We can help if you have received a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) in connection with summary only motoring offences (these are offences that can be tried in the Magistrates’ Court only as opposed to the Crown Court) such as speeding, careless or inconsiderate driving (driving without due care and attention) and driving without insurance.
We can advise you on a plea (whether you wish to plead guilty or not guilty), possible sentencing and make submissions on your behalf to seek to mitigate your sentence (arguments for as lenient a sentence as possible).
If you already have points on your driving licence and further points (whether on a fixed penalty or in court) would take you over the maximum permitted number of 12 points we can help you make arguments of exceptional hardship which, if accepted by the court, would mean you are not disqualified from driving even though the number of points exceeds 12.
We can also help make submissions of Special Reasons where the offence has technically been committed but there are particular circumstances that mean the court might not impose any penalty.
We are usually prepared to advise and offer representation in court for a fixed fee of £500 plus VAT for straight forward guilty pleas and mitigation. Travel within a radius of 20 miles from our offices is included but beyond that travel expenses and time will be charged. Our hourly rate is £150 plus VAT.
The fee would include:
- 2 hours attendance/preparation:
- considering evidence
- taking your instructions
- providing advice on likely sentence
- Attendance and representation at a single hearing at the Magistrates’ Court
If Special Reasons or Exceptional Hardship arguments are necessary the fee would be £1,000 plus VAT. Travel within a radius of 20 miles from our offices is included but beyond that travel expenses and time will be charged. Our hourly rate is £150 plus VAT.
- 5 hours attendance/preparation
- Considering evidence
- taking instructions
- Providing advice in relation to plea and likely sentence or where this is not possible advice on the options available to the court in relation to sentencing
- Where appropriate, advice on whether an exceptional hardship, or special reasons argument should be made and assisting in preparing and submitting such arguments
- Representation at a single hearing
Our fixed fees do not include
- instruction of any expert witnesses
- taking statements from any witnesses
- advice or assistance in relation to any appeal
The key stages of your matter are based on the presumption that you have entered a guilty plea and have a date for your hearing.
- Meet with your solicitor to provide instructions on what happened.
- We will consider initial disclosure, and any other evidence and provide advice.
- Arranging to take any witness statements if necessary (this will have an additional cost, of 2 hours @ £150 plus VAT).
- We will explain the court procedure to you so you know what to expect on the day of your hearing, and the sentencing options available to the court.
- We will conduct any further preparatory work, obtain further instructions from you if necessary and answer any follow up queries you have.
- We cannot provide a timescale of when your hearing will take place, as this depends on the court listing for that day.
- We will attend court on the day and meet with you before going before the court. We anticipate being at court for half a day.
- We will discuss the outcome with you. If advice is required on appeal, this will carry an additional cost.
The work will be undertaken by Nick Bettridge, a senior solicitor and director of Sentinels Solicitors Ltd who has been practising since 1994 and qualified as a solicitor in 1996. Nick has represented clients in summary motoring offences in the Magistrates’ Courts since then including pleas, mitigation, exceptional hardship, special reasons and full trials.