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Will I get Legal Aid for drink Driving?

A topical issue, police have been issuing warnings about drink driving during the World Cup. Despite this people will still get caught, often in my experience, because they tried to judge the amount they could drink and got it wrong. The only advice can ever be – don’t try and guess, get a taxi.

A conviction for drink driving can have devastating effects, often leading to loss of a job, loss of homes and breakdown of relationships. If you are caught drink driving and there is no defence you will get banned.

So do you need a lawyer? Even if you are pleading guilty a good Drink driving lawyer can help reduce the length of the ban and this can make a big difference to someone who needs to get back to work as soon as possible.

What if you can’t afford a drink driving lawyer? You are entitled to ask for the duty solicitor who can represent you at court. You might get lucky and get a good one but there is no guarantee. Some duty solicitors have been qualified for years, some just a year. Most  legal aid lawyers are overworked and underpaid. The  duty solicitor on the day may be acting for 10 other people including drug addicts up for their weekly court appearance. Frankly the druggy is more important to the legal aid lawyer, you are not going to be a repeat client but the lawyer may get a client for life in the druggy. So you may not get much personal attention in the 15 minutes between the duty solicitor getting the papers and being called into court.

You can of course arrange a lawyer before the day and they can apply for legal aid for you.

In order to qualify for legal aid you need to show 2 things, firstly that the case is one that needs a solicitor (this is called the interest of justice test). You are only likely to pass this test if there is a risk of prison or it is complex.

The second test is the financial test. You have to show that you cannot afford a solicitor. The court use a complex formula for working this out – this link helps you calculate whether you will qualify. //www.legalservices.gov.uk/criminal/getting_legal_aid/initial_means_test.asp

If you do not qualify for legal aid you may feel that it is worth investing in a specialist drink driving solicitor – for less than a month’s wages you gain quality drink driving legal advice andbe represented in court with the lawyer persuading the court to reduce the length of the ban.

For free initial specialist drink driving advice call 01623 397200 or click here Drink Driving Solicitor

Caught drink driving, what will happen?

If you are caught drink driving the first thing to realise is that the court has to disqualify you from driving for a minimum of 12 months. They have no discretion.

Don’t listen to the guy in the pub who tells you that he knew someone who avoided a ban for drink driving because it would have meant losing his job. IT’S NOT TRUE. Rather than listening to the bar room lawyer take advice from a specialist motoring solicitor. There is no way to avoid a ban for drink driving on the grounds that you will lose your job or any other consequences, this is regardless of how little you were over the limit.

There are ways to avoid a disqualification for drink driving, these are called special reasons and relate to things such as shortness of distance driven or where you can show that your drinks were spiked with alcohol.

So how long will you be banned for drink driving? That depends on the level of your reading. Assuming that there is nothing that makes the matter more serious such as a crash then the table below shows you what to expect. This is taken from the book that the magistrates will use in court when deciding upon sentence.

Remember these are only guidelines , a good specialist motoring solicitor may be able to reduce the drink driving ban by a couple of months or more. You may feel that it is worth investing in the services of a specialist motoring lawyer, especially if it means losing your job; being able to get back to work 2 months earlier may make a big difference.

Contact Steve Williams on 01623 397200 for free initial advice or click Drink Driving Solicitors for more advice

Do I need a specialist drink drive solicitor?

Do I need a specialist drink drive solicitor?

I am often asked this by clients. What can a specialist drink drive lawyer do for me? Breathaliser

There is rarely a defence to drink driving and often it is a case of damage limitation. The court must disqualify you for drink driving and the minimum disqualification for drink driving is 12 months.

So how can a drink drive solicitor help? For a lot of people a driving licence is crucial, it can mean the difference between being able to work and being unemployed.

There is no excuse for drink driving and the courts come down hard on those that are caught drink driving. The courts have a large discretion in terms of length of ban for drink driving. Say the wrong thing in front of the court and they will think you are not taking it seriously and increase your ban.

Expert mitigation by a specialist drink driving lawyer can make a difference in terms of the ban. A specialist drink drive solicitor will know the right thing to say to the court to show that you do understand the seriousness of the situation but also persuade the magistrates that you are not a risk to the public and that you can be trusted with a short ban.

If having a licence is essential for your work employing a drink drive solicitor to reduce the ban by a few months may well be a good investment.

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