Home / Legal Areas / Criminal DEFENCE / DRIVING OFFENCES
From drink driving to speeding, to driving without a license, driving offences covers a huge array of areas, each coupled with its own legal penalties. This page takes a look at each individual driving offence, and what the punishments could be if you’re caught.
Contents for Driving Offences
ROAD TRAFFIC LAW
Driving offences are one of the most common crimes everyday people commit. They can carry heavy fines, penalty points and disqualifications, especially for repeat offences. Road traffic law is very complex and is tailored to protecting our roads and drivers.
There are various types of driving offences, the most common of which include:
1. Drink driving
3. Running red lights
4. Careless and dangerous driving
A driving offence may lead to you be disqualified from driving, which can have drastic negative impacts on your day to day activities. It can prevent you from working, seeing family and overall mobility.
Moreover, once charged you must disclose any convictions to your insurer and you may well have to pay an increased insurance premium. Where you feel that the charge is not correct or unjustified, you may be able to raise a defence.
You should know…
The two most important times you’ll want to seek the help of a lawyer or solicitor for a driving offence are if you are facing a ban, or if you’re required to go before the Magistrates Court. However, if you require a clean licence, or drive for a living, you might want to minimise the chance of receiving any points whatsoever.
what are the most common driving offences and what are their punishments?
Speeding is the most common driving offence in the UK. Your case will only be passed to a magistrates court when your spped is 45% over the speed limit, which could result in a driving ban or a large fine. Otherwise, the punishment for speeding is usually:
- £100 and three penalty points on your licence.
- You may be offered a spped awarness course as an alternative to points if you were speeding by a small amount.
using your phone whilst driving
Using your phone while driving can be really dangerous for yourself and others. While it is legal to use a hands free device, it is illegal to physcially use your phone, and can come with fines of:
- £200 roadside fines
- six penalty points
- court proceedings which could amount to a driving ban or a fine of £1,000
Dangerous driving, or driving without due care and attention, can cover a huge variety of areas, such as swerving, eating whilst driving and poor lane discipline. Potential punishment, depending on your case, could include:
- £100 roadside fines and 3 penalty points
- More serious cases can go to court and could result in a fine of £2,500 or disqualification
- If you’re involved in a crash, you could recieve a driving ban, an unlimited fine or up to five years in prison
Dangerous driving can be a really complicated matter, especially when other people have been involved. Dangerous driving can include driving aggressively, racing or overtaking in dangerous places.
Dangerous driving offences will be dealt with a Magistrates Court or Crown Court, dependent on the severity. Punishments could include a large fine, a driving ban or up to 14 years in prison.
Drink/ Drug driving
In England and Wales the legal alcohol limit for driving is 80 mg per 100 ml of blood.
If a police officer pulls you over and breathalises you, you could face a driving ban, an unlimited fine or up to 6 months in prison if you are over the limit.
This punishment is the same for drug driving. Both offences can result in a criminal record or getting car insurance in the future.
driving without a licence/ driving without insurance
Driving without a licence can also include driving underage and driving with a provisional licence without a supervisor. The normal punishment for driving without a licence can include possible disqualification, up to 6 points on your licence and a £1,000 fine.
Driving without insurance can trigger an automatic numberplate recognition camera, which could result in you being given a roadside penality of £300 and 6 points on your licence. Police can also seize an uninsured vehicle.
how can a lawyer help with your driving offence?
Driving offences are a complex area of law. If you have been issued with a serious driving offence, it could lead to you receiving a driving ban or even prison time.
Therefore, using an expert criminal litigation lawyer is essential. A criminal litigation lawyer can review the evidence at hand assess if it is substantial to hold up in court. It may be that the evidence which has been collected is not significant enough to lead to you being issued a driving offence.
Furthermore, if the evidence is substantial, a criminal litigation lawyer understands the nuances of the road traffic legislation and can assess if any mitigation circumstances apply to your situation. However, if there are no mitigation circumstances applicable, a lawyer can build you a strong comprehensive case and ensure you get the best outcome available to you.
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