Driving Ban Legal Advice
- When should I seek legal advice if I face a driving ban?
- Can I use the local/duty solicitor?
- Can I apply for Legal Aid for motoring cases?
- Will my insurers pay my legal bill?
- How can I tell whether my lawyer specialises in motoring law?
- How much will I pay for a motor lawyer?
- Can I obtain free legal advice?
If you face a driving ban, it makes sense to seek advice at the earliest opportunity. The more notice your lawyers have of the case, the more that can be done to help you. The sooner you seek assistance, the more time there is to check the paperwork for technical issues and to prepare your defence. Do not assume that you can arrive at Court, meet with your representative and prepare a case half an hour before your hearing starts. The reality is that motoring law is extensive and complicated with the result that a case needs to be properly prepared well in advance of a hearing.
There is no reason why you should not get a competent service from either, but motoring law has become a specialist area and it is unlikely that the duty or local solicitor will have specialist knowledge of all areas of law that they have to deal with on a day to day basis. Also be alert to the fact that there is no obligation for a duty solicitor to take on your case.
Probably not. Legal Aid is still available for cases that have potential prison sentences but for the majority of driving offences, the Defendant has to fund his legal costs privately.
Possibly. Most insurance policies include some cover for the costs of defending a prosecution so it is always worth checking. However, funding can often be at the discretion of the insurers and may not cover offences such as speeding. Further, it is possible that there will be an excess, meaning that you have to pay part of the costs or your policy may be limited to a figure that is insufficient to cover your costs in full.
The vast majority of lawyers, particularly those with High Street practices, have a "mixed bag" caseload, meaning that they will offer a variety of services. It may be that within the practice there is a particular person who has specialist knowledge but you should ask them direct and should also make enquiries of their website to see what motoring information is detailed thereon. There are specialist practices, some of which have regional operations and some are based nationwide. Ask how many motoring cases they deal with and how many of your specific offence they have dealt with over the last few weeks. A specialist motor practice will be running similar cases daily.
This can vary greatly. Some lawyers will charge by the hour ranging from £95 to £250 per hour, whilst others will agree a fixed fee. Bear in mind that if you are paying by the hour and your representative or a barrister has to attend Court, you will probably have to pay for travelling and waiting time as well as travelling expenses, so wherever possible, attempt to agree a fixed fee or set a budget that will not be exceeded.
Many firms will either give free telephone advice or free email advice but obviously, this will be quite limited.
You can also ask to speak to a duty solicitor but there is no guarantee that a duty solicitor will have specialist motor knowledge. Alternatively, many firms will allocate 15–30 minutes advice for a one off fixed fee.