I have no insurance on my car and now have to go to court, will I go to prison?
Whilst the personal consequences could be significant, you cannot receive a custodial sentence as driving without insurance is non-imprisonable.
Do I need a solicitor at court for a motoring offence?
If you have been required to attend court, it is likely that the implications of the charges are significant. This could include the prospect of disqualification or imprisonment. We will always be able to assist with court proceedings and advise as to law and procedure. We can discuss available fee options, which could include Legal Aid in the most serious cases.
I am a HGV driver and have been caught speeding, what should I do?
You should make immediate contact with a member of our team. The circumstances of the offence and the level of speed will determine whether a court appearance is necessary. Your employer should also be informed. Should a period of disqualification ensue, there could be implications for your future HGV licensing status.
What is the maximum number of points anyone can have on their driving licence?
Drivers generally face a minimum six-month disqualification on accumulating 12 points over a three-year period. Recent publicity has reflected upon drivers who have accumulated alarming levels of points and retained their licences. This is feasible when a driver can establish, by giving appropriate evidence, that he or she and/or third parties would suffer ‘exceptional hardship’ if he or she was banned. New Drivers who accumulate six points will have their licence revoked by the DVLA which will necessitate re-taking their test. This should be distinguished from a disqualification by the court.
Can I refuse to give my fingerprints?
No. On arrest, the police have the right to take your fingerprints and do not need your permission.
Can the police take my DNA?
Yes. On arrest, the police have the right to take your DNA and do not need your permission. The sample may, for example, be from a hair root.
What is a warrant?
A warrant is a document issued by a legal or governmental official authorising another body, usually the police, to make an arrest, search premises or carry out some other function relating to the administration of justice.
Can the police search my house?
The police have the power to enter your premises to affect an arrest and, in doing so, to search the house for evidence relating to the investigation in question. Once under arrest and detained, the police can search the house, on the authority of an officer of at least an inspector's rank, for evidence relating to the current or other offences.
How long can I be in police custody?
A suspect can generally be held for no longer than 24 hours in police custody prior to charge. The police should ensure that all detainees are processed as quickly as possible. Where it is deemed appropriate by an officer of at least a superintendent's rank, this period can be extended to a total of 36 hours. Whilst further extensions prior to charge can be allowed up to a maximum period of 96 hours, this has to be authorised by the court.
What is bail?
Where the police arrest a suspect, but wish to release him or her whilst the case continues, they can release him/her on bail. This can be before charge, whilst further enquiries are made, or after charge. If charged, the police must decide whether bail to a court date is appropriate. If not, the police must place the defendant before the first available court where the magistrates must decide whether to grant bail or remand in custody. Bail can be with or without conditions. Conditions can include residing at a fixed address, keeping away from witnesses and defined locations or regularly reporting to a local police station. Breaching conditions, re-offending, interfering with witnesses or failing to answer bail can result in a remand in custody until the case concludes.