Advice for UK Motoring Offences
General practice lawyers who deal with multiple areas of criminal law often aren’t fully familiar with the intricate legal arguments that can be used to defend your case if you have been accused of any of the road traffic offences below;
No Valid Insurance Offences
The law assumes you are at fault and thus guilty,regardless of your reasons or excuses for driving without having motor insurance.
Your licence will be endorsed with six to eight penalty points if you plead guilty or are convicted.
Motoring insurance policies in this instance have often been cancelled by the insurance broker without the driver’s knowledge.
Only if you can demonstrate to the Court that you genuinely and honestly believed that you had insurance in place can you then use the Special Reasons Argument.
Speeding – Points, Fines and Disqualifications
If convicted of a speed related motoring offence you will receive 3 to 6 penalty points, a possible discretionary driving ban depending on the severity of your offence, as well as costs and a fine.
Expert evidence is required if you are going to succeed in defending your speeding allegations in court.
Drink Driving Offences
The drink drive limit in the UK is 35mg in breath.
A 1 year driving licence disqualification is the minimum driving licence disqualification if convicted of drink driving.
If you can prove that you were not the driver of the car, or that you were not in a public place, or that you consumed the alcohol after driving then you have a valid defence for your drinking and driving offence.
In certain emergency situations, or if you unwittingly consumed alcohol and were not aware that you had done so, you may also negate a driving ban.
Drunk in Charge
In court, it is necessary for the prosecution to show that you were over the drinking and driving legal limit, and that you were also in charge of the vehicle too.
If you can show the court that you didn’t intend to drive again until you were below the legal drink drive limit then you have a viable defence.
If you are proven guilty of this offence, you will be given a mandatory either 10 penalty points and a possible discretionary driving ban.
Failing to provide driver information
If your vehicle is caught breaking a driving law, you will have to complete a section 172 request.
The penalty for not providing the information is six points.
There are two statutory defences in the road traffic act, S172(4) and Section172(7)(b) RTA 1988.
Either, demonstrate you used reasonable diligence to pin point who was driving at the time of the offence, or you didn’t receive the S172 request to do so.
Mobile Phone Motoring Offences
You must be holding the mobile phone while you are using it in order to commit an offence.
This is often viewed differently by different Magistrates Courts.
Stopping in a traffic jam, road works or at traffic signals is still classed as driving, and it is still an offence to use a mobile.
Without Due Care Road Traffic Offences
It is a requirement that to convict you of driving without due care and attention, the prosecution are required to prove beyond reasonable doubt that at the time in question, the standard of your driving fell below those expected from a careful & competent driver.
Undertaking on a motorway and many car park scrapes and scratches are covered by without due care.
At the discretion of the police force in question you may be offered a Driver Improvement Course instead of attending Court.
Failing to Report Offences
If, after an accident, damage was caused to another vehicle, a person or to property, then, as the driver you have a legal duty in accordance with Section 170 of the RTA 1988 to stop and provide your details.
If you cannot provide your details at the time, you must report the event to the police as soon as reasonably practicable and at least within 24 hours.
Failing to stop or report carries 5 to 10 points on your licence or a discretionary driving licence ban.
If you are not aware that damage has been caused, you have a defence if you can demonstrate to the Court that it was reasonable you didn’t know that you had been involved in an accident.
Because these are considered to be very serious driving offences, you can be sentenced to community service or even receive a custodial sentence.
Dangerous Driving Related Offences
Dangerous driving requires the quality of your driving to fall well below what is deemed to be standard. In addition, it must be obvious to a careful and competent driver that the driving is dangerous.
If convicted of dangerous driving, you face a minimum one year ban, a full re-test and even a prison term.
No Licence Motoring offences
Drivers often misunderstand this offence.
If you are not using L plates and have never passed a driving test then this is an example of an endorsable offence.
If for example you have been asked by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to return your current licence & they elect to suspend your entitlement, it is non-endorsable as an offence.
It is a widely held belief that ‘no licence’ automatically means that your motor insurance is invalid. This is not true.
Courts and the police quite often make mistakes with this motoring offence, so make sure you have an UK driving law expert on your side.
Have You Been Accused?
If you have been accused of one of these UK motoring offences, your licence and ability to drive legally could be under threat. Do you have a clear plan to defend your allegation in court?
Do you already have points on your licence? Are you in danger of topping up and exceeding 12 points in total?
12 points on your licence doesn’t automatically mean that you will lose your licence…… unless you do nothing about it. Correctly defended by highly skilled driving solicitors such as Patterson Law, you can protect your driving licence and limit the penalty imposed upon you.