1 FETTER LANE,
LONDON EC4A 1BR
0207 701 8653
CRIMINAL DEFENCE SPECIALISTS
UNCOMMON, 1 LONG LANE
LONDON SE1 4PG
0207 701 8653
Road Traffic Defence Solicitors
Our team can help your defence if you are being accused, prosecuted or investigated of a road traffic crime.
If you have been accused of a road traffic crime, contact us for the best of advice
There are many offences which come under the Road Traffic Act. Our Lawyers can provide specialist advice for every possible offence but some of the most commonly faced are detailed below.
At Murrays we have specialist lawyers who can provide initial advice and if needed representation at any future court proceedings.
Defence against traffic crimes
Anyone who holds a driving licence and regularly drives on roads in the UK is likely to fall foul of the law at some time in their lives. This can be very minor and involve a small amount of points on your licence. However, increasingly the ramifications for any motoring offence, however, slight, are rapidly increasing and no matter what the offence the financial implications particularly when considering insuring your vehicle can be vast and far reaching. It is therefore always best to get advice from an expert.
Many mistakenly believe that the law is very “cut and dried” in relation to road traffic. It’s right that many offences are deemed “strict liability” offences. However, the penalties are not all set in stone and in some cases even when an individual is guilty of an offence they do not have to get points on their licence and they do not have to be disqualified. Provided carefully reasoned and detailed legal argument can be put before a court at the right time, points and disqualification can be avoided. Only an experienced Road Traffic Lawyer can properly do this, so get in touch with Murrays.
Speed cameras, increasingly powerful motor vehicles and advancements in technology have all meant a vast increase in offences of speeding. You will receive three points as a minimum penalty for this offence. However, this in itself can mean huge increases on insurance premiums. Worse still you only need three separate offences of speeding within three years to be considered a totter by the court which means a 6 month disqualification. 6 points for a young driver (someone who has held a full licence for less than two years) will have the same effect and in their case would mean taking your driving test (both parts) again before your licence is returned to you.
It may seem that in a case of speeding you wouldn’t need the assistance of a lawyer to advise you of your guilt. However, there are defences that can be put before a court and they can be broadly categorised as follows:
- Notices of intended prosecution not received or received out of time
- Postal requisition (Court summons) not issued in time
- Doubts over reliability of speed measuring equipment and/or reading produced
- Lack of evidence of speed limit
- Speed limit signage requirements not adequately met
- Defect in notices of intended prosecution
- Evidence of offence not presented correctly by the prosecution at trial
All of the above require proper presentation to a court and in a lot of cases an expert would be required to assist in providing evidence in support of the Defence being put forward. At Murrays our experience in this area over many years means our road traffic lawyers have access to a network of the UK’s best experts in this field.
Road Traffic cases are dealt with in the Magistrates court, save for in the most serious of cases. As such they move swiftly through the court system it is therefore imperative that legal advice is sought immediately upon receipt of a summons or as soon as you believe court proceedings may be brought against you. It takes time and proper preparation to ensure success and the courts will rarely grant adjournments or allow delays to proceedings.
Drink driving falls at the higher end of the scale of road traffic offences. Given the potential ramifications of drink driving the courts will always treat offences in this category extremely seriously and the penalties attached to this are therefore at a higher level than other motoring offences. Repeat offenders face prison.
The police will conduct a roadside breath test where they suspect the driver is over the limit. They will arrest you should you fail the test or fail to provide a sample of breath for analysis.
If charged you will go to court and generally the court will be disqualifying you for a minimum of 12 months. Court’s have however in recent times been imposing sentences well over the minimum. The loss of your driving licence can have a devastating effect on you and your family. It can mean the loss of employment which can lead to your family losing their home and the knock on effect can last years.
However, there is a little known fact in relation to Drink Driving Offences. YOU MAY NOT NEED TO LOSE YOUR LICENCE. Everyone has a right to know if they have a defence that can properly be brought before a court when they face an offence of this nature. You can only know this if you seek specialist legal advice immediately and certainly before you go to court.
There are very specific procedures that the police must follow when taking samples of breath or blood. Some of aspects of this are mandatory. Not all police officers conducting these procedures have been trained as they should be, errors are sometimes made and if this is the case and these errors can be identified then no conviction can follow.
Even if there is no defence it can be the case that as a result of a “special reason” the inevitable disqualification need not necessarily follow. We will always give realistic and honest advice in any case. Even when there is no viable defence employing one of our specialist lawyers can mean magistrates being persuaded not to impose the normal severe penalties that otherwise would be incurred.
Driving without Insurance
It seems obvious that you either have valid insurance or you don’t and if prosecuted for this, presenting a valid certificate will avoid any conviction. That is indeed the case for some. However there are occasions when an individual doesn’t have insurance but they can avoid conviction. For example – those driving in the course of their employment who is driving a vehicle that does not belong to them and has no reason to believe they are not insured.
Similarly permitting someone to drive your vehicle whilst they are not insured also carries the same penalties.
It is foolish to labour under the illusion that this is not serious. The courts increasingly impose as severe penalty as they can for this offence due to the increasing number of uninsured drivers on our roads. The starting point is 6 points on your licence and the financial penalties can be similarly high.
Even where there is no defence to an offence of no insurance it may be possible to argue that special reasons exist in your particular case. For example where there was a genuine but mistaken belief that valid insurance was in place allowing you to drive the vehicle. Of the court accepts that there is a special reason then they do not have to impose penalty points at all. This is not something you simply say to the court – it has to be properly presented with independent evidence and carefully reasoned argument setting out the law.
Special Reasons / Exceptional Hardship
Even if it is the case that you do not have a defence to a road traffic offence that you face, it may be possible to present a case of Special Reasons or Exceptional Hardship to the Court. The result, if successful can mean avoiding a disqualification, or even avoiding points altogether on your licence.
These are both complicated legal arguments that have to be properly presented to a court with reference to case law and proper facts supported by independent evidence in a lot of cases. Our lawyers can guide you through this and prepare and present the strongest possible case on your behalf.
We have a 90% success rate in cases where we argue special reasons or exceptional hardship. One of our specialist lawyers will be able to advise you whether these avenues can be positively pursued.
Our reputation for providing honest and reliable advice has led to client’s returning to us again and again. We value our clients and will do our utmost to guide them through whatever troubles they may face.
There are very few driving cases which will allow for funding through legal aid. It is only ever available to those with extremely limited means that satisfy the Governments very strict criteria.
It is therefore the case that the majority of work in this area is taken on by us on the basis of a privately funded instruction. We can however offer fixed fees in the majority of cases and where that is not possible we will always give a fees estimate that is competitive to our peers. A free initial consultation with one of our experts will quickly identify your needs and how we might be able to assist you.
If you are being investigated for either of these offences it is imperative that you have good legal advice.
Our team of experienced lawyers can help you whether your case is still being investigated by the police or indeed whether it has gone past that stage and you are already being prosecuted through the courts.
We can help
Free initial consultation
Legal Aid available
Contact Murrays now for advice or to arrange to meet us