Road Traffic Offences
At Sinclairslaw we pride ourselves on providing our clients with the best representation possible. Our industry is very competitive and our years of experience and high calibre lawyers means that we are always at the forefront of dedicated legal representation.
In addition to the broad range of criminal work we undertake we also have a dedicated road traffic law department to deal with all aspects of this complicated area of law. We appreciate that a persons driving licence is their livelihood, to lose a licence or have more points added than necessary can have a serious impact on both family and finances. Bearing this in mind our clients will have the assurance of knowing that our lawyers will do everything within their power to ensure the best results possible.
If you have a matter for which you need assistance then you can arrange an appointment with any one of our specialists who will be happy to advise. Our initial no obligation consultation fee is set at a competitive £100 plus VAT.
If you decide to be represented by us then this fee will be deducted from your final bill. In terms of cost, each case is different and requires a different amount of skill and time. Therefore our no obligation quote will be based on your personal circumstances.
Within our department in Twickenham, Greater London, the three principal advisors are:
George Keppe, Gary Coughlan and Rabin N. Govindarajah. Please refer to the criminal section for their respective profiles.
Most Common Offences
There are simply too many offences to list on our site. However to provide some assistance we have identified the main offences which we hope will help those in gaining an idea of what they could be facing. The below information is provided as a general guide and does not constitute legal advice for an individual’s case. It should also be noted that the below offences do have specific defences and varying sentences which can be discussed further after an initial consultation.
Drink driving (Obligatory Disqualification and fine)
If a person’s alcohol exceeds the prescribed legal limit then you could be guilty of this offence. When the police suspect a person may have committed this offence it is common for a sample of breath to taken at the roadside and then again at the police station in order to establish the alcohol level. Other bodily samples can also be taken at the police station, including blood.
Driving whilst unfit through drink or drugs (Disqualification and fine)
If there is evidence of impairment either because of drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol, you may find yourself facing this charge.
Speeding (3-6 points, fine or disqualification)
If you exceed the prescribed speed limit then you could face the above penalties.
Notice of intended prosecution and failing to furnish (Points and fine)
If you have received one of these it will normally be accompanied by a request for to provide details of the driver at the time of the alleged offence.
The Notice of Intended Prosecution may be defective depending on when it was officially served upon you. This may lead to discontinuance but will require one of our team to advise on this. It is important to seek advice before the notice is returned.
The recipient has a duty to respond providing any information within his/her power under Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. This may apply to drivers, registered keepers or even persons deemed to have information within his/her power to provide.
A failure to comply with a valid Notice could result in an endorsement of 6 penalty points.
Totting up (6 month disqualification maximum)
If a motorist acquires 12 penalty points within a 3 year period then they can receive a minimum disqualification of 6 months unless they successfully argue that such a disqualification would cause them exceptional hardship.
Failure to provide specimen (Disqualification and fine)
It is an offence for a person who has been required to provide specimens for analysis to fail without reasonable excuse to do so. Specimens are normally required when an individual is pulled over on suspicion of driving with excess alcohol or driving whilst unfit.
Use of Mobile Phones (Points and fine)
Section 41D of the Road Traffic Act 1988 creates an offence to use a mobile telephone or other similar device in a hand held capacity whilst driving.
Dangerous driving (Disqualification, community sentence or imprisonment)
The prosecution must prove that the manner of driving fell far below the standard of a competent and careful driver. They must also prove that the driving is likely to cause danger of personal injury or serious damage to property.
A term of imprisonment is a common sentence for these types of offences. In addition you could be subject to a minimum disqualification from driving of at least 12 months and maybe ordered to take an extended re-test.
Death by dangerous driving (Disqualification, imprisonment)
Causing Death by Dangerous Driving is the most serious of road traffic offences and it will always be dealt with at the Crown Court.
The prosecution must prove that you have driven dangerously by showing that your driving has fallen far below the standard of the competent and careful driver and also that it was obvious to a competent careful driver that the manner in which you drove was dangerous, i.e. that there was a considerable risk of damage or injury.
In addition, it must be proven that the person’s death was caused by the manner of your driving. This does not have to be the only cause of death, if it is a cause of death, then this would be sufficient for the Judge to direct the jury to convict you.
The maximum prison sentence has increased to fourteen years. You would also be disqualified for a minimum of 2 years and as with all dangerous driving convictions, you would have to pass an extended driving test at the end of the disqualification period for you to have your license restored.
Driving without due care and attention (Points, disqualification)
Careless driving as it is sometimes referred to is committed when a person drives a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place.
To secure a conviction, it has to be shown that your driving standards departed from that of a reasonable and prudent driver in all the circumstances.
There is a distinction to be drawn between careless and dangerous driving and it is in essence a matter of fact and degree.
Death by careless driving (Disqualification, imprisonment)
This offence was introduced by the Road Safety Act 2006. Section 20 of the Act states that it is an offence to cause death by driving a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place.
A person will be guilty of the offence if the way he or she drives falls below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver. This is an either way offence which means it can be dealt with either in the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court. A driving disqualification is mandatory.
Driving with no insurance (Points, fine, disqualification)
This is a strict liability offence which is punishable by the imposition of 6 penalty points onto the driving licence of the driver and/or the person permitting use of the vehicle without insurance.
Traffic Lights Offence (Points, fine)
It is an offence to go through a traffic light whilst it is displaying anything other than a green light. Normally it is endorsable with a 3 point endorsement. However in certain circumstances a defence maybe available to you.
New driver law
The New Drivers Act 2005 introduced a 2 year probationary period for new drivers. If a new driver accumulates 6 points within the first 2 years then their licence will be revoked.
This is different to a disqualification as no fixed period applies. Certain defences may apply however.
In order to avoid the 6 months disqualification exceptional hardship can be argued. Showing just hardship is not enough. Each case has its own set of circumstances therefore our team after speaking to you can decide if this defence would apply in your case.
Tachographs (fine, imprisonment)
It is an offence to use certain vehicles without a fully working tachograph. Certain defences can apply.
Special reasons can apply to many cases. This could result in avoiding the usual sentence which would be expected for such an offence. Special reasons could be laced drinks, driving a short distance or driving in a genuine emergency. These are just examples and again each case would have to be advised upon individually.
- Attending the first hearing (any plea) – £250 – £500 plus VAT to include full preparation and a 30 minute conference prior to the hearing to advise on plea.
- Attending a trial – between £500 – £2000 plus VAT to include full preparation, one conference and attendance at a one day trial. This fee does not include any additional days in trial.
Barrister’s fees may be charged in addition to the above.
Subject to location, cases will be dealt with by Gary Coughlan, a legal caseworker with 30 years’ experience in criminal law, George Keppe, a solicitor with 37 years’ experience in criminal law or Gregory Evans, a solicitor with 35 years’ experience in criminal law who is also the department supervisor. You may be represented at court by the Firm’s In House Barrister Matthew Wyard who was called to the bar in 2014.