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