Court imposes fine rather than disqualification for speeding

Posted by Barry Culshaw on
Blake Morgan's Driver Defence team is the leading team of specialist road traffic lawyers in the South of England.  We have been recognised by legal directory Chambers and Partners: A Client's Guide to the Legal Profession 2017 as a Band 1 firm in this field.  Our team of specialist lawyers travel the country to help motorists facing a driving ban or having penalty points put on their licence. Our work has taken us to Magistrates and Crown Courts all over the country.  Many of our cases have reached the Higher Courts. 

The case

Blake Morgan's Driver Defence team were consulted by L who was facing a prosecution for speeding brought by Hampshire Constabulary and which was pending for sentence before Aldershot Magistrates' Court. L had already tendered a guilty plea admitting to having been speeding in a 30 mile per hour speed limit at 53 miles per hour. The court had decided to adjourn the case for L to appear before the court for sentencing as consideration was being given to the imposition of a period of disqualification from driving.

How our Driver Defence solicitors helped

Barry Culshaw, a Consultant and Road Traffic Specialist within the Driver Defence team had conduct of the case throughout. At an initial conference, Barry established that L had held a full UK car drivers' licence for over 10 years and the licence was clean for sentencing purposes. However, it was a term of L's contract of employment that he was the holder of a driving licence. On average L was travelling on business between 2,000 and 3,000 miles per month. Pursuant to Barry's advice a reference was obtained from the employer which confirmed the requirement for a driving licence as part of L's contract of employment. The reference went on to confirm that anything other than a short period of disqualification would trigger the termination of L's employment.

Barry represented L at the sentencing hearing. L's employer was fully supportive and sent the author of the reference along to court to support the mitigation. Barry placed L's mitigation before the court in a structured fashion which extended beyond the employment issue. A period of disqualification would have impacted on L's contact arrangements with a very young daughter following a marital breakdown. A disqualification would also have impacted on L's mother who was suffering ill health and needed to attend hospital appointments on a number of occasions each week in circumstances where L often provided his mother with the essential transport to the hospital and to doctors' appointments.

The outcome

The court when imposing sentence made it clear that the court had taken into account everything that Barry had said on L's behalf and had also taken into account the reference letter written by L's employer. The court expressed a serious view of this type of speeding offence which involved such excessive speed. However, the court took into account, in particular, L's need to drive in the course of his employment. The court decided to impose a fine and to endorse L's driving licence with six penalty points instead of imposing a discretionary period of disqualification.

L was greatly relieved by the outcome. Even a short period of disqualification would have caused significant problems in the context of L's employment and would have also impacted badly on a number of L's family members. This case does demonstrate the importance for motorists to obtain specialist legal advice and representation when facing the danger of a disqualification from driving.

About the Author

Barry Specialises in road transport law within our Driver Defence team. He represents clients facing allegations of careless/dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol and speeding.

Barry Culshaw
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023 8085 7209

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