Is It Too Late To Get A Solicitor?
We are used to dealing with clients who seek our advice very close to their Court date, and in particular we helped one client last week despite his last minute call to us for assistance. Charged with speeding – at nearly double the speed limit – he knew a ban was highly likely so had been doing his very best to ignore the situation. He contacted us on Tuesday morning to ask for help – believing his case was due in Mansfield Magistrates Court on Thursday.
We immediately began preparing his case, working with him to build the strongest possible case we could. A quick call to the court to check a few details brought the realisation that actually he was in court the very next day! Understanding that the client needed to know that we had his case in hand we wanted our Senior Partner, Steve Williams to cover it, and feeling that the client would feel even more worried with the case even closer we asked the court if they would consider moving the case to the Thursday, which they agreed to do.
A case can be prepared in 24 hours if really necessary but 48 is always better and if you want to give us 72 or more then that can be really helpful!
We were able to reassure the client that we had his case in hand and that we were going to fight for him – no promises were given but he knew we would do our very best. Our client had no excuse for his speed, he was running late for work and as he worked shifts the early start meant the roads were clear so he was just sailing along making up time. He knew it was wrong, he just needed to try and limit the long term damage this could cause. It was a momentary lapse in an otherwise clean driving history. Together we compiled a portfolio of evidence to show the court the negative impact a disqualification, however short, would have on him and those around him.
The client had his licence endorse with 6 points – a fantastic result for a speed which suggested a disqualification of up to 56 days – especially considering the lack of mitigating factors to explain why he was doing that speed.
For this client a last minute call for help was a wonderful investment – his licence was safe, there was no risk to his job, or to the support he offered his parents. We were able to help him.
We like to think that we can help every person that contacts us. We understand that for most people this is their first time dealing with the courts, and that it can be intimidating and terrifying.
I had a wonderful conversation with a lady who rang for advice on Friday – also due in Mansfield Magistrates and absolutely petrified that she too was going to lose her licence, her job, her house. She’d been driving for 20+ years, never had an accident, never had a ticket before – charged with 36/30 and called to court. A quick review of her papers and a chat and it was clear that this was a simple misunderstanding – she’d paid the fine and returned all the necessary police forms but had got confused about what to send back and hadn’t included her driving licence – so the matter was passed to the court. I explained the process and she was in tears with relief. She didn’t need a solicitor in court with her – but she did need to talk to someone who could tell her what was going on – instead of listening to horror stories from friends or researching on the internet.
If you are charged with an offence give the Forrest Williams team a call on 01623 397200. It’s never too late to ask for advice – even if you’ve just been convicted and want to know if you can appeal – we will promise to answer your questions open and honestly.