Driving offences FAQs
What should I do if I receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution from the Police?
Contact us immediately and speak to one of our lawyers before you complete and return any paperwork to the police. We will have a look at the notice that you have received and ensure that the notice complies with the legal requirements. We will advise you on whether to complete it or not and how to complete it, if necessary. Many technical defences are dependent on this part of the process being carried out correctly by the police. Speak to a lawyer today about this.
What if I haven't received the notice of intended prosecution within 14 days?
Section 1 of the Road Traffic Act requires a notice of intended prosecution to be served on the registered keeper of a vehicle within 14 days for most types of motoring offences. There are however, exceptions to this rule, such as:
- if, owing to the presence of your vehicle on a road, an accident has occurred
- you were given a verbal warning by the police at the time of the offence
- you have been offered a fixed penalty
- the offence itself is an exception to the rule due to a statutory provision
What if I'm not sure who the driver was?
If the registered keeper of the vehicle is a company then Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 imposes an obligation to keep records of who is driving the vehicle unless it is unreasonable to do so. If the keeper is an individual then he/she must take all reasonable steps to establish who was driving. Gathering and presentation of evidence is vital for such defences to be successful. If you are not the registered keeper then the prosecution must prove that the information they are asking you for in the Notice is "within your power to give". To mount a challenge on this ground important tactical decisions must be made in preparing your case. We have to the experience to make these decisions for you.
What if the police say that they want to speak to me about a driving incident?
Tell them you want to take legal advice first. Often the police will ask you for an informal chat to "get your side of the story". Don't be fooled. You are likely to find that when they arrive they caution you before asking you questions. Very often the police rely on you admitting that you were the driver or making some other comment that makes their lives easier. If we are able to intervene at an early stage in the process then the chances of winning your case are much greater as this is often the most vital stage in the process. Call our team before you say anything and speak to us before you speak to the police. It's your legal right to do so.
If I do go to court am I likely to be disqualified?
Driving with excess alcohol and dangerous driving carry an obligatory disqualification for a minimum of 12 months and in the case of dangerous driving an extended retest must be passed at the end of that period.
For any offence that carries points the court have a discretionary power to disqualify. In speeding cases the courts will consider a disqualification when the speed alleged is 30mph above the speed limit. With these sorts of offences each case will be judged on it's individual merit but generally the court will take into account the seriousness of the offence (eg how fast, other "aggravating features"), mitigating factors relating the offence or the defendant, previous convictions and a defendant's means.
If a driver gets 12 points within a three year period then he/she falls to be disqualified under the totting up provisions for a period of 6 months. However we can help "totters" avoid a ban if it can be shown that they would suffer exceptional hardship. This requires thorough preparation and gathering of evidence and it is important that the case is presented to the court in an appropriate manner. We have many years of successful experience with cases like this.
Although every case is different if you explain the circumstances of your case to one of our lawyers we can give you an indication as to what you can expect to receive by way of punishment. We can put your mind at rest or warn you if we think you have something to worry about!