• Sundeep Bhatia

KEEPING YOU IN WORK AND ON THE ROAD by Sundeep Bhatia

There are many people working in the UK who depend on their driving license in order to carry out their job or in  order to run their business.

If you are a taxi driver or a bus driver then  you would lose your job if you were to be disqualified from driving.

If you are a salesman travelling the length and breadth of the United Kingdom then the loss of your license is also likely to lead to the loss of your livelihood.

Whatever your profession ,the loss of your driving license will, at the least, constitute a major, and possibly costly, inconvenience .

Losing your driving license is probably easier than you think.

If your driving license is endorsed with twelve penalty points over a three year period then you face a compulsory disqualification period of six months .

An offence of speeding carries an endorsement of at least three points.

If you are court speeding substantially over the speed limit then you may be immediately disqualified. The same applies if you are found to be driving with no insurance.

In the case of driving with no insurance your license would also be endorsed with at least six penalty points.

If you are found to be guilty of driving of dangerous driving then you would be disqualified from driving for at least one year .

Furthermore your liberty could be at stake for that offence or if you were to be found guilty of causing death by careless or dangerous driving.

If you are found to be guilty of driving whilst under the influence of alcohol then you could face disqualification from driving for at least a year.

If the amount of alcohol in your sample of breath or blood was found to be more than three times the legal limit then you could be sent to prison.

All these matters start at the magistrates court.

In some cases you could be interviewed at the police station.

The more serious matters could end up being sentenced or tried at the Crown Court.

At Beaumonde Law Practice we have more than twenty years experience of dealing with such matters and can assist at all three of these venues.

If you are facing disqualification because you risk your license being endorsed with twelve penalty points, over a three year period, then we may be able to help you to argue exceptional hardship if your disqualification were to cause exceptional hardship to others and if you had never previously put across exceptional hardship as a reason not to disqualify you .

If you plead, or are found guilty, of a driving offence where the court has a discretion as to whether to disqualify you then we can mitigate and put forward reasons why the court should not disqualify you from driving.

In the case of all offences we can help you put forward any defence that you might have and ,in some cases, can advise you as to whether you might want your case to be heard  in circumstances where the Magistrates give you a choice as to where you want your case to be heard at the magistrates court or at the Crown Court.

If you plead ,or are found to be, guilty then we can mitigate on your behalf (i.e. argue and persuade a court to deal with you leniently.

You should be aware that legal aid is not available for many of these matters. In circumstances where it is you may feel that it is prudent to pay privately for representation.

The reason for that is simple.

If you use a Duty Solicitor at a police station  then you will have no choice as to who comes to represent you at the police station.

Duty Solicitor services, at the police station, are currently being put out to tender at a fraction of  the fee firms were paid , per case, twenty years ago.

As a result there is an overwhelming temptation for firms to use less qualified and less experienced staff because they are cheaper.

At the magistrates court, and at the Crown court, legal aid is only available if there is a possibility of someone going to prison if they plead guilty or are found to be guilty.

For the vast majority of road traffic cases legal aid is not available because a person’s liberty is not at stake.

For those where liberty is at stake your earnings may push you over the limit for which legal aid is available.

Duty Solicitors are available at court, for imprisonable offences ,on the first occasion.

However it will be luck of the draw as to who is available to represent you.

It is also luck of the draw as how many clients the Duty Solicitor has to deal with on the day that you first attend court.

Moreover the fee law firms receive for criminal cases has been slashed over the last twenty years.

Once again the overwhelming temptation is to send less experienced staff to court.

If you value your driving license, or in some cases , your liberty, then an investment in your legal representation, is money well spent.

At Beaumonde Law Practice we have the experience to deal with your cases and can give you the care and attention that your case deserves.

Please do call us on 02088681614 or ,out of office hours,07803727534,if we can be of  assistance.

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