Nellany & Co is one of Ayrshire’s busiest and most esteemed law firms in court matters. Our general practice has been established in North Ayrshire for more than a century. With around 40 years of experience in road traffic law, combined with our local knowledge, you know you will have quality representation when you need it most. Our firm has a specialist department in Road Traffic Defence Work, headed by our Partner Gordon Ghee. Gordon is a Senior Partner in our Court/Litigation Department. Gordon is always happy to help and advise clients and has a great deal of experience in building successful legal arguments in road traffic cases. Our team can assist you in the following areas:
- Speeding (due to the increase in the number of speed cameras nationwide, speeding convictions are becoming more common).
- Careless driving, including causing injury or death by careless driving.
- Dangerous driving, including causing injury or death by dangerous driving.
- Construction and use of vehicles (the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 provide that it is an offence to drive or permit another to drive a vehicle if they are in such a position that they cannot have proper control of the vehicle or have a full view of the road ahead).
- Driving without insurance.
- Totting up (the totting up rules provide that you will be automatically disqualified from driving for a period of at least six months if you receive 12 or more penalty points within a period of three years).
- Driving without permission (also known as “joyriding”).
- Driving while disqualified.
- Drink driving/driving while under the influence of drugs (including prescription drugs).
- Mobile phone usage (it is an offence to use a mobile phone or any other hand-held device while driving. It should be noted that the penalties for using a mobile phone while driving increased on 1 March 2017 from three penalty points to six, and from a £100 to £200 penalty notice.)
- Underage driving.
We are also able to advise on road traffic cases more generally – if your particular situation does not seem to fall under any of the categories above, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Careless and dangerous driving
Both careless and dangerous driving are motor offences carrying severe penalties. The maximum sentence for careless driving is a £5,000 fine and up to nine penalty points (alongside discretionary disqualification), and a conviction for dangerous driving can result in up to two years in prison and an automatic disqualification. Any standard of driving slightly below that expected of a competent and careful driver is “careless”, whereas dangerous driving falls far below this standard. There is no “black and white” distinction between the two, although we will be able to advise of the likely charge and penalties you might face if convicted for either offence and the potential defences available to you. Some examples of careless driving include overtaking on the inside and accidentally driving through a red light, whereas dangerous driving tends to involve reckless conduct, such as ignoring traffic lights and racing on the roads.
Proceedings in court
Whether it is a minor road traffic matter or accident, or a prosecution in the Sheriff or High Court, we will advise you and assist in the presentation of your case before the Court. We will generally try to resolve your situation as soon as possible, ideally, before the case reaches the Sheriff or High Court, and can represent you in police interviews. If, however, your situation results in court proceedings, we will ensure that we make the best possible argument on your behalf and that your version of events is explained to the police and, if necessary, in court. Our team will also ensure that any potential defences and mitigating circumstances are raised during the proceedings. We cover road traffic cases in the Kilmarnock, Ayr, Glasgow, and Stranraer Sheriff Courts, as well as the High Court of Justiciary, but we will happily represent you elsewhere if required. We do not charge for travelling and will always meet you in person, unless you prefer to speak to us over the phone. We understand that court proceedings are almost always a difficult and stressful experience, and will endeavour to put you at ease and answer any questions you have about the court process. Our service is always non-judgmental, and our focus is on obtaining the best outcome for you.
Exceptional hardship and special reasons
If you are facing disqualification under the “totting up” rules, the court has the discretion to reduce the period of disqualification, or, indeed, to allow you to retain your licence, if disqualification will cause exceptional hardship. This will not apply in all cases of disqualification, but if you can show that, for example, losing your licence would lead to loss of your livelihood, the judge may allow you to retain your licence. We will be able to advise you on your chance of success in arguing that this ought to apply to your case, and can prepare arguments for you on this point if you wish us to do so. In cases involving particular motor offences, such as a drink driving conviction, the judge or sheriff is required by law to impose a disqualification. In others (such as speeding and careless driving), the judge or sheriff will have a degree of discretion as to whether or not they disqualify the driver. If a special reason applies, they will normally allow the defender to keep their licence. The term special reason refers to a circumstance that justifies the defender’s otherwise illegal conduct – for example, speeding over a short distance because of a medical emergency. If you feel that a special reason applies to your case, we will ensure this is conveyed to the police and, if necessary, the judge or sheriff.
Contact our Road Traffic Lawyers in Ayrshire, Scotland
If you are facing a potential conviction for a road traffic offence, it is important to be represented by an experienced road traffic lawyer from the earliest possible stage in the proceedings against you. We would advise that you contact us as soon as possible, so that we can begin to prepare a successful defence. As a family firm, we understand the severe impact a conviction and the potential loss of your licence might have on your life, loved ones and livelihood. We will seek to put your mind at rest and secure a fair and successful outcome in your case. Gordon, Fraser, and our motor law team have a wealth of experience and are well equipped to make a strong case on your behalf, to protect your licence and livelihood. Legal Aid may be available – please contact us if you have any concerns about financing your case, or if you would like further information on the Legal Aid scheme. Contact us here or call 01294 464 175.
From our offices in North Ayrshire, we serve clients all across Scotland, including Saltcoats and Ardrossan, Skelmorlie and Stewarton, Ayr and Irvine, Kilwinning and West Kilbride, Troon and Prestwick, Largs and Fairlie, Kilmarnock and Kilmaurs.