Motor Defence

Overview

Chambers has taken a lead in this field by having a dedicated Motor Defence Team. It works in close conjunction with the Personal Injury Group, allowing a ‘cradle to grave’ approach to be possible for specific cases, as well as having a detailed understanding as to the impact of criminal proceedings on a civil claim. The team has a proven track record in its representation of drivers involved in fatal collisions, but also provides advice and representation on all areas of motoring  including speeding, the avoidance of disqualification on penalty points or “totting up” (exceptional hardship), driving without due care and attention (careless driving), dangerous driving and drink driving.


SPECIALISTS IN MOTORING LAW

Prosecutions alleging Death by Careless or Dangerous Driving

Both of these offences are extremely serious for all those involved including drivers, employers, and insurers. They require sensitive handling and the ability to understand and analyse expert evidence on accident reconstruction. The team has a formidable reputation defending the most serious motoring offences throughout England and Wales, successfully defending coach drivers, HGV drivers and motorists who have been prosecuted for these offences.

Prosecution following serious or catastrophic injury

The team has a comprehensive understanding of the importance of these cases from the driver’s perspective, as well as the inevitability of a high value civil claim. The team is regularly involved in providing advice not only to the lay client in relation to the criminal offence, but also the appropriate advice to the insurance client to enable appropriate reserves to be put in place, as well as liability considerations.

Prosecutions by VOSA or involving tachograph offences

It is essential that any company or individual who is being investigated or prosecuted by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency ("VOSA") has access to specialist legal advice at the earliest opportunity as the consequences of a conviction can have far-reaching implications. Members of the team have an intimate knowledge of this area and have appeared in a number of cases involving investigations carried out by VOSA. We provide representation in the Magistrates Courts, the Crown Courts and appeal hearings against findings of the Traffic Commissioner. We can also represent those who are due to attend public enquiries.

Coroners Court

Where the incident has resulted in a fatality there may well follow a Coroner’s Inquest. We are able to attend on behalf of Interested Persons and ask questions of witnesses. This can be of vital importance where a decision as to prosecution is still a possibility and advice and representation regarding the Coroners Rules relating to self-incrimination is required.

Interviews under Caution

Members work closely with solicitors at an early stage to understand the issues a client maybe facing and advise accordingly. In the initial stages of an investigation we can provide advice regarding the appropriate approach to the PACE interview. Frequently we are asked to advise on representations that can be made to the Police to persuade them that no further action is necessary.

Chambers has taken a lead in this field by having a dedicated Motor Defence Team. It works in close conjunction with the Personal Injury Group, allowing a ‘cradle to grave’ approach to be possible for specific cases, as well as having a detailed understanding as to the impact of criminal proceedings on a civil claim. The team has a proven track record in its representation of drivers involved in fatal collisions, but also provides advice and representation on all areas of motoring  including speeding, the avoidance of disqualification on penalty points or “totting up” (exceptional hardship), driving without due care and attention (careless driving), dangerous driving and drink driving.


SPECIALISTS IN MOTORING LAW

Prosecutions alleging Death by Careless or Dangerous Driving

Both of these offences are extremely serious for all those involved including drivers, employers, and insurers. They require sensitive handling and the ability to understand and analyse expert evidence on accident reconstruction. The team has a formidable reputation defending the most serious motoring offences throughout England and Wales, successfully defending coach drivers, HGV drivers and motorists who have been prosecuted for these offences.

Prosecution following serious or catastrophic injury

The team has a comprehensive understanding of the importance of these cases from the driver’s perspective, as well as the inevitability of a high value civil claim. The team is regularly involved in providing advice not only to the lay client in relation to the criminal offence, but also the appropriate advice to the insurance client to enable appropriate reserves to be put in place, as well as liability considerations.

Prosecutions by VOSA or involving tachograph offences

It is essential that any company or individual who is being investigated or prosecuted by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency ("VOSA") has access to specialist legal advice at the earliest opportunity as the consequences of a conviction can have far-reaching implications. Members of the team have an intimate knowledge of this area and have appeared in a number of cases involving investigations carried out by VOSA. We provide representation in the Magistrates Courts, the Crown Courts and appeal hearings against findings of the Traffic Commissioner. We can also represent those who are due to attend public enquiries.

Coroners Court

Where the incident has resulted in a fatality there may well follow a Coroner’s Inquest. We are able to attend on behalf of Interested Persons and ask questions of witnesses. This can be of vital importance where a decision as to prosecution is still a possibility and advice and representation regarding the Coroners Rules relating to self-incrimination is required.

Interviews under Caution

Members work closely with solicitors at an early stage to understand the issues a client maybe facing and advise accordingly. In the initial stages of an investigation we can provide advice regarding the appropriate approach to the PACE interview. Frequently we are asked to advise on representations that can be made to the Police to persuade them that no further action is necessary.

  • R v. Leeming.  Successful defence of a coach driver relating to allegation of causing death by careless driving. The Judge stopped case after defence cross examination of prosecution witnesses.
  • CPS v. Daniel.  Successful defence in relation to an allegation of careless driving. Young cyclist injured at a mini-roundabout. Defence case rested on cyclist being to blame for the collision. Substantial long term injuries.  Large reserve on the file.
  • R v. Bennett.  Represented defendant who faced an allegation of causing death by Dangerous Driving after the defendant had a ‘micro-sleep’ while driving back from the airport. He killed his long term partner. Negotiations with CPS led to them accepting a plea to causing death by careless driving and a non- custodial sentence being passed by the court.
  • R v. Wilson.  Successful defence in a prosecution for death by careless driving. Jury acquitted defendant who was accused of pulling out of a junction killing a motorcyclist.
  • R v. Matthews.  Represented defendant initially facing an allegation of death by dangerous driving. After negotiation with the CPS and legal argument the defendant pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving and was sentenced to a non-custodial sentence.
  • CPS v. Lynch.  Successful defence of an allegation of careless driving. High value civil claim relating to motor cyclist substantially injured at a cross roads.
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