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Driving Offences

For many people, being able to drive is an integral part of their lifestyle. Losing a driving licence can lead to loss of a job or have an impact on family life. More than 500,000 people are prosecuted each year for driving offences. We act for people facing all kinds of offences under road traffic law, but especially:

  • Careless driving
  • Drink driving
  • Dangerous driving
  • Driving without insurance
  • Failing to stop and report an accident
  • Driving whilst disqualified
  • Mobile phone offences
  • Exceptional hardship cases
  • Totting up (12 points on your licence)
  • Reinstatement of your licence after it has been revoked by the DVLA

It is important that you receive advice as soon as you are aware of any potential prosecution. Even if you are intending to admit the driving offence as we can often help to make sure the offences are correct and to mitigate or reduce the penalty, for example helping you to keep your driving licence.

If you receive 12 or more points on your driving licence the court will normally disqualify you for a minimum of 6 months but in some cases we can present to the court the hardship this will cause to avoid you being disqualified.

 

Our Fees - summary only motoring offences

As part of our commitment to the SRA Transparency, we can provide details of our service and fees for these kind of cases. Summary only cases are road traffic matters, such as drink driving or driving without insurance, which can only be heard in the Magistrates' Court

All cases will be dealt with by a solicitor, and the details of our solicitors appear on our Advocates page. All our solicitors are qualified and experienced in these cases. You will be given the name of the solicitor assigned to your case. Our fees are based on an hourly rate and our standard hourly rate for a solicitor for this kind of work is £198.00 per hour plus VAT or £297.00 plus VAT for a partner. This is on the basis that we reserve the right to substitute a different solicitor for the assigned fee earner. If you wish to guarantee a particular solicitor then we will usually charge an uplift to this hourly rate, dependant upon the experience of the solicitor, but this will be agreed with you in advance of us starting work. You will have been given a court date and we anticipate the matter concluding on that date.

The amount of work involved will be different depending on whether it is dealt with at the first hearing or not. Usually, a guilty plea will be concluded at the first hearing. It is only likely to be adjourned, and involve more work, if you are either pleading Not Guilty and denying the offence, or are arguing Special Reasons or Exceptional Hardship. These are legal arguments we can advise you about which may result in a disqualification not being imposed.

Likely Fee for a Guilty Plea:

In our experience this will usually take 31/2 hours at the hourly rates set out above. If the case is outside York then we will discuss how far away the court is. We charge travel time at half the usual hourly rate based on travel from our York office. 

Included in this estimate we will:

  • see you in the office to obtain instructions (normally approx. an hour appointment)
  • obtain papers from the CPS
  • consider the evidence
  • advise you on plea and likely sentence
  • advise on whether exceptional hardship or special reasons arguments should be made.
  • represent you at a single hearing
  • provide written confirmation on the outcome and an initial wirtten advice on any appeal

This fee does not include any costs for obtaining any expert report or the time required to take any witness statements from defence witnesses. It does not include any preparation or representation at subsequent hearings, such as Special Reasons arguments.

It is on the presumption that you are pleading guilty and know the hearing date. On that basis the key stages are as follows:

  • Meet with your solicitor to provide instructions on what happened
  • We will consider the initial disclosure and provide advice
  • We will arrange to see any witnesses and to take a statement if necessary (this is not normally necessary in guilty plea cases, but would be an additional cost. Normally we estimate an hour per witness)
  • We will explain the court procedure to you so you know what to expect, and discuss the sentencing ooptions available to the court.
  • We will prepare for the hearing, clarifying any further instructions we need, and answering your queries
  • We will attend court with you on the day and meet with you before going in to court.
  • We anticipate we will be with you for approximately 2 hours at court. It is however difficult to be precise as the court block list a number of cases at the same time.
  • We will discuss the outcome with you. This will include a written advice on appeal. If you instruct us to appeal, or to carry out further work in respect to an appeal this will be at an additional cost.

Likely Fee for a Contested Hearing:

In our experience this will usually take approximately 10 hours. This is dependent on the number of witnesses the prosecution are calling as this effects the time it takes to prepare and also the length of the hearing This is based on our experience of the average time involved.

Included in this estimate we will:

  • see you in the office to obtain initial instructions (normally approx. an hour appointment)
  • obtain papers from the CPS
  • consider the evidence
  • advise you on plea, your defence, and likely sentence if convicted
  • advise on whether exceptional hardship or special reasons arguments should be made.
  • represent you at a the initial plea hearing
  • provide written confirmation on the outcome of the hearing
  • take further, detailed instructions from you and prepare a proof of evidence
  • prepare for the contested hearing
  • attend a second hearing and represent you. This will include cross-examination of prosecution witnesses, assisting you in giving evidence, and verbal submissions to the court
  • provide written confirmation of the outcome and an initial advice on any appeal

This fee does not include any costs for obtaining any expert report or the time required to take any witness statements from defence witnesses.

It is on the presumption that you are advised to  plead not guilty and know the initial hearing date. On that basis the key stages are as follows:

  • Meet with your solicitor to provide instructions on what happened
  • We will consider the initial disclosure and provide advice
  • We will explain the court procedure to you so you know what to expect, and discuss the sentencing ooptions available to the court.
  • We will prepare for the hearing, clarifying any further instructions we need, and answering your queries
  • We will attend court with you on the day and meet with you before going in to court.
  • We anticipate we will be with you for approximately 2 hours at court. It is however difficult to be precise as the court block list a number of cases at the same time.
  • We will identify to the court the issues and witness requirements for the next hearing
  • We will confirm the outcome of the first hearing with you
  • We will see you again, in the office, to take detailed instructions from you. We will also explain to you the procedure for the final hearing and what you should expect
  • We will provide you with a written proof of evidence to confirm your instructions
  • We will arrange to see any witnesses and to take a statement if necessary (this would be an additional cost. Normally we estimate an hour per witness)
  • We will attend court with you on the day of the final hearing and represent you
  • This will include cross-examination of prosecution witnesses, assisting you in giving evidence, oral submissions to the court, and, where necessary, any sentencing which takes place on the day
  • We will discuss the outcome with you. This will include a written advice on appeal. If you instruct us to appeal, or to carry out further work in respect to an appeal this will be at an additional cost.

 

Partners

  • Colin Byrne
  • Kevin Blount
  • Jacky East
  • Lee-Anne Robins-Hicks

Contact us

Howard & Byrne are available 24 hours a day. Call 01904 431421

YORK OFFICE:
148 Lawrence Street, York YO10 3EB

Tel:  +44 (0) 1904 431421
Fax: +44 (0) 1904 411664

LONDON OFFICE:
The Gridiron Building
1 St Pancras Square London N1C 4AG

Tel: +44 (0) 203 714 5096

Email: mail@howardandbyrne.co.uk

SCARBOROUGH OFFICE:
(by appointment only)

56 Gladstone Lane
Scarborough YO12 7BS

Tel: +44 (0) 1723 655000