How to avoid a drug driving ban.
A drug driving sentence can come with a fine, disqualification from driving, and even prison time in the worst cases. Here’s what you need to know when it comes to how to avoid a drug driving ban:
What Is Drug Driving?
Drug driving is a relatively new offence introduced by the Crime and Courts Act 2013. It came into force in 2015.
The new law was designed to make it illegal to drive a vehicle (or attempt to drive or be in charge of a vehicle) while you have more than set quantities of 17 specified drugs in your system.
These drugs include both illegal substances and some prescription medications (such as opiates) that can impair your ability to drive a vehicle.
What Is The Normal Drug Driving Sentence?
Drug driving is still a relatively new crime. This means that the sentencing guidelines aren’t official yet. The advisory guidance that the courts follow says that if you are convicted of drug driving, you can face:
- A driving ban – lasting a minimum of 12 months.
- A fine – theoretically unlimited, but in reality usually one-and-a-half times your weekly income to a maximum of £5000.
- Imprisonment – a term in prison lasting six months, though this is usually only in the worst cases.
There are also suggested mitigating and aggravating factors that might cause the court to reduce or increase the penalty you face.
When it comes to mitigation though, it is important to understand that the magistrate will not be convinced by you standing up in court and relating even a very persuasive “sob story”.
Mitigation is a legal approach that calls for professional representation and understanding of the relevant laws.
Can You Refuse A Drug Test From The Police In The UK?
One of the ways that many people assume you can “beat the system” is to simply refuse to let the police take a sample at the roadside or later in the station. Unfortunately, this is in itself a crime that can be punished with a £2500 fine and up to three months in prison.
The best approach is to cooperate and then immediately get specialist legal representation. Solicitors Near Me can find that for you for FREE and with zero obligation when you give us a call on 0845 1391399 or complete a Free Online Enquiry.
How To Get Off A Drug Driving Charge
For the purposes of understanding how you can go about avoiding a drug driving ban, one principle is uniquely important. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) needs to be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt you had that illegal level in your system or that your ability to drive was impaired.
This means that your chance of avoiding a ban depends a great deal on the circumstances of your case and the way you decide to handle your defence.
1) Hire A Specialist Drug Driving Solicitor
Without a doubt, the most important thing is to find a drug driving lawyer with specialist experience and a proven track record in this kind of motoring law.
You can be assigned a general lawyer. However, while these individuals work hard, they don’t have the relevant specialist knowledge that can help you avoid a drug driving charge. For example, a specialist will be able to:
- Support and advise you on what to say at the police station
- Examine the evidence and look for weaknesses in the prosecution’s case
- Advise you whether to plead guilty or not guilty
- Help you put forward the best possible defence
- Understand the specific approaches that are likely to help you avoid a ban
2) Challenge The Evidence And Procedures Used
A specialist drug driving solicitor will be able to help you do things like:
- Challenge the CPS if correct procedure does not appear to have been followed
- Point out weaknesses in evidence that may not hold up in court, getting your case dismissed
- Force the CPS to commit to a time-consuming and costly disclosure process
For these reasons, it is vital to write down everything that happened and in what order during the course of your being charged for drug driving.
3) Appeal A Guilty Verdict
With the right legal expertise, even if the Magistrates’ Court finds you guilty, it may be possible to lodge an appeal with the Crown Court.
Is It Worth Getting A Solicitor For Drug Driving?
Yes. It is always worth getting a drug driving solicitor to assess your case and see what your best possible defence is likely to be.
You will want to do this as soon as possible. Even speaking with the police without this kind of advice on hand is potentially risky.
The best first step to avoid a drug driving ban is to get in touch with us on 0845 1391399 or complete a Free Online Enquiry. We will find you the ideal expert to talk with for FREE and with no commitment.