Been arrested, charged or summonsed for a Driving offence?
At Emery Johnson we have an experienced team that deal with all aspects of driving matters, from speeding to dangerous driving (including the most serious driving offence of death by dangerous driving). Depending on your earnings and the nature and seriousness of the allegation, you may be eligible for legal aid! We also offer competitive private client rates for those who are not eligible for legal aid. Contact our Loughborough or Leicester office for further information. In some circumstances, it can be crucial to any defence you may have to seek expert advice as soon as possible.
If you are arrested and to be interviewed for a driving offence at the Police Station, you will always be entitled to free legal advice in person or via the telephone, and so you should not hesitate in taking up that right!
Types of driving matters that Emery Johnson has experience dealing with include:-
Drink Driving and Drunk in Charge of a motor vehicle
Dangerous and Careless Driving (including death by careless and death by dangerous driving) Penalty points on your licence (totting-up)
Failing to provide a specimen of breath
Vehicle Defect Offences
Traffic light offences
Failing to stop, Failing to report
Totting–up those points?
If a driver accumulates 12 points on their driving licence within any three year period, the law states that the court should disqualify the driver for 6 months minimum
In some cases, it may be possible to argue that you would suffer exceptional hardship where you face disqualification as a totter. Unless the court can be satisfied on the ‘balance of probabilities’ that exceptional hardship would follow, it must impose the mandatory disqualification. If exceptional hardship is shown, the Court can choose to reduce any disqualification or not disqualify you at all!
The court will consider whether if you were to receive a period of disqualification, if you would require either a financial and emotional hardship. They will not only consider what hardship you will suffer as a result of the disqualification, but also family members, employees and people that you might care for. This argument can only be used to avoid a disqualification once in any 3 year period so it is important to seek advice if you think you or others in your care would suffer some kind of hardship if you were to be disqualified.
If you are a new driver, you will be subject to the New Driver Provisions, and if you accumulate 6 points within 2 years of passing your driving test, your licence will be revoked and you will have to retake your theory and driving test.
You may have heard that it is possible to avoid a disqualification through special reasons. Unlike exceptional hardship, a special reason is a unique individual circumstance which relates directly to the commission of the offence. If the court accepts that a special reason exists then a driver may receive a lower disqualification or penalty, or in some cases, no penalty at all! It is important to remember that the driver will still have a conviction. So if you were charged with drink driving, and you accept that you were drink driving, but a special reason exists, a drink driver may be able to avoid the 12 month minimum mandatory disqualification.
What might constitute a special reason? Laced or spiked drinks or an emergency situation are examples of arguments for special reasons.
It is not easy to argue a case of special reasons! The court will want to know the nature and seriousness of the situation requiring you to drive, why nobody else could have driven or why the emergency services could not have assisted, whether the commission of the offence actually benefitted the situation and the risk posed to the public. If your drink was spiked, why you didn’t notice that you were under the influence.
If you need any advice in relation to the totting up of points, an exceptional hardship argument, special reasons, or anything else in relation to a driving offence, please get in touch to speak to someone in our specialised team.