Whilst very few people fall foul of the most serious criminal allegations, many people are accused of road traffic offences. Such offences are very often the most complicated because the legislation is wide and various. Many firms have emerged in recent years as specialists in this field. A driving licence is crucial to many people for a variety of reasons and local knowledge is in my experience vital. What is achievable in court is often exaggerated at the point of contact and the fees charged are very high given the expertise claimed. It is an example where a clear and honest approach in advice and service delivery in court is crucial. Credibility of a well-known advocate is very high in what a court and client requires when dealing with these matters, and it can make a difference to the outcome.
It is simply a fact that sometimes all that can be achieved is damage limitation, and being found not guilty, or saving a driving licence is not a realistic prospect, in my view this needs to be addressed at the outset so that an informed decision can be made about what if any representation is required and whether or not a difference can be made to the outcome. I think that that advice needs to be given up front, and whilst opinions will differ between professional advisers, you will get that advice from me and my firm at the first instance.
Court costs are now very high, case management is at the forefront of the courts mind when setting matters down for trial, and the wrong advice can cost a lot of money both in terms of defence costs, and prosecution costs as well. The risk v reward equation is now very different in magistrates courts, district judges will make full amount costs orders in the sum of many hundreds of pounds that people can ill afford to pay especially after they have lost a driving licence.
I would urge anyone to enquire of firms they may instruct does a Solicitor from your firm appear in that court regularly? Will that solicitor be appearing for me? Most specialists instruct agents or barristers. Whilst there is nothing wrong with that I think a client’s needs are better served when they are represented by the firm that will do the advocacy or if a barrister has to be instructed then those are professional instruction given to a barrister who can add something to the case.
I have extensive local experience and experience throughout the southwest of dealing with all manner of road traffic cases. In Exeter in particular but also in Cornwall and Somerset and Dorset. Most people have to plead guilty to Road traffic offences because that is the nature of the legislation, but there can in certain cases still things that can be said to a court to minimise the length of disqualification or amount of fine. In some cases avoid prosecution altogether by driver rehabilitation courses or in the case of the elderly driver surrender of licence. It often depends on which police force area you are dealing with. This is where local knowledge can save time and money, experience in my opinion is everything.