Driving whilst disqualified FAQs
I'm currently serving a driving ban, my employers would like to train me to operate a forklift truck am I permitted to do this on private property?
You do need to be careful here. Imagine if you were involved in a collision with one of the lorries and the other driver decided to call the police.
You are disqualified from driving any "motor vehicle" on any "road" or public highway. A "road" is defined as a public place with vehicular access and a definable right of way between two points. The yard you refer to may or may not be a "public place" and a "road" in the eyes of the law.
A "motor vehicle" is defined as a mechanically propelled vehicle intended or adapted for use on roads. It may be possible to argue that a forklift truck was not intended or adapted for use on a road.
A public place can include private property if the public have unfettered access. Unless there is a gate at the entrance preventing people entering the area without permission, or signs up saying that the area is for use only by a specific group of people (e.g staff and customers) then it is quite possible that this will be a "public place" in the eyes of the law. The question is can anyone drive into the yard or is access restricted in some way? By way of example, most pub car parks are public places even though they are private property because any member of the public can generally drive in and park up. This has been tested in the Courts many times by drink drivers caught on the pub car park. However, without seeing it for myself it is impossible for me to be certain either way.
A definable right of way between two points usually means a separate entrance and exit with a clear right of way linking the two. Again, without seeing it for myself I cannot commit to whether the area in question fulfils the definition or not.
For advice if you have been charged with a similar offence call our 24/7 helpline on 0203 816 9274.
I’m currently banned from driving, if I purchase an electric bike lower than 200w in power and can only travel at 15mph is it legal for me to drive?
In my view an electric motor cycle would be classed as a "mechanically propelled vehicle" and as such requires a valid driving licence, tax, insurance, etc. Therefore it cannot be driven on a road whilst you are disqualified.
I have been caught driving whilst disqualified with one day remaining on my ban, what will happen?
You will be prosecuted for driving whilst disqualified and without insurance and will have to attend Court. This offence carries a custodial sentence, which Courts often impose. The offence also carries 6 points or a disqualification.
However, having a good motoring lawyer in Court, who can persuade the Court to impose the most lenient sentence, could mean the difference between a custodial sentence or a fine and a ban or points. We are able to offer fixed fee representation on a guilty plea. Let us know if you are interested in being assisted at the hearing in efforts to seek the best possible sentence. Based on the fact that your ban was due to expire, I am confident that we can present your mitigation effectively and damage limit the sentence that the Court will consider imposing. We have certainly been able to do so in the past for clients in similar circumstances.
I have been accused of driving whilst disqualified, what is the likelihood I will receive a prison sentence?
Driving whilst disqualified is a very serious offence and one that carries up to 6 months in prison as well as a further period of disqualification. If this is your first disqualified driving offence then the court may be lenient and look at alternatives to prison, such as a community order with supervision, unpaid work or an electronic monitoring order (a tag). If you have been convicted of disqualified driving before then you are more likely to be sent to prison. The punishment you receive will depend on the overall circumstances of the offence and your own personal circumstances. It is important that all your mitigation is presented in a persuasive manner. You should definitely get representation before going into court.
I have been charged with driving whilst disqualified for a second time, I only did this as I felt I had no other option as I needed to pick up my son. What is the likely punishment for this offence?
You may very persuasive mitigation but unfortunately the Court are going to consider the imposition of at least a community penalty. As this is the second time that you have driven whilst disqualified in a 12 month period the Court will have little option but to consider the imposition of a custodial sentence. The Magistrates are encouraged to do so by their sentencing guidelines. You are also likely to receive a further disqualification - the length to be fixed by the Court at their discretion.
Arranging quality legal representation in court will ensure that you get the shortest ban possible in the circumstances and could make a real difference to the final result. It can make a difference between being sent to prison and not being sent to prison. A lawyer specialising in this type of work would also be able to give you advice about the strength of the prosecution case. You should make arrangements for legal representation as far in advance of your court date as possible. It can often be secured for a fixed fee so that you know where you stand.