Speeding Driver At 70mph in a 40mph Avoids A Ban
For many people a speeding matter can be their first (and only) contact with the law and the criminal courts process.
We recently helped Sarah through such a case. Sarah was running errands one day and was joining a busy dual carriageway. She was very aware of the cars around her merging lanes and the approaching roadworks which were causing the cars ahead to group up closer. She was so focused on what was going on around her that she had failed to see the sign altering the speed limit on the slip road. Sarah was, going with the flow of traffic, travelling at 70mph in a now 40mph limit. Sarah, and all those around her, were now guilty of an offence and thanks to the recently installed cameras, had been caught breaking the law.
When she received the notice of intended prosecution, Sarah signed it, returned it, and expected to receive a fixed penalty notice imposing three points and a £100 fine. Instead, she received the court summons and was surprised but, upon reading it, saw that she could enter a plea by post, so did so, explaining to the courts what had happened, apologising and waited to hear from them.
Sarah did not dispute the offence, she fully accepted she must have been doing the speed if the police said she was. She was surprised, as she told us she was in a flow of traffic, so if she was caught so were a lot of others, but she does recall seeing the sign when she had travelled the same journey a few days later and believes it was probably there at the time. She also advised us of a second, smaller sign, further up the slip road.
She was very shocked to receive a letter from the courts after her hearing date advising her that they were considering disqualification and that she needed to attend court or be disqualified in her absence. The penalty for driving at 70mph in a 40mph limit is a 7-56 day disqualification or 6 points. Sarah had not realised the severity of the potential penalty against her and the initial court paperwork held no indication of this.
Sarah was accepting of the charge and that she would be punished for this. What she needed to do, for the same of her family and those employed by her development business, was ensure that the penalty imposed by the court was understanding of her situation.
Sarah had a clean licence, which had been clean for some time. She had never been disqualified from driving, and had never been in trouble with the law. She was a mother of two, a respected business woman, and she was scared. She was scared because she knew that without her licence she would need to place a hold on her next development project as she would not be able to fulfil the requirements of being the project manager but simultaneously could not afford to hire someone to fulfil that position for the duration of any disqualification. She works closely with a number of subcontractors to the point that though they are subcontractors she is able to supply enough work to keep them pretty much permanently engaged, so any downtime for her would mean a knock on consequence for those individuals too. Her daughter would struggle to get to her work experience placement, and her son would struggle to get to school. To Sarah this was not going to only impact upon her, the ripples to those around her would be devastating.
We worked with Sarah to build a case to ensure the court would be aware of this. We arranged for one of our specialist Barristers from our London chambers to accompany her to Maidstone Magistrates Court and ensure the courts knew what they needed to know when passing sentence.
Sarah was thrilled when the courts ordered that her licence be endorsed with 6 points. A terrific result with a high speed offence as the courts will almost always be looking to disqualify and need to be persuaded otherwise.
If you have a legal matter and need advice give the Forrest Williams Team a call. If you want your case handled by a firm who pride themselves on customer care, who will listen to you, your needs and your views, understanding that it is your case, then trust the Forrest Williams team and give us call on 01623 397200.
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