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Archive for the ‘Speeding’ Category

Motoring Offence: Is Legal Representation Needed?

Kirsty Day of Forrest Williams

 

I’ve had a few calls before where the client asks: “is it really worth having legal representation for a motoring offence?”

 

My answer to that is simple: Yes

 

Not long ago Tom called into the office for some initial advice. He’d been caught for speeding – over 100mph on the motorway.  He also had 9 points on his licence.

 

His conversation to me was “I’ve already got 9 points on my licence so the courts are obviously going to ban me, is it worth having someone represent me just to end up getting the same outcome?”

 

The speed Tom was charged with meant he would either face a short disqualification or a further 4-6 points on his licence which would make him fall to be disqualified for 6 months under the “totting up” procedure should he not be able to conduct a successful Exceptional Hardship application.

 

He was desperate for the short disqualification so he could keep his licence and in turn his job. He instructed us to mitigate for the ban rather than the points, but that didn’t stop me from fully preparing an Exceptional Hardship application should the disqualification not be imposed by the Magistrates at his hearing.

 

I took a full statement outlining his mitigating circumstances and guided him through full case preparation for Exceptional Hardship just in case. Tom was so grateful that I’d been proactive enough to think about what might happen should he not get his favourable outcome in court.

 

I hand-picked one of our fully experienced motoring offence barristers for the hearing and provided her with the full case details and prepared documents.

 

The full mitigating statement and supporting documents secured Tom his desired short disqualification from the Magistrates. He was delighted with the effort both myself and his barrister had put into his case. His feedback was:

 

Hi Kirsty, I just wanted to write a quick note of thanks regarding your help towards my case. Whilst I did receive a ban I feel this was the best result under the circumstances and my barrister read the magistrates well as to what they were going to dish out as a punishment and she felt that trying for an EH claim would have not gone our way so we went for the lesser of two evils. I hope (in a nice way) that I don’t need your services again in the future but if anyone else comes into similar circumstances I will certainly point them in your direction.

 

At Forrest Williams we always go above and beyond for our motoring offence clients. It was obvious to Tom that instructing us to represent him for his speeding matter was “worth it”. We would do the same for any one of our clients.

 

If you have a motoring offence you’d like representation for, please do not hesitate to contact the team on 01623 600645.

 

118mph in a 70mph and No Ban

Jess Sadler, paralegal at Forrest Williams solicitors

 

Billy came to us facing a charge of speeding at 118mph in a 70mph. For most people a simple speeding offence is something they get annoyed about, but ultimately apart from their insurance premium increasing, they can carry on with their normal lives.

 

This was not the case for Billy.

 

For Billy it could potentially make him lose his insurance, lose his business, make him move house, and have drastic consequences for his disabled father.

 

Billy had a clean licence. He was a careful and competent driver until one day where he was rushed off his feet; he had to make a run in the morning to pick up parts for his business, and then he had a medical appointment in the afternoon.

 

Billy co-owned a garage when the offence happened. His business partner didn’t take an active role in the garage and so everything was ultimately left down to Billy.

 

Billy was the only person in the garage who had trade insurance to drive customer’s vehicles, so he was responsible for a lot of the day to day work.

 

He had managed to pick up the parts in the morning, but it meant him running late for his medical appointment. Billy was distracted by this; and was caught speeding at 118mph in a 70mph.

 

Billy contacted Forrest Williams as soon as he received his Notice of Intended Prosecution for this offence. He was so worried.

 

We explained to him that his speed was actually  so fast it was off the Magistrates Sentencing Guidelines. The Court was going to take this offence very seriously.

 

For Billy’s speed of 118mph in a 70mph, he was facing a disqualification upwards of 8 weeks.

 

This news devastated Billy. If he was disqualified for any amount of time then his Insurance Company would no longer insure him, meaning that no-one could drive the customer’s cars and ultimately forcing the company to close because it just would not be able to function.

 

We started preparing Billy’s case as soon as we were instructed. We need to make sure that Billy had the best chance of being able to keep his licence.

 

We had countless phone calls with Billy discussing his business, how his garage employed 4 employees who would all become unemployed if he lost his licence. His case was fully prepared on the business side of things.

 

But we wanted more.

 

We dove deeper into Billy’s personal life to try and gather different aspects to why he needed to keep his licence.

 

His father had recently become disabled. He needed help climbing the stairs, getting dressed, just doing the day to day stuff.

 

Billy moved in with his Mother and Father to help care for his Dad. His Mum tried but she was too weak to physically support him.

 

Not only that, his Dad relied on Billy to drive him to weekly hospital appointments.  Nobody else could do this. If Billy lost his licence then his Dad would have to get Taxis.

 

We spoke in depth with Billy about the support he provided. We obtained medical records to show to the court as evidence, and most importantly we obtained a letter from his Dad to show how much he relied on his son.

 

The day of the hearing came.

 

We had done everything we had this end to prepare the strongest possible case for Billy, but now we had to hand over to one of our Specialist Motoring Barristers to present the case on Billy’s behalf.

 

His barrister had been fully briefed on Billy’s case and knew it inside out.  She was armed with all of our prep and now needed to persuade the Magistrates to sentence Billy by way of penalty points rather than a disqualification.

 

Four hours later I received a call from the barrister. It was successful. Billy had avoided a disqualification and been sentenced to 6 points and a fine.

 

He was over the moon.

 

He kept his licence despite admitting driving at 118mph in a 70mph. His business was safe. He could still care for his father.

 

He could effectively carry on with his life, and could put the past few months behind him. 

 

If you are facing a motoring charge, call our expert team on 01623 600645. 

 

specialist motoring solicitors in Mansfield

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.

 

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