Motoring Offences

We understand how important a driving licence is to our clients. When instructed, we will always assess a client’s case and identify if any defences are readily available. We give clear advice setting out the options for you. Where a defence with likely prospects of success is not available, we will ensure that any punishment is kept to a minimum. 

We will represent you in Court and have excellent links with Barristers chambers to ensure top quality representation. We are able to work to fixed fees for the majority of our cases. 

The most common situations we act on are as follows;

  1. Where a client will reach 12 points on their licence and therefore will face a disqualification. We are often able to argue that exceptional hardship would be caused to our client and as such they should be allowed to continue driving despite receiving 12 or more points. For this type of case, it is important that evidence is gathered correctly and thoroughly. We have a high success rate in helping clients retain their licence.
  2. Where a client is charged for driving without due care and attention, failing to stop and failing to report. These offences are often grouped together and can result in a disqualification. This may be where a client unwittingly causes damage to another vehicle without knowing they had done so, or where they are not aware of the obligations to stop and report such offences. We are often able to make representations to ensure that one or more of the charges are withdrawn. Submissions can be made to minimise the punishment and inform the court of the circumstances of the incident. 
  3. Where a client is charged with driving with no insurance. This type of case often occurs where an insurance policy does not automatically renew. This again, can result in disqualification. It is important to be pro active within this type of insurance and liaise with your insurance company and set out the reasons for you not having insurance.  A special reasons argument can be argued which if found, will result in no punishment. 

A court will use the Sentencing Guidelines to guide them as to the possible sanctions when being found guilty for an offence.

Likely timescales

A case will usually conclude at your sentencing hearing. This is typically 4-8 months from the date of the offence. This can be longer depending on court listings.

All fees above are subject to VAT at 20%. Disbursements are charged as additional fees to a third party. This will usually be counsel’s fee to represent at a hearing.

All clients will be advised by Samir Moftah, an experienced solicitor in this area of law.

Please contact us with details of your case and we will be able to provide a quote.

How can we help you with motoring offence allegations?

As experienced specialist solicitors, we are able to advise you on the evidence provided by the prosecution as to what we believe your prospects of success are. We can advise you on procedure and help gather evidence to defend you. We will present the evidence to the court and challenge the prosecutions evidence. We will make legal submissions on your behalf and attempt to secure the best outcome for you. We will protect your interests and try to ensure you do not receive penalty points on your licence so that you are able to drive and earn income to support your family or simply to help them attend hospital appointments.

The different types of motoring offences

In England and Wales, through the rules and regulations there are three main types of offences which relate to the severity of the offence. These are

  • Summary only offences,
  • Indicatable only offences
  • Either way offences.

What are summary only offences?

These are low level crime matters which can be heard only in a Magistrates court. This would mostly relate to motoring offences and low-level assault. A Magistrates court must decide whether the seriousness of the case fits within the remit of their jurisdiction. If they feel it is too serious, they will transfer the case to the Crown Court and decline to hear the case.

What are indicatable only offences?

These are serious crimes which can only be heard in the Crown Court. Typical offences include murder or rape. These types of offences will start in a Magistrates court but be transferred up to a Crown Court. There will usually be a case management hearing initially so that directions can be made to ensure a case is ready for trial. The trial will then be separately listed. The time of a crown court hearing is communicated the day before once listings are released.

What are either way offences?

These are crimes in which the defendant has the choice to be heard in a Crown Court or Magistrates Court. These can be offences such as possession of drugs. Careful tactical consideration will need to be given as to the choice of court and which is likely to result in a favourable outcome. If a matter is heard in the crown Court, there will be a jury who will consider the case made up of members of the public. If a magistrates Court hearing takes place, this will be decided by Magistrates, usually more than one.

The fines for motoring offences

The Highway Code sets out the following potential fines for offences

Offence

Maximum penalty

 

*Causing death by dangerous driving

Unlimited fine

 

*Dangerous driving

Unlimited fine

 

*Causing death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs

Unlimited fine

 

Careless and inconsiderate driving

Unlimited fine

 

Driving while unfit through drink or drugs or with excess alcohol: or failing to provide a specimen for analysis

Unlimited fine

 

Failing to stop after an accident or failing to report an accident

Unlimited fine

 

Driving while disqualified

Unlimited fine

 

Driving after refusal or revocation of licence on medical grounds

Unlimited fine

3 to 6

Driving without insurance

Unlimited fine

 

Using a vehicle in a dangerous condition

LGV or PCV unlimited, other vehicles £2,500

 

Failure to have proper control of vehicle or full view of the road and traffic ahead

£1,000 fine (£2,500 for PCV or goods vehicle)

 

Using a hand-held mobile phone when driving

£1,000 fine (£2,500 for PCV or goods vehicle)

 

Driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence

£1,000 fine

 

Speeding

£1,000 fine (£2,500 for motorway offences)

 

Traffic light offences

£1,000 fine

 

No MOT certificate

£1,000 fine

 

Seat belt offences

£500 fine

 

Dangerous cycling

£2,500 fine

 

Careless cycling

£1,000 fine

 

Cycling on pavement

£500 fine

 

Failing to identify driver of vehicle

£1,000 fine

 

 

Potential penalty points

The highway code sets out the following punishments for the main offences;

​An annex of The Highway Code with information and rules about penalties, including penalty points and disqualification, a penalty table, new drivers and other consequences of offending.

Offence

Maximum penalty

Penalty points

*Causing death by dangerous driving

14 years’ Obligatory disqualification (minimum 2 years)

3 to 11 (if exceptionally not disqualified)

*Dangerous driving

2 years’ imprisonment /Obligatory disqualification

3 to 11 (if exceptionally not disqualified)

*Causing death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs

14 years’ imprisonment / Obligatory disqualification (minimum 2 years)

3 to 11 (if exceptionally not disqualified)

Careless and inconsiderate driving

Discretionary disqualification

3 to 9

Driving while unfit through drink or drugs or with excess alcohol: or failing to provide a specimen for analysis

6 months’ imprisonment / Obligatory disqualification

3 to 11 (if exceptionally not disqualified)

Failing to stop after an accident or failing to report an accident

6 months’ imprisonment / Discretionary disqualification

5 to 10

Driving while disqualified

6 months’ imprisonment (12 months in Scotland) / Discretionary disqualification

6

Driving after refusal or revocation of licence on medical grounds

6 months’ imprisonment / Discretionary disqualification

3 to 6

Driving without insurance

Discretionary disqualification

6 to 8

Using a vehicle in a dangerous condition

Obligatory disqualification if offence committed within 3 years of a previous conviction for a similar offence – 6 months min. Otherwise discretionary

3 in each case

Failure to have proper control of vehicle or full view of the road and traffic ahead

Discretionary disqualification

3

Using a hand-held mobile phone when driving

Discretionary disqualification

6

Driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence

Discretionary disqualification

3 to 6

Speeding

Discretionary disqualification

3 to 6, or 3 (fixed penalty)

Traffic light offences

Discretionary disqualification

3

No MOT certificate

Fine only

Seat belt offences

Fine only

Dangerous cycling

Fine only

Careless cycling

Fine only

Cycling on pavement

Fine only

Failing to identify driver of vehicle

Discretionary disqualification

 

Motoring Offences fees

We are able to offer both fixed fees or hourly rates depending on the complexity of your case.

If you are pleading guilty to a charge, our role will be to-

  1. Advise in an initial consultation including reviewing evidence
  2. Help collate mitigation documents for the sentencing hearing and prepare for the hearing.
  3. Represent you at a sentencing hearing
  4. Writing to you with the outcome of your case

Hourly rate

Our hourly rate to assist on motoring offence cases is £250+VAT.

Our fees estimate for a client who intends to plead guilty is usually between £600-1,100+VAT.

Typically, there will be only one hearing however should there be additional hearings, additional costs will usually be between £600+VAT to £1,000+VAT per hearing.

If you intend to plead not guilty, fees are likely to be between £1,000+VAT to £2,400+VAT. This is based on a one-day trial and a first hearing.

 FAQs

 

What should I do if I receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution from the Police?

If you receive a notice of intended prosecution from the police, you must complete the form provided to you and return it to them within the allotted time specified in the letter. If you do not, you can be charged for failing to provide information as requested which can result in 6 points on your licence and a fine of up to a £1,000, whether you have committed the original offence or not. This is because under S172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, it is your duty as the registered keeper of the vehicle to identify the driver at the time of an offence.

 It is important to answer the request honestly and promptly. Should you genuinely not know the driver at the time of an offence, a carefully worded letter should be sent setting this out together with supporting evidence. If you mislead the police, you could be charged with perverting the course of justice, a serious offence which has often led to a custodial sentence.

What if I haven’t received the notice of intended prosecution within 14 days?

There are generally three ways to receive notice. You can be informed verbally at the scene by the police officer. They can post the notice to you or they can be served on you. Generally, if the notice has not been received within 14 days, any prosecution may be invalid. We will often in that circumstance write to the police to inform them of the procedural irregularity and ask them to withdraw any case. In limited circumstances there are exceptions to the rule of 14 days such as if it was not reasonably practicable to write to you within 14 days, for example, if you are not the registered keeper of the vehicle. We are well placed to assist in this regard, assess your case and make written representations to the police if necessary. 

What if the police say that they want to speak to me about a driving incident?

If the police wish to speak to you about an incident, it is generally advisable to agree to do so. This however must be carefully regulated within a police interview generally at a police station. The Police and criminal Evidence Act 1984 must be followed. It is important that you are represented, that disclosure is obtained and that you understand the allegations before any interview starts. We are able to represent you and guide you through this process. If you decline to speak to the police, this may result in you the matter progressing and you receiving a court summons. In that scenario, if you have not given evidence at an early stage, this may harm your defence.

Am I likely to be disqualified if I go to court?

For certain offences such as drink driving, if you are found guilty, there is a mandatory 12-month minimum disqualification. In those circumstances, we can assist you in keeping any disqualification to a minimum. The range of sentencing powers are set out in the Sentencing guidelines which are freely available online. For the vast majority of offences, we are able to avoid disqualification by arguing that ‘exceptional hardship’ would be caused to you. This often relates to losing your employment and therefore being unable to retain your home or support your family financially or from a health perspective in attending hospital appointments. When running exceptional hardship arguments, we have a very high success rate of securing this which means that despite being found guilty and obtaining points on your licence, you are still free to drive. You should contact us so that we can carefully consider your prospects and ensure the correct evidence is presented before a Court.

Are motoring offences criminal convictions?

Generally, the answer to this is yes where you have been fined or received a more serious punishment. However, the vast majority of offences may not appear on your criminal record as they are not recordable offences. The most serious offences such as drink driving, drug driving and dangerous driving will automatically be entered on your criminal record.  A recordable offence are offences where it is possible to receive a punishment of imprisonment and therefore are generally the most serious of offences. Less serious offences such as speeding are not usually recordable.

Accredited. Experts.

Need some assistance?

Contact Criminal Law