Why You Should Use a Motor Offence Solicitor
If you’re facing prosecution for a motoring offence, you may not know where to turn – is it worth obtaining legal advice and possibly representation in Court?
Motoring offence solicitors regularly help people to keep their driving licences and most will offer you a free consultation so it’s rarely a bad idea to look for free advice.
When to engage a solicitor
There are some offences, for example not wearing a seat belt, that carry only a modest fine and no penalty points. In such cases legal help can be expensive and may end up costing more than the fine itself! If you accept you committed the offence it may be better to swallow the pill and accept a fixed penalty if it had been offered. However, some offences are more serious and carry much more serious and potentially life-changing punishments such as a disqualification for driving.
If you’ve been offered a driver improvement course as an alternative to accepting penalty points or being prosecuted you may be better accepting this. These are almost always offered for low level speeding offences and are becoming more commonplace for careless driving allegations. Bear in mind that if you accept a course you cannot attend another one for any offence committed within three years of your attendance on it.
For more serious offences, such as careless/ dangerous and drink driving legal advice is pretty much essential. Endorsable offences, offences that carry mandatory disqualification and imprisonable offences mean you need help, and fast. It could be the difference between losing and keeping your licence.
If you’re looking at the prospect of prison, then you are most in need, because you need to make sure that you get fair and strong representation in court. Everyone can make mistakes or have a lapse of judgement and if a lawyer can argue your sentence or punishment down, you and your family will benefit greatly from this. Similarly if you’re about to lose your licence, you might find good legal representation reduces the term of the ban or helps you to avoid it altogether.
When to use a solicitor for minor motoring offences
Minor offences, like not wearing a seatbelt or stopping on the hard shoulder, usually carry only a small fine and are most often better being paid without going to Court. However, if you feel strongly that the penalty or prosecution is unfair, it may be worth getting some advice and representation.
Having said that, almost no-one drives without a seatbelt nowadays, so you would need very exceptional circumstances to overturn a fine. Similarly, opening your car door without due care and attention and knocking a cyclist off his bike will attract a fine if it’s taken further.
Driving without an MOT – a grey area
Driving without an MOT could end up in a fine of up to £1,000, unless you can prove you were driving your car along to the garage for a pre-booked – and it must be pre-booked – MOT appointment.
The danger with driving without an MOT is that it may invalidate your car insurance, which leaves you vulnerable to being accused of driving without insurance. This is a far more serious offence and can lead to between six and eight points on your licence and/or a possible ban from driving. As a general rule, if you find yourself faced with paying a fine and no penalty points without going to Court pay up. If it gets more serious, lawyer up.