If you’re facing a conviction for drink driving or another of the more serious driving offences, then you’ll almost certainly be facing a ban as well. Or will you?
It’s actually not a foregone conclusion, as legal advice from teams like Kenway Miller Solicitors can offer strong defences against the charges and in many cases, reduce the punishments or help their clients keep their driving licence and avoid bans altogether.
The fact is that to convict anyone of any crime, there are strict legal thresholds that the case has to meet. There are also good arguments for some punishments being excessively damaging to the livelihood and well-being of the defendant. So, you may not face a driving licence ban if you are able to prove exceptional hardship.
Let’s start at the beginning
If you’ve been caught speeding, or drink driving, or you have a string of misdemeanours behind you and you’re about to go to court, you’ll consider pleading not guilty to make it all stop, especially if your business depends on you driving. This isn’t a wise move if the police are pushing for a conviction, as it means that they’re very confident in their case against you. They have strong evidence, in the form of samples, footage, witness statements and their own observations, so you’re unlikely to beat the rap.
What can you do?
You could claim that the test results are unreliable, but this isn’t likely nowadays. There’s also the defence, in the case of drink driving, that you have acid reflux, which can lead to a falsely high breathalyser result. You could also claim that you were spiked, but you’ll need firm evidence here. If your legal team can find evidence of the police not following the proper procedure you may stand a better chance, but this can be tough to prove.
It can actually be worse for you if you plead not guilty without a strong case, as the court may see you as being reckless, unrepentant and disrespectful of the law. This can lead to a harsher punishment than you’d get if you held up your hands. Only plead not guilty if you have a strong defence.
Should you plead guilty?
In a lot of cases, yes, you should. If you admit your wrongdoing then the courts will look more favourably upon you and it’s in this scenario that experienced lawyers come into their own. They won’t try to beat the case, they’ll accept that you did wrong and then try to lessen your punishment, especially if you’re likely to get a driving licence ban.
The usual argument for leniency is based on the exceptional hardship that a ban would cause you. Your lawyers will demonstrate to the court that although you were speeding and deserve a ban, that ban could cost you your job, or your business and maybe even your home. If you will find it difficult to recover from this hardship, then the punishment may be deemed excessive. If, by keeping your driving licence, you can keep your business, your employees and your family home, then the court may decide to impose just a fine, or a much shorter ban. This is a good result, so make sure you learn from the experience.