Picture the scene, a packed courtroom, there in the defendant’s box is you, It’s difficult to imagine but that is the stark reality that faces a significant number of individuals each year who fall foul of this country’s Road Traffic Laws.
Our team are regularly called on for our Road Traffic Law experience as highly decorated Road Traffic Lawyers, acting on behalf of companies, individuals and taxi drivers (Have a look at our segment on Taxi Drivers, to expand on this)
Its one thing to be accused of poor driving but to fall foul of one of the various road traffic regulatory offences like operating a vehicle without a valid licence, ignoring traffic signs, uninsured driving, driving whilst disqualified or speeding; you should be very aware how quickly penalty points accumulate as a result this could lead to dismissal at work, or be detrimental to your circumstances.
From being accused of inadequate driving offences (such as neglecting to stop at appropriate signage to dangerous driving) or more serious drugs and/or alcohol-related offences, our legal team could be the difference between squandering or retaining your licence.
We frequently appear in courtrooms up and down the UK and will grant you direct access to some of the country’s foremost road traffic experts and research teams.
Road Traffic Law – Is a ban, Avoidable?
In more severe cases such as driving under the influence or death by unsafe driving, a ban is not only unavoidable, but it is essential. For lesser transgressions, disqualification is at the discretion of the court.
Legally speaking the totting up system carries a mandatory ban, the court does, however, have discretion in this matter and a totting up ban is avoidable if the court can be convinced of exceptional hardship or mitigating circumstance.
Before the imposition of any disqualification or an immediate ban, the Court will allow the accused one final opportunity with which to plead their defence. The Court will then take into account personal circumstances and the direct effect that a disqualification could have on the accused. If the accused can prove that having taken all this information into account that the sentence is a particularly harsh punishment, the Court can exercise restraint and allow the accused to maintain their licence.
Can I Escape getting a Ban?
It’s a general misunderstanding that if an accused party simply suggests that a driving ban would be an especially firm punishment, the Court will be sympathetic. The accused has to establish a defence by proving to the Court that such a penalty would be abnormally harsh.
The responsibility is upon the accused to prove that a driving disqualification should not be inflicted. This is not a straightforward task and it requires a knowledgable and diligent legal defence from a specialist lawyer.
There is no precise legal interpretation of Exceptional Hardship, this as previously mentioned is at the consideration of the Court and it will differ according to the circumstances of the accused.
The Court will automatically assume any resulting suspension will evoke hardship and will explicitly emphasise that is the goal of such disqualification. Nevertheless, if it can be proved that the indications would go far beyond that which would be rational, the Court can allow those conditions as being “exceptional” and adequate to justify punishment other than a licence postponement.
Private Hire and Hackney Taxi Drivers
Working closely with taxi drivers and frequently appearing on their behalf in court for both road traffic offences as well as accusations of criminal transgressions. As a consequence, we often appear at licensing board hearings across Scotland in the defence of both Private Hire and Hackney operators who face having their licences and more importantly their livelihoods endangered. You could be facing penalty points, criminal charges over violent/fare-dodging, whatever the circumstance we can assist.
If you are an operator that considers that you have been mistreated don’t take the law into your own hands. If you end up in a tough situation call the Police, when possible, drop off customers outside their houses or places of work and take note of the address.
Some operators still think that non-payment of fares or assault grants them permission to lock their car doors and drive frantically to the closest police station, but this usually results in often the same ‘drunken’ customers shrieking that they were captured, falsifying allegations and as a consequence, the driver ends up facing potentially serious charges.
We are the first to admit that the law is still far from competent in this regard which is why you need expert advice from lawyers who are ideally equipped to deal with both the criminal accusations and Road Traffic Law charges as well as presenting your case to the licensing board.
If you are facing a potential three points on your licence, this could result in a driving disqualification or worse, you could be facing a potential suspension of your taxi licence that could have a detrimental effect on your lively hood and personal life. We implement a reasonable fixed fee quote for this undertaking, however, your insurance may allow us to represent you at no additional expense to you.