Road Traffic Offences
Criminal Defence Solicitors at Stephen Rimmer LLP have an excellent track record successfully representing individuals under criminal investigation and defending people facing criminal charges in Magistrates Court and the Crown Court for motoring offences.
We understand that a police investigation or criminal prosecution is always a stressful time. Our expert Criminal Defence Solicitors will support you throughout and maximise your chances of achieving the best possible outcome.
The team frequently act for individuals who have never faced investigation or prosecution before. Our Solicitors understand the additional impact that being involved in the criminal process can have upon your professional and personal life and we will do what we can to help you.
If you have been charged with a criminal offence or summonsed to attend Court then it is likely that you are eligible for Legal Aid which means that the Legal Aid Agency will cover the cost of your Solicitor throughout proceedings. If you are arrested or voluntarily interviewed by the Police under Caution in relation to any criminal offences, our Solicitors will be happy to provide a free service attending the Police Station and representing you throughout the investigation.
Stephen Rimmer LLP are authorised to provide free and independent legal advice at the police station (investigation) stage at no cost to yourself.
If you are charged or summonsed to attend Court in relation to motoring offences, depending on the type of offence you could be eligible for Legal Aid. Eligibility for Legal Aid will also depend on your means and finances.
Common motoring offences include:
- Careless driving (drive without due care and attention), Road Traffic Act 1988, s.3
- Causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving, Road Traffic Act 1988, s.2B
- Causing death by driving: unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured drivers, Road Traffic Act 1988, s.3ZB
- Dangerous driving, Road Traffic Act 1988, s.2
- Drive whilst disqualified, Road Traffic Act 1988, s.103
- Excess alcohol (drive/attempt to drive), Road Traffic Act 1988, s.5(1)(a)
- Excess alcohol (in charge), Road Traffic Act 1988, s.5(1)(b)
- Fail to provide specimen for analysis (drive/attempt to drive), Road Traffic Act 1988, s.7(6)
- Fail to provide specimen for analysis (in charge), Road Traffic Act 1988, s.7(6)
- Fail to stop when required by police constable
- Fail to stop/report road accident, Road Traffic Act 1988, s.170(4)
- No insurance,Road Traffic Act 1988, s.143
- No test certificate/MOT
- Speeding, Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, s.89(10)
- Unfit through drink or drugs (drive/attempt to drive), Road Traffic Act 1988, s.4(1)
- Unfit through drink or drugs (in charge), Road Traffic Act 1988, s.4(2)
- Use of mobile telephone while driving
If you do not qualify for Legal Aid, our Solicitors will be able to represent you in the Magistrates’ Court on a private fee basis at competitive rates. In relation to Crown Court cases, please contact us on 01323 644222 or by email email@example.com, as separate more detailed considerations apply.
We will be able to guide you to present the best case forward and where appropriate advise you in relation to getting expert evidence regarding motoring offences from forensic scientists (back calculations, ‘hip-flask’ defences etc).
At Stephen Rimmer LLP we understand that at the outset of your case you will need a clear idea as to your Defence costs and therefore we have developed a fixed fee arrangement specifically tailored to your requirements because we understand that every client is an individual and their case will have unique features.
Every member of our Criminal Defence Team has at least ten years of professional experience and therefore collectively our team has in excess of one hundred years’ worth of experience.
We aim to deal with the majority of our cases within the fixed fee specified below. We calculate our fixed fees using our experience to estimate the average number of hours required to complete your case. There may be situations where additional work is required. We will always consult you before any additional work/ expenditure is incurred.
Specific examples of fixed fees in relation to defence work:
Driving offences, guilty plea – fixed fee of £480 including VAT
Fixed Fee includes:
- Initial consultation of half hour for £120 including VAT, which will be deducted from the initial fixed fee for first hearing if instructed
- Considering the evidence and analysing the case to see if there are any defences available
- Taking your instructions
- Providing advice in relation to plea and likely sentence
- Where we cannot anticipate the likely sentence, advice will be given on the options available to the court in relation to sentencing
- Where appropriate, we will provide advice on whether an exceptional hardship, or special reasons argument should be made, (but these exceptional hardship and special reasons hearings differ vastly in length of court advocacy time, time to attend, and time to prepare). In relation to representation in the Magistrates’ Court for a special reasons or exceptional hardship hearing, separate fees apply (see below)
- Attendance and representation at a single hearing at the Magistrates Court depending on where the Magistrates’ Court is, travel and waiting will be factored into the fixed fee
- We will provide advocacy assistance at Court and mitigate on your behalf. We will also provide advice afterwards on whether or not you should appeal any sentence imposed
If you plead guilty at your first appearance in the Magistrates’ Court, then normally you will be sentenced on that date. If the offence and/or the circumstances are serious, then your case might be adjourned for a pre-sentence report and you could be sentenced later that day or alternatively your case could be adjourned for approximately 3 – 4 weeks and you will be sentenced on the next occasion.
We will do our upmost to avoid any delays or unnecessary hearings. However, please note that an additional fixed fee of £300 including VAT will be incurred if your case is adjourned and/or does not conclude on the same date
Special Reasons and Exceptional Hardship hearings – Fixed fee one hearing – £600 including VAT. Any additional hearings at £420 including VAT
Even though you have accepted responsibility and pleaded guilty, we might be able to mitigate your sentence further by raising special reasons or exceptional hardship (depending on the type of offence). This includes the calling of evidence from you and/or other sources. Normally such hearings are heard on a separate date are often can be seen as a mini trial of issue.
Our fixed fee includes everything listed above in relation to guilty pleas and also the following:
- Taking instructions from you to prepare a proof of evidence and comments on prosecution witness statements
- Taking statements from at least 2 defence witnesses (these could be character witnesses or witnesses in the case). Any additional witnesses’ statements will be taken at a cost of £120 including VAT per witness
- Conference with your instructed Advocate to discuss your case prior to your final special reasons/ exceptional hardship hearing
Not guilty trials – Fixed fee £1,500 including VAT to attend the Magistrates based on a half day trial. There will be an additional £600 including VAT for every extra half day should you trial overrun or be fixed to last in excess of half a day
Our fixed fee includes everything listed above in relation to guilty pleas, special reasons, exceptional hardship and a more enhanced service to reflect the work required to be carried out on your behalf to ensure you have the best chance of being acquitted
In relation to Court attendances, the fixed fee includes:
- Advocacy assistance/ Representation at your first hearing
- Advocacy assistance/ Representation at your trial with a half day time estimate
- Advocacy assistance/ Representation at your sentencing hearing if you are convicted
- Consider initial disclosure, and any other evidence and provide advice
- Consider secondary disclosure and where appropriate draft a defence statement on your behalf to serve on the Court and the Crown Prosecution service
- Arrange to take further witness statements where necessary (at least 2 included in the fixed fee) (any additional witness statements to be taken will cost £120 including VAT per witness)
- We will explain the court procedure to you so you know what to expect on the day of your hearing, your trial and if convicted the sentencing options available to the court
- We will conduct any further preparatory work, obtain further instructions from you if necessary and answer any follow up queries you have
- We will attend court on the day and meet with you before going before the hearing at court and have a conference with you at the end of the day at court to discuss your case/ outcome
- We will also advise you in relation to whether or not you should appeal to the Crown Court your sentence and/or conviction. However please note that the fixed fee does not include the actual appeal proceedings should you wish to appeal your sentence and/or conviction. This is not covered by a fixed fee and will be calculated depending on the complexities of your case
Please note that none of the above fees include:
- Crown Court cases
- Instruction of any expert witnesses
- Court costs, court fines
- Prosecution costs
- Compensation and any statutory victim surcharge which will apply depending on the sentence you receive if you plead guilty or are convicted after a trial
If you plead not guilty at your first appearance at Court, then your case will be adjourned for trial. Currently the Courts are very busy trying to deal with a backlog of cases and therefore your trial could take place between 3 – 6 months from the date you enter a not guilty plea.
If you please guilty or are found guilty after a trial for an either-way offence such as dangerous driving, the Magistrates’ Court could sentence you as outlined above, however, if the Magistrates’ were of the view that the offence was too serious (their sentencing powers being insufficient), they could commit you to the Crown Court for sentence. If you are committed to the Crown Court for sentence, then normally your hearing in the Crown Court will be 4 weeks from your last appearance in the Magistrates’ Court. You should be sentenced at your first appearance in the Crown Court.
All our fixed fees are calculated to include our local Courts of Hastings Magistrates Court and Brighton Magistrates Court. In the event that your proceedings are at a different Court, additional travel costs may apply
Fixed Fee summary
- Motoring offences, guilty plea – fixed fee of £480 including VAT
- Special Reasons and Exceptional Hardship hearings – one hearing £600 including VAT any additional hearings £420 including VAT
- Not guilty trials – fixed fee £1,500 including VAT – this is based on a half day Trial. There will be an additional £600 including VAT for every extra half day should your trial overrun or be fixed to last in excess of half a day
We hope the above provides you with some guidance in relation to your anticipated legal costs but we appreciate all this might be new to you and welcome your telephone call to discuss this further to put your concerns at ease.
You can find details of who would be dealing with your matter at Stephen Rimmer LLP and their relevant hourly rates here.