Under Section 4 of the 1988 Road Traffic Act and Section 1 of the 1991 Road Traffic Act, it is an offence to use or be in charge of a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or public place whilst under the influence of drink or drugs. Conviction inevitably leads to a driving ban, a fine as well as other potential punishments to including community service, curfew orders and in extreme cases even a prison sentence. Road Traffic law is a detailed and complex area of the law and punishments can often be very severe. It is vital that expert assistance and advice from a qualified solicitor is always obtained. This article is intended as a guide only and specific advice about your particular circumstances should always be sought.
As specialist Road Traffic Solicitors we regularly deal with all aspects of Road Traffic offences from relatively low level offences through to serious offences of causing death by dangerous driving. Often even the most mundane incident can mean extreme and serious consequences for our clients, depending upon their personal circumstances. For example, being stopped for using a mobile phone device whilst driving may not in itself lead to a driving disqualification, but where the client has points endorsed on their licence from a previous incident and, where the client needs to have use of their car for work and to earn their living, then the consequences of this relatively minor incident can be life changing.
Not everybody needs a solicitor when facing a Road Traffic matter. However; in many cases a solicitor can mean the difference between a conviction or saving you your licence and perhaps even your job or liberty. We have extensive experience of representing and defending clients in all aspects of Road Traffic law and pride ourselves on rigourously checking every single case for potential ‘technicalities’ and flaws and we have a proven track record in defending clients and protecting their driving licences. There are many technicalities that are relevant to Road Traffic law and it is surprising how often these arise.
If you get a summons or are charged with a Road Traffic related offence by the police you should seek expert legal advice from a solicitor as soon as possible. Any delay in taking advice can be detrimental to your case. Your solicitor will advise you about any possible defence you may have and can represent you in court. If you are entitled to Legal Aid, we can also assist you in obtaining Legal Aid to help with the costs of your defence, but you should be aware that Legal Aid is not generally available for most minor Road Traffic offences any longer so you may have to pay for your represnetation. If you do have to pay, we can usually offer you a fixed fee option which will include all the work we will do on your behalf and include expert advocacy and representation at court. To assess your situation and advise of the likely costs we offer a free 30 minute telephone consultation on 020 8401 7352
Even if you think you do not have a defence and intend to plead guilty, your solicitor will advise you on many legal aspects. This includes looking into any possibility of avoiding a ban due to ‘special reasons‘ and putting forward a plea of mitigation in order to help secure a lenient sentence.
Expert advice and representation from a solicitor specialising in Road Traffic law is crucial in preparing the best possible defence. It is hardly possible to list all the possible defences here as there are so many alternatives. However sometimes these may be based on the law or a failure by the police or even the court to conduct the investigation or the prosecution properly. That is why we check every case rigourously for ‘technicalities’ as well as on the basis of the particular facts of the case and the client.