Trust me it doesn’t happen very often……We want it in writing, framed and on the wall!
We were asked to advise a client on an application to lift a ban early after he had served two years of the three years imposed.
Whilst taking initial instructions it became clear he should not have got a ban in the first place….!!
All the lawyers in court got it wrong – The District Judge, The Court Clerk, The CPS and most importantly our client’s OWN lawyer ! (Not us I hasten to add)
Client was originally charged with failing to supply a specimen of breath for analysis.
He had a previous drink driving matter in the 10 years before. The Judge gave him a mandatory minimum 3 year ban. (If you commit two drink driving related offences within 10 years the minimum ban increases from 12 months to 3 years.)
There is a set list of offences covered by the 3 year rule. Failing to supply a specimen in relation to an investigation into drink driving – is one of the offences covered.
BUT this was not an offence of failing to supply a specimen in relation to an investigation into drink driving….. This was an investigation in relation to being in charge of a vehicle whilst over the limit.
“What’s the difference?” I hear you ask. The difference is Failing To Supply in relation to drink driving carries a 3 year ban (if you have a previous in the last 10 years) Failing To Supply in relation to being in charge carries 10 Penalty Points or a discretionary ban – no minimum!! So a huge difference.
We appealed to the Crown Court out of time. The Crown Court contacted the Magistrates Court.
The District Judge in the Magistrates court contacted us and offered to reopen the sentence (rather than us having to carry on with the appeal) and via his court clerk expressed sympathy for getting it wrong.
We went back to the Magistrates Court and the District Judge reduced the ban so that it deemed served by the time he had already been banned – i.e. no penalty points going forward. The District Judge accepted that he had got the law wrong!
Patterson Law -setting the record straight again!