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Drink Driving Lawyers Avoid Prison For Second Time Offender

Drink Driving Lawyers Avoid Prison For Second Time Offender


Billy came to us as a desperate man in need of the best drink driving lawyers.


He had been charged with Drink Driving, and what made things worse was it was his second offence within 10 years so the court would be taking this very seriously.


Billy’s reading was 147 in breath.  High.  Very high.


It was one of the highest readings our drink driving lawyers had seen at Forrest Williams.


Billy was very realistically facing an immediate custodial sentence.


We worked with Billy from day one to try and avoid this.


We spoke with Billy about the possibility of him having an alcohol misuse issue.


Billy was not the typical alcoholic, the popularly imagined character who replaced the water in his water bottle with vodka and sipped that at work.


Billy’s story was completely different.


Billy had recently separated from his long term partner and so was currently readjusting to life on his own. Shortly before Billy and his partner separated, they were beginning to go through the adoption process.


On the night before he was arrested for drink driving, his now ex-partner sent him a photo of him, his new partner and the two children that they had successfully adopted.


Understandably Billy was distraught by this news, and like many others, he took comfort in alcohol to make the pain go away.


The next morning, Billy went to the shops when he was stopped by the police and found to be over the limit.  He was arrested by the police for Drink Driving.


Billy was fully compliant with the police.


When we spoke to Billy about this charge, we reached the decision together that whilst Billy is not by any means dependant on Alcohol, he does drink too much and this does need addressing.


Billy attended a couple of support sessions before the court hearing and obtained evidence that he had already taken action to address this issue.


We prepared Billy’s mitigation focusing on avoiding an immediate custodial sentence, and gathered supporting documents that strengthened his case.  


We then appointed one of our senior barristers who specialises in Drink Driving to represent Billy at the court hearing.


Billy attended, fully expecting to either be sent to prison that day, or for the matter to be adjourned so that he could meet with probation services before being sentenced to prison.


We managed to go one better.


We knew how much this meant to Billy, so we arranged for the probation services to meet with Billy that day so the case would be dealt with within one court hearing.


The sentence was in…


Billy was given a 6 week custodial sentence suspended for 9 months. He was ordered to complete a 10 day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement, and was disqualified for 36 months (the minimum for his case as it was his second offence within 10 years).


Billy was absolutely overjoyed by the outcome.  It was more than he had allowed himself to dream of.


Billy commented after the court hearing:


I honestly cannot thank your company enough.


When it’s as important as keeping your freedom, then you need to have the best on your side.  Call our expert team of drink driving lawyers on 01623 397200.


Speeding Solicitor in Chesterfield Magistrates Court




Speeding Solicitor in Chesterfield Magistrates Court


Speeding Solicitor in Chesterfield Magistrates Court this week, representing Dennis Cosgrove.  He was elated when the District Judge passed sentence and he was informed that 6 points would be endorsed to his clean licence.


Dennis has been summoned to appear in court to answer a Speeding charge – 104mph in a 70mph limit.


He told us when he first called into our office that he had not realised the speed he was doing at the time, and that – unusually for him – he had not been using the cruise control facility for his vehicle.


Dennis explained to us that the car he was driving at the time was very powerful and said that he admitted the speeding offence. In his conversations with us, he made clear that he felt very remorseful about the incident and that he wanted to apologise to the court and promise it would never happen again.


As a result of a thoroughly prepared case, and strong mitigation by his professional legal advocate in court, Dennis managed to avoid the more likely fixed-term disqualification. This was very important to him as he works as a Financial Adviser, which means he has to travel across a large geographical area in order to meet with his clients.


In addition, Dennis shared with us that he does a lot of charity work with elderly people, for which he also makes good use of his driving licence.


Dennis told his case worker that he does around 20,000 miles a year and that even a short disqualification within the range 7 – 56 days (as indicated by the magistrates’ sentencing guidelines) would be a great hardship to him, and that many other people would be adversely affected by his inability to drive.


As part of the mitigation advanced by Dennis’s legal advocate, mention was made of the fact that Dennis has maintained a clean driving licence for at least the last 5 years, that he had held a driving licence for more than 40 years in total, that the weather had been good on the date of the speeding offence, the motorway not busy with other vehicles and that he had no passengers.


Dennis’s good character and charitable activities were also highlighted – but in a way which it would be difficult for a defendant to do for themselves in court, as our services can ensure a professional distance is maintained and therefore a degree of objectivity.


As the court systems and processes are essentially evidence-based, Dennis was also guided carefully by his dedicated case worker through the preparation, review and editing of several supporting documents, which he then took with him to the court hearing.


For Dennis, the outcome was the best he could have hoped for in the circumstances. He had admitted the offence, apologised to the court and thrown himself on the mercy of the District Judge. However, even in so doing there were sentencing options at the court’s disposal. We were happy to assist Dennis in achieving a result he was satisfied with. 


If you need a Speeding Solicitor in Chesterfield Magistrates Court, call our expert speeding solicitors on 01623 397200. 


Second Exceptional Hardship Application

second exceptional hardship application


Second Exceptional Hardship Application


I was recently very involved in the case of a client charged with speeding – 78mph in a 70mph limit on a motorway.


Unfortunately due to him already having points on his licence he fell to be disqualified for 6 months as a totter. To complicate matters he had previously been in the same situation within the past 3 years and had already made an Exceptional Hardship application at that time. The law states that a person cannot make more than one application to the court using the same grounds within a 3 year period… and my client required a second Exceptional Hardship application.


His previous application was based upon the impact the loss of licence would have on his employment – and as a Sales Director required to manage a UK wide team this was certainly the strongest grounds he had.  But this did mean that this was not something I could use for his second Exceptional Hardship application.


I started my case preparation by applying to the courts for the full note of the previous hearing.  I needed to ensure that I was funny appraised of the court’s sentencing statement and of the evidence put before them.  Knowing we needed not to rely on the most commonly used foundations posed a different sort of challenge, to find new grounds for this second Exceptional Hardship application.


As lawyers, we are privy to a great deal of personal, and in many ways, highly sensitive, information.  For any Exceptional Hardship Application this will usually involve a client’s financial position, their relationships with their family and friends, their employment status.  I can’t explain the feeling exactly, but it’s certainly one of trust, especially in this particular case.


From speaking with my client it became clear that the loss of his licence would have most impact on his family life. He would need to stay away from home more often, he would be unavailable to assist his fiancé with the day to day matters and, most importantly, he would be unable to assist her in the event of a medical emergency. This may not sound like much, how often is an emergency really going to occur? But for this family, with the past few years they had experienced health wise, this was a real concern.  I spent a lot of time speaking with my client and his fiancé, getting to know them, and I felt very privileged to have them speak so openly with me about their lives.


We obtained medical documentation detailing her illness to support his need for his licence, and we provided detailed diaries for both of them, trying to cover all angles possible for his second Exceptional Hardship application.  Our client was represented in court by one of our expert Barristers from our London chambers, Emma Shafton, who put their case to the court and guided them both through their testimony.


Unfortunately the court, whilst finding that there would be hardship, did not believe the obstacles to be insurmountable. They found that the client’s financial position suggested that in the case of an emergency that funds would be available to ensure that he was able to be with her.  They were however swayed by the case put to them and sentenced our client to 6 months disqualification when the law suggested a 12 month disqualification as a second ‘totting’ situation within three years.


Our client attended court knowing that it was not the strongest of applications but wanting to try and needing to know that he had tried, that they had tried. They left the court, disappointed but not unhappy, they were ready to start moving forward with their lives, which did include their wedding just a few days later!


At Forrest Williams we tailor each case preparation plan to each client. We do not have a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. If you are due in court and facing a disqualification then give the Forrest Williams team a call. We promise to listen to you and to treat you as the individual you are and to work with you to ensure that the courts see you and not just the offence.


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