A guide to our charges
If you are going to court in relation to driving offences, legal aid may be unavailable, depending on the nature of the case.
For any offence of dangerous driving or taking a vehicle, driving whilst disqualified, or any offence where death or serious injury has been caused, legal aid is likely to be available, subject to means, and where it is not available we will discuss the potential costs with you on a case by case basis.
Whatever the offence, your case will be dealt with by one of our solicitors, all of whom have more than 15 years post-qualification experience. If we instruct a barrister on your behalf we will choose one who is committed to the same high standards.
Drink driving / drug driving / failing to provide a specimen
These offences are imprisonable and can have serious consequences as they carry a mandatory disqualification. We will look carefully at whether legal aid is available in your case. There are strict procedures for the police to follow and it is important for us to check that the evidence in your case supports the charge. In certain cases we may need to instruct our own expert to look at eg blood alcohol or drug levels, which will be charged as an additional cost.
If legal aid is not available or you do not qualify on means, our charges are likely to be as follows. If there are features of your case which mean we have to depart from these figures we will advise you before any costs are incurred so that you have the full information before you decide to instruct us.
- Straightforward guilty plea to drink driving – £400 plus VAT
- Advice on plea and procedure- drink/ drug driving, or failing to provide a specimen, leading to guilty plea – £500 plus VAT.
- Advice on plea and procedure, leading to not guilty plea and representation at trial – £600 plus VAT per half day at court.
Non-imprisonable motoring offences
These offences can carry either a potential disqualification from driving or an endorsement of penalty points. If you incur 12 penalty points within 3 years then you are likely to be disqualified from driving unless you can persuade the court that exceptional hardship will be caused by your disqualification.
Exceptional hardship would include such factors as loss of your job causing hardship for your family, inability to carry out caring tasks, or hardship caused to someone else such as your employer or staff if you were unable to carry out your work. In order to establish exceptional hardship you would need to give evidence before the court and may need to call other witnesses or produce documents at the hearing to support your argument.
If the court finds exceptional hardship you may not argue it again using the same set of circumstances for three years.
Our charges for a guilty plea and exceptional hardship argument would normally be in the region of £500 plus VAT.
It is also sometimes possible to avoid endorsement or disqualification if ‘special reasons’ apply. This can include anything relating to the circumstances of the offence which makes it unfair in the court’s view to impose a penalty. Examples include speeding in response to a genuine emergency, driving without insurance after being misled, or driving a vehicle a very short distance. We will advise you on anything which might constitute a special reason in your case. If we need to obtain additional evidence such as an expert report then we will advise you as to the cost of this.
Our charges for a guilty plea and special reasons argument would normally be in the region of £500 plus VAT.
For straightforward guilty pleas to speeding, mobile phone or other traffic offences, where mitigation is to be presented to the court, we would normally charge £400 plus VAT.
Failure to provide driver information
If you are attending court for an offence under s172 of the Road Traffic Act of failing to provide driver information we would strongly suggest you obtain advice before you attend. These cases are not straightforward and it is easy to fall foul of the legislation without realising. You can face a minimum endorsement of six penalty points even when you were not the driver of the vehicle.
Our charges for consideration of the papers and initial advice would be £300 plus VAT. For representation at court on a guilty plea we would charge £400 plus VAT. For a contested trial we would charge £600 plus VAT per half day as above.
All the above are indications of charges for attendance at court in Sheffield. If you need us to attend court further afield then we will need to charge for travelling time and mileage depending on the location.
If the type of case you are facing is not listed above please do not hesitate to get in touch and we can advise you further.