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Pleading Guilty to a Driving Offence

Pragma Law
Based on 38 reviews
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Guilty Pleas – The Basics

Our solicitors and barristers are genuine motoring offence specialists.Guilty to a driving offence

Lucy Whitaker has many years’ experience representing drivers pleading guilty to motoring offences in the criminal courts.

If you instruct us to act for you in the Magistrates’ Court, Lucy will put forward a persuasive argument on your behalf to keep the penalty to a minimum.

If you have a sentencing hearing in the Crown Court for a serious driving offence, you will be represented by a specialist motoring law barrister.

Pleading guilty to a driving offence at court

You can plead guilty to some motoring offences in writing, either online or by post. If you need help to plead guilty in writing, get in touch.

Some offences require you to go to court to enter your plea, or for sentencing.

You will need to go to court if:

  • You will reach 12 or more penalty points and are at risk of a totting up disqualification
  • You have committed a more serious offence and are at risk of disqualification, imprisonment or a community order.

If you are supposed to go to court and do not attend, the court is likely to deal with your case in your absence. This is likely to result in you being convicted or sentenced without your knowledge.

The court could also issue a warrant for your arrest. If you are on bail for an offence such as drink driving, you would commit a separate offence if you did not attend.

If for any reason you cannot attend court, you must contact the court and let them know why.

Who will be at court?

In the Magistrates’ Court, there will be two or three magistrates, who are not legally qualified but have had some legal training. Alternatively, there may be one District Judge (DJ) who will be an experienced solicitor or barrister.

In front of the Magistrates or DJ, there will be a legal adviser. They are qualified solicitors or barristers. He or she is there to assist the court and ensure that the law is applied correctly. They should not influence the decision of the court.

Facing the legal adviser will be a prosecutor acting on behalf of the police. They are also qualified solicitors or barristers.

If you have representation, your solicitor or barrister will stand on the opposite side to the prosecutor, facing the legal adviser.

You will sit in the dock or in a chair designated for the defendant.

There may be press in court or member of the public. Most criminal proceedings are held in open courts so the public is permitted to go into the courtroom.


Witnesses are not required to attend court unless there is going to be a trial. The court will not ask them to go to the first court hearing. If you are pleading guilty and your case has not been listed for a trial, the police and other witnesses will not be there.


This is an overview of the procedure of a guilty plea in the Magistrates’ Court.


The legal adviser asks you as the defendant to confirm your name, date of birth, address and nationality. They also read the charge to you and you enter your plea of guilty or not guilty.

The Prosecution

The prosecutor will give the court a summary of the circumstances of the offence. They may say some things that you disagree with, but you should not interrupt them. Your solicitor will get the opportunity to address those points later when they put forward mitigation.

The prosecutor may refer to the Sentencing Guidelines and will also ask for a contribution to the cost of bringing the case.

The Defence

Your solicitor will explain the circumstances to the court in an attempt to get you a lighter sentence. This can include reasons or explanations of why you committed the offence and also details of the impact it would have on you depending on the sentence imposed.

It will often be appropriate for your lawyer to hand up any references or other documents which support the mitigation.


The Magistrates or DJ may leave the room to make their decision or they may remain in the court.

They will come back into court and ask you to stand up before announcing their decision. With more serious offences, the court may want you to speak with a probation officer before making a sentencing decision. Depending on the availability of probation, the case may need to be adjourned to another date.

If you have to pay a fine, you may be asked how you soon you can make payment. The court may allow you to pay the fine in instalments if you will have difficulty paying it all at once.

For more information see our Pleading Guilty in a Magistrates’ Court FAQs below.

Lucy Whitaker

Lucy Whitaker


Give me a call to discuss your driving case. I have many years’ experience dealing with all sorts of driving offences. You can read more about me here.

Pleading guilty to a motoring offence FAQs

Do I need a solicitor to plead guilty?

It depends on your circumstances but it is advisable if you are:

  • worried about the hearing and would like the reassurance of having someone on your side who knows what to do.
  • at risk of disqualification or penalty points that will result in the revocation of your licence.
  • not sure if you are guilty and would like a second opinion.
  • facing a serious offence which carries a possible risk of imprisonment, such as drink driving, dangerous driving or failing to stop or report.
  • worried that you may not be able to express what you want in court.

If you think you can represent yourself but would like some guidance, we can arrange a conference with you to explain the procedure, answer any questions and advise you on how to prepare for court. 


Does it look worse if I have a solicitor come to court with me?

No, it will not look worse. If anything, it should convince the court that you are taking the matter very seriously. It will not make you look guilty.

We have even represented other solicitors in court who do not have a background in criminal law.

What should I wear to a magistrates court?

You should dress respectfully in the way you would for a job interview. Ideally, you should avoid denim and tracksuits if possible. Do not wear ripped jeans or shorts to a court or you risk getting turned away. 

If you have to go to court straight from work and do not have time to get changed, do not worry as the court should be understanding.

Can I take someone with me to court?

Yes, you can take someone with you for support. It is best to keep the number of people to a minimum as there is not always enough room in the court for everyone. 


Pragma Law
Based on 38 reviews
powered by Google
Asad Ahmed
Asad Ahmed
15:41 21 May 21
5* have dealt with lucy twice now! Very professional. Knows what shes doing! Would definitely recommend!
Bobby Charles
Bobby Charles
19:05 07 Feb 21
I have had an extremely positive experience with Lucy Whittaker. She is very knowledgeable, very proactive and always... explains things in a clear and precise.She was able to convince the court to drop a driving without due care charge despite the police and the CPS disareeing.I would hesitate to recommend Lucy and Pragma Law anyone who needs more
harry bedder
harry bedder
15:53 16 Dec 20
Fantastic Service provided by Lucy, very profesional and quick at getting you answers and providing the help you might... need! I will definitly be recomening Pragma Law to anyone I know that has a motoring proplem please do the more
Jobin Mathew Joseph
Jobin Mathew Joseph
18:11 25 Nov 20
Absolutely brilliant! 100 percent reliable! The case was related to driving matter and I had initially approached few... other solicitors for help with my case. They all denied saying we would not win the case. But Lucy happily took the case and help me win the case with the best possible outcome.She puts you at ease and confidence. Very responsive in your queries. She genuinely care for case and very pleasant to deal with. Always well prepared and wins you the best possible outcome. Very Very Strongly recommend. Thanks much more
Lewis Cobley
Lewis Cobley
11:12 05 Nov 20
I highly recommend Pragma Law for any motoring problem. They were very efficient and professional even with little time... to more
A Google User
A Google User
14:30 04 Jul 20
What can I say about pragma law and Lucy whitaker, 1st class absolutely brilliant!!!. I had my licence revoked last... October due to vasovagal syncope (faint) from the word go Lucy was brilliant, and I only dealt with her, she explained everything, in every stage extremely professional in everything she does, and had my licence back. What a result!!! thank you so much more
hannah vanessa
hannah vanessa
15:45 15 Jun 20
I suffer with anxiety (as many) and this incident completely took over my life for months until I met Lucy. I was super... comfortable and confident in her work as she was very professional and was always available to help. Really helped take the stress away - thanks Lucy and thanks Pragma!read more
Wayne Davies
Wayne Davies
14:51 08 Jun 20
What can I say about pragma law and Lucy whitaker, 1st class absolutely brilliant!!!. I had my licence revoked last... October due to vasovagal syncope (faint) from the word go Lucy was brilliant, and I only dealt with her, she explained everything, in every stage extremely professional in everything she does, and had my licence back. What a result!!! thank you so much more
Rukhsar Latif
Rukhsar Latif
13:59 19 May 20
Lucy genuinly cares about her clients she took on my case dealt with everything herself and won my case I couldn't be... happier with the results and the service. I will definitely be using Pragma Law again if needs more
Vicky Clarke
Vicky Clarke
20:16 03 Mar 20
I couldn't have hoped for a better solicitor. Lucy did everything she could to get the best possible outcome for me,... and I can't thank her enoughread more
Paul Mercer
Paul Mercer
17:19 31 Jan 20
Lucy Whitaker provided an impressive, cost effective service. She was objective, responded quickly to questions and, I... believe, offered the best advice before efficiently dealing with a case as it came to court.I would have no hesitation either in using Lucy again, should the need arise, or recommending her more
Rebecca Hodkinson
Rebecca Hodkinson
16:33 19 Nov 19
Lucy represented me in a driving case and I couldn't be happier. She was friendly, professional and pragmatic without... giving me false hope. The outcome was a more positive one than I expected and that's down to her advice and detailed preparations. Would highly recommend! Thank you Lucy!read more
Gary Sykes
Gary Sykes
22:12 04 Oct 19
We were so impressed with Lucy Whitaker. She represented our son in an unusual driving case which thanks to her... knowledge, care & understanding, ended in a much better than expected outcome. Clear, concise & professional, we highly recommend her... can't thank her enough!!read more
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Centrally Based

I'm based in Nottingham and offer a nationwide service. Below is a list of the locations I cover most frequently. If yours isn't on the list, I would still be delighted to help you wherever you are in England or Wales.