The range of motoring offences is vast. Whilst many of them (speeding, careless driving, no insurance) can’t result in you going to prison, they can result in you losing your licence.
To most of us, the car is a vital part of every day and life would be very difficult without it.
This is a complex and hugely misunderstood part of the law. Our fully trained legal team has many years of experience, and that experience could well save your licence for you.
Whilst proceedings for some motoring offences qualify for legal aid, some don’t. Our private client rates are very competitive and it will be money well spent if you stay on the road as a result of having a solicitor speak for you. For the sake of a phone call, what have you got to lose?
Private Costs in Motoring cases
In cases where Legal Aid is not available, such as many motoring offences, we offer competitive charges, based on fixed fees, which will be agreed at the start of the case.
We will always provide carefully considered advice to all clients, taking account of the evidence and their instructions. We will explain the Court procedure to ensure that clients know exactly what is going to happen when they attend Court.
We offer a fixed fee appointment system for clients who wish to sit and discuss a new matter with one of our Solicitors face to face, to obtain initial advice on the options available. Our fee for that is £100 + VAT (£120) and we would request payment for that appointment in advance or on the day by cash, cheque or direct Bank transfer. We do not accept card payments unfortunately. If the decision is that we will continue to act beyond that initial appointment, then the £120 would be treated as part-payment of our basic fee, currently £360 including VAT
Cases such as speeding, driving without insurance or other documents, careless driving and driving with excess alcohol or drugs are often not considered serious enough by the Legal Aid Agency to warrant the grant of Legal Aid, but they are matters in which a conviction can have a huge impact on the lives of clients and members of their family, so it is important that proper advice and representation is obtained to minimise that impact.
In some cases where there is a risk of a points totting disqualification, it may be possible to put forward an ‘Exceptional Hardship argument’ which may, if successful, give a Court discretion to allow a person to continue driving despite carrying 12 or more penalty points on their licence.
Each case would be considered and detailed instructions obtained to ascertain whether such an argument is likely to be successful, although it can be very difficult to persuade a Court unless there are compelling reasons. Hardship such as loss of employment generally is not enough.
In cases which involve mandatory disqualification, such as driving with excess alcohol or drugs, and other offences that carry penalty points, it is occasionally possible to persuade a Court that there are ‘Special Reasons’, relating to the circumstances in which the offence has been committed. If persuaded, the Court may exercise discretion not to endorse with points or disqualify. It is, however, rare that a Court will find that Special Reasons exist but, in all cases, we will consider whether there is any realistic prospect of such an argument being successful.
Our fixed fees include the cost of us obtaining and considering the evidence in your case, taking your instructions, advising you on your plea and any possible sentence and representation in Court. If the plea is one of guilty we will endeavour to ensure that the case is dealt with in a single hearing.
The fee would also include the cost of us considering an appeal if the sentence passed appears to be manifestly excessive. It would not include the cost of preparation for and representation at an appeal hearing. For a guilty plea, the fee would not include the cost of interviewing witnesses.
In any case that proceeds in a different way, for example involving adjournment for a Special Reasons Hearing or a trial, the fee would include the cost of interviewing any witnesses and all necessary preparatory work to ensure that the matter is fully prepared for the final hearing. The fee would include representation at that final hearing.
We cannot give any accurate indication of when a hearing will take place on the allotted day, as this is a factor out of our control and depends on the Court listings for that day. We will, however, make every effort to ensure that the case is heard as soon as possible.
All figures quoted include VAT, but exclude expenses such as expert’s reports, which may be required in some contested cases.
The figures below are for cases proceeding in the Swindon Magistrates Court. All figures include VAT at the current rate.
For Courts elsewhere in the UK, there would be travelling costs and expenses payable in addition and a quote would be provided for the additional cost at the outset.
For a matter which involves a single hearing and a guilty plea £360
For a matter which involves an Exceptional Hardship argument £480
For a matter which involves a Special Reasons Hearing £720
For a matter which involves a Not Guilty plea and a trial £2,100
Any work that is necessary in addition to the steps set out above will be charged at £210 per hour including VAT. The cost of any additional work will be agreed prior to being carried out.
Work on Road Traffic cases will be carried out by our team of Solicitors and caseworkers under the supervision of the Directors, Gordon Hotson and Robert Ross. Details of our advocates and caseworkers can be found here.
All staff members work exclusively in the field of criminal defence.