I’m Being Prosecuted For a Driving Offense in the UK – What Do I Do?
If you’re being prosecuted for a driving offense you can feel very miserable indeed – no-one ever intends to drive with excess alcohol in their bloodstream, everyone knows driving without insurance is wrong, but mistakes can be made by even the most well-intentioned people.
Even if you made a genuine mistake you’ll still feel guilty; you put people at risk – yourself and others. You’ll have very mixed feelings; you’ll feel remorseful and ready to accept your punishment, but you’ll also be worried about the effect the prosecution will have upon you, your family and your job.
If you lose your licence as a result of your prosecution, you could lose your job as well. You could also lose the ability to drive your children to classes, or older relatives to medical appointments. For some offences like speeding and using a mobile phone your legal representatives can put forward exceptional hardship and this can sometimes help you to keep your licence, especially if you have a good legal team as strong lawyers can often result in the best outcomes.
You were speeding
More than 100,000 UK drivers are caught speeding every year. Most cases are dealt with by a Fixed Penalty Notice – a £100 fine and three licence points. If you were well over the limit, though, or if you contest your penalty, you will have to go to court. More serious speeding cases result in fines of up to £1,000 (it can be up to £2,500 if you were on the motorway). Your lawyers will look for inconsistencies in the police procedure or in the prosecution case.
You will be banned if you were 50% or more over the speed limit; there’s no way out of that. However, your legal team could reduce the term of the ban.
You already have quite a few points
If you’ve committed a number of minor offences and you’ve accumulated 12 points within three years, you’ll probably face a totting-up ban. This ban can affect someone who’s been unwise and unlucky three or four times – fiddling with the CD changer, applying lipstick – but you can plead exceptional hardship.
You were driving without insurance
Driving with no insurance is very serious – if you have an accident you can leave the innocent party high and dry with no financial help. This can earn you eight points and a £5,000 fine. However, good lawyers can plead special reasons and help you to avoid, or at least reduce, your punishment.
You’ve been accused of driving dangerously
This is another serious offence. It can lead to a two-year prison sentence and a ban of at least 12 months. Legal help can mean you avoid jail and a ban, or reduce both.
You were drink-driving
Driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal and it’s probably the offence that’ll get you the most opprobrium. You can be imprisoned for at least six months; more if there’s a serious or fatal accident; and you’ll be banned for at least a year.
Your legal team could find technicalities in your case, or argue that you have medical reasons for your high breath test result.
Being prosecuted for a driving offence can be a scary and lonely time, so don’t face it alone and with no help.