Caught Using a Mobile Phone Whilst Driving
WE DEFEND LOTS OF PEOPLE ACCUSED OF USING A MOBILE WHILST DRIVING/DRIVING WITH MOBILE PHONE
It's an offence to use a hand held mobile whilst driving a motor vehicle. The offence carries a fine of up to £1000 and 3 points on your licence. If you reject the fixed penalty and ask for a court hearing you will be at risk of higher fines and court costs but the points will remain the same.
What do the prosecution have to prove?
The prosecution have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you were actually driving with a mobile phone in your hand and in use. "Use" includes using the phone for any telecommunication purpose, not just making or receiving a call.
If you get caught driving with a mobile phone in use and if you are seen to be holding the mobile phone at the time you will be at risk of 3 points and a fixed penalty or a summons to court.
Casting a doubt.
In order to be found not guilty you need to cast a doubt. You can do this by giving evidence that you were not using/holding the mobile phone whilst driving and that the officer was mistaken (you should rarely accuse an officer of lying unless you can prove this beyond any doubt!). It also help if you are able to exhibit your phone records to show that no calls/texts etc, were made or received at the relevant time.
Officer refused to look at my phone at the time !
Sometimes officers will refuse to look at your phone in order to check the call records at the time. This can be used to your advantage at trial, because an officer is under a duty to carry out a proper investigation and look for both evidence that points towards an offence (of mobile phone use whilst driving) having been committed and also evidence that points away from an offence being committed.
When the officer is cross examined at trial it should be put to him that he was offered the opportunity to check the phone records but failed to do so.
Not being in proper control of a vehicle
Police officers will often stop you on suspicion of using a phone whilst driving and then change the allegation at the last minute.
They will often change the charge to "not being in proper control of a vehicle". This carries the risk of 3 points or a discretionary ban and fines and court costs. You normally get the offer of 3 penalty pooints and a £60 fixed penalty.
Officers tend to change tact because something you say in your defence makes the officer uncertain that they will be able to prove that you actually used the phone, for example you asked the officer to look at your call records which show the phone was not in use. Officers then tend to change tact and accuse you of fiddling with the phone rather than actually using it..
In order to convict you at court the officer would have to prove that you were not in proper control (e.g. weaving) and that you did not have a full view of the road ahead (e.g. looking down at the buttons/screen..).
We successfully defend lots of these allegations. Find out where you stand today......Ask us a FREE question
If you have a court hearing date call 01626 359800
Clarke v CPS 2013 EWHC 366 (Admin)
It's not easy to defend a speeding allegation and its becoming increasingly difficult with cases like this.
A new client came to us after being banned by the Magistrates for 6 months. He had accumulated 12 points within 3 years and the Magistrates court banned him for 6 months. The client tried to argue exceptional hardship on his own and the court rejected his argument.
Our client instructed us to represent him at court when he was charged with overloading a hired minibus. He had hired the minibus as he had his extended family visiting for a holiday. At the same time builders were refurbishing his house and asked him if he could help them collect some extra sand and cement. Our client agreed and they went with him to the DIY shop to collect the materials.