There are a multitude of offences that can occur whilst on a road or other public place whilst in a motor vehicle. The Road Traffic Act 1988 allows prosecutions to be made for any vehicle that is ‘mechanically propelled.’
Frequently members of the public are not clear on the law when defining what is considered a public place. Just because the car park for your apartment is considered ‘private property’ does not mean that it has the same definition in law.
Road users can also find themselves questioned on the roadside by their local police force or Officers from the British Transport Police. They may be asked to attend at a police station at a later date to be questioned or arrested at the scene of an incident.
If you are being questioned by Officers or have received a letter requesting an explanation regarding your actions, Nicholls & Nicholls are available to provide assistance and advice regarding your individual circumstances.
Offences that are contrary to the Road Traffic Act 1988 can vary considerably in sentencing. The Courts have limitations on the maximum sentences. You can not receive a custodial sentence for Driving without Insurance or Driving without a License. You also will not receive a community based sentence commonly known as unpaid work, but you will receive a financial penalty and there is a risk of losing your license. As a comparison, causing Death by Dangerous Driving has a maximum custodial sentence of 14 years. A sentence is always based on the circumstances of each individual and for this reason it is always important to speak with a lawyer regarding the allegations you face.
In some circumstances, legal arguments can be put forward that prevent an individual receiving a disqualification; these arguments are known as Exceptional Hardship or Special Reasons.
The most common offences seen within our Criminal Justice System are:
Driving without a Driving License/ MOT/ Insurance
Speeding and Failing to Provide Details of Driver
Careless/ Inconsiderate Driving also known as Driving Without Due Care and Attention
Driving Whilst Disqualified
Failing to Provide a Breath Specimen
Driving Whilst Unfit Through Drink or Drugs
Death by Careless/Dangerous Driving