Committing a motoring offence will often be the first and only time that many people find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Having probably lead a previously unblemished life, the experience of being arrested or receiving a Notice of Intended Prosecution can be both upsetting and frightening. Knowing how you can help if a loved one is charged with a motoring offence will do a lot to lessen their concerns and achieve a successful outcome.
How you can help
Firstly, find out what motoring offence they are being charged with.
The most common road traffic offences are:-
- Failure to give driver details
- Careless driving (also known as Driving without due case and attention)
- Dangerous driving
- Drink driving
- Drug driving
- Driving whilst using a mobile phone
- Failing to stop after an accident or to report an accident
- Driving without insurance
- Driving without a licence
Some are considered to be minor offences, including speeding, failing to stop and report an accident, and driving without due care and attention. When it comes to speeding, the first they may know of it is receiving a Penalty Charge Notice in the post, as it is quite common now for speeding prosecutions to be based on speed camera evidence.
If they have received any sort of ticket – a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN), a PCN or a Notice of Intended prosecution – it is important that they deal with it quickly. Delays in responding can result in an increase in the penalty and the loss of any chance to appeal against the alleged offence. Encourage them to act as soon as possible, according to the instructions provided. However, if they dispute the offence, they are going to need expert advice on how to respond.
Professional legal advice
Seeking professional legal advice is the next action you can take to help your loved one. Do this as soon as possible if there is any dispute regarding a minor motoring offence, but more urgently if they are being charged with a serious offence, such as dangerous driving, drink driving or causing death whilst disqualified.
If they have been arrested having a solicitor present at the police station will make a huge difference both to their understanding of the charges being brought against them and how the prosecution will proceed, and to the eventual outcome of their case.
This area of the law is extremely complex and the consequences of a successful prosecution can be life-changing. A prison sentence is the ultimate penalty but event losing their driving licence could have huge ramifications for their ability to work and affect not just them but many others too.
However, as motoring offences are seldom straightforward there is often something a solicitor can do.
To find out more about Edward Hayes LLP and how our solicitors can help by contacting us now on 01243 781431 (during office hours) or 0800 085 9684 (out of hours) or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org