Professional Road Traffic law Advice
These are the top ten driving offences where motoring solicitors can help
Solicitors who deal with all areas of criminal law often aren’t fully familiar with the ideal legal arguments that can be put forward on your behalf if you have been accused of any of the driving offences below;
Fail to provide driver identity
If your vehicle is caught breaking a motoring law, you will have to complete a section 172 request.
You will be given 6 points as an endorsement on your licence if you do not return the completed request.
There are 2 statutory defences in the road traffic act, S172(4) and Section172(7)(b) RTA 1988.
To determine the identity of the driver at the time of offence, you will have to demonstrate to the Magistrate that you used reasonable diligence, or that you didn’t receive the s.172 driver identity request at all.
Driving With No Insurance
Irrespective of your reasons, if you are stopped by the police while driving without valid car insurance, you are assumed to be at fault and therefore guilty.
Your licence will be endorsed with six to eight penalty points if you plead guilty or are convicted.
In many instances, the drivers insurance policy has been cancelled without them being informed of the fact.
Only if you can demonstrate to the Court that you genuinely believed that you had insurance in place can you then use the Special Reasons Argument.
Speeding Road Traffic Offences
If convicted of a speed related motoring offence you will receive three – six penalty points on your licence, a possible discretionary ban depending on the severity of your offence, as well as court costs and a fine.
Specialist evidence is required if you are going to successfully defend your alleged speeding offence in court.
If you have been stopped for speeding, or have received a fixed penalty notice for speeding, ask Patterson Law about how to defend your offence circumstances.
Drink Drive Road Traffic Offences
The maximum breath reading for drinking and driving in the UK is 35mg. If convicted, you face a mandatory minimum driving ban of one year.
To win in Magistrates court, defending your drink drive allegation, you have 3 possible defences; you were not the driver at the time of the offence, you were not in a public place, or you didn’t drink until after you had driven, rather than before.
Other possible defences for drink drive charges are that you only drove for a very short distance, that it was an emergency situation, or that you unknowingly consumed alcohol without realising at the time.
Drunk in Charge Motoring Offences
The two points that the prosecution are required to establish to secure a conviction are that you were over the drinking and driving limit and that you were in charge of the car at the time of the offence.
A possible defence is to demonstrate that you were not intending to drive the vehicle until you were under the limit again.
The Court will impose either 10 penalty points or a discretionary ban.
Mobile Phone Offences
To be guilty of using a mobile phone while driving, you have to be holding and using the phone.
Different Magistrates Courts take different viewpoints on this offence.
You are still driving even when stationary at traffic signals or in a temporary hold up.
Without Due Care Offences
To prove the motoring offence of without due care, the prosecution need to prove in court that the standard of your driving fell below the level expected from a competent and careful driver.
Some of the motoring offences covered by driving without dure care include low speed scrapes as well as undertaking on a motorway.
Often, the police will offer you a Driver Improvement Training Course rather than attending Court.
Failing to Stop/Report an Accident
Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 states that following an accident, if there is damage to either another vehicle, a person or to property then you are under a legal duty to stop and offer your details.
If you cannot exchange, you need to report the accident to the police as soon as reasonably practicable and at most within twenty four hours.
Failure to comply carries five to ten licence points or a discretionary driving ban.
If you can demonstrate that you didn’t know you had been party to an accident and caused damage and that it would be reasonable for that to be the case then you have a possible defence.
For the most serious examples of the offence, you can be given community service or even a custodial sentence.
Dangerous Driving Motoring Offences
To be found guilty of dangerous driving, the quality of your driving must fall beneath what is required, but also it should be clearly obvious to a competent driver that at the time, your driving was dangerous.
The penalty for dangerous driving is a minimum twelve month driving ban, a full re-test before you can get your licence back and a prison sentence.
No Licence Motoring offences
Much confusion surrounds this driving offence.
If you were stopped driving without displaying L plates, or having never passed a driving test, then these would be endorseable offences.
If the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency asked you to return your current licence to them and they suspend your driving entitlement, the offence is non-endorseable.
It is a widely held belief that ‘no licence’ automatically means that your insurance policy is invalid. This is not the case.
The authorities are often mistaken with ‘no licence’ cases with regard to whether whether this road traffic offence carries points – so ask for expert guidance if you are charged with this motoring offence.