Are All Drink Driving Solicitors the Same?

by Blog post, Drink Driving

The answer is ‘no’. There are differences in approach and price. When choosing the best drink-driving solicitor for your court case, you should consider several factors.

Success Rates

There are many firms that promote their successful results on their websites but not all are clear on the definition of success. It is therefore impossible to compare like with like. Success may mean an acquittal (not guilty verdict) but could also apply to a slight reduction in the typical sentence.

Be careful of anyone who suggests that they can win your driving case without knowing much about it. Not all cases can be positively defended.

It is true that many cases result in an acquittal due to

  • the police or CPS failing to produce an important document or
  • a prosecution witness such as a police officer failing to go to court.

However, the failure of the prosecution to do its job is not necessarily a reflection on the quality of your lawyer. Of course, if you are one of the ‘lucky’ individuals whose case falls into that category you will be pleased that you were advised to adopt this approach.

If there are no such failures and so are found guilty you may not be so happy with the advice. You will be ordered to pay far higher prosecution costs, lose credit for a plea and often lose sympathy with the court.

If you are pleading not guilty to any driving offence, make sure you know exactly what your defence is. Your lawyer should advise you in writing in a way you understand. If they do not, you should question their reasons for advising you to plead not guilty.

Drink-driving cases can be difficult to defend because the prosecution does not have to prove much to get a conviction. Relying on the prosecution’s inefficiency as a way of getting an acquittal can work, but, it is important you know the risks. If you are a typical risk-taker with plenty of money to spare, then it may be worth finding a solicitor who deals with cases in this way.

Our approach is to scrutinise the case for any possible defence and advise on the prospects of success. If, after careful consideration, there is no fundamental error or potential statutory defence, we will advise you to plead guilty. If our clients want to put the prosecution to proof we are content to do so. However, our lawyers do not routinely advise people to plead not guilty unless there is something to base a successful defence on.

We are often contacted by individuals who have previously instructed other firms and have been advised to plead not guilty. Further down the line, they may have run out of money but still aren’t sure what their defence is.

Expertise

If you engage a lawyer you assume that you will be getting quality advice. However, driving offences can involve technical legal issues that may not be identified by a general criminal lawyer.  For this reason, it may be worth choosing a specialist.

Our lawyers only deal with driving offences on a daily basis so are familiar with all aspects of drink-driving law.

It is extremely unlikely you will find a specialist driving lawyer who deals with legal aid. Most legal aid lawyers deal with general crime although they will help with imprisonable motoring offences.

Approach & Service

Are you happy to be dealt with by multiple paralegals or would you prefer to deal with one or two solicitors? Law firms have different business models and some cannot offer one point of contact in the way we can.

Our staff turnover is non-existent. It is extremely rare that any query is not responded to within one business day. You will see from our reviews that we have never been accused of being ‘difficult to get hold of’.

Cost

There may be vast differences between law firms’ costs. When it comes to drink-driving lawyers, the most expensive is not necessarily the best. Equally, the cheapest is not necessarily the worst.

It is important to know what the typical fees involved are. Lawyers should tell you these in writing. They should also be published on their website if they have one.

We keep our initial consultation fee a lot lower than many other specialist drink-drive solicitors. Until we have gleaned some initial information from you and assessed the merits of any defence it can be difficult to give a clear idea of the total fees. Pleading guilty at the first court hearing is always going to cost far less than taking a matter to trial. The consultation is used to assess your case and give you an informed legal opinion rather than to lock you into an agreement.

If you have been arrested and have to go to court for an alcohol-related driving offence we would be pleased to help.

 

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