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Archive for May, 2016

Do I Have To Go To Court For Speeding?

Helen Newman of Forrest Williams

 

Do I Have To Go To Court For Speeding? 

 

At Forrest Williams we get a lot of calls from drivers charged with speeding who want to fight the offence. In some cases this is because they dispute the speed itself, others just because they don’t want to accept the penalty. We take the time to talk with you first, before we give you our advice. Speeding is not a ‘one size fits all’ offence, there are levels of offence seriousness and the penalties increase accordingly. Below is a summary of the guidelines used by the courts when passing sentence:

 

Speed Limit

Recorded speed (mph)

20

21-30

31-40

41-50

51+

30

31-40

41-50

51-60

61+

40

41-55

56-65

66-75

76+

50

51-65

66-75

76-85

86+

60

61-80

81-90

91-100

100+

70

71-90

91-100

101-110

111+

Penalties

£100 fine

3 Points

Income related fine

4-6 Points or

Disqualification 7-28 days

Income related fine

Disqualification 7-56 days or 6 Points

Outside the courts guidelines – disqualification of their own discretion.

 

At Forrest Williams we promise to be honest with you about the benefits of fighting against the charge. We will ask you some simple questions about your driving history, and about the offence itself. If you are in the first bracket of offence seriousness and accept that you were speeding then our advice to you may well be that you consider accepting the offence – especially if you have not completed a Speed Awareness Course within the past 3 years as you may be offered it this time.  Be aware that even a minor speeding offence can put you at risk of a six month ban if it causes you to reach or exceed 12 points.  If the offence is more serious and you have a preference as to the sentence passed then expert representation may be of benefit to you.

 

At Forrest Williams we have extensive experience of helping clients with speeding matters, helping the courts see the offender and not just the offence, to ensure that the sentence takes their circumstances into account.

 

Andrew contacted us when he received the summons for his speeding matter. He had been stopped by the police some months earlier, allegedly doing 97/60mph limit. He believed the paperwork had come through ‘Out of time’ because of the time since he was stopped and wanted the matter dropped. We explained that because he was stopped the ’14 day rule’ he was referring to did not apply.  Being stopped counts as his verbal notice of intended prosecution. We talked him through the process and supported him in preparing his own mitigation for court.

 

Sam went to Court for speeding – 66/40. He accepted it and knew he had done it, he was rushing to get home as he needed to relieve his grandmother’s carer. We helped prepare his case to show the courts his good character, to show that he needed his licence and the impact a disqualification would have, not only on him but on those around him. The courts were persuaded that a disqualification was not appropriate and points were imposed. A very happy client!

 

As I said above, speeding is not a ‘one size fits all’ offence, there are levels of offence seriousness and the penalties increase accordingly. At Forrest Williams we know this, just as we know that no two clients are the same, so our service to you is bespoke and tailored to you – that’s why we take the time to talk with you before we advise you on the best way forward and whether you need to go to Court for speeding.

 

If you are charged with a speeding matter, or require legal advice on any motoring or criminal matter, then give the Forrest Williams team a call on 01623 600645.

 

Is Job Hunting Exceptional Hardship?

Can Job Hunting Be Exceptional Hardship?

 

Is Job Hunting Exceptional Hardship?

 

In Mansfield Magistrates’ Court this week, Steve Williams, of Forrest Williams, successfully conducted an Exceptional Hardship application for client Natalie Godber.

 

Natalie, who was in tears as the court’s decision was announced, thanked Steve profusely and asked that her sincere thanks be passed back to her case worker Tracy Johnson, who had fully prepared her case for court over a period of several months, during which time they had worked very closely together.

 

Natalie, who had worked as a Key Accounts Manager for a large company when she made her first call to Forrest Williams, explained that the majority of points (9 in total) were accrued over a period of 6 months, some two years ago, when she was going through a difficult period in her life which saw the ending of a long term relationship.

 

Although she knew that she could not offer excuses to the court, Natalie explained to her case worker that she had driven without incident for the last two years, before being caught speeding – doing 91mph in a 70mph limit. She said that this happened as a result of underestimating the power of the new car she was driving, which handled very differently to the car she had previously been driving.

 

The pre-existing 9 points meant that the most recent speeding offence had resulted in a summons to court under the ‘totting up’ provisions – and a likely 6 months’ disqualification from driving unless Natalie could convince the court that to disqualify her in this way would mean hardship of an exceptional nature would be experienced by either herself or those close to her.

 

Natalie’s case for Exceptional Hardship was built on the following facts. First of all, she clearly needed to maintain her driving licence in order to do her job, which involved travelling to stores based across a wide geographical area. Secondly, her husband could not meet their joint financial commitments on his wage alone. Thirdly, Natalie acted as driver for an elderly relative and no one else could cover this role if she were to be disqualified.

 

Unfortunately, not long before the hearing date Natalie lost her job. This was a worry to all concerned as it had been the primary reason for her Exceptional Hardship application. However, she was able to demonstrate to the court that she was applying for very similar roles and was being granted interviews. Clearly, she would not be able to take up the offer of any of these jobs without a driving licence.

 

Natalie was effectively given the opportunity by the court to continue with her job hunting and to hopefully secure the type of work she has experience of in the very near future.

 

For Natalie, contacting Forrest Williams and entrusting them with her case was, quite simply, life changing. Her tears in court said everything. 

 

If you need help for a motoring matter, call our expert team now on 01623 600645.

 

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