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Another Success For Forrest Williams

There are some cases that seem to last forever.


This week, one of those cases was finally ready for trial.


Mrs McGhee was accused of one charge of drink driving.  This incident occurred when she was at a very low point in life.


She was advised by Forrest Williams, specialist drink driving solicitors, to plead not guilty as the blood sample procedure had been conducted incorrectly.


Almost a year later, Mrs McGhee had taken many steps to get her life back on track, and yet because of Crown Prosecution Service delays, she had this case hanging over her all year.


She was apprehensive before the drink driving trial hearing this week at Buxton Magistrates Court.


She had already appeared at Court twice for her trial, and both times the case had been adjourned because of the Crown Prosecution Service’s failure to follow the Court’s directions.


Mrs McGhee told us after the hearing that she had found it especially comforting to have the same barrister, Sophie O’Sullivan, represent her throughout the case and that knowing there was a familiar, friendly face waiting for her each time in Court had made the ordeal much easier.


This week, Mrs McGhee attended Buxton Magistrates Court for her trial again.


Her barrister successfully argued that her blood sample procedure had been conducted incorrectly, and she was found not guilty.


Mrs McGhee was delighted with this result and that she can now move on from this chapter of her life.



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Drink Driving Solicitors at Lincoln Magistrates Court

Roberto Giovannini* was honest when he first approached us.  He told us he had been using the internet to search for drink driving solicitors who might be able to help with the summons he had received.  Like many of our first-time callers, he was ‘ringing around’.


We told him, as we do all enquirers, that we were happy to offer free initial advice with no obligation (or pressure) in terms of instructing us.  We actually encouraged him to call other companies, as a comparison, but advised him to take note of his ‘gut’ feeling when speaking about his forthcoming hearing at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court.


During our initial conversation, Roberto told us that he had been charged with drink driving (53mg in breath).  We advised him about likely sentencing by referring to the Magistrates’ Sentencing Guidelines, then discussed with him in detail what had actually happened on the date in question, so we could check if there might be any defence to the charge, or whether any of the 3 Special Reasons might apply.  (This is very important, as it could mean that a person avoids the automatic disqualification which is imposed as a result of being found guilty of a drink driving offence.)


Although none of the 3 Special Reasons appeared to apply in Roberto’s case, nor was there any obvious defence to the charge, he told us later that he was impressed by our thoroughness and by the time we spent discussing his case in detail.  In contrast, Roberto commented on other companies he has spoken to, who seemed motivated only by taking a payment from him, and pushing him towards a not guilty plea – and therefore higher fees.


Forrest Williams fully prepared Roberto’s case and he pleaded guilty to the drink driving charge, but with mitigating factors.  A long-term non-drinker, Roberto told us he had succumbed to having a few alcoholic drinks at a party, which was very out of character for him.  On further questioning, he told us that he had been suffering from depression of late, and that he had been acting out of character as a result.


Although Roberto’s reading of 53mg was not at the bottom of the lowest band, his barrister advanced mitigation relating to his good character, professional standing and recent illness and the minimum disqualification of 12 months was imposed by the court.  On completion of the drink drive rehabilitation course, Roberto’s disqualification period will be reduced by 3 months.


Given his guilty plea, this was the very best outcome for Roberto on the day.  He told us he was very pleased with the result and that he was glad he had appointed Forrest Williams as we gave him the impression from the very beginning that we really cared.  And we did.


*Client’s name changed to protect identity.


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Client Found Not Guilty of Failure To Provide A Specimen

When Susan Downes* first approached us, she was distraught.  Her first telephone conversation with a paralegal at Forrest Williams was long and halting, as she told her story between periods of silence and sobbing.


This experience is not unusual, however, and all staff at Forrest Williams are prepared to wait patiently and gently encourage the person at the other end of the telephone to tell their story, in their own time.  We understand that when a person is charged with an offence this is a deeply worrying and stressful time, and we are keen to offer support as well as free initial advice.


Susan told us that she had been charged with failure to provide a specimen of breath for analysis, after police had pulled her over as a result of them having noticed that one of her rear lights was not functioning.  She had been notified of a hearing at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court in just two weeks’ time.


Although Susan admitted to us that she had consumed some alcohol that night, whilst out with friends, she was most upset by the fact that the police officers who arrested her were of the opinion that she had wilfully refused to give a breath sample.


Susan told us that she had tried several times to give a sample, but that she had struggled.  We asked her about this.  Susan explained that she had had a chest infection for several weeks, and that she had consulted her GP about this.


On the basis of her medical issues, we advised her to plead not guilty.


In due course, a copy of her medical records was requested from the GP’s surgery, as well as a copy of the prosecution paperwork and the CCTV of the breath test room in the police station.


Susan was represented at her trial by a specialist motoring law barrister and was found to be not guilty.  She was very relieved about the court’s decision and gave thanks to Forrest Williams for supporting her through this long and difficult process, which took five months from the date of arrest to the trial.


Unfortunately, Susan is not alone.  Forrest Williams are approached by many people who have been charged with failing to provide a specimen of breath where there are clearly medical reasons for them not having been able to give a sustained breath, as required for the evidential breath test machine in station.  In addition, some people are too stressed and anxious to comply with this lawful requirement, which can also constitute a defence.  If you think this could apply to you, please call us as soon as possible on 01623 600645 to discuss.

For more details of how we can help go to our Failing to Provide a Specimen page.

*Client’s name changed to protect identity.


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