Based in South Wales, we regularly attend Magistrates' Courts in Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthen, Neath/Port Talbot and Llanelli, but are more than willing to provide advice and representation throughout England and Wales. We fearlessly and rigorously defend our clients in a wide range of offences, and go through evidence and police procedure with a fine-tooth comb. We know how important your driving licence is to you.
Below are examples of the range of matters we can assist you with, but we offer legal help in all motoring issues.
Generally, where there has been a road traffic accident, even when only one vehicle is involved, someone is likely to be prosecuted for careless driving. The prosecution must prove that the driver’s standard of driving fell below that of a prudent motorist. There is no guidance as to what amounts to careless driving, and each case is different. The punishment could be up to 9 penalty points and a fine up to £5,000.
Contact one of our specialist motoring solicitors as soon as possible so that we can advise you whether you have a defence, or to assist you with mitigation. [OK]
This is a serious offence as the standard of driving must be proved to be far below the standard of a careful and competent driver. The maximum sentence is 2 years imprisonment and a court must impose a disqualification for a minimum of 12 months. There is no discretion not to disqualify, and ‘special reasons’ and ‘exceptional hardship’ arguments are not allowed. Also, an extended driving test must be passed before you are able to regain your licence.
Due to the seriousness of the offence, you should speak to one of our specialist motoring lawyers at the earliest opportunity. We will thoroughly scrutinise the evidence to advise you how we can achieve the best possible outcome for you. [OK]
Driving whilst over the legal limit is treated as a serious offence by the courts. It carries a maximum sentence of 6 months in prison and a minimum disqualification of 12 months. The consequences of a conviction upon your livelihood and home life can therefore be extremely serious.
There are a number of procedures which the police are required to carry out, and a failure to do so can provide a defence. Medical issues can also amount to a defence. Sometimes a court can be persuaded not to disqualify where ‘special reasons’ apply.
This is a complex area of law and you should seek the assistance of one of our motoring solicitors at the earliest opportunity, so that we can advise you on the merits of your case. [OK]
Driving Whilst Disqualified
This is a strict liability offence, meaning that it is no defence to argue that you were unaware that you were disqualified. The only defence is to establish that you were not actually subject to a disqualification. This is an offence which the courts consider to be serious and carries a maximum sentence of 6 months in prison and a discretionary disqualification from driving. Very often the court will order a pre-sentence report. Contact one of our specialist motoring solicitors to discuss how we can achieve the best result for you. [OK]
Drunk In Charge of a Vehicle
Where a motorist is in charge of a vehicle in a public place, or in a place to which the public has access, and the alcohol in their body is over the legal limit, they are likely to be prosecuted. Defences are available, in particular where, for example, a person simply wishes to sleep in the car and not to drive until the alcohol level is below the legal limit. This offence carries a 3 month prison sentence and either a discretionary disqualification or 10 penalty points.
Our specialist motoring lawyers can help by examining whether you have any defences and representing you at trial. If you do not have a defence we can put forward mitigation to keep the sentence as lenient as possible, and to try to avoid a disqualification. [OK]
Early Return of Licence
If you have been disqualified from driving for a lengthy period of time, we can represent you in an application to remove the ban early. An application can be made after the expiry of the relevant period:
- Two years, if the disqualification is for less than four years
- One half of the period of disqualification, if it is for less than ten years but not less than four years
- Five years in any other case
The court will consider the facts of the offence which originally led to the imposition of the ban as well as your character, conduct since it was imposed, and any other relevant information such as a job requirement. Applications are often opposed by the CPS making it all the more important to contact our specialist solicitors early on for advice and representation. [OK]
Failing to Stop After an Accident & Failing to Report an Accident
A motorist who has been involved in a road traffic accident, is obliged to remain at the scene for as long as reasonable and either exchange details with any other motorist involved, or report the matter to the police as soon as practicable, and in any event within 24 hours. Both offences carry a sentence of 6 months’ imprisonment and up to 10 penalty points or a discretionary disqualification.
Cases are unique on their facts, and you may have a defence, which our specialist motoring solicitors can investigate and represent you at trial. If a guilty plea is to be entered, we can put forward robust mitigation to keep any punishment as lenient as possible. [OK]
Failing to Name a Driver
A Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) is usually sent out after a speed camera has been triggered, although they also apply to a limited number of other offences. As long as the notice is procedurally correct, a recipient who receives it is required to provide any information within his or her power. This can apply to drivers of vehicles, registered keepers of vehicles or even any person deemed to have information within his/her power to provide.
The punishment is a fine up to £1,000 and 6 penalty points. Everyone except limited companies must receive points, and this offence can put some people in danger of the ‘totting up’ procedure. It will also adversely affect current and future insurance premiums. It is therefore very important to obtain advice from one of our specialist motoring solicitors at the earliest opportunity. [OK]
Failing to Provide a Specimen
Failing or refusing to provide a sample of breath, blood or urine is an offence unless there is a reasonable excuse. Medical reasons such as breathing difficulties or a phobia of needles have been found to be reasonable excuses by the courts. It would not be a reasonable excuse to refuse until you have had a chance to speak to a solicitor. As with drink driving offences, the sentences can be tough with a maximum of 6 months in prison and a lengthy disqualification from driving.
As the consequences could be substantial in terms of loss of a job and disruption to family life, you should contact one of our specialist motoring solicitors as soon as possible. [OK]
This offence carries a sentence of up to 8 penalty points or a disqualification, and a fine up to £5,000. It is a relatively straightforward offence – you are either covered by a certificate of insurance or not. There is a statutory defence for employees, and ‘special reasons’ can be argued to avoid the endorsement of penalty points. Involving our specialist motoring lawyers as early as possible will allow the exploration of any defences or to prepare mitigation on your behalf. [OK]
Notice of Intended Prosecution
For a limited number of motoring offences, a Notice of Intended Prosecution will be sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle. The NIP must be accurate and in a prescribed format, and sent to the registered keeper within a strict time limit. Failing to respond to the NIP in time is a separate offence punishable by a fine up to £1,000 and 6 penalty points. Errors on the NIP can be fatal to any prosecution.
Contact one of our specialist motoring solicitors at the earliest opportunity for no nonsense advice, so that we can scrutinise the NIP and advise you on your options. Court cases can sometimes be avoided through a solicitor’s representations to the Safety Camera Unit. [OK]
Most motorists will receive a speeding ticket at some point. The sentences available to the courts range from 3 points and a modest fine to a disqualification from driving and a maximum fine of £2,500. We can advise and assist you from the moment you receive the Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) right through to representing you at court.
Our specialist motoring lawyers will scrutinise every piece of evidence and procedure in minute detail, and our intervention has avoided many cases from getting to court. If you have a potential defence to the charge, we will fight your corner in a trial. If you plead guilty or are convicted, we can put forward a plea in mitigation to persuade the court to treat you as leniently as possible. [OK]
When a motorist accumulates 12 or more penalty points, the courts must consider whether to impose a disqualification from driving for a period of at least 6 months. The impact of a disqualification on most people could be devastating, and could lead to a loss of employment, loss of a home and a massive impact on any children.
Disqualifications can be avoided where the court can be persuaded that it would cause exceptional hardship to the motorist. This is a complex legal argument and is best dealt with by a specialist motoring lawyer. Our specialist motoring lawyers have a proven track record in successful exceptional hardship applications. We can always offer a fixed fee for this service, and can build a strong case to persuade a court to allow you to continue to drive. [OK]