Driving is an essential part of daily life for many of us, needed for everything from commuting and doing our jobs, to looking after our families. A driving offence, therefore, can have a very negative effect on your whole life.
As well as the potential for other penalties, losing your licence could cost you your job, impact your family life and severely limit your other opportunities.
Having the right support and representation at the earliest opportunity from our driving offences solicitors can help make sure all relevant details and circumstances are taken into account. This can significantly improve your chances of being found not guilty if the charge is unfounded, or otherwise help to mitigate the penalties, which may include keeping your very precious asset of a driving licence.
Legal expertise with a personal touch
Our driving offences department provides an outstanding level of service to our clients. We routinely seek feedback from our clients, and this is very frequently very positive.
At Freemans Solicitors, we know how vital the right legal advice can be to ensuring you get the best possible result when charged with a driving offence. We also understand how much our clients value the reassurance provided by a hands-on, personal and non-judgemental approach.
Our driving offences solicitors have many years’ experience and an impressive history of getting excellent results for our clients. That experience and expertise means that we explore and employ the best arguments and advance them on your behalf.
Our individual driving offences services
No matter what type of driving offence you are facing, we have the experience and expertise to uncover all the relevant facts and mitigate any negative consequences for you.
The first indication that you have been recorded speeding may be a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) arriving on your doormat. This does not necessarily mean, however, that you will be prosecuted. You may qualify for a speed awareness course or a fixed penalty as an alternative to prosecution. The police must comply with strict time limits in relation to the issue of a NIP, otherwise, it will not be considered valid .
Your response to a NIP requires a choice by you. We can give you clear advice on the best path to take.
Whether your case is at this early stage or you have already received a summons for speeding, our expert speeding offences solicitors are on hand. We will aim to diligently check the evidence that the prosecution have against you and identify any available defence that you could properly deploy.
We would consider, for example, whether the speed limit was actually operational at the time, whether the signage was correctly displayed and the reliability of the device that the police used to capture your driving. While these devices usually are considered reliable there may be instances where the particular device was not properly functioning, and therefore it could be argued that the speed captured is not safe to rely upon.
Like everybody, the police make mistakes. We will be on your side to make sure that if there is an argument that can be advanced to challenge the evidence, it will be. This may lead to you facing no conviction and therefore no penalty points or disqualification.
If everything is in order concerning the evidence, you may still avoid points on your licence if there are what is considered in law ‘special reasons’ for your breaking the speed limit. Our speeding offences lawyers will discuss the particular facts of your case with you and if these expose a ‘special reason’ that can be advanced we will do that for you.
Totting up offences
If you accumulate 12 points on your licence within a 3-year period, you will face having your driving licence revoked for at least 6 months. For those who passed their driving test less than 2 years ago, the threshold is only 6 points, and the driving test will need to be re-taken.
Our expert driving offences lawyers can help you avoid disqualification via ‘totting up’ if the particular background facts to the case mean that what in law is called ‘exceptional hardship’ can be successfully advanced on your behalf.
Drink driving offences
Being found guilty of drink driving will mean a minimum 12-month ban for driving combined with other penalties.
If you have been charged with a drink driving offence, we will thoroughly examine the procedure used by the police. The procedural requirements that the police have to follow are complicated and technical. It is important, therefore, to have specialist advice to identify where the police have made a mistake. Where the error is significant, this could lead to the case being dropped before trial or you being found not guilty at trial.
If there is no defence available to you, we discuss your full background circumstances with you. This means that at court, we can seek to argue for the minimum possible penalty, taking into account the appropriate sentencing guidelines. We will also discuss reducing the length of any ban with you via the drink-drive rehabilitation scheme (DDRS) course.
Careless and dangerous driving offences
The difference between careless driving and dangerous driving is not always immediately apparent and understood. With the sentences being much harsher for dangerous driving, making sure your offence is classified correctly is essential.
Our driving offences solicitors are highly experienced in establishing the differences between the two types of offences. We have a strong track record of achieving the best possible outcome in even the most serious cases, such as those involving death by dangerous driving.
Driving disqualification avoidance
While some offences, such as drink driving or death by dangerous driving, bring with them an automatic driving ban, for other offences that can be more room for manoeuvre.
Due to our high level of expertise and experience in driving offences, our team can give you the best chance of avoiding disqualification from driving in even the most challenging of circumstances.
There are some technical arguments against a driving ban that we can deploy where appropriate, meaning it may be possible to help you avoid a ban with our expert representation.
Frequently Asked Questions about individual driving offences
What is a fixed penalty notice?
Fixed penalty notices can be given out for minor motoring offences, such as speeding, specifying a fine for the offence. You usually have 28 days to pay a fixed penalty notice, with the fine halved if paid within 14 days. Fixed penalty notices can be challenged in court if you feel the charge is unfair.
How do driving penalty points work?
If you are found guilty of a driving offence, a court can ‘endorse’ your licence with penalty points. If you accumulate 12 points within a 3-year period, you will face disqualification from driving for at least 6 months. For new drivers who passed their test within the last 2 years, the threshold to lose your licence is only 6 points, and you will need to re-take the test.
How long do penalty points stay on your driving licence?
Penalty points can stay on your licence for either 4 or 11 years, depending on the offence. The endorsement will be considered ‘valid’ for the period it remains on your licence, less one year. So a 4-year endorsement is valid for 3 years and an 11-year endorsement for 10 years.
Can I get penalty points removed from my driving licence?
Penalty points will usually be removed from your licence automatically once the relevant period has expired. You may be able to have penalty points removed sooner by successfully appealing a conviction for a driving offence.
Can I lose my job for a motoring offence?
If it is a requirement of your job to have a driving licence, such as if you are a taxi driver or delivery driver, your employer has the right to terminate your employment if you are disqualified from driving. However, some employers may be willing to assign you alternative duties for the period of your ban, so this option is worth exploring if you lose your driving licence.
How do you get your licence back after a ban?
What you need to do to get your licence back after a disqualification period will depend on the circumstances. You may just need to fill in a renewal form when your ban is due to expire, or you may need to retake your driving test. For some types of offences, you will need to pass an extended driving test to get a new licence.
What counts as ‘exceptional hardship’?
It is sometimes possible to avoid a driving ban because it would cause ‘exceptional hardship’. Precisely what a court will accept as exceptional hardship can be hard to judge, but in general, the principle is that it should cause more than ordinary difficulties for people around you, such as your family, employees or people who rely on you for your job.
The potential for this argument to succeed is entirely dependent on the circumstances, so is something you would need to discuss in more depth with your lawyer when considering whether it may apply to your situation.
You can speak to one of our expert driving offences lawyers by calling 020 7935 3522. You could otherwise complete the enquiry form at the top of the page to ask a question, and we will get back to you promptly.
In the case of an emergency, we are available 24/7 on 07973 259382.