Mobile Phone Offences
It is illegal to use a mobile phone held in the hand while driving or while stopped with the engine on. If you break this law, even if you are otherwise driving safely, you could face a fine of up to £2500 dependant on the type of vehicle you were driving and three penalty points on your licence.
These offences apply simply if you are seen using a mobile while driving. If your driving is bad, or if there is a crash while you are using the phone, you could be prosecuted for more serious offences.
The use of a hand–held phone or similar hand–held device while driving is prohibited. A hand–held device is something that “is or must be held at some point during the course of making or receiving a call or performing any other interactive communication function”. A device is “similar” to a mobile phone if it performs an interactive communication function by transmitting and receiving data.
Examples of interactive communication functions are sending and receiving spoken or written messages, sending or receiving still or moving images and providing access to the internet.
While it is an offence to be seen using a hand held phone, regardless of whether driving has been affected, this is not the case for hands-free phones. However, if you are seen not to be in control of a vehicle while using a hands-free phone you can be prosecuted for that offence. The penalties are the same as for using a hand-held phone.
If you are facing allegations of driving whilst using a mobile phone, contact our specialist road traffic law specialists.
If you need legal advice and representation for a traffic offence which is being heard in the Magistrates Court then, in the majority of cases, we can help you for a fixed fee, plus our travelling expenses to the Court where your case is to be heard. Our travelling expenses are charged at 45p per mile for the distance from our office to the Court.
In the majority of cases we will agree to deal with your case at a fixed fee however if the case is more complex, it may be that in some cases the costs or fee may be greater than those quoted. If that is the case the fee will be agreed before you are asked to make a decision whether to instruct us.
Our fixed costs do not included the following:-
- Obtaining experts reports if required
- Costs of tracing witnesses
If you intend to plead guilty then our fee will be determined by how straightforward the arguments are to mitigate the sentence applied. Arguments relating to special circumstances or exceptional hardship are likely to be more complex, as are arguments which involve witnesses.
If the arguments are straightforward, then we will charge £300 plus VAT and our travelling expenses.
If the arguments are more complex, then we will charge £500 plus VAT and our travelling expenses.
Stages & Timescales
The Court case may start in a number of ways. You may receive a summons or postal requisition with a court date. You may be charged by the Police directly to Court from the Police Station. For most road traffic offences you will receive a Single Justice Procedure notice which you need to complete. If you are pleading guilty then it may well be that the case can be concluded on the first appearance. If there is to be an exceptional hardship argument or a special reasons argument the Court may adjourn for the hearing to take place, which can typically be for 4 to 8 weeks.
We will meet with you to provide initial advice to you on your options and the procedure, take your instructions and obtain evidence. Following this we will attend at Court for your guilty plea and prepare and present mitigation for you.
Not Guilty Plea
If you intend to plead not guilty then our charges will be determined by the expected length and complexity of the trial. The length of the trial will be affected by a number of factors including:-
- The number of witnesses
- Whether you have been charged with more than one offence
- If any expert evidence is needed
For a straightforward not guilty plea where the trial lasts up to an hour and a half, we will charge £500 plus VAT and our travelling expenses.
If the trial lasts up to half a day, we will charge £750 plus VAT and our travelling expenses.
If the trial lasts up to a full day, we will charge £1,000 plus VAT and our travelling expenses.
Stages & Timescales
The Court case may start in a number of ways. You may receive a summons or postal requisition with a court date. You may be charged by the Police directly to Court from the Police Station. For most road traffic offences you will receive a Single Justice Procedure notice which you need to complete. If there is to be a trial it will normally be listed two to four months after the first appearance at Court or the not guilty plea is indicated by the Single Justice Procedure notice. However, timescales vary from Court to Court.
We will meet with you to provide initial advice to you on your options and the procedure, take your instructions and obtain evidence. We will represent you at the first hearing and the Court will then set a date for a trial.
Following this we will deal with all case management, which will include meeting to discuss the case, advising you on evidence & plea, liaising with the Court in relation to what evidence will be presented to ensure the Court lists sufficient time to deal with the matter and fixing an appropriate court date
We will then prepare your case for trial and represent you at Court for the trial itself which will include cross-examining any witnesses and presenting arguments on your behalf. We will then advise you on the outcome of the trial.
Factors which may increase costs
- Defence witnesses that need to be traced and interviewed
- An unusual aspect of the law
- Need for expert evidence
Why use a solicitor?
- A solicitor is vital if you choose to challenge the allegation.
- A solicitor can represent you in court.
- You will damage your case if you do not instruct a solicitor.
- A solicitor will provide you with the best defence possible.
Why Watson Woodhouse?
- Our expert solicitors have a wealth of knowledge on the different possibilities and outcomes that are associated with this offence.
- We can properly advise you on what option is the best depending on your circumstances.
- We will review the strength of the prosecution’s case against you before advising you of the merits of your case.