Motoring Offences And Criminal Law

If you or your family are contacted for interview by the police or other prosecution authorities, it is important that you are represented by an experienced lawyer who is able and willing to attend a police station with you at any hour. We can advise you on all types of offences from road traffic incidents to homicide and other serious crimes. The police often invite people they want to speak to about an offence to attend at a police station on a voluntary basis rather than making an arrest. If you are asked to attend a police station for an interview under caution, please contact us and we will attend with you. Advice at police stations for anyone being interviewed is free.

We have a contract with the Legal Aid Agency which enables us to represent low-income clients at the Magistrates’ Court at no cost to themselves. Legal Aid is also available in the Crown Court. Please get in touch to discuss if you qualify.

As well as fighting for your rights we will manage the necessary procedures and explain what is happening and why. If you are required to attend court, we can give you access to an experienced lawyer to represent you. If you are seeking a criminal or motoring lawyer in Somerset, West Dorset or East Devon contact us on 01278 664060.

Speeding, Driving without Due Care and Attention, Using a Mobile Phone while Driving – these are all offences that could affect any driver.

AmicusLaw Solicitors understand that a speeding or other motoring offence may be the first time you have meet the court system, and we offer representation on an agreed fee basis to attend at court to argue that you should not lose your licence.

AmicusLaw are there to help and advise you on all aspects of motoring law, speed camera offences, driving without due care and attention, totting up or drink driving.

Useful Guides And FAQs

Totting up is the accumulation or 12 or more driving penalty points (usually speeding points) over a period of 3 years. A driver reaching 12 points in a 3 year period will face an automatic driving ban of at least 6 months. Fixed Penalty Notices are effective for 3 years each.

While the automatic disqualification from driving is six months, the Magistrates Court can consider a number of mitigating circumstances. The most common of these is exceptional hardship which covers such matters as needing a vehicle to get to work or other persons relying on you. 

However, the exceptional hardship argument is complicated to run and expert advice should be taken in all circumstances.

How long do penalty points stay on my driving licence?
Points are valid for 3 years from the date of conviction but cannot be removed from your licence until the 4th anniversary.

Can I take a Fixed Penalty Notice if I already have 9 points?
No, you can only accept a conditional offer of a Fixed Penalty Notice if you have 8 penalty points or less. This is the case even if you are offered a Fixed Penalty notice (the Process Section will not know how many points you have on issue).

I am a new driver. What rules apply to new drivers?
Drivers who have passed their test less than 2 years previously will have their licence revoked and have to take their test again.

What offences will give me Penalty Points?

  • Speeding: 3-6
  • Failure to give information as to identity of driver etc: 6
  • Motor racing on the highway: 3-11
  • Failing to comply with traffic light signals: 3
  • Driving without due care and attention: 3-9
  • Failing to stop after an accident and failing to report an accident: 5-10
  • Driving without insurance: 6-8
  • Driving without a licence: 3-6

Can I avoid losing my licence if I get 12 points?
Yes. If you build up 12 or more penalty points on your licence within a three year period you could be disqualified. If you do face disqualification under this rule you may be able to retain your licence if the Court finds that the loss of your licence would cause you an exceptional hardship. This is a difficult process to undergo as to give yourself the best chance of being successful you need to be fully prepared. You should also be aware that there is case law which suggests that the hardship suffered by others should be taken into consideration by the Court. You should not think therefore that just because you do not have a strong argument with your own circumstances that you have no case to put before the Court.

All of these procedures may seem daunting to you which is why we are here to help.

If you have been caught speeding by a speed camera or by the police for speeding, then you may need help from AmicusLaw.

If you are stopped by police for speeding, you may be given a fixed penalty speeding ticket. However, in cases where you were travelling well above the speed limit, you will have to attend a Magistrates’ Court hearing – a daunting experience for anyone.

If you are caught speeding by a speed camera you will not be stopped and notified. Instead, the registered keeper of the car will be sent a notice of intended prosecution form within 14 days. The form will specify what date, time and location the car was caught speeding.

You will be required to confirm who the driver was at that time.

AmicusLaw will be able to advise you on:

  • Whether to attend a speed awareness course
  • UK speed limits
  • Speed cameras
  • Time limits for prosecuting
  • Fixed penalties
  • Contesting speeding tickets
  • Road traffic offences
  • Avoiding speeding fines
  • Notice of Intended Prosecution

Cases involving speeding will usually result in three to six penalty points and a speeding fine of up to £2,500. If you have been convicted of driving well over the speed limit, it is possible for you to be disqualified from driving.

Your first point of call is Amicus Law.

Driving Without Due Care and Attention means that your driving fell below the standard expected of a competent driver or that you did not show reasonable consideration for other pedestrians and vehicles on the road.

The penalty for careless driving ranges from 3 to 9 points and even relatively minor actions like a rear end shunt may constitute driving without due care and attention. In addition, a fine of up to £5,000 can be imposed by the Court.

You can plead that you were not driving at the time (if this is the case), that the offence did not occur or that your standard of driving did not fall below the standard of a careful and competent driver.

If you have a good defence then we will put forward the strongest possible case, help to find witnesses and obtain the services of an expert. If you are found innocent, we will seek to recover your costs. Even if you did have a lapse of concentration, then there may be the opportunity to attend a Driver Improvement Course. We can also advise on this procedure too.

There will be occasions when the offence was caused by a mechanical defect. In these circumstances we will take you through the procedure of proving that you were not driving without due care and attention.

Dangerous driving is a serious motoring offence and includes driving aggressively, racing, overtaking dangerously or undertaking, and driving an unsafe vehicle.

If you are stopped by the Police in any of these circumstances, AmicusLaw should be the first call you make.

Using a hand held mobile phone or other communication device whilst driving is an offence. This will include texting while driving or accessing the internet. These rules apply to motorcyclists as well.

If you are caught, then the fixed penalty is currently a fine of up to £1,000 and 6 penalty points. If you choose to reject the fixed penalty, then the fine may be higher, although the penalty points for using a mobile will remain the same. You may also have to pay Court costs. Just having a mobile phone in your hand is not an offence in itself. You must be using the phone whilst driving and should you be seen holding the phone, then you would have to prove that no calls or texts were being made or received at the time. However, the police officer may ask to look at your phone when you are stopped.

If you are convicted of the offence, these points will count towards those you may already have on your licence. If you reach 12 points on your licence, then this would result in a mandatory driving disqualification.

These types of driving offence require a robust but tactful approach and every attempt will be made to have the case dropped before any trial takes place.

The only time you are permitted to use a mobile phone when driving is to call 999 in an emergency and it is unsafe to stop. You can use hands-free phones, sat navs and 2-way radios when you’re driving or riding, but if the police think you’re distracted and not in control of your vehicle you could still get stopped and penalised.

Drink driving or driving over the prescribed alcohol limit is the offence of driving with excess alcohol in your bloodstream.

Whether you think you are over the limit when you are stopped for drink driving, you need to take specialist advice from a drink drive solicitor.

There are Defences to being in charge of a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and we will be able to guide you through what these defences are. The definition of being over the limit is to ‘drive or attempt to drive a motor vehicle on a road or other public place after consuming so much alcohol that the proportion of it in a person’s breath exceeds the prescribed limit’.

Failure to produce a specimen is an offence with a penalty of at least 12 months driving ban, unless you can show that you had good reason – a reasonable excuse – for not giving a specimen of breath, blood or urine.

The penalty for failing to produce a specimen may be increased if you are clearly drunk but may be reduced if you have good mitigation. There are defences – for example having a fear of needles or being physically unable to produce a sample. Even if you are teetotal or were obviously sober, you could be convicted for failure to provide a sample of breath, blood or urine if police have reason to suspect you may have been driving and request a sample.

If you are unable to provide a roadside breath sample then you will be taken to the police station and required to provide a further breath, blood or urine sample. This is known as the ‘evidential’ sample and is the one used in any court hearing.
Whether you wish to plead guilty or not guilty to a failure to provide a specimen offence, taking expert advice from us at an early stage will give you the best chance of keeping your licence.

Given the very serious consequences of being caught drink driving, call us immediately on 01278 664060.

Speak to one of our specialist lawyers today

Some of Our Criminal Law Team

Motoring Law News

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Bigger Fines and More Points, Plan

Motoring OFFENCE Motorists caught using their mobile phone whilst driving face a potentially larger fine and more points if government plans are approved. BBC News