In drink driving cases there is often the misconception that unless you are contesting the charge then there is no point having representation at Court or that the duty solicitor will be able to deal with the case.
The reality is that there are often significant benefits to having a solicitor attend Court with you. The duty solicitor at Court will give priority to the most serious cases and it may well be the case that you are not even able to speak to them, much less have them represent you in the hearing.
For someone who relies on their licence for work, keeping the length of the driving disqualification down to a minimum can help them return to work several months earlier than may be the case unrepresented. The Court’s powers of sentencing are not limited to disqualification and fines, they are also able to impose a community order, or in the more serious cases, a custodial sentence. Having representation can help to minimise the severity of these sentences, or even avoid them entirely.
There is also preparation work than can be done in advance of the hearing to ensure that the case is as well prepared as is possible. Going through a statement to make sure all relevant points of mitigation are put forward can be invaluable in ensuring that the sentence passed down by the Magistrates is kept to a minimum. Having this prepared before the Court date allows a defendant greater time to consider exactly what the impacts a driving disqualification will be, it also means that there is sufficient time to gather any character references to be presented at Court and to check they are in the correct format.
By Alex Garner
If you are facing a motoring prosecution then please call Stephensons on 0175 321 6399.