Motoring offences can range in severity and penalties can vary greatly. If you’re faced with charges, we can help. Call 0191 2323048.
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Have you been charged with a driving offence?
Being charged with a driving offence, however severe, can be an alarming and concerning time in your life. Understanding the different levels of severity and the likely penalties you may incur can help you make sense of the situation. Many cases will require expert legal representation in order to minimise penalties and give you the best possible service throughout your case. At Beecham Peacock, our driving offence solicitors will help you understand your charges, which can range from simple faults through to major offences that carry custodial sentences.
You can be pulled over if your vehicle has something wrong with it – but this is usually a simple issue that a police officer will verbally warn you about and must be fixed at a mechanic. However, since the advent of the Vehicle Defect Rectification Scheme (VDRS) a police officer may issue you a note describing the issue. You must then have this fixed and provide proof via a receipt or inspection within 14 days. If you do not do this, you may be summoned to court where you can be issued points and also fined for EACH defect. If you receive summons, contact a driving offence solicitor immediately.
Minor Driving Offences
Minor driving offences are dealt with via fixed penalty notices (FPN). Minor offences must be declared to your insurer, which can affect your premium. These offences vary, but are typically:
- Driving without a seatbelt.
- Low-level speeding.
- Driving on the hard shoulder.
- Careless/inconsiderate driving – although this can be deemed severe and sent to court.
- Driving too close to another vehicle (tailgating).
- Driving whilst using a mobile phone.
Fixed penalty notices vary in severity. Non-endorsable FPN’s do not carry points while endorsable FPNs do. FPN fines range from £50 up to £300, although the highest fines are reserved for the most serious minor offences. For example, driving whilst using a mobile phone carries a £200 FPN that places six penalty points on your licence and driving without valid insurance gives you the maximum FPN fine of £300 – but can also land you in court for an unlimited fine and driving ban. If you dispute any of these notices, contact Beecham Peacock to serve as your driving offence solicitor.
Major Driving Offences
Major driving offences are those that typically go beyond a fixed penalty notice. Like minor offences, they range in severity, but most will result in heavier fines, driving bans or custodial sentences.
- Speeding – Speeding is a common offence and many instances are treated as minor. However, it is up to the officer’s discretion on the severity of your offence. Speeds of more than 45% over the speed limit are passed to magistrates court, where you face fines or bans.
- Dangerous Driving – Deemed more serious than ‘careless driving’, this offence covers driving aggressively, overtaking dangerously and racing. Dangerous drivers face magistrate or crown court depending on severity and can be given an unlimited fine, a driving ban or up to 14 years in prison.
- Drink or Drug Driving – 3000 people per year are killed on average in drink driving collisions in the UK. If you are caught with an alcohol level of more than 80mg per 100 mililitres of blood, you will face a possible driving ban, an unlimited fine and up to six months in jail. If you are tested and are over the limit, contact Beecham Peacock to talk to a Drink Driving Solicitor. Roadside tests are also issued for drugs and if you are found to be drug driving you face bans, fines and custodial sentences.
Why choose Beecham Peacock as your driving offence solicitors?
The penalties for driving offences can be severe, so understanding your case and your options is valuable. Beacham Peacock are experts in motoring offences and can help you understand the punishment you’re likely to face and also to represent you at any court hearings. We are the trusted solictors for some of the largest trade unions as well as professional drivers such as lorry and taxi drivers – so you know you’re in good hands.
Call us on 0191 2323048 to discuss your case.
Offences differ from accidents. If you’ve been in a road traffic accident as a driver, passenger or even pedestrian, we can help you. Visit our road traffic accident page to learn more.
All the staff at Beecham Peacock are friendly and professional. From start to finish, I knew I was in safe hands.