Motoring law is an incredibly complex area with potentially far-reaching consequences, especially if you are in danger of disqualification from driving. If you are facing a motoring law issue, you need to call on the support of a law firm with an unbeatable track record in handling motoring offences.
When interviewed by police or charged in relation to a motoring offence, having the right legal advice, support and representation at the earliest opportunity is essential. Our team includes several accredited Police Station Representatives, so we can represent you right from the first instance and provide the strongest advocacy possible for you at every stage of criminal proceedings.
Our priority is to keep you on the road, helping you to avoid disqualification from driving or any more serious consequences wherever possible. We go the extra mile to ensure we achieve the best available outcome for you, every time.
Operating from our offices in Chelmsford and Colchester we advise and successfully defend clients across Essex, East Anglia, London and the Home Counties. Our highly skilled motoring offences lawyers regularly act on behalf of those facing court proceedings related to a wide range of driving offences and have an unrivalled track record of success.
Our specialist driving offences defence team can give you immediate practical advice on:
• What to do if your job is at risk should you be disqualified from driving
• The impact of a driving ban on you and your family
• How points on your licence may affect your insurance premiums
Speak to one of our expert motoring law solicitors in Essex today by calling 01245 358894 or using the contact form on the right for a swift response.
Our motoring offences defence services in Essex
Gepp Solicitors criminal defence lawyers in Essex offer highly skilled advocacy for a wide range of motoring offences to clients throughout Essex and the surrounding area.
There are various types of drink driving offences and the penalties can include a fine, disqualification from driving for at least 1 year and potentially even a prison sentence in more serious cases.
Drink driving offences you may be prosecuted for include:
• Being in charge of a vehicle while above the legal limit or unfit through drink
• Driving or attempting to drive while above the legal limit or unfit through drink
• Refusing to provide a specimen of breath, blood or urine for analysis
• Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink
Driving under the influence of drugs
You can be prosecuted for driving while unfit to do so as a result of being on both illegal and some prescription drugs. It is also an offence to drive with certain levels of illegal drugs in your system, even if they have not been shown to affect your driving.
Penalties for drug driving can include a driving ban of at least 1 year, an unlimited fine and up to 6 months in prison.
Driving without due care and attention
Also referred to as ‘careless driving’ this covers a wide range of issues, including driving too close to the vehicle in front, staying in the middle or outside lane on the motorway without justification, carrying out tasks that distract you from driving and driving while excessively tired.
Penalties for driving without due care and attention will depend on the nature and seriousness of the offence, but can include 3-9 penalty points, an unlimited fine and the court has a discretion to give a driving ban irrespective of whether you have a clean driving licence or one with points. If you already have points on your licence, these additional penalty points can lead to disqualification from driving for at least 6 months.
Driving without a licence and/or insurance cover
Driving without a valid licence (either because you have not passed your test or have been disqualified) can result in 3-6 penalty points and a fine of up to £1,000.
Driving without insurance can result if the matter goes to court an unlimited fine, 6-8 points or you could face being disqualified from driving.
The penalties for speeding will depend on how far above the limit you were driving. The minimum penalty is a £100 fine and 3 penalty points, but for more serious offences you can receive fine of up to £1,000 (£2,500 for motorway offences) and up to 6 points.
In some circumstances, a serious speeding offence can also result in disqualification from driving and a speeding offence can also push you over the penalty point limit, resulting in a ‘totting up’ ban.
Using a mobile phone whilst driving
Using a mobile phone while driving is illegal unless you are using a Bluetooth headset or other hands-free device. This also applies to satnavs – something many people are not aware of.
Penalties for using a mobile phone or satnav while driving include 6 penalty points and a £200 fine.
You can also be taken to court, where you can receive a fine of up to £1,000 (or up to £2,500 if driving a lorry or bus) and be banned from driving for a fixed period.
Failing to give information as to the identity of the driver
If the police contact you regarding an offence involving a vehicle registered to you, you will normally have 28 days to respond either confirming that you were driving at the time of the offence, or providing details of who was driving.
Failure to do so is a criminal offence and could result in 6 penalty points and a fine of up to £1,000, on top of the penalties for the original offence. The combined penalty points from the two offences can therefore easily result in losing your driving licence for at least 6 months.
Failure to stop or report a road accident
If you are involved in a car accident, you are legally required to stop if anyone other than yourself is injured or if damage is caused to another vehicle or property. If you fail to stop, for example if you do not immediately realise damage was caused, you must report the accident to the police within 24 hours.
Failure to do so can result in an unlimited fine, 5-10 penalty points, disqualification from driving and even imprisonment in the most serious cases.
Disqualification on penalty points – totting up
One of the most common ways drivers can face a driving ban is if they accumulate too many penalty points from different offences in a set period. This is commonly referred to as a ‘totting up’ ban.
For most drivers, you will face a ban of at least 6 months if you accumulate 12 or more penalty points within a 3-year period. However, for new drivers, the limit is only 6 penalty points for your first 2 years after passing your test. If you lose your licence as a new driver, you must apply for a new provisional driving licence and retake your theory and practical test once your disqualification period ends.
Using ‘exceptional hardship’ to avoid disqualification from driving
If you face disqualification from driving, it is sometimes possible to avoid a ban if it can be shown that losing your driving licence would cause ‘exceptional hardship’.
There is no set definition for what qualifies as exceptional hardship, but you will usually need to demonstrate that there will be serious negative consequences for innocent third parties, rather than just inconvenience to yourself.
Examples of situations where exceptional hardship may be a valid defence include:
• If you are the sole carer for someone and need your licence to provide their care
• If you are an employer and the future of your business and its employees would be at risk if you lost your licence
• Losing your licence would cause you to lose your job and push your family into serious financial difficulties (e.g. causing you to default on your mortgage)
A defence of exceptional hardship is usually complicated and very challenging to prove, so it is essential to have specialist legal expertise when considering this option and to put the best possible case forward to keep your licence.
Why choose Gepp Solicitors motoring law solicitors in Essex?
Gepp Solicitors highly experienced criminal defence lawyers in Essex are experts in all types of motoring offences. With our skilled advocacy, we can ensure your interests are protected right from the outset so you can achieve the best possible outcome for your circumstances. We have a particularly strong track record of helping clients to retain their driving licences under even the most challenging circumstances.
We are accredited by the Law Society for Criminal Litigation in recognition of our expertise and have been praised in the Legal 500 (a leading client guide to the legal profession) for our strong reputation in this area. Gepp & Sons has also achieved the Law Society’s Lexcel accreditation, reflecting the high standards of our practice management and client care.
We comprise a highly effective and successful team boasting several Higher Court Advocates and accredited Police Station Representatives. This means we can support and advise you when interviewed by police or arrested. We also have extensive experience and at every stage of criminal proceedings, so we can offer the very best representation throughout to ensure the best possible outcome for you.
Contact Gepp & Sons motor crime lawyers in Essex
Get in touch with our criminal defence lawyers in Essex now for expert representation related to all types of motor offences.
You can call us on 01245 358894 or use the contact form at the top of the page and a member of our team will get back to your promptly.