Totting up 12 points
A court is obliged to disqualify a person for at least 6 months if they are convicted of any endorsable offence when the number of penalty points for that offence and any others which have to be taken into account reaches 12. The other points to be taken into account are those endorsed on his record for offences committed less than three years before the new one.
If you believe you are at risk of a penalty point disqualification and are worried about how you will be affected by it you should seek legal advice. If the court is presented with a well reasoned argument it may find that “having regard to all the circumstances there are grounds for mitigating the normal consequences of the conviction”. In other words that, even though you have reached 12 or more points, you may avoid disqualification. This is often called exceptional hardship but is not limited to that. If you face losing your livelihood or if others may be affected by your being disqualified, e.g family or employees, the court may take that into account.
We have considerable expertise in this area and can assist you in presenting your case to the court.
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?
- You will need an expert solicitor to defend and argue your case in order to keep you on the roads.
- 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.