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SHOULD I GET A LAWYER FOR A SPEEDING OFFENCE?

In today’s world driving a car is vital to mobility, flexibility and freedom, but we can all make mistakes – driving too fast, driving below a reasonable standard, etc. Speeding is a controversial subject. In truth, it is the one crime most people commit, probably every day.

No responsible lawyer can ever say speeding is OK, not least because of the statistics on how speeding can kill, maim, etc. and create hazards for other innocent road users. This is all entirely true and I entirely respect the job the police do in trying to keep people’s driving within reasonable standards. Having said that, sometimes you can fall foul of the law and find yourself being prosecuted for a road traffic offence, possibly speeding. What can you do? Is it worth getting a lawyer?

In most minor speeding offences is probably isn’t, but there are two situations in which I think it is definitely worthwhile getting a lawyer, as follows:

If you are caught travelling at a completely excessive speed and risk disqualification from driving for a long period. You have a lot to lose. Unless you have ever been disqualified, you cannot imagine how difficult this will make your life and those of your family, employers, etc. It is worth doing everything you can to try and avoid it or minimise it.

Getting a lawyer on board can be helpful. They can advise you as to what factors the court will take into account and what factors they won’t. A lawyer can go into your circumstances with you in depth and work out whether it is worth arguing your position with the court and, if so, how that should best be done. This doesn’t even mean that a lawyer has to go to court with you. We deal with cases sometimes in making representations, which is more cost-effective and frequently gets very good results.

The other situation in which you might think about getting a lawyer is if you are what used to be called a ‘totter’. In order words, you find yourself faced with 12 penalty points whereby you are automatically disqualified from driving for a minimum period of six months unless you can come up with evidence of exceptional hardship.

Again, it is worth going through your circumstances with a lawyer, who will know what arguments are relevant and what arguments aren’t and will help you put together a case. In this cases you probably do need a lawyer to attend court with you, but again we have great success with that. If your case has no prospect of success, a good lawyer will tell you that at an early stage.

Legal assistance does not come cheap, but if it makes the difference between keeping your licence or not keeping it, or at least minimising the period of any disqualification, I have never known a client who has not thought that those costs were worthwhile.

If you would like advice on speeding offences, please contact Katherine Flashman Kitson on 01566 772375 or e-mail flashmankitsonk@parnalls.com.

The contents of this article are for purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.

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