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Driving & Road Traffic Offences

We have a 24 hour helpline if you are accused of committing a crime and need advice on 07786655345 and all representation at the police station is free of charge. 

Please see below a list of the Driving and Road Traffic Offences upon which our lawyers at Fieldings Porter can provide legal representation and advice.

Failing to stop after an accident

A driver is under a duty to stop and provide information after an accident, including their personal/insurance details. Therefore, it is an offence for any driver of a vehicle to fail to stop, even if the accident wasn’t your fault. 

If you did not stop at the scene of an accident, it must be reported to the police as soon as possible. Our solicitors can offer advice on this matter and ensure the court take into account the circumstances surrounding the reason you failed to stop if you are summons to attend because of an alleged failure to stop. You may have a defence.

Failing to report an accident

Failing to report an accident usually occurs after an incident involving a vehicle and the driver does not report the incident to the police. The driver must report the accident to the police within 24 hours and they will have to give their insurance details as well as their driving licence.

If you fail to report an accident, you may receive penalties such as points on your licence, a fine or disqualification. In serious circumstances, a prison sentence can be imposed. Fieldings Porter can offer legal representation if you failed to report an accident to the police in the required time.

Failing to provide a specimen 

If a police officer has pulled you over because he suspects that you are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you may be asked to provide a specimen. This can be a specimen of breath, urine or blood. 

If you fail to provide a specimen and you don’t have a reasonable excuse, then it is a criminal offence. This can happen at the roadside (when a police officer has pulled you over) or at the police station where the police officer may also ask you to provide a specimen.

There are some reasonable excuses that may excuse you from providing a specimen, but if you do not have a reasonable excuse or you aren’t sure if you have a reasonable excuse, then you must seek legal advice as Fieldings Porter can advise on these issues and you could face, if convicted, penalty points, fines or disqualification. 

Drink driving

It is a criminal offence to drive when you have been drinking alcohol and are above the prescribed limit. You may be asked to give a breath sample at the side of the road if the police suspect that you are over the prescribed limit. The offence can be dealt with at the magistrate’s court but there is a possibility it could be dealt with at the crown court depending on the circumstances of the offence. 

You may have a defence if you claim you were not over the prescribed limit at the time of driving and we can arrange a 'back-calculation' report as part of your case.

Fieldings Porter can offer advice and legal representation if you have been arrested for drink driving by examining the circumstances and possible defences. You should seek legal advice as if you are convicted there is a mandatory 12 month driving disqualification plus possible fines and costs, as well as the knock-on effects on your insurance premiums in the future.

The effects of being disqualified from driving can often be significant. We can provide expert guidance and representation at the hearing to ensure all mitigating factors are put forward.

Drug driving

It is an offence to drive with any controlled drug above a specified level in your blood; this can be legal or illegal drugs. The offence is similar to that of drink driving in terms that the police may stop and test for drugs at the roadside if they suspect you are driving under the influence of drugs.

It is important to seek legal advice and representation if you have been arrested due to drug driving as you may be charged with a motoring offence. The penalties are similar to drink driving and you will receive a driving ban (a minimum of 1 year) if convicted and a criminal record. You could also be given a fine up to £5,000 and even prison time in aggravating or very serious circumstances.

Driving whilst disqualified

Driving whilst disqualified is a serious criminal offence. If you are disqualified, this means you cannot drive any vehicle on any road or public highway for as long as the court has imposed your ban. Disqualification usually happens because you have been convicted of a driving offence or you have 12 or more penalty points on your licence within a 3 year period. 

The court can decide how long your disqualification will last based on the seriousness of the offence, but it is usually between 6 months and 2 years. 

There is a significant risk of being caught if you drive whilst disqualified due to the equipment that the police have access to now; it doesn’t matter if you are driving sufficiently or carefully as they can check your vehicle on the DVLA database. 

In terms of sentencing, the maximum penalty is 26 weeks custody. Other possible sentences include further disqualification, fines and community orders. If you have been arrested for driving whilst disqualified, then Fieldings Porter can represent you and ensure the court looks at any mitigating circumstances and what is included in the definition of a vehicle. 

Speeding

Speeding is an offence when you have broken the speed limit (including temporary speed limits). Each area and road has set speed limits. 

The minimum penalty for speeding is a £100 fine and 3 penalty points added to your licence, however they can be more severe, including disqualification (if you have 12 penalty points in a 3 year period) and higher fines. Additionally, if you are a new driver, meaning you are within 2 years of passing your driving test, then your driving licence can be withdrawn if you build up 6 or more penalty points. 

We can assist in putting forward 'special reasons' argument if you are to lose your licence and this will have significant effects on your livelihood and/or family. It may be you need to be able to drive to make a living or you are the principal carer for a member of your family and won't be able to do this without a vehicle. We will guide you through pleading such reasons following your guilty plea to try to ensure you have the best chance possible to retain your licence.

Driving with no licence

This can be a serious driving offence; therefore it can have serious penalties. 

Driving with no licence means driving a vehicle without a valid licence. Without a valid licence can mean driving a vehicle for which you do not have a valid licence to drive. For example, if you drive a heavy goods vehicle with a normal driving licence, then you do not have the appropriate valid licence. Driving a licence can also occur if you are disqualified from driving but you drive anyway. 

Penalties for driving without a licence under any circumstances include fines and penalty points which may lead to a disqualification from driving.  Adding to this, a sentence could be imposed to prevent you from holding a driving licence. 

Taking without consent 

Driving another person’s vehicle without their consent is a criminal offence as it constitutes theft, even if you have taken the vehicle from a family member or a friend. 

To take a vehicle without consent, you must first ‘take’ the vehicle, which means positive movement of a vehicle, not just moving someone else's for you to leave out of a tight parking space. A vehicle must also be ‘constructed or adapted to carry a driver whether by land, water or air’. Finally, it must have been taken without the consent of the owner, meaning the owner was unaware you have taken it, has said no or if you have obtained consent by deception. By seeking legal advice, these required elements can be deliberated.

If you do borrow someone else’s car and they have consented to it knowingly, then you must ensure that when you drive the vehicle you are driving with the appropriate insurance. Insurance can be covered either under your own insurance or the person’s car you are borrowing.  

Dangerous driving and driving without care and attention        

It is an offence to drive a vehicle dangerously or without care and attention. Careless behaviour includes: failing to look properly, sudden braking, turning into another driver's path, using your phone whilst driving, and other general distractions. Dangerous behaviour can include driving too fast, overtaking dangerously, driving under the influence of drinks or drugs and you are over the prescribed limit, ignoring traffic lights. 

If you have been caught doing any of the things named above, or any other careless / dangerous thing whilst driving, then you may face significant penalties and should seek legal advice.

 

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