Top Motoring Offences in the UK
General practice lawyers who deal with multiple areas of criminal law often aren’t fully familiar with the intricate legal arguments that can be put forward on your behalf if you have been accused of any of the driving offences below;
Fail To Provide Driver Identity
After a driving offence, you will be sent a S172 information request. Not completing the request carries six penalty points on your driving licence.
You have 2 possible defence options, Section172(4) and S172(7)(b) Road Traffic Act 1988.
This allegation can be defenced if you either didn’t receive the s.172 request to do so, or you used reasonable diligence to pin point who was driving but were unable to do so.
Motoring Insurance Driving Offences
If you are stopped by the police while driving without car insurance, your excuses for doing so are not considered and you will be considered guilty of the offence.
Your licence will be endorsed with six to eight points if you plead guilty or are convicted.
It is quite common for insurance to be cancelled due to a missing payment, and for the driver to be unaware that they are not legally covered.
A special reasons argument can be used if you can show the court that you genuinely believed that you had insurance in place.
The penalty for speeding offences is three – six penalty points on your driving licence, a discretionary driving ban if warranted by your offence, costs as well as a fine.
Speeding allegations are becoming complicated to successfully defend without expert evidence on your behalf.
The drinking and driving limit in the UK is 35mg in breath. A one year driving licence disqualification is the minimum mandatory licence disqualification if convicted of drinking and driving.
You have a valid defence if you can demonstrate that you either weren’t the driver, weren’t driving on a public road or place, or that you didn’t consume the alcohol until after you had driven.
The three other possible drink drive defences are that you drove only a very short distance, that it was a life threatening emergency or that you were not aware that you had consumed alcohol prior to driving.
Drunk in Charge Offences
Not only do the prosecution need to show that you were the person in charge of the motor vehicle, but they also need to show that you were over the drinking and driving limit.
A possible defence is to demonstrate that you were not intending to drive the vehicle until you were under the drink driving limit again.
If found guilty of drunk in charge of a vehicle then you will receive 10 points and a possible discretionary driving licence ban.
Proving that you weren’t intending to drive while drunk can be difficult. Experienced motor law solicitors Patterson Law can guide you through the perfect defence for your circumstances.
A mobile phone motoring offence is deemed to have been committed if you are holding & using the phone while driving.
The opinion of many Magistrates varies widely for this offence.
Being stationary at junctions or in a temporary hold up is still classed as driving.
Driving Without Due Care and Attention
A conviction for driving without due care and attention requires the prosecution to prove that the quality of your driving fell below the standard expected from a careful & competent driver.
Without due care covers driving offences from car park scrapes to offences such as undertaking on a motorway.
The police can offer a Driver Improvement Course for without due care offences as an alternative to prosecution.
Failure to Stop Motoring offences (Hit & Run)
If, after an accident, damage was caused to property, another vehicle or to a person, then you have a legal obligation in accordance with Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 to stop and offer your details.
In circumstances where you weren’t able to exchange, you are required to report the accident to a police officer as soon as is practicable and at most within 24 hours.
Failing to stop or report carries 5 to 10 penalty points or a driving ban at the Magistrates discretion.
It is possible to legally defend this allegation if you were unaware that you had caused damage and can demonstrate to the Court that it would not be unreasonable for you not to know that you had been involved in an accident.
Because these are viewed by Courts as really serious driving offences, you may face community service or even a prison sentence.
Dangerous Driving Road Traffic Offences
To be convicted for dangerous driving, the standard of your driving must fall beneath what is required, but also it should be clearly obvious to a competent and careful driver that at the time, your driving was dangerous.
Dangerous driving is a serious offence and as such, carries a minimum one year driving ban, a full re-test before you can have your licence back and possibly a prison sentence.
Driving With No Licence
The offence of driving without a valid licence often causes confusion.
Driving without having clearly visible L plates, or driving without ever passing a driving test are two examples of endorsable offences of this type.
If the DVLA instructed you to return your licence to them and they suspend your entitlement, the offence is non-endorsable.
It is not the case that ‘no licence’ means that your motor insurance is invalid.
Different Magistrates Courts quite often get confused about whether this driving offence carries penalty points or not, so be sure to seek expert motoring law advice if you are charged with this offence.