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What is a road traffic offence?

What is a road traffic offence?

A road traffic offence is fundamentally an offence which takes place on the road and involves a motor vehicle. There are many road traffic offences and we at ULA Solicitors are able to assist with all the different types of road traffic offences.

What are the different types of road traffic offences?
The following is a comprehensive list of road traffic offences:

  • Failing to stop after an accident
  • Failing to give particulars or to report an accident within 24 hours
  • Driving while disqualified
  • Attempting to drive while disqualified
  • Driving without due care and attention
  • Driving without reasonable consideration for other road users
  • Causing death through careless driving when unfit through drink
  • Causing death by careless driving when unfit through drugs
  • Causing death by careless driving with alcohol level above the limit
  • Causing death by careless driving then failing to supply a specimen for analysis
  • Using a vehicle with defective brakes
  • Using a mobile phone while driving a motor vehicle
  • Dangerous driving
  • Manslaughter or culpable homicide while driving the vehicle
  • Causing death by dangerous driving
  • Driving or attempting to drive with alcohol level above the limit
  • In charge of a vehicle while unfit through drink
  • Failure to provide a specimen for analysis in circumstances other than driving or attempting to drive
  • Driving or attempting to drive when unfit through drugs
  • In charge of a vehicle when unfit through drugs
  • Using a vehicle uninsured against third party risks
  • Driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence
  • Driving after making a false declaration about fitness when applying for a licence
  • Driving a vehicle having failed to notify a disability
  • Driving after a licence has been revoked or refused on medical grounds
  • Leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position
  • Unlawful pillion riding
  • Play street offences
  • Driving with uncorrected defective eyesight or refusing to submit to a test
  • Motor racing on a highway
  • Failure to give information as to identity of a driver
  • Speeding
  • Failing to comply with traffic light signals / white lines/ stop sign / traffic sign/ direction of a constable
  • Aggravated vehicle taking

What will the Crown Prosecution Service consider when deciding to charge someone with a road traffic offence?

Each of the offence outlined above have their own criteria which the CPS will consider before a decision as to charging an individual. The most common road traffic offences are considered in more detail here.

How can a solicitor assist?

These offences carry with them a wide range of penalties from points on a licence to a custodial sentence. Therefore, it is important to have a solicitor with knowledge of these offences so that they can work with you towards building a string case which results in the best outcome for you.

Fees?

These offences are such that one may be eligible for legal aid, or they may not. In the event that one is not eligible for legal aid they may have to pay privately for representation. Here again one with require a criminal defence solicitor.

Examples of Some types of Road Traffic Offences Include:

Causing death by Dangerous Driving
Death by dangerous driving is the most serious of the driving offences and if convicted you will almost certainly receive a prison sentence. To be found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving the prosecution need to prove that your driving would have been obviously dangerous to a reasonably competent driver and that your driving was the cause of death of another person.

The definition of dangerous driving within this offence is not just restricted to you having driven a car in a dangerous manner but also includes driving a vehicle which is in a dangerous condition, driving under the influence of excess alcohol or under the influence of drugs. In relation to driving a vehicle which is in a dangerous condition, the prosecution would have to prove that you should have known driving a vehicle in such a condition would have been dangerous.
Due to the seriousness of this offence it is an indictable offence and hence can only be dealt with in the Crown Court. If found guilty the Court could sentence you to a maximum of 14 years in prison and disqualify you from driving for a minimum of two years with a requirement that you sit an extended driving test.
There are a number of defences available to you for the offence of causing death by dangerous driving. Examples include:

  • Your driving was not obviously dangerous to a reasonably competent driver
  • Your driving was not the cause of the death of the other person

At ULASolicitors we are able to advise whether any of the defences are available to you and to deal with your matter accordingly.

Driving without due care and attention:
To be found guilty of driving without due care and attention the prosecution need to prove that your driving fell far below the standard of a careful and competent driver.

If you are found guilty of driving without due care and attention you could receive a fine of up to £5,000 and three to nine penalty points.
There are a number of defences available to you for the offence of driving without due care and attention. Examples include:

  • The standard of your driving did not fall far below that of a competent and careful driver
  • A case of mistaken identity

At ULA Solicitors we are able to advise whether any of the defences are available for you to use and to deal with your matter accordingly.

Speeding:
This is one of the most common offences and if caught speeding you could receive a fixed penalty of up to £60 with three to six penalty points on your licence. If you are substantially above the speed limit and the case is referred to the Magistrates Court then you could receive a fine of up to £2,500 and be disqualified from driving for up to 56 days.

There are a number of defences available for the offence of speeding. Examples include:

  • You were not speeding
  • The speed limit was not identifiable
  • There were issues with the speed detection devices

At ULA Solicitors we are able to advise whether any of the defences are available for you to use and to deal with your matter accordingly.We will endeavour to do all we can to prevent you from receiving points and a disqualification; what's more, in particular circumstances we have in the past been able to convince the court not to disqualify individuals from driving.

Using a Mobile Phone whilst Driving:
It is against the law to use a mobile phone while driving a vehicle. If you are caught using a mobile phone while driving you can receive a fine of up to £1,000 and three penalty points.

There are a number of defences available for the offence of using a mobile phone whilst driving:

  • If you were not using your mobile phone
  • You were not driving
  • You were not using a function of the phone
  • You were calling the emergency services

At ULA Solicitors we are able to advise whether any of the defences are available for you to use and to deal with your matter accordingly.We will endeavour to do all we can to prevent you from receiving points and a fine.

Failing to provide a specimen for analysis:
Failing to provide a specimen for analysis is a serious offence. You would be guilty of committing this offence if you refuse to provide a specimen of breath, urine or blood without a reasonable excuse after being requested to do so by a police constable.

Thisoffence is a summary only offence and hence is dealt with in the Magistrates Court. You could receive a custodial sentence of up to six months, a community penalty and/or a fine of up to £5,000. You are also likely to be disqualified from driving for between twelve and thirty six months.

There are a number of defences potentially available for this offence of failing to provide a specimen for analysis. Examples include:

  • Asthma
  • Mental disability
  • Phobia of needles

At ULA Solicitors we are able to advise whether any of the defences are available and to deal with your matter accordingly. We will endeavour to do all we can to help you.

Drink Driving
This is a common offence with strict guidelines and punishments for those individuals convicted for the offence. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the alcohol consumption limit for drivers is 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 ml of breath, or 80 milligrams in 100 ml of blood, or 107 milligrams of alcohol per 100 ml of urine.
If an individual is convicted of drink driving they may receive one or more of the following:

  • A minimum of 12 month driving ban
  • A criminal record
  • A fine
  • Up to 6 months imprisonment
  • An endorsement on their licence for 11 years

At ULA Solicitors we are able to advise whether any of the defences are available for you to use and to deal with your matter accordingly. We will endeavour to do
all we can to prevent you from receiving points and a fine.

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