Being taken to Court or stopped by the Police for a driving offence is now extremely common due to various forms of technology used by the Police to investigate and charge people with driving offences.
What Are The Consequences Of Road Traffic Offences?
Driving offences are typically penalised in the following ways:
- Penalty Points- each type of offence (or ‘endorsement’) incurs a certain number of penalty points that stay on a driving licence for a selected time. If a driver collects 12 points or more in 3 years, they are disqualified (this process is known as ‘totting-up’). New drivers who receive 6 points within 2 years of passing their test can have their licence revoked.
- Fines – in addition to endorsing penalty points, fines can be imposed depending on the traffic offence
- Disqualification – as well as in the case of totting-up endorsements, courts sometimes impose immediate discretionary or obligatory disqualification especially in the case of careless driving offences
- Prosecution – in serious cases such as a death resulting from the offence, criminal prosecution may take place and can lead to imprisonment.
Some of the more common driving offences that McPartland & Sons Solicitors deal with are: –
In Northern Ireland, the penalty for breaking the speed limit is a fine between £60 and £200, which is payable in 21 days. Penalty points can be added to a licence which can result in disqualification from driving.
Driving without insurance
If you’re caught driving a vehicle and you’re not insured to drive, the police will hand out a minimum fixed penalty fine of £200, along with 6 penalty points. The police will decide whether more serious cases are to be handled in court. For example, cases where a driver has never passed a driving test, has given false details or was driving a higher risk vehicle, like an HGV.
A court can issue an unlimited fine and disqualification from driving. The police also have the power to seize and destroy the vehicle even if it doesn’t belong to you.
No MOT Certificate
Without a current MOT certificate, you will be unable to drive your vehicle lawfully or renew your road tax. The penalty for not having a valid MOT is a fine of up to £1,000 if the case goes to court. If your car has failed the test and is deemed as ‘dangerous’ you could result in a fine of up to £2,500 with accompanying points on your licence, or more severe cases, a driving disqualification.
Careless or Dangerous driving
Driving without due care and attention (e.g. inadvertently driving through a red light) and the more serious offence of dangerous driving (e.g. where a death occurs) can both result in penalty points, driving disqualification, unlimited fines, and prison sentences ranging from 5 to 14 years.
Drink or drug driving
Convictions for drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs can result in fines, driving bans, and even imprisonment. You could get up to 6 months imprisonment, a fine of up to £5,000, a ban on driving ranging from 12 months to 3 years, and you may be required to re-sit your driving test before your license is returned.
Using a Mobile Phone or Handling a Sat Nav System
It is illegal to hold or use a mobile phone or sat nav while driving or while stationary (unless a phone is being used to call the emergency services and it is unsafe or impractical to stop). In Northern Ireland, if you are caught using a hand-held mobile phone or sat nav while driving, you will automatically receive a fixed penalty notice of 6 penalty points and a fine of £200. If your case goes to court, you may face disqualification on top of a maximum fine of £1,000.
Not Wearing a Seatbelt
Drivers are responsible for wearing their seatbelts and for ensuring that any children in their vehicle are in the correct car seat. As a driver, you may get a fine of £500 and 3 penalty points for not wearing your seat belt. If you are carrying a child under 14 without the proper restraint you are liable for a fine of £500 and three penalty points.
How can McPartland & Sons Help?
As professional road traffic solicitors, we are fully qualified in handling all driving offences and road traffic incidents. Our team is completely client-focused, and we pride ourselves on building trust and providing value to each of our clients, so you can be confident in us and our ability to defend you. Get in touch with us today for expert advice on traffic offences and appeals.
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