SHOULD BRITS BE CHALLENGING MOTORING CONVICTIONS? Wednesday 2 April 2008 PDF Print - Two million drivers hold six points or more on their licence(1) A new online service which aims to advise motorists on where they stand legally on various motoring prosecutions has been launched. Without a licence, the impact on an individual’s independence, social life, earning potential and even job security could be at risk. Driving-Law.co.uk advises motorists whether they have a case to challenge the courts free of charge before suggesting legal representation from a specialist legal team. With police speed traps and 6,0002(2) increasingly sophisticated speed cameras across the country one in five drivers has already received a speeding conviction. A recent Home Office report shows the increase in speeding offences detected by cameras increased by nearly 400% over the five year period 1999 to 2004.(3) Without expert advice the likelihood of an individual challenging such a prosecution is slim, so the points can pile up and a driving ban could follow. Motorists can also be affected by a whole host of other prosecutions for offences such as using a mobile phone whilst driving or not wearing a seatbelt. Alex Cooke CEO of Driving-Law.co.uk says, “For the vast majority of the public, the only time they are likely to come into contact with the criminal justice system is as a result of a motoring offence. Of course we accept that a motoring offence whether it involves speeding or drink driving is both illegal and puts the lives of others in danger. To be honest, it shocks me every year to see that motoring convictions are consistently rising. Whilst we do not condone any kind of motoring offence, we do appreciate that everyone has a right to fair legal representation and frank advice." “With an increasing number of people receiving convictions there’s a growing need for both education and legal advice. In any other criminal circumstance a person would seek legal advice, so why shouldn’t the same rule apply for driving prosecutions? Such prosecutions can be a legal minefield creating much confusion and anxiety.” Driving-Law.co.uk can advise drivers as to whether a driving conviction can be challenged and for more serious offences arrange specialist legal representation at a fixed and affordable cost. Advice is delivered over the telephone with written follow-ups and there is no need to take time out to make an appointment at a traditional high street law firm. The court is required to disqualify drivers with 12 points (or six points if the driver has held their licence for less than two years) on their licence unless ‘exceptional hardship’ applies (as contained in the 1988 Road Traffic Offenders Act). Under this act courts may be persuaded by a lawyer to consider all of the circumstances of a case for disqualification and evaluate the serious repercussions to an individual’s life should a driving ban be enforced. Every order for disqualification entails hardship for the person disqualified and it is for the courts to interpret this phrase. During 2004, there were 190,500 disqualifications for specific motoring offences. A further 30,900 people were disqualified under the penalty points or ‘totting up’ system.(4) “With a ban lasting for a minimum of six months, the impact on a persons’ life could be astronomical. Motoring offences are rarely ‘open and shut cases’ and we firmly believe that every member of the public at the very least, has the right to know where they stand legally”, concludes Cooke. - Ends - About Driving-Law.co.uk: Established in 2007, Driving-Law.co.uk specialises in providing legal advice and representation for drivers and road users nationwide. It provides a clear fixed cost affordable solution for both private individuals and professional drivers. driving-law.co.uk promotes the legal services of MTA Solicitors who is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. www.driving-law.co.uk (1) Speed Cameras Dot Org (2) Speed Cameras Dot Org (3) Home Office Statistical Bulletin: Motoring Offences and Breath Test Statistics 05/06, Ransford Fiti and Liza Murray 30 March 2006 (5) Home Office This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Ascent PR in the following categories: Men's Interest, Motoring, Transport & Logistics, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.