed limit was 40 .in head jaction traffic light going to be red . I break it cab wasstopped before traffic light but cab front wheel was onwhite lane before traffic lightred light camera flash two time even cab was stopped before traffic light and pedestrian crossing .today i recived letter get fixed plenty notice point and fine on my driving licence so please give me advice
Pomi - 26-May-16 @ 2:09 AM
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