UK Motorists Traffic Law Guidance
Solicitors who deal with general criminal law often aren’t fully familiar with the perfect legal arguments that can be used successfully to protect your licence if you have been accused of any of the driving offences below;
Failure to name the driver
Section 172 requests are sent to registered keepers of vehicles following a road traffic offence.
Not completing the request carries six penalty points.
The available defences you can use are Section172(4) and Section172(7)(b) Road Traffic Act 1988.
You will need to demonstrate that you used reasonable diligence to establish who was driving at the time of the offence, or that you didn’t receive the section 172 request.
Valid Car Insurance Motoring Offences
Irrespective of your circumstances, if you are stopped by the police while driving without insurance, you are assumed to be at fault and therefore guilty.
If you plead guilty or are convicted, your driving licence will be endorsed with 6 – 8 penalty points.
It is quite common for insurance to be cancelled due to a missing payment, and for the driver to be unaware that they are not legally covered.
If you can show you genuinely believed you had insurance, you can use a Special Reasons Argument.
Speeding – Points, Fines and Disqualifications
In addition to court costs, a speeding conviction carries 3 – 6 points on your licence, a discretionary ban and a fine.
In order to win your case in court and defend the alleged speeding offence, you will need to provide professional evidence to substantiate your legal defence.
Drinking and Driving
35mg is the maximum permitted alcohol breath reading for drinking & driving in the UK. A disqualification of twelve months is the minimum penalty for a drinking and driving conviction.
If you are going to win in court, defending a drink driving allegation, you have three options to do so, you can prove that you were not driving at the time, you can demonstrate that you weren’t in a public place, or you can prove that you had the alcohol once you had driven, rather than.
The three other possible drinking and driving defences are that you drove only a limited distance, that it was a genuine emergency or that you were not aware that you had taken alcohol before driving.
Drunk in Charge Motoring Offences
The two points that the prosecution are required to establish to secure a conviction are that you were over the drink driving limit and that you were in charge of the vehicle at the time of the offence.
If you were not intending to drive until you were under the drink driving limit and can demonstrate this to the court then you have a possible defence.
If you are found guilty then you face either ten penalty points on your licence or a discretionary driving ban.
To be guilty of using a phone while driving, you must be holding and using the phone.
Many Magistrates Courts view phone use while driving differently.
A stop at lights or a traffic jam is still considered to be driving.
Without Due Care Offences
The prosecution must prove beyond any reasonable doubt the level of your driving fell below that of a careful & competent driver.
Examples of driving offences covered by driving without due care are motorway undertaking offences, low speed car park knocks and suchlike.
Under certain circumstances, the police can offer you a Driving Improvement Course as an alternative to having to appear in court.
Fail to Stop
S 170 Road Traffic Act 1988 states that following an accident, if there is damage to either a vehicle, person or property then you are under a legal obligation to stop and offer your details.
You must report the accident to the police within twenty four hours if you were unable to provide your details at the time of the accident.
Conviction for this offence carries five – ten points on your licence or a discretionary driving licence ban.
If you didn’t know that you had caused damage and can demonstrate that it would be reasonable for you not to know that you’d had an accident then you have a possible defence.
Because these are viewed by Magistrates Courts as very serious offences, you may face community service or even a prison sentence.
Dangerous Driving Road Traffic Offences
Dangerous driving requires the standard of your driving to fall far below what is deemed to be standard. Also, it must be clear to a careful and competent driver that the driving is dangerous.
Dangerous driving is a serious offence and as such, carries a minimum one year driving ban, a complete driving re-test before you can have your licence back and possibly custody.
No Driving Licence Motoring Offences
According to Emma Patterson, of Patterson Law, one of the leading national motoring solicitors in the UK, there is often confusion surrounding this offence and Magistrates often need guidance from legal experts in court.
This offence depends on the conditions of your current driving licence, for example, if you have never passed a driving test and are not displaying L plates then the offence is endorsable.
If you have failed to return your licence to the DVLA when asked to do so and they suspend your entitlement, it is non-endorsable.
It’s untrue that your insurance policy is invalid in the case of ‘no licence’ offences, this is a misnomer, but is often prosecuted unjustly.
This driving offence is often misunderstood by the police and Magistrates Courts, who often aren’t sure whether the offence carries driving licence penalty points or not.