Solicitors specialising in drink driving – why would I need one?
The consequences of a drink driving charge can have a huge effect on your life. You can be fined or banned from driving – even sent to prison in the worst cases. The safest way forward is to find solicitors specialising in drink driving offences.
But is it even worth hiring a solicitor for a drink driving charge? Why would you need a specialist?
Because fines and imprisonment sound scary. But hiring a lawyer can be expensive. Here is why you should at least talk your case over with a specialist drink driving solicitor if you’re facing this kind of charge:
Do I Need Specialist Drink Driving Solicitors?
You can find a general lawyer or request a duty solicitor to defend and advise you in your drink driving case. Make no mistake, these people work hard.
However, they often aren’t overly experienced with the relevant laws. They won’t be familiar with the many ways it is possible to defend their clients from a drink driving charge. Many will simply advise you to plead guilty and then try to mitigate the charge in some way.
On the other hand, a specialist drink driving solicitor will be able to help you:
1) At The Police Station
Ideally, you will want legal advice as to what you should and should not say to the police right from the very start. You will want to arrange for this before you make a statement or answer any questions.
You don’t have to have a solicitor present. You can also ask to see the duty solicitor at the police station.
Yet if you aren’t familiar with how the police and courts work, having someone from outside the station who specialises in this kind of case is the safest way to know your interests are being looked after.
2) Examining And Guiding You In Your Case
An expert in traffic law and drink driving cases will be in the best position to:
- Advise you if you have a defence you can put forward
- Explain how you should plead (guilty or not guilty) to get the best possible outcome
- Guide you throughout the process and advise you on what to expect at each point (how much of an advantage this is is often underrated)
3) In Court
Some people are experienced and content with public speaking. Others may be familiar with the courts and legal processes.
If you’re not both of these things though, it is usually a mistake to proceed to court in a drink driving case without expert legal advice at hand.
The whole process of going to court can be complex and confusing if you haven’t done it before. There are expected ways to behave and speak. Plus, you only get one chance to get it right.
If you say the wrong thing, you can’t ask for another attempt.
What Are The Benefits Of Specialists?
1) Put Forward Your Best Possible Defence
A specialist solicitor is used to putting forward the best defence in a wide variety of circumstances where someone has been charged with drink driving. They understand the approaches that are most likely to succeed
A duty solicitor may simply advise you to plead guilty. An expert will have a wider view, able to identify evidence or procedural issues that may mean you have a better defence available than simply throwing yourself on the mercy of the court.
2) Explore Special Reasons And Reasonable Excuses
There are certain special circumstances where you might be able to avoid being banned from driving even if you were found to be over the limit.
Exploring these options isn’t something you can really do successfully on your own. There are set processes to follow and not everything that someone might personally consider a “reasonable excuse” counts as one as far as the courts are concerned.
A specialist can advise you on this based on their extensive experience of what has been accepted by the courts in their previous cases. They can also put forward mitigation strategies as a professional advocate on your behalf (this works much better than you telling a “sob story”).
3) Challenge Evidence And Procedure
In a drink driving case, the burden of proof is on the CPS (the Crown Prosecution Service) to prove you were over the limit at the time you were in charge of the vehicle.
This leaves specialist drink driving solicitors with many ways to question the validity of test results, question the processes the police followed, and address other aspects of the evidence against you and how it was obtained.
This can result in cases never reaching court in the first place. Again, it’s something only a specialist will have the expertise to try.
Get Advice And Support Throughout The Process
How should you plead? How strong is the evidence against you? What should you say to the police? Do you even have a defence? What’s the best way to communicate with the court?
For all these reasons and more, it’s a smart idea to at least talk with solicitors specialising in drink driving charges if you find yourself up against one. At least then, you will have some idea of what you’re facing.
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