Overview of Offences
Motoring Defence Solicitors can offer bespoke advice and representation on a range of road traffic issues and offences that are usually enshrined in the Road Traffic Act and The Road Traffic Offenders Act. These are the two main pieces of legislation that make certain acts a criminal offence. There are other pieces of legislation such as the Road Vehicles (construction and use) Regulations that are more concerned with its name sake, the construction and use of vehicles and what offences may arise from that.
The common factor between all of this legislation is that they are vast in scope and detail. General criminal lawyers often are not familiar with these Acts or the intricacies of the defences that may be available to those charged. Therefore it is beneficial to speak to a specialist lawyer to ensure that you receive the most accurate and up to date advice.
We specialise in defending motorists from road traffic allegations on a nationwide basis and encourage you to take advantage of our free advice service, so you can find out more about the position you may have found yourself in.
A summary of the most common cases we deal with are allegations of:
Drink Driving under section 5(1)(a) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 which can carry minimum a disqualification of 12 months. Many clients are surprised at how technical and complex drink driving defences can be due to the widely held perception that they are “less serious” offences compared to those most commonly associated with criminal law.
Despite its technical nature, we have a 93% success rate of defending our clients charged with this allegation and many assumed at the beginning of their case that they would have to plead guilty
Drug Driving contrary to section 5A of the Road Traffic Act 1988
2015 saw somewhat of an overhaul to how Prosecutions for driving offences relating to drugs were dealt with by the State with the intention of streamlining everything so it more closely resembled the procedure implemented in drink driving cases. Since it’s introduction in 2015, we have not lost a single case and 100% of our clients have been found not guilty of drug driving.
Driving Whilst Unfit through drink or drugs under section 4 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 is the section under which motorists were prosecuted prior to the introduction of a formal drug driving offence. It is less common since drug driving was introduced but motorists are still charged with this offence if the officer thinks they are under the influence even if they have not provided a positive sample. This is a key difference between drink/drug driving and driving whilst unfit as the former requires a positive sample to prove the motorist was over the limit whereas the latter does not
Failing to Provide a Specimen contrary to section 7(6) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 is motorists are charged with when the police require them to give a specimen, and they either fail or refuse to do so. If a motorist was under investigation for drink or drug driving but did not give a specimen, they cannot be convicted of either of those offences. This offence effectively ensures that motorists who fail to provide on purpose hopping to escape a hefty penalty will still face prosecution and the sentence the court can impose is almost identical in terms of severity to those of drink and drug driving.
Drunk or unfit whilst in charge of motor vehicle is probably one of the less known offences and comes under section 5 (for drunk) and section 4 (for unfit) of the Act. It is not uncommon for motorists to assume that they can sleep in their car whilst drunk and think that, in some circumstances, it is the right thing to do. These sections of the act however mean that you cannot be in charge of, or responsible for a vehicle whilst you are either over the limit or under the influence/unfit as a result of drink or drugs.
Dangerous Driving, Careless Driving and cases involving a Fatality amongst the most serious allegations that can be brought against a motorist as they usually occur when there is a more obvious victim (in most cases when there’s been an accident).
The offences are made out primarily in sections 1 – 3 (and its numerous subsections) of the Road Traffic Act and the offences carry some of the most severe and life changing penalties and the court process is a daunting experience. These sections of the Act create a number of offences which are:
- Dangerous Driving
- Careless Driving
- Causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs
- Causing death or serious injury by either
- dangerous driving
- careless driving,
- driving whilst unlicenced, uninsured or whilst disqualified
Ministers recently confirmed that the potential penalty for some of these offences is set to be increased to life imprisonment
These are the most common and serious offences we help motorists with daily and if you face charges then please take advantage of our advice service and give us a call.
The court process can often seem intimidating, frustrating and outdated but Motoring Defence Solicitors can help you deal with each step of the process with confidence in a potential outcome. Our success rates in our cases speaks volumes and demonstrates our ability to successfully defend motorists from road traffic allegations. Even if you not wish to defend your case at trial we can help you with the overall legal process and seek to minimise any penalty you face.
When do I Need a Solicitor?
One of the most frustrating things is knowing that motorists attend court on a regular basis unrepresented and having never sought advice but at the same time, there are circumstances when you genuinely do not need representation.
Do not take the risk of potentially making matters worse for yourself. Choose to attend your hearing well informed so you know that you are making the right choice in respect of plea and sentencing.
You can read more about our advice on when to instruct us by clicking here or giving us a call,a but we would recommend speaking to us if you are involved in any case:
- Relating to drink or drugs (including failure to provide)
- Involving a fatality
- That includes a sample of blood or urine
- That involves a procedure whereby you were a patient in hospital
- That involves driving at a very high speed; and
- Where the conviction will mean the points on your licence number 12 or more