Our lawyers at Hennah Haywood specialise in traffic offences and are familiar with the nuances of the law. If you've been charged with a driving offence, make sure you have a team of professionals on your side that know how to defend you and your driving licence.
For the most part, minor driving offences result in a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN). It is possible for police to issue an FPN on-the-spot or via royal mail.
Non-endorsable and endorseable FPNs are the two main categories.
There are two types of tickets: those that are "endorsable" and "non-endorsable" (points on your licence)
Depending on the severity of the offence, penalty points can remain on a driver's licence for some time. The period is dependent on the type of the conviction and sentence passed.
By paying the fine and accruing points, you can admit guilt and avoid a court summons, or you can contest the case. Before going to court, always obtain the advice of a lawyer.
Offences dealt with by a Magistrates' Court are considered major. A major offence can result in an unlimited fine, a driving ban, a prison sentence and a criminal record. Certain cases can be sent to the Crown Court also.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF OFFENCES?
Not wearing a seatbelt
Unless they are excused on medical grounds, all drivers and passengers aged 14 and over must wear a seatbelt if one is provided. It is the driver's responsibility to make sure that children are buckled up or in a child car seat that is appropriate for their size and weight. It's critical to understand the laws surrounding infant car seats, as they might be complicated. Failure to wear a seatbelt correctly can result in a fine of up to £500. A driver who does not wear a seatbelt faces a £500 fine and three penalty points. Any unrestrained minors under the age of 14 will result in a fine and points for the driver. Passengers over the age of 14 incur a £500 fine and two penalty points on the spot.
Driving without an MOT
If you drive without a MOT, your car insurance will be void, and you will be responsible for any repairs. Police can detect vehicles with expired MOT certifications using software called Automatic Vehicle Registration Recognition (AVRR). A fine of up to £1,000 may be imposed, and your car may be impounded. Due to not knowing the rules, many people drive without a valid MOT.
You don't have to wait until your MOT is about to expire to have it checked. You can have your vehicle MOTed at any time before it expires. If you're on your way to the MOT test centre, you can drive your car without a MOT. You cannot drive your vehicle if it fails the MOT unless the prior year's MOT certificate is still valid. Trucks that are less than three years old, cars and motorcycles built before 1960, tractors, and electric goods vehicles are all exempt from MOTs.
Driving without insurance
Police can detect uninsured vehicles using AVRR also known as ANPR equipment. You might face a fine, six points on your licence, and the impoundment of your vehicle. Your case may be taken to court, resulting in a driving disqualification and an unlimited fine, depending on the circumstances.
If you are driving someone else's car, you must ensure that you have the necessary insurance. If you're renting your vehicle to someone, be sure they're insured as well. If there is no insurance, both the driver and the owner of the vehicle may be penalized
Driving while disqualified
Police can easily detect ineligible drivers using AVRR equipment. Driving while disqualified is a serious, arrestable offence that can result in a six-month prison sentence, an additional driving disqualification, and a hefty fine. If a prison sentence is not issued, community service or a curfew will almost certainly be enforced.
Using a mobile phone whilst driving
For this offence, which involves using a phone while stuck in traffic, police can issue a £200 roadside charge and six penalty points. You can also go to court and face a fine of up to £1,000 as well as a driving ban.
In several places of the UK, mobile phone detection cameras are presently in operation.
This is the most prevalent traffic offence. A speeding ticket will normally cost you £100 and result in three points on your licence; you may also be offered a speed awareness course. Most people believe that if they exceed the speed limit by 10% + 2mph, they will be prosecuted, however this is not always the case. Those who exceed the speed limit by 45 percent are likely to be summoned to court, where they may face a hefty fine or a driving ban.
You have the right to appeal if you believe you were issued a speeding offence in error.
Driving too close to another vehicle (tailgating)
For tailgating, police impose a £100 fine and three penalty points on the spot. According to the Highway Code, drivers must leave a two-second distance between themselves and the car in front of them, and twice that on wet roads.
Driving without due care and attention
This includes everything from swerving to dashing between lanes on a highway. On-the-spot fines of up to £100 and three penalty points are possible. Major infractions will be prosecuted and may result in a driving prohibition and a fine of up to £2,500. If your offence causes harm or death, you could face a five-year prison sentence and an unlimited fine.
Dangerous driving is more serious than careless driving. It includes racing against other vehicles and overtaking dangerously.
If a dangerous driving offence is particularly serious, it can be referred to the Crown Court. A driver's licence suspension, an unlimited fine, and up to 14 years in prison are all possible penalties.
The legal alcohol driving limit in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland is 80 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood. The effects of alcohol vary depending on a variety of circumstances, such as how much you've eaten and your body size. You can be stopped and breathalysed by the police at any time.
Driving under the influence of alcohol can result in a driver's licence suspension, an unlimited fine, and up to six months in prison.
If you cause a death, you might face a 14-year prison sentence as well as a new driving test before getting your licence back.
When police suspect drug driving, they conduct roadside testing similar to when they suspect drunk driving. Not only illegal substances can cause a positive test; prescription medications like amphetamines and morphine can also impair driving ability.
An unlimited fine, six months in prison, and a one-year driving suspension are among the penalties. If you cause the death or harm of another person, the penalties are severe, just as they are if you drink and drive.
WHAT IS A NOTICE OF INTENDED PROSECUTION (NIP)
A Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) is a police notice notifying you that your crime has been recorded and that you may face charges. It's possible that if you get an NIP beyond 14 days, it'll be ruled invalid. For offences like as speeding, failing to obey a traffic sign, leaving a vehicle in an unsafe location, careless driving, or dangerous driving, an NIP may be given.
If you get the NIP within 14 days, ensure you respond by providing all the requisite information within 28 days. Failure to response to an NIP is also an offence.
WILL I GET A CRIMINAL RECORD
If you are convicted of a motor vehicle offence by a court, you will have a criminal record that you must disclose to insurance, possible employers, education course providers, and occasionally other nations if you intend to travel.
Your record is wiped clean and you have nothing to declare once your conviction is'spent.' The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act of 1974 governs the laws of spent convictions. Criminal convictions for driving offences usually expire after four years, though they can stay considerably longer for serious offences like drunk driving.
A criminal record can have far-reaching ramifications in every aspect of your life. Always seek legal guidance to discover whether there are any options for avoiding a criminal record.
We understand that these circumstances may be incredibly difficult – our team of experts will provide you with support and ensure that we utilise our time to protect your reputation.