Minimum Ban For Drink Driving Client



Helen Newman of Forrest Williams

Helen Newman of Forrest Williams

A Firm That Listens To You
by Helen Newman


I recently had a client charged with Drink Driving appearing in St Albans Magistrates Court. She was guilty of the offence, she fully accepted that she had been out drinking and had taken the decision to get in her car and drive home. Based on her reading a disqualification of 17-22 months was expected as that is what the sentencing guidelines suggest.


Except that wasn’t the full story. Yes she drove, but she drove to get away from unwanted attention, to get away from a guy that was not only following her but had climbed into her car uninvited and who she had to trick to get  back out the vehicle.


This client may have had a defence, she definitely had grounds to consider a Special Reasons application not to disqualify her – but she didn’t want to go down either of these routes. So instead we worked with her to build a case for mitigation and persuaded the courts to deviate from the sentencing guidelines and only impose the minimum tariff the law allows – 12 months which they then further reduced to 9 should she complete the Drink Driving Rehabilitation course, giving her the absolute lowest ban possible for any drink driving conviction.


We pride ourselves on our client care at Forrest Williams – to us every client should feel like they matter because they truly do! We have a hand picked selection of Barristers we use regularly who, like us, know and believe that every client deserves to have their story told. In this case once the Magistrates had passed sentence our Barrister challenged the Bench on something they said and then got them to reduce the sentence down further!


A FANTASTIC result for our client!


Now compare this with a call I had from an enquiry who had been promised by another firm that they would get her off her Drink Driving charge – they were 100% confident… they have a 94% success rate at trial… they can make sure she is not convicted of the offence – but when I asked her how they were going to do this she told me about a procedural error the police had made which meant the case would be dropped. Except the other firm hadn’t told her that the law on that point changed a few weeks ago and her case came after the change, so it was not a defence.


We do not make promises we cannot keep. We will not give you a success rate based upon a %. What we will do is advise you openly and honestly about your options. We do have a good success rate, but in large part because we do not suggest clients pursue cases unless we truly believe they have a good chance of success.


If you want your case handled by a firm who pride themselves on client care, who will listen to you, your needs and your views, understanding that it is your case and your life, then give the Forrest Williams team a call on 01623 600645.



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