How to protect your driving licence
With driving offences more prevalent over the festive season, Shaun Murphy, senior partner at Edwards Duthie Shamash explains how to protect your driving licence.
For many, a driving licence is an important qualification that you never want to lose. The loss of a driving licence can be devastating. It could be the end of your job or the cause of enormous personal problems. Breach of driving laws can attract not only fines, but also the loss of your licence.
It need not be a serious offence that leads to the loss of your driving licence. An accumulation of minor offences can have the same effect. Minor transgressions of speed limits can lead to endorsements with penalty points. If you acquire 12 penalty points within three years, you face an automatic ban for six months, unless you can persuade the Court that this would cause you “exceptional hardship”. This can be a difficult threshold to achieve and is an area of law where expert legal advice can be essential.
If you have to attend Court, an expert solicitor can advise on how to approach a Court hearing, how to challenge evidence and best present your case. Good advice can help you achieve the best possible outcome. Even if you plead guilty, the procedure can be just as daunting and, of course, the outcome just as important. Your Solicitor would know what the salient points are that the Court needs to focus on to ensure a just outcome.
Driving cases can cover a range of offences. Some cases can attract severe penalties, particularly when others are injured. This can occur even when there has been only a momentary lapse of concentration on the part of the driver. It is not just the mistake that is taken into account, but also the consequences of that mistake. In very serious cases where there have been fatalities or serious injury, lengthy prison sentences can be considered by the Court.
Expert advice by a solicitor should be sought at all stages of the process. In serious cases, people can be arrested and taken into the police station to be interviewed. Good advice and representation by a Solicitor in the police station is essential if you want to ensure a fair and just outcome.
You should look to obtain legal advice at an early stage, the earlier the better. Even if you are not arrested, early legal advice is important. This can be the best step to take to ensure your licence is not in jeopardy. It may be that you have received a Notice of Intended Prosecution or a notice asking you to identify the driver of a car registered in your name. Before completing any such documents, seek legal advice. Your solicitor will be able to tell you whether there are any procedural defects in the notices as well as the consequences of responding, or not, to the information that has been requested.