Common Motor Offences
Most Common Motor Offences in the UK
General practice lawyers who deal with multiple areas of criminal law often aren’t fully familiar with the perfect legal arguments that can be used to defend your motoring offence case if you have been accused of any of the motor offences below;
Driving With No Insurance
If you are stopped by the police while driving without car insurance, your excuses for doing so are not important and you are considered guilty of the offence.
If convicted or you plead guilty you will receive 6 – 8 penalty points.
Many people find that their motoring insurance was cancelled without them being informed.
The Special Reasons Argument can be used if you can show the court that you genuinely believe that you had valid insurance in place.
Speed Limit Offences
As well as 3 to 6 penalty points on your driving licence, the penalty for speed related driving offences can include a driving ban, a fine and incurred court costs.
These allegations are becoming difficult to successfully defend without supplying expert evidence on your behalf.
Failure to provide driver details
Following a motoring offence, you will receive an S172 information request.
Not completing the request carries six penalty points on your driving licence.
Section172(4) and S172(7)(b) Road Traffic Act 1988 or the road traffic act offer two statutory defences.
You will need to demonstrate that you used reasonable diligence to establish who the driver was at the time of the offence, or that you didn’t receive the request.
Drinking and Driving
The maximum breath reading for drink driving in the UK is 35mg. A drinking and driving conviction involves a minimum mandatory driving licence disqualification of one year.
To defend your drink driving allegation, you have 3 possible defences; you were not the driver at the time of the offence, you were not in a public place, or you didn’t drink until after you had driven, rather than before.
Some motorists have also avoided a drink driving licence ban due to a genuine emergency requiring you to drive, or because they only drove a very short distance, as well as in circumstances where they were unaware that they had actually consumed any alcohol at all.
Drunk in Charge Related Offences
To be convicted of being drunk in charge of a vehicle, the prosecution need to demonstrate that you were in fact above the legal drink drive limit and that you were the person in charge of the motor vehicle at the time.
If you can prove to the court that you were not intending to drive until you were under the drink driving limit then you have a defence.
If convicted of these motor offences, you will be given either ten points as well as a possible discretionary driving ban.
Mobile Phone Motor Offences
You have to be holding and using a mobile whilst driving to be guilty. You also need to be using the phone for ‘communications’ purposes to commit a ‘driving with a mobile phone’ offence. However it’s also possible that holding a phone while using it to play music, or as a navigation device leaves you open to driving without due care and attention prosecution.
It’s always advisable to have a phone in a dash mounted holder to avoid any legality issues.
Mobile phone offences can be a grey area and different Magistrates Courts often have differing opinions on what constitutes an offence or not.
It is still an offence if you are stationary at traffic signals or a temporary hold up. You need to be parked with the engine off to be 100% legal.
Texting while driving is much more dangerous than talking on a phone because your eyes need to refocus from the road ahead to your phone and back again. Texting is becoming a much more serious problem on the roads and the police are cracking down on texting offences.
Without Due Care Motor Offences
To prove the motoring offence of driving without due care and attention, the prosecution are required to prove in court that the standard of your driving fell below that expected from a careful & competent driver.
Low speed car park bumps as well as undertaking offences are good examples of driving offences covered by driving without due care and attention.
The police can offer a Driving Improvement Course for driving without due care and attention offences as an alternative to prosecution.
Failure to Report an Accident
You are required to stop and offer your details following an accident if another vehicle, a person or to property has been damaged. In accordance with S 170 Road Traffic Act.
You must report the accident at a police station at least, within 24 hours if you were unable to provide your details at the time of the accident.
Carrying five – ten licence points or a discretionary driving ban, this is a serious offence.
If you can demonstrate to the Court that you didn’t know that damage had been caused and that it was reasonable that you weren’t aware that you had had an accident then you have a possible legal defence.
Because these are viewed by the Court as serious road traffic offences, you may face community service or even a prison sentence.
In order to be convicted of dangerous driving, your quality of driving has to be shown to have fallen below what is reasonably required, but also, it must also be clear to a competent driver that your driving was dangerous.
The penalty for dangerous driving is a minimum 12 month ban, a re-test before you can get your licence back and a custodial sentence.
No Licence Offences
Much confusion surrounds this road traffic offence.
If you were stopped driving without displaying L plates, or having never passed a driving test, then these would be endorsable offences.
A non-endorsable offence related to no licence would be if for example the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency asked that you return your current licence back to them and suspended your entitlement to drive.
No licence offences are often linked to not having valid insurance offences, where it is often suggested that having no licence means that your insurance is invalid. This is not the case.
Different Magistrates often get confused about whether this driving offence carries points or not, so make certain that you seek expert motoring law advice if you are charged with this road traffic offence.