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Motoring Offences

Are you facing motoring offence charges?
Experienced motoring offence lawyers at AMI Solicitors can help.

Motoring offences are defined as offences concerning driving. Prosecutions for road traffic offences are brought under the Road Traffic Act 1988, the Highways Act 1980, and the Criminal Damage Act 1971. Whether minor or major, motoring offences can land you in legal trouble.

AMI Solicitors offer robust criminal defence services to individuals facing motoring charges. We will help you identify the best course of action based on your unique circumstance.

Motoring Offence Process: What Happens When Drivers Are Charged With A Motoring Offence?

What happens when a driver is charged with a motoring offence depends on the kind of offence or penalty in question. Motoring offences are categorised into two types:

 

Minor Offences

These offences typically result in a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN), which is issued by the police either through the post or on the spot. An FPN may be non-endorsable or endorsable, depending on the offence.

A non-endorsable ticket leads to a fine while an endorsable ticket results in a fine and penalty points on the license. Based on the severity of the offence, the penalty points may remain on the licence for 4 to 11 years. Receiving 12 points within three years can cause a 6-month ban or more.

If you are charged with a motoring offence, you have two options. You can either accept the charge and pay the fines or challenge the charge in court. It is advisable to always consult with a motoring offence solicitor before appearing in court. The police may also decide to take no action, offer driver training, or issue a warning.

 

Major Offences

Major motoring offences are generally handled by the Magistrates Court. However, the Magistrates have the option of referring a case to the Crown Court if they believe their sentencing powers are insufficient.

Depending on the case, a major motoring offence may result in high fines, a driving ban, a criminal record, or a prison sentence. The maximum sentence for dangerous driving offences handled in the Magistrates Court is six months.

Individuals found guilty of reckless driving are typically subject to a 12-month driving ban restriction and an extended retest as a minimum penalty. Depending on the severity of the case, the Court may also impose a custodial sentence of up to two years in prison. Those convicted of causing death by reckless driving could face a prison sentence of up to 14 years.

Penalties and disqualification from driving can have a significant effect on your everyday life. It can also put a strain on your personal and professional life. Therefore, if you are charged with a major motoring offence, it is vital to get a solicitor specialising in these matters and build a credible defence.

While some driving bans are mandatory, you can still steer the results in your favour. A highly qualified and experienced motoring solicitor may help you avoid conviction or reduce the punishment severity.

Types of Motoring Offences & Penalties

AMI Solicitors provides expert legal advice on all major and minor motoring charges, including the following:

Motoring Offence Defences & Considerations

When a motoring offence is recorded against you, you will receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP). If the NIP is received after 14 days of the incident, it may be considered invalid. When you receive a NIP, make sure you fill in the required information and return the NIP within 28 days to avoid additional penalty points, fines, disqualification, and court summons.

However, receiving the NIP is just the first step. Different motor vehicle offences have their own set of defences and considerations. Therefore, you can still plead innocent or develop a defence with your motoring offence lawyer to ensure minimum penalty.

For example, failing to identify the driver of a vehicle is an offence that can lead to six penalty points. However, providing a suitable defence, such as being away when the notice was sent or not receiving it at all, can help you mitigate the situation.

Even if a defence is not possible, you may still have grounds to ask the court not to impose penalty points due to a “Special Reason.” These are the matters that appeal courts often take into account when deciding penalties for motoring offences. There is also a possibility of presenting the  “exceptional hardship” defence to avoid a driving ban if the driver accumulates 12 or more penalty points on their driving licence.

If you are facing a licence suspension, a ban, or a conviction for whatever reason, contact us to see how to best proceed. In the event of a criminal trial, we can advise you on if you have a solid defence and represent you in presenting your version of events to the court.

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