Read Some Recent Cases
We have many clients who are referred to us by other solicitors who know of our reputation for winning ’No Hope Cases’. The clients are often demoralised as they face the prospect of losing their licence, facing a hefty fine or even doing jail time.
Even in court we see time after time, so called Road Traffic solicitors simply admit the driving charge with little effort to actually win for the client. Why? Because it takes a lot of effort, experience, a deep understanding of the legal procedures involved and we are not ashamed to say it ’Superior Skill’. The Road Traffic Experts will examine the details of your case very carefully and if we find a crack in their allegations, procedures, documentation or whatever, you can be sure we will exploit that crack to the fullest extent.
How good are we? Although we can not give names a recent client was referred to us by one of the most senior police officers in Scotland! The client’s words were " If any solicitor can get out of this mess, Richard Freeman can!"
Richard Freeman Wins the Impossible Case!
CLIENT found not guilty against all the odds thanks to Mr Freeman’s tenacity and his incisive eye for technicalities.
A client appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court from police custody for a second drink driving case and plead guilty after advice from a local solicitor. As this would have been her second conviction for drink driving and because her alcohol reading was very high, she was released on bail for background reports while the sheriff reserved all options for sentencing. The sheriff also seized her vehicle worth around £20000. In panic she consulted our Mr Freeman in the hope that the sentence could be minimised and that her car could be saved. Advice was given on how to do that but Mr Freeman insisted on reviewing all the papers. On doing so he identified a very narrow but important technicality and advised the client that he should allow her to try and persuade the court to withdraw her earlier plea of guilty. When the case called for sentence Mr Freeman persuaded the fiscal and the sheriff to allow a plea of not guilty to be substituted and a trial was fixed. He also persuaded the sheriff to recall the seizure order of the car meantime which meant the client could continue to drive.
At the first trial the Fiscal on the invitation of Mr Freeman agreed to speak to the police officers before going into court. The police confirmed Mr Freeman’s suspicions in relating to the technicality and so he invited the Fiscal to discontinue the case. The fiscal refused. Accordingly Mr Freeman asked the court to adjourn the trial to arrange to cite the Fiscal as a witness to the conversation with the police which would then preclude the fiscal from prosecuting the case. It would also mean that a sheriff from outside Falkirk would require to preside over the case as a matter of fairness to the accused. The Crown office was consulted by the Fiscal who tried to block the citation but the sheriff held it was competent.
At the next trial diet, the trial ran its course and after considering legal submissions the sheriff agreed with Mr Freeman’s technical point and found the accused not guilty. The client was absolutely delighted!"
Client: John Paul
He came to me because he was recommended by a friend of a friend, even although he had used another solicitor previously. When he first consulted me he already had 6 penalty points and had 2 separate careless driving charges outstanding, a dangerous driving charge outstanding 2 separate speeding cases outstanding and a mobile phone case. He asked me if I could save his licence. This was a particularly tough case, but I am motivated by the challenge!
We got there finally yesterday. This is how it happened.
We managed to have the two careless driving charges thrown out on technicalities. We then had the speeding offence thrown out on technicality. We then negotiated the dangerous driving charge down to a lesser charge of careless driving involving the imposition of penalty points which totted up with his existing points. We fixed an exceptional hardship proof and won that which allowed him to keep his licence. He then got stopped by the police for using his mobile phone. Exceptional hardship was not available so we set a proof for special reasons not to endorse his licence. We won that which meant he avoided a disqualification. Then, on Tuesday 28th May we persuaded the fiscal to drop his last speeding case. Voila!
THIS IS WHAT WE DO ! THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A ‘NO HOPE’ CASE TO US !
It should be mentioned that John Paul was feeling very demoralised about the situation he was in, with people saying he would likely go to jail and was definitely getting a lengthy ban. He felt his chances were nil. Despite this Richard and John Paul battled on and had the brightest outcome possible.
(Update 25th March: John Paul had another speeding case this week in Paisley where Richard Freeman appeared with him at trial diet. Fiscal thought she could prove case. Richard challenged her to a trial but she backed down and dropped it because of a technicality. John Paul’s licence still intact !)
DO NOT GIVE UP SO EASILY....... WE CAN WIN!
Examples of our Wins:
Dangerous Driving, Edinburgh Sheriff Court, 21st February 2018
Our client was accused of racing another driver when both drivers were stopped by police and charged with Dangerous Driving. The other driver used another law firm and was found guilty and given a driving ban. However, our client was found Not Guilty because we found a technicality which we showed to the Fiscal.
Details: This client was charged with dangerous driving on the A90 in Edinburgh by racing another driver at excessive speed, and by repeatedly overtaking and undertaking each other, and also other cars using the road.
Both drivers were stopped by the police, cautioned and charged with dangerous driving, and told to await a court summons.
The other driver was prosecuted first and after his trial, using a different firm of solicitors, he was convicted of dangerous driving by the sheriff. He was disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to resit an extended test.
It was at this point that our client thought it would be more appropriate to instruct an expert firm of road traffic solicitors. He contacted us as he was recommended by another client. We were happy to take his case on. After examining the evidence we discovered a legal technicality which would prove fatal to the crown case. At the trial Richard Freeman brought this to the attention of the Fiscal who agreed with it and discontinued the prosecution against our client.
Our client was so ecstatic he immediately posted a video on his phone to his friends.
Totting Up Ban - Exceptional Hardship, Dumfries Justice of The Peace Court, 15th February 2018
Client facing a totting up ban, loss of job and had already plead guilty. However, we build an Exceptional Hardship case to stop our client being banned and win. Client kept his licence and job!
Details: This client plead guilty to speeding in a lorry when he was already on 11 penalty points. By pleading guilty the magistrate intended imposing 3 more points which would have caused him to receive a totting up disqualification of 6 months. The only way to avoid this was to ask for an exceptional hardship hearing to persuade the court that a disqualification of that period, or even a shorter one, would cause him and his family exceptional hardship.
This was on the basis that he would lose his job and struggle to get another one until his licence was restored. This in turn would cause him difficulty in paying his mortgage and other financial commitments. It would also cause extreme hardship to his child and his partner who had medical difficulties, and also their unborn child due to be delivered by a Caesarian Section. The mother and baby would require to travel 70 miles to the nearest hospital, and no other form of transport was available.
The magistrate accepted that all of these consequences when taken together would satisfy the test of exceptional hardship, and accordingly our client was allowed to keep his licence.
Speeding Charge, Dumfries Justice of The Peace Court, 15th February 2018
Client facing a driving ban and desperate to keep his licence. As we are the experts in finding road traffic technicalities to help our clients, we scrutinized the paperwork and found a technicality which we then used to negotiate a reduced speed and saved our clients licence. He was ecstatic!
Details: This client had a bad driving record and had been previously disqualified under the totting up provisions a few years before committing this offence. He initially instructed us to plead not guilty as he was in danger of losing his licence due to the high speed. After we investigated the case we discovered certain information within the paperwork to use to persuade the Fiscal to accept a plea of guilty to a lesser speed of 98mph. As we knew our client would not be disqualified at this speed we advised our client to accept that plea. We were then able to persuade the court to impose a very lenient sentence very similar to a fixed penalty of 3 points and £120 fine.
Case Analysis: Our client accepted all along that he had been speeding, but was convinced it was at a speed which would have been under 100mph. This plea was worth taking instead of running a trial, which for him which would have been an unnecessary risk, the objective being in this case, to save his licence.
Careless driving and s.38 of the Criminal Justice and licensing (Scotland) Act 2010, Wick Sheriff Court, 7th February 2018
A rather serious charge as it was alleged our client caused significant fear to another driver. However Richard Freeman, known in the courts as Mr. Technicality finds a technicality and successfully argues both charges leading to not guilty on both charges!
Details: This client was charged with careless driving on an unclassified single track road near Halkirk, by tailgating another car over a significant distance on a country road while repeatedly pressing his horn and flashing his lights, forcing the driver to pull in and then cut in in front of the vehicle.
He was also charged with a contravention of S.38 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 by causing the driver of the other car to suffer fear and alarm by his alleged intimidating behaviour.
This client in fact was charged initially with careless driving, but after we investigated the case we identified a technical defect in the procedures adopted by the police, which if successfully argued in court would result in it being incompetent for the Crown to seek a conviction. When the Crown realised this they re-raised the case by adding the additional charge of s38, as stated above. This offence is constituted when someone?s unruly behaviour has caused another to suffer fear and alarm. It was maintained by the prosecution that by driving in the way that he did, ie by tailgating and flashing his lights and repeatedly pressing his horn, the behaviour amounted to such a contravention. We plead not guilty and proceeded to trial in relation to both charges.
After cross examining the crown witnesses including the driver and her passenger, as well as the police witnesses, we were able to make certain legal submissions to the court, which resulted in our client being found not guilty of both charges.
Causing Severe Injury by Dangerous Driving: Hamilton Sheriff Court, 7th February 2018
S1A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 is a very serious charge. It creates a separate and more serious offence to dangerous driving whereby someone's Dangerous Driving has resulted in severe injury to another. This offence often results in a jail sentence upon conviction. However, after our own investigation we are able to show the charge should be Careless Driving and not Danegrous Driving. This tactic works, client avoids jail and keeps his driving licence. Client was ecstatic!
Details: This client was accused of carrying out a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre on a country road by crossing over, at excessive speed, onto the opposing carriageway, at a time when a pedestrian was walking on that carriageway, in the same direction as that of the accused, and colliding with that pedestrian causing injury to him, including a broken arm.
This case had a convoluted history, as it started off as a dangerous driving prosecution, but the Crown re-raised it as a S1A because they felt that the penalties for dangerous driving were inadequate, and that it did not reflect the fact that it resulted in severe injury. This was an anxious case for our client because of the sentence involved in the event of a conviction.
We examined the medical evidence from which it was clear that the severe injury was caused by the car striking the pedestrian.
We then had to analyse the evidence relating to the manner of driving. After examining the location and videoing it for court purposes we were able to locate some debris from the car, which indicated the point on the road where the collision took place. This was crucial to the client?s defence, particular as the exact location of the collision was in dispute. This find became pivotal to the case.
During the course of the trial we led evidence of the significance of this, and cited a road traffic reconstruction expert to provide an expert opinion on the point and cause of the collision.
We required to concede that our client's driving was careless, but argued that on the evidence, it did not amount to dangerous driving. This was also a good tactical move as it meant that as a matter of law the injury to the pedestrian could not be taken into account when sentencing for careless driving. This is because the consequences of careless driving are considered irrelevant, except in some exceptional circumstances.
The sheriff agreed with our legal submissions and found our client not guilty of S1A and simply endorsed his licence with 6 penalty points for careless driving. Our client was mightily relieved at the outcome.
Careless Driving: Glasgow Justice of The Peace Court, 6th February 2018
Client allegedly nearly knocked down a child on a pedestrian crossing and is later charged with Careless Driving. However, our client does not recollect the incident and he hires Richard Freeman (A.K.A. Mr. Technicality) who scrutinizes the case and finds a technicality leading to our client being found Not Guilty
Details: This client was very worried because he had been charged with a serious careless driving charge where it was alleged that he drove at speed through a pedestrian crossing when the green man was illuminated, and when four pedestrians were making their way over the crossing, including a 4 year old girl who had to be pulled to safety to avoid being struck by the vehicle. The pedestrians were all left in shock, one of whom took a picture of the client's vehicle, including his registration number and then immediately reported it to the police.
When our client was approached by the police over a month after the incident he made no comment in reply to the charge as he had no recollection of the incident. When the police administered the S172 requirement to identify the driver he admitted to the police that he must have been the driver, but only because of the pedestrian's photograph of the car with his number plate.
During the course of the police evidence the Fiscal tried to adduce evidence from the police officer of the S172 admission. A technical objection was taken by Richard Freeman (aka Mr Technicality )to this requirement being made of our client, and a legal argument ensued, after which the Fiscal asked for a brief adjournment to consider matters. When the Fiscal returned to the court he conceded the legal point made by Richard Freeman and accordingly our client was found not guilty.
Case Analysis: During the trial no issue was taken by us in relation to what the witnesses said took place and indeed the judge thanked the witnesses for their evidence in open court. The case was won on the basis of an irregularity in the police procedure in administering the S172 requirement to the accused rendering his admission to being the driver as inadmissible. This was a serious case and could easily have been prosecuted as dangerous driving. If he was convicted he could have easily lost his licence.
Drink Driving: Edinburgh Justice of the Peace Court, 2nd February 2018
Client was just over the drink drive limit and faces a mandatory driving disqualification. Richard Freeman a.k.a. Mr. Technicality finds a technicality which proves fatal to the prosecution case. Client found Not Guilty.
Details: This client was stopped by the police after they had received a report that he had been seen drinking from a can containing alcohol outside his car before driving off. When the police approached him they smelled alcohol on his breath and asked him when he last had a drink. They breathalysed him at the road side and he was found to be over the drink driving limit. He was arrested and taken back to the St Leonard's police station where he was required to provide two evidential specimens of breath. The lower of the two unfortunately for him contained 27mgs of alcohol, which was just over the drink driving limit of 22mgs. He was charged with drink driving and released for court.
When we were preparing his case for trial we identified a number of technical issues with the procedure adopted by the police at the police station. We were confident that if proved to be the case, it would prove fatal for the prosecution. During the trial we took issue with the first technicality and the Fiscal agreed they had no argument against, and therefore could not proceed further with the prosecution. The court as a result found him not guilty, as it was bound to do.
Speeding: Dumfries Justice of the Peace Court, 31st January 2018
Alleged 85mph measured Ultralyte Laser Device from mobile camera van. We take issue with aspects of the evidence and robustly argue our client's defence, ultimately winning a Not Guilty verdict!
Details: This client was charged with speeding at 85mph after he was caught driving on the stretch of the A74(M) near Lockerbie heading towards Carlisle. The police were operating an Ultralyte 20:20 laser device from a mobile camera van parked near the location. The police subsequently issued the appropriate forms, including the S.172 requirement to which our client responded admitting that he was the driver of the vehicle. He was subsequently prosecuted in Dumfries JP Court. We prepared his defence case and at the trial took objection to the leading of certain evidence. A legal debate followed between us and the Procurator Fiscal, and the Justice found in favour of our legal arguments. As this related to a fundamental part of the Crown case, the prosecution failed and the court found our client not guilty. Our client was extremely happy with his acquittal.
Speeding: Kirkcaldy Justice of the Peace Court, 29th January 2018
87mph in a 70mph zone. We previously successfully defended this client on Dangerous Driving charges. Client now charged with Speeding. We use our persuasive court skills and get the case dismissed!
Details: This client was charged with speeding by the police after he was caught by them on the A92 speeding at 87 mph in a 70 mph zone. The police were operating a Unipar laser device at the time. They stopped him a short distance later and charged him with speeding and administered the usual Section 1 warning.
Our client contacted us when he ultimately received the court summons. He was optimistic that we would win as we had previously successfully defended a dangerous driving charge for him. We plead not guilty on his behalf and thereafter set about testing the evidence from the two police officers. On the morning of the trial the Fiscal advised us that she had difficulties with one of the police officers, and was going to ask the court to adjourn the trial. We were ready to proceed to trial and although on this occasion there was no fault on the part of the Crown, the magistrate was persuaded by us to discontinue the proceedings against our client, having due regard to the test to be applied in balancing the interests of the public for a prosecution, with the interests of the accused for an expeditious trial. Needless to say our client was delighted at the outcome and kindly sent us this message:
"Thank you very much Richard for your hard work and getting me off with my speeding charge, must say it put a smile on my face.
Dangerous Driving: Dumfries Sheriff Court, 25th January 2018
Driving 121mph on A74. Other solicitors tell him he will definitely lose his driving licence. We fight the case and save his licence!
Details: This client contacted us because he was caught by the police driving a powerful Audi RS8 at 121mph on the A74 back to England. The police measured his speed using a UNIPAR laser gun, and then followed him until it was safe to pull him over. He initially contacted us because he saw our Dumfries Branch Offices while standing opposite the sheriff court. He was anticipating a disqualification and wanted legal advice from us about that. He had consulted other solicitors who had all advised him that he would definitely receive a lengthy disqualification as a result of travelling at that speed. After discussing his case in detail with Richard Freeman he instructed us to take over his case.
Following an agreement with the Procurator Fiscal on the day of the trial, our client plead guilty to a reduced charge of careless driving. The benefit of this was twofold: First, the charge of careless driving by definition implies that the manner of driving did not fall below the standard that would amount to dangerous driving. Secondly, the sentencing options for careless driving allow for penalty points to be imposed as an alternative to a mandatory disqualification, and also do not result in an automatic requirement to resit an extended driving test (as is necessary for a dangerous driving conviction).
The sheriff on hearing the Crown narrative of the speed of 121mph on the motorway, first considered that a disqualification was still inevitable. However after taking account of a number of factors that we were able to place before the court in mitigation , the sheriff was ultimately persuaded not to impose a disqualification, and instead imposed 8 penalty points, thus saving our client?s licence much to his relief.
Dangerous Driving: Lanark Sheriff Court, 17th January 2018
117mph mph measured by Unipar Laser Device. After a thorugh investigation, we persuade the Fiscal to reduce the charges to Careless Driving and then persudage Sheriff to not disqualify. Client delighted to keep her licence!
Details: This client contacted us when she was stopped by the police driving at 117mph on the northbound lane of the M74 motorway.
The police measured her speed at 117mph using a UNIPAR handheld laser device and then followed her until they were able to pull her over. They immediately charged her with dangerous driving. She contacted Roadtrafficexpert for advice, at which point we gave her certain preliminary advice. After thoroughly investigating the case we were able to persuade the Fiscal to reduce the charge from a Dangerous Driving charge to the lesser charge of Careless Driving. This in turn allowed us to address the sheriff in mitigation in order to persuade the court to refrain from disqualifying our client. The sheriff agreed not to disqualify her and instead imposed 9 penalty points, as a deterrent against committing further offences in the future.
Case Analysis: We must make it clear to anyone reading our recent cases that it should not be assumed that similar facts ought to yield similar results. Driving at 117 mph could easily, and often does, as can be seen from the reported law cases, attract a disqualification from a court. The High Court has decreed that each case has to be determined on its own facts and circumstances - our results come from a combination of technical challenges and a thorough investigation of our client's case.
Careless Driving: Glasgow JP Court, 15th January 2018
Police pursue our client, claimine he was speeding and failed to stop. However, despite their evidence seeming very credible, we robustly cross examine the Police in court and highlight some inconsistencies. Client found Not Guilty!
Details: The circumstances of this case are that the police maintained that they were stationery in a marked police vehicle at the junction of Albert Drive and Keir Street in Pollokshields, Glasgow when they heard the loud revving of car engine as it approached them, and then observed the vehicle pass them at the junction at high speeds and continue to travel at speed along Albert Drive. The police activated their blue lights and siren and immediately pursued our client along Albert Drive until it turned a corner into Keir Street, where it continued to gain distance on the police vehicle, until it was forced to brake sharply due to an oncoming vehicle approaching from the opposite direction. One police officer stated in evidence that they were about to radio in the chase as a pursuit as the vehicle failed to stop. The police gave evidence that the road was so narrow that opposing vehicles could not pass each other and that there was a children?s play area at the other side of the street.
At the trial we produced various maps and video footage which we used to demonstrate to the court that the account given by the police was not reliable. Indeed when the police officers were cross examined it revealed a number of important inconsistencies in their evidence which was enough to create a reasonable doubt in the magistrates mind. He was consequently found not guilty.
Case Analysis: This case not only highlights the importance of visiting the location of the incident, but also the benefit of being able to demonstrate the journey travelled by the client to the court. In this case the evidence from both police officers seemed to support their account of what took place. It was only once both witnesses were cross examined that important inconsistencies between their accounts were revealed in the essential parts of their evidence. We also took the decision in this case to put our client in the witness box so that he could explain why the police said what they did. In particular, he was able to explain away the noise of the vehicle because it was a high performance vehicle with 4 exhaust outlet pipes which made a loud noise even at relatively low speeds; he accepted he was driving over the speed limit on Albert Drive but not to the extent that would amount to careless driving. As there was no speeding charge on the complaint before the court he could do this without having to concern himself about a speeding conviction. Needless to say our client was delighted with the outcome and has recommended our services to others.
Drink Driving: Dundee Sheriff Court, 10th January 2018
Failed breathalyser after a car accident. We get an expert toxicologist to provide evidence the alcohol was drank after the accident and win a Not Guilty verdict!
Details: This client was involved in a road traffic collision with another vehicle. After exchanging details with the owner of the other vehicle he walked home to arrange a local garage to recover his vehicle.
The police attend at his house and detected a smell of alcohol coming from him and breathalysed him. He failed the preliminary breath test and was arrested and taken to the police station where he provided two specimens of breath above the legal limit. He was charged with drink driving and appeared at court.
His defence was that the alcohol was all consumed after he returned home. We instructed a toxicologist to demonstrate that the client's stated amount of alcohol was consistent with the reading from the Intoximeter. The sheriff was satisfied that our client's defence was made out and found him not guilty.
"After pleading not guilty the law team at Richard freeman could not have been better. I was comfortable and informed at all points throughout the case. They handled my case with extreme care and used a variety of other sources and experts to uphold my not guilty case.
Worth every penny, I can?t thank you enough for your expert advice and fantastic professionalism.
No Insurance charge and Breach of Airport parking Byelaws: Aberdeen Sheriff Court, 10th January 2018
A very interesting case in which we win a Not Guilty verdict despite the client being guilty!
Details: This client was asked by her partner to pick him up from Aberdeen Airport in his car. She had understood that she was insured to drive her partner's car. She drove to the airport and waited for him within the curtilage of the airport premises to come directly out of the Arrivals Gate to the car. When he failed to appear she left the car to find her partner. This is was a breach of the Airport Byelaws. For strict security reasons it is an offence to leave a vehicle unoccupied in the airport. Airport security immediately contacted the police as a potential terrorist issue. When the police arrived they questioned our client and at this point the police discovered that our client was uninsured to drive the car. She was charged with a breach of the Byelaws and also with driving without insurance. Our client's position was that she had a genuine but mistaken believe that her partner arranged insurance for her to drive. Indeed she had been driving her partners car with genuine belief for many years. As a matter of law she was guilty of driving without insurance as it is an absolute offence, however the Fiscal was persuaded at the trial that her belief was very reasonable and was prepared to accept her plea of not guilty. Had the Fiscal not been willing to do this our client's only remedy would have been to plead guilty and submit special reasons not to have her licence endorsed with any penalty points. In any event the outcome was not guilty to the No insurance charge and £90 for breach of the bye law regulations.
Dangerous Driving: Airdrie Sheriff Court, 10th January 2018
Alleged driving at 106mph and overtaking vehicles. We robustly cross examine police evidence and win a Not Proven verdict!
Details: This client was charged with dangerous driving by driving at 106 miles per hour on a dual carriageway while racing another motor vehicle, described by the police as travelling 4 metres behind our client?s vehicle. It was further alleged that our client overtook 12 vehicles while doing so. At the trial the police gave evidence that they measured his speed using a Unipar laser device at a distance of 232 metres. However during the trial we cross examined the police officers and were able to create a reasonable doubt in relation to their use of the Unipar device. The sheriff found the case not proven and needless to say our client was delighted.
Speeding 96mph in a 60mph speed limit: Edinburgh JP Court, 9th January 2018
Client faces driving ban if convicted. The evidence against our client looked concrete, however we find an obscure technicality and win a Not Guilty. Mr. Technicality does it again!
Details: The circumstances of this case are that our client had been riding a powerful Kawasaki motorbike on the A68 near to the Dalkeith turn off, on a road which was a single undivided carriageway, with a national speed limit of 60mph. Two traffic police officers were carrying out a static speed check at the side of the road when they became immediately aware of our client?s approach. The targeted him with a UNIPAR SL700 laser device which measured his speed at 96mph. He was stopped shown the reading on the device and charged with speeding and given a warning that he might be prosecuted for dangerous driving.
Our client was concerned that he might lose his licence and so he contacted our firm to defend the charge. We examined the evidence and identified a technicality which would have proved fatal to the prosecution. There was no way round it for the Depute in court and after considering the matter the Fiscal eventually agreed with us and discontinued the proceedings.
Case Analysis: When we were discussing the legal technicality with the Fiscal in court she was initially unconvinced because so many other cases exactly like it had been prosecuted in the same way and indeed two cases were due to call in court that day for sentencing where other solicitors had already plead guilty on behalf of their own clients. This demonstrates the danger of making legal assumptions and not instructing a specialist solicitor in road traffic law to test and analyse the legal detail in a case properly.
3 Driving Offences: Driving with No Insurance, No Licence and Speeding: Dumfermline JP Court, 9th January 2018
Client already on 9 points and facing totting up ban. We develop a winning strategy and save his driving licence. A cat with nine lives!
Details: This was a case at the end of a long line of cases, as our client had consulted us over the previous 2 years with 5 separate prosecutions, all in different courts including courts in Airdrie, Edinburgh, Lanark, Livingston and Dumfries, for various road traffic offences, including speeding offences and mobile phone offences at a time when he already had penalty points endorsed on his licence. We successfully defended all cases in order to keep him on the road. Unfortunately, he was, unknown to him convicted in England for various road traffic offences in his absence which brought his penalty points to 9, meaning that if he received 3 points more he would be disqualified - The law in England allows for an accused person to be convicted in his absence and without knowing it.
At this his time he consulted us with a summons for Dumfermline JP court alleging offences of driving with no insurance, with no licence and for speeding. When we checked how many points he had on his licence he was shocked to learn about the English convictions. In order to improve his chances of keeping his licence we had to collaborate with an English solicitor to revisit his English convictions. After explaining the circumstances to the English court it agreed to quash one conviction but keep the speeding conviction which meant his points were brought down from 9 to 6 on his licence. That allowed us 3 points to play with for his Livingston case as another 3 points would lead to a totting up ban of 6 months. It was very conceivable that he could have picked up 9 points for the Livingston case. After investigating the evidence relating to the Livingston case however, we were able to persuade the Fiscal to drop the no insurance charge. The magistrate after hearing submissions from us in court agreed to impose only 3 points for the remaining charges and this allowed our client to keep his licence.
Dangerous Driving Charge: Airdrie Sheriff Court, 5th January 2018
A serious charge and client faces losing driving licence if convicted. We examine evidence and robustly argue an alternative account and get the case reduced to careless driving. Driving licence is saved with only 5 penalty points imposed.
Details: This client had instructed another solicitor to try to resolve a prosecution against him for dangerous driving. After unsuccessful attempts by his former solicitor to resolve the case he contacted us to take over. We prepared the case from the beginning and are then able to justify to the Fiscal in court at the trial that the driving amounted to a much less serious charge of careless driving. This provided us with an opportunity to us to persuade the court to impose only 5 penalty points.
Our client had been accused of tailgating another vehicle , overtaking it by crossing over onto the opposing carriageway and then deliberately cutting back in directly in front of that car and then immediately slam on his brakes for no apparent reason,causing the 3 cars travelling behind him to have to execute emergency stops, causing a collision between two of the vehicles. This was a serious case because it was eloquent of a typical road rage episode involving a deliberate course of dangerous driving.
It was clear however from examining the road and the statements from the witnesses that an alternative account was more likely, which still involved fault on our client?s part, but which was of a relatively minor nature and importantly did not involve a deliberate act of bad driving.
At the trial we were able to persuade the Fiscal of this, and consequently the charge was reduced to careless driving and 5 points imposed by the court.
Case Analysis: The difficulty in this case was that the evidence produced by the prosecution was well able to support a charge of dangerous driving. Had our client been convicted of that charge he would have faced a mandatory minimum 12 month disqualification and a requirement to resit an extended driving test. He would have lost his job in this event. As a result of our thorough preparation and our expertise in road traffic law we were able to secure a result for our client that his previous solicitor could not. This emphasises the requirement to instruct a solicitor who specialises in this field.
Causing Severe Injury by Dangerous Driving: Airdrie Sheriff Court 20th-22nd December 2017
Facing possible 5 Year prison sentence. We independently investigate,scrutinizing the evidence and prove inaccuracies in prosecution case. Client is found Not Guilty by a jury after 3 days of Trial. Client was immensely relieved!
Details: This was a very serious case, prosecuted on indictment which as the offence on conviction attracts a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment.
Our client was accused of crossing completely over onto the opposing carriageway round a bend with a restricted view, in the face of oncoming traffic, while carrying out an overtaking manoeuvre, in his station wagon and a long base trailer, causing a collision between his trailer and the oncoming vehicle. The consequence of that(it was alleged) was that the oncoming vehicle crossed over the centre line and hurtled into another vehicle travelling behind our client?s vehicle, causing extremely serious and life changing injuries to the driver of that vehicle. The driver and the passenger of the oncoming vehicle also received severe injuries. It was a tragic case particularly for the innocent victim who was simply driving carefully behind our client at the time. Worryingly this could have happened to anyone. It should be stated that our client had complete sympathy for this driver but always maintained that he was not the cause of the collision.
Normally in a case of this severity the police immediately attend with a crash team of specialist road traffic collision investigators. Very surprisingly they did not do this, which left our client with a complete disadvantage in the preparation of his defence. In a collision of this severity there is usually a multitude of evidence such as gouge marks on the road, residual debris, the finishing positioning of the vehicles involved, and damage to same, that can all tell a compelling story of who was at fault, what speeds the vehicles were travelling, and where on the roadway the points of collision were.
Fortunately our client contacted us very shortly after the incident. When we discovered that no such investigations had been carried out, we instructed our own collision investigation expert to attend the crash scene and prepare a report. Luckily most of the road markings were still visible which allowed our expert to piece together vital information. He also examined our client?s trailer and carried out a reconstruction of the journey with the trailer and it?s load which assisted in the preparation of the defence.
It was clear from all of this that the fault was that of the vehicle travelling in the opposite direction, which was travelling grossly in excess of the speed limit round a bend which for him created a restricted view ahead. It was also clear from our investigations that the witnesses? evidence of our client overtaking another vehicle was completely incorrect. On day three of the trial it took the jury less than 15 minutes to return a verdict of not guilty.
Case Analysis: This case stresses the importance of contacting a specialist road traffic solicitor at the earliest opportunity. Had our client not had the presence of mind to do that vital forensic evidence in his favour would have been compromised or even lost.
Speeding Charge: Glasgow Justice of the Peace Court, 13th December 2017
Charged with driving twice the speed limit and facing a driving ban. We find technical difficulties in their evidence and get the case dropped! Mr. Technicality does it again!
Details: The police witnessed our client driving through the Clyde Tunnel and immediately took the view that he was driving at excessive speed. They immediately activated the Vascar speed measuring equipment through the tunnel, which calculated an average speed of 62.7mph over a travelled distance of 0.2miles. The police required him to pull over by activating their blue lights etc. and charged him with speeding. The matter was reported to the Fiscal?s Office who prosecuted him for the speeding offence.
We pled not guilty on behalf of our client and then set about examining the detail of the charge, and the way in which the crown sought to prove the case. We also
studied the detail of the Tunnel itself which revealed a number of difficulties for the Crown. Additionally we discovered a number of flaws relating to the case, which were of such a nature that made it inevitable that the prosecution would fail. Certain issues were identified by us to the Fiscal in court. After considering the position she agreed, and proceeded to drop the proceedings against our client. Our client was extremely happy as the speed alleged was just over double the speed limit which could have resulted in a disqualification.
Speeding Charge: Glasgow Justice of the Peace Court, 13th December 2017
Charged with driving twice the speed limit and facing a driving ban. We find technical difficulties in their evidence and get the case dropped! Mr. Technicality does it again!
Details: The police witnessed our client driving through the Clyde Tunnel and immediately took the view that he was driving at excessive speed. They immediately activated the Vascar speed measuring equipment through the tunnel, which calculated an average speed of 62.7mph over a travelled distance of 0.2miles. The police required him to pull over by activating their blue lights etc. and charged him with speeding. The matter was reported to the Fiscal?s Office who prosecuted him for the speeding offence.
We pled not guilty on behalf of our client and then set about examining the detail of the charge, and the way in which the crown sought to prove the case. We also
studied the detail of the Tunnel itself which revealed a number of difficulties for the Crown. Additionally we discovered a number of flaws relating to the case, which were of such a nature that made it inevitable that the prosecution would fail. Certain issues were identified by us to the Fiscal in court. After considering the position she agreed, and proceeded to drop the proceedings against our client. Our client was extremely happy as the speed alleged was just over double the speed limit which could have resulted in a disqualification.
Speeding Charge: Aberdeen Justice of the Peace Court, 6th December 2017
30mph over the speed limit and facing disqualification. We find a weakness and with strategic negotiation get the speed down. Client gets to keep his licence. Client is delighted!
Details: This client was charged with speeding at 90mph on a single lane carriageway with a restricted speed limit of 60mph. He was filmed by a Gatso camera - a static automatic speed detection device, situated on the A90 Aberdeen to Dundee road, near its junction with the B974 to Fettercairn, Aberdeenshire.
He contacted us because he could only take 3 points on his licence. The difficulty was that he was caught travelling at 50% above the speed limit
where the court has to consider whether a disqualification is appropriate. We investigated his case including the evidence which the Prosecutor intended to rely on to prove the case against him. We discovered a weakness in the case which allowed us to negotiate a lesser speed of 75mph with the Depute in court. It also pave the way for 3 penalty points which is exactly what the magistrate imposed.
This is a typical example of how we risk manage a case. We could have run the trial and secured a not guilty verdict. However as the Fiscal was willing to negotiate down the speed to a point where we were satisfied our client would only receive 3 penalty points, it became an unnecessary risk to run the trial, just in case in the unlikely event, the magistrate convicted him of speeding at 90mph. Had our client been in a position where he could not take any points at all then we would have had to run the trial.
Careless Driving and Driving without Insurance: Hamiliton Justice of the Peace Court, 3rd December 2017
Delivery driver charged with 2 road traffic offence and faces a Totting Up disqualification. We find a technicality which we use to full effect and get the No Insurance charge dropped. We then persuade court to only issue the minimum penalty for Careless Driving, thus saving client's driving licence.
Details: This client was a New Driver and as such could not take 6 penalty points (or more) as this would automatically cause his licence to be revoked under the New Driver legislation requiring him to resit his driving test.
The challenge in this case was to overcome the No Insurance charge. This was because a conviction for no insurance alone would cause him to lose his licence as the charge carries a minimum of 6 penalty points triggering the revocation provisions.
The circumstances were that our client had been employed as a delivery driver by a takeaway shop. His driving came to the attention of the police because of the manner of driving, which they described as driving at excessive speed for the road conditions and turning a corner too fast through the town centre which was heavily pedestrianised at the time. When they stopped him they noted that he was carrying commercial bags of take away food. He admitted that he had been employed as a delivery driver at the time and that he did not have business insurance which he required in order to do so.
The police charged him with careless driving and also with driving without insurance. At the trial diet we presented an argument to the Fiscal to the effect that there was a technical difficulty in proving the no insurance charge. We were able to persuade the Fiscal to drop that charge. This left us with the careless driving charge. We knew that there were extenuating circumstances which would allow us to persuade the court that the manner of driving was at the lowest end of the scale for careless driving. The court agreed and imposed the lowest sanction possible, which was 3 penalty points and ?150 fine. This left our client's licence intact, much to his delight.
6 Road Traffic Offences! - Including, Driving whilst Disqualified, Dangerous Driving, Failing to Stop when required by Police, 2 charges of Driving without Insurance and Driving without a Licence:
Edinburgh Sheriff Court, 30th November 2017
Within weeks of being disqualified (represented by another solicitor), client faces imprisonment for 6 new serious driving offences as well as charges for perverting the course of Justice. Other solicitors informed him to expect imprisonment. However, Richard Freeman A.K.A Mr. Technicality, rigourously reviewed the evidence and found some evidential and procedural issues. We get most charges dropped, a very lenient penalty for other charges and no imprisonment. Client ecstatic!
Details: Our client contacted us because he was in real fear of receiving a prison sentence for six serious road traffic offences including driving whilst disqualified, dangerous driving, failing to stop when required to do so by the police, two charges of driving without insurance and driving without a licence. All these offences were committed in Edinburgh City Centre. He was also charged with perverting the course of justice which he did in order to escape being prosecuted for these offences. The biggest difficulty he had was that he had a very bad driving record and had committed the above offences within two weeks of being disqualified by the court for a period of 18 months for dangerous driving.
He contacted us after his previous solicitor told him to expect a term of imprisonment. We examined the evidence against him and observed a number of evidential and procedural issues with the case.
At the trial diet we spoke to the Fiscal who conceded the issues we raised. He agreed to drop the dangerous driving charge, one no insurance charge, and the failing to stop for the police charge. Our client had to plead guilty to driving while disqualified and with no insurance. He also plead guilty to attempt to pervert the course of justice. After addressing the sheriff in mitigation he was persuaded to deal with the case very leniently by effectively adding only two months to his previously imposed disqualification, and fining him ?670 pounds in respect of the driving while disqualified. He simply admonished and dismissed him in respect of the remaining charges i.e imposed no penalty at all.
Our client was ecstatic over the outcome and has since recommended our firm to friends of his who have instructed us having found themselves in similar circumstances.
Careless Driving charge: Glasgow Justice of the Peace Court, 29th November 2017
Client enters on to main road, knocking down and injuring cyclist. We thoroughly question the witness at trial proving our client had driven in a reasonable manner and Fiscal then drops the case. Client is delighted!
Details: Our client was charged with Careless Driving after knocking down and injuring a cyclist. Our client had entered a main road from a junction. The cyclist had approached on the main road from our client's right hand side. Our client's view had been obstructed by parked cars lining the street and required to creep forward beyond the give way line in order to look for any approaching traffic from his right side. He did this with measured attention and then commenced his left hand turn at which time the cyclist appeared at speed colliding with the front right hand side of our client's motor vehicle. After the first witness was cross examined by us he conceded that the fault lay with the cyclist because he was travelling far too fast, at a time when he ought to have taken account of the presence of our client's vehicle on the road. He further conceded that our client entered the main road very carefully and accepted that he could see sufficiently far enough up the road to ensure that there were no oncoming vehicles that would make his entry on to the main road dangerous. On this basis the Fiscal prosecuting the case advised the court that she was no longer proceeding and accordingly our client was found not guilty.
Case Analysis: In the normal course of events the cyclist would undoubtably have had right of way as he was travelling on the main road. The circumstances where however unusual as the cyclist had been approaching too quickly after noticing our client inching his way onto the main road from the junction. Our client did everything he could to drive safely when trying to enter the main road from the junction. The cyclist had observed our client enter the main road from a significant distance away, and by the time our client entered the main road he then had right of way. The cyclist ought to have kept a proper look out for our client's vehicle and have taken account of his presence on the road. It also has to be remembered that the duty incumbent upon a driver is to take reasonable care and the courts should not impose the counsel of perfection on motorists.
Careless Driving Charge: Paisley Justice of The Peace Court, 28th November 2017
New Driver accused of ignoring danger warning signs, speeding and crossing double white lines on S bends. We visit location and find issue with Police statements and after scrutinizing the evidence find a legal techniciality. We take it to court and when presented with the defence, the Fiscal drops the case. Client overjoyed!
Details: This client was prosecuted with careless driving after being accused by the police of driving at excessive speed for the road conditions, and of negotiating blind S bends on the opposing carriageway by crossing over double white lines prohibiting vehicles from doing so. The police maintained that they required to travel at 60 mph to catch up with her in a 30 mph zone, in a built up area with junctions and various warning signs indicating potential dangers.
Our client contacted us and advised us that she denied driving in that manner and that she had only passed her test one month before the incident. She maintained that she would not have had the confidence to drive at excessive speeds, and she certainly would not have crossed over any double white lines on blind S bends.
On attending the location of the incident we were able to observe a number of logistical difficulties that did not square with the police evidence. We also uncovered a legal technicality which we considered would bar the crown from seeking a conviction. We brought all of the above to the attention of the Fiscal in court. After considering the matter further the Fiscal agreed to discontinue the proceedings against her. Our client was delighted at the outcome particularly as we were able to avoid a lengthy trial.
Dangerous Driving: Dumfries Sheriff Court, 22nd November 2017
On 9 points and prosecuted for Dangerous driving. Facing Totting up ban. Reduced to careless driving, given 3 points and ?100 fine and after Exceptional hardship proof no disqualification given.
Details: When our client consulted us about this case he did so because of our reputation of winning "no hope cases". He was on 9 live penalty points and charged with dangerous driving. This meant we had to defeat the dangerous driving charge and then either avoid any points or, if 3 or more points were imposed, argue grounds to persuade the court that sufficient mitigating circumstances exist to avoid imposing a 6 month disqualification under the totting up provisions of s35 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988.
The dangerous driving charge allegation consisted of our client driving at 90mph in a 50mph speed zone. The speed limit was imposed on a stretch of motorway because of ongoing roadworks. At the time of the offence workmen were present on the motorway. When we investigated the case it was our opinion that although the speed was significantly above the speed limit and that workmen were close by, there were other factors which dropped the seriousness down to careless driving. On the day of the trial we were able to persuade the Fiscal to accept a plea to careless driving. This avoided an inevitable 12 month disqualification which is a mandatory minimum sentence for dangerous driving. A sheriff was entitled still to disqualify for the offence itself but we were able to persuade the sheriff that it was a case that could be dealt with by the imposition of penalty points.
As our client however had 9 live points endorsed on his licence, he was subject to the totting up provisions which would normally result in a 6 month disqualification.
We asked the court to set an exceptional hardship proof, the purpose of which was to persuade the court that a 6 month disqualification would cause our client, his business, and his son exceptional hardship. At the hearing, Richard FreemanI led evidence from the client of his financial hardship. The sheriff agreed that the ?exceptional hardship had been established, so although he had to impose penalty points i.e. 3 for careless driving which totted the client up to 12 points ( because he already had 9 points for other offences, and once you hit 12 points within 3 years you face obligatory disqualification for ?a minimum period of 6 months), the sheriff refrained from imposing the disqualification because we were able to establish that the loss of his licence would cause ?our client and his son exceptional hardship. ?
2 Charges of Failing to Identify Driver: Perth Justice of the Peace Court, 21st November 2017
Client faces 6 penalty points on each count leading to a Totting Up ban. We find a technicality and present this to Fiscal who drops both charges. Client extremely relieved!
Details: Our client's vehicle had been caught on two separate occasions by two different speed detection devices. The usual forms were generated by the camera partnership and sent to him requiring him to identify who the driver of the vehicle had been on each occasion. As no reply was received for both of the alleged offences an enquiry was raised and two police officers attended at his house. He was formally administered the s172 Road Traffic Act 1988 requirement to identify who the driver was and cautioned that it was an offence not to tell the police. The police maintained that he refused to identify who the driver was on each occasion and accordingly charged him with two offences of failing to identify the driver in contravention of S172. Our client was most concerned as each offence carries a minimum of 6 penalty points, and so if convicted of both he would have been disqualified under the totting up provisions for a period of 6 months.
On investigating the case we discovered a number of evidential and legal difficulties for the crown for both charges. We advised our client that he had a good chance of success.
At the trial diet we talked the Fiscal through the technical issues of the case and were because of these, able to persuade the Fiscal to drop both charges against our client. Our client was very relieved and grateful to us for our expertise.
Drunk In Charge: Greenock Sheriff Court, 15th November 2017
Drunk in Charge in contravention of S(5)(1)(b) Road Traffic Act 1988 - Fiscal persuaded to discontinue case at trial diet.
Details: This client had been in Rothesay visiting an acquaintance at their house, having earlier taken the ferry over to Rothesay. Both had been drinking. An argument developed which caused our client to fear that it would escalate into violence. In fear of her personal safety she ran away from the house to put a safe distance between her and her acquaintance. As she was without a phone and on an unfamiliar island in the early hours of the morning she returned to her parked car for safety where she remained until the police attended after receiving an anonymous call claiming that our client may have been driving. The police found her in the driver's seat and smelling strongly of alcohol. They also noted that the car lights were on. They breathalysed her and found her to be over the limit and so arrested her and conveyed her to Rothesay Police Station for an evidential test. She was found to be over twice the drink driving limit.
When she instructed us to defend her the first observation we made was that the Fiscal would be able to prove that our client was in charge of a vehicle while over the drink driving limit. However we identified two potential defences: the first one was the Defence of Necessity, where it can be proved that in order to protect herself from serious harm she had to commit the offence. It is usually a difficult defence to establish as the accused has to establish that there was no alternative course of action and that the offence was committed only for as long as was necessary. The second defence was that there was no likelihood of her driving until her alcohol level fell back below the legal limit. Her intention was not to drive until the ferry was due in later in the morning. After instructing a toxicologist to calculate when that would be, we were in a position to advance that defence also. However, even with serious offences such as this, the Crown have an obligation to consider whether it is in the public interest to prosecute a case. In this case our client was a respectable woman with no previous convictions and was justifiably in fear of her personal safety. Indeed certain investigations carried out by us demonstrated that her fear was well founded. We were in a position to speak to the Fiscal in court about the case and present a powerful basis for the Fiscal to discontinue the prosecution against our client, which she agreed to do. Our client was so relieved that she did not require to take the matter to trial.
Drink Driving: Glasgow Sheriff Court, 14th November 2017
Found almost 4 times the legal limit, in accident damaged up car and facing mandatory loss of driving licence. We find evidential difficulties for the Crown and case is resolved on day of trial to a lesser charge of being drunk in charge of his vehicle, and licence is saved with some penalty points imposed.
Details: This client was charged with drink driving with a reading of 82mgs of alcohol in his breath representing a reading of just under 4 times the legal limit. The circumstances were that a neighbour had earlier parked her car and later returned to discover our client's car parked with the engine still running,leaning against another car. She was concerned because our client's car hadn't been there when she originally parked her own car and it was badly accident damaged with both near side wheels buckled and tyres deflated, and with the near side wing mirror dislodged hanging by its wires. On further inspection the witness saw our client unconscious in the driver's seat and was incapable of being roused by her. She was so concerned about his health she contacted the police.
When the police arrived they managed to wake our client and immediately detected a strong smell of alcohol coming from him. They breathalysed him at the roadside which he failed. He was then arrested and taken to Govan Police Station where he was breathalysed again using the Intoximeter machine, and was found to have 82mgs. of alcohol in his breath. He was subsequently charged with drink driving.
At the trial diet we were able to highlight some evidential difficulties to the crown. As a result the Depute in court was prepared to accept a plea of guilty to being drunk in charge. Although this is still considered a very serious charge and usually attracts a disqualification, it is not mandatory like a drink driving offence is. This plea to the lessor charge allowed us to make certain submissions to the sheriff in order to persuade him not to disqualify our client. He was so persuaded, and imposed 10 penalty points which is the only alternative to a disqualification. He also imposed a fine of ?220.
Drink Driving: Justice of the Peace Court, 8th November 2017
Client failed breathalyser at roadside and failed further specimens, therefore facing 12 month ban. However, Richard Freeman aka 'Mr. Technicality' was able to find an unusual technicality which resulted in client being acquitted.
Details: This client was stopped by police due to intelligence they had received that he was driving to work while over the drink driving limit. The police breathalysed him at the roadside which he failed.
On this basis they arrested him and conveyed him to a police station in order to require him to provide two further specimens of breath. Both samples were over the limit at 28mgs of alcohol, and accordingly he was arrested and charged with drink driving.
On examining the case there did not appear to be sufficient evidence to justify the police making the initial preliminary breath test requirement. Our client instructed us to plead not guilty and to proceed to trial on this point. During the trial however it became apparent that due to an unusual procedural step, the police had not been able to rely on the print out from the device which made the evidence of the breath readings inadmissible. An objection by us to this evidence coming out was upheld by the magistrate. Consequently we were then able to make a no case to answer submission which was also upheld, and accordingly our client was found not guilty by the court.
Case Analysis: This is a typical case of being caught drink driving the day after drinking the night before. He was unfortunate to be just over the legal limit when driving to work in the morning. Had he waited approximately 30 minutes he would likely to have been safe to drive. The difficulty is the court has no discretion and would have had to have disqualified him for 12 months if he pled guilty or was found guilty.
Luckily for him there was a technicality with the evidence which we found and resulted in an acquittal.
Speeding Offence: Forfar Justice of The Peace Court, 18th October 2017
Client hired van and was caught speeding by Mobile Camera for that classification of vehicle. Client on 9 Points and faces a Totting Up Disqualification. However, we present a persuasive argument and Fiscal gains some sympathy for our client and agrees to drop the case. His licence is saved!
Details: This was another unusual and interesting case involving a vehicle that may have fallen within the category of a dual purpose van. This is a vehicle which is constructed or adapted to carry both passengers (transversely) and goods, and designed to weigh no more than 2040kgs. There are a number of other Construction and Use Regulations that the vehicle must also conform with to fall into this category.
The vehicle had been hired by our client to use in a trade show. He was taking passengers with him and also some trade stock. His vehicle was caught speeding on a 70mph dual carriageway, where a goods vehicle requires to travel at 60mph unless otherwise exempt. One such exemption is a dual purpose vehicle. Police were not involved at the time because his vehicle was targeted by a mobile camera van at the side of the road. The first he knew about the offence was a number of days later when he received a Notice of Intention to Prosecute through the post.
On the day of the trial we produced a number of photographs of the vehicle both inside and out to demonstrate the way in which it had been adapted.
We spoke to the Fiscal on the day of the trial and explained the situation to him. The onus was on the crown to prove that the speed limit that applied to the vehicle. It was a complex issue to resolve for them. In addition the Fiscal had some sympathy for the accused as it was a one off hire and he ought to have been told by the hire company that the vehicle was restricted to a lessor speed limit than cars - a common mistake made by many van drivers.
In the circumstances the Fiscal was persuaded to drop the case. Our client was thoroughly relieved as he was sitting on 9 points and would have been subject to a six month disqualification under the totting up regulations if he had been convicted of this offence.
Dangerous Driving: Glasgow Sheriff Court, 16th October 2017
Taxi driver accused of driving off while elderly passenger entered taxi, causing her to be injured. He faces ban and loss of livelihood. We persuade Fiscal to reduce charges to just Careless Driving and then get only the minimum penalty. Client licence and livelihood is saved.
Details: This was a serious charge in that it alleged that a taxi driver drove off as a 65 year old female passenger was trying to enter his taxi in Glasgow City Centre, causing her to be dragged out of the car and fall to the ground suffering injury. Passers-by rushed to her aid. The police attended and she required to be taken to hospital.
Our client's position was that she had entered the car late after two other passengers (her adult children having already entered) and he thought that there were only two passengers requiring his services. Although he had been regularly looking in his rear view mirror, he failed to carry out a final check before driving off.
When we investigated the case we discovered that a number of features of the prosecution evidence didn't ring true. We presented this to the Fiscal on the day of the trial and he agreed to reduce the charge to one of careless driving, recognising the true context of our client's error. When the case called in court the charge our client faced for sentencing represented a marked departure from the original one of dangerous driving. Consequently we were able to persuade the court to treat the case as such. The court imposed only 3 penalty points (the minimum for any road traffic offence) and a fine of ?425. Our client was mightily relieved that his licence and his livelihood was still intact. His taxi licence would have been in jeopardy had he been convicted of dangerous driving, particularly when he was operating as a taxi driver at the time, and the allegation involved a fare paying passenger.
Drunk in Charge: Perth Sheriff Court, 6th October 2017
Client has keys in ignition, drinking vodka. Client fails breathalyser and faces likely ban. However, we are able to provide a strong defence and persuade Fiscal to drop the case before the trial even started!
Details: The circumstances were that our client was reported to the police by a member of the public who witnessed him drinking vodka from a coffee cup while sitting in the driver seat of his vehicle. When the police arrived he was still there. The police observed a bottle of vodka on the passenger seat and the keys for the vehicle in the ignition. On speaking to our client they could smell alcohol from his breath and thereafter administered the road side breath test, which he failed. He was arrested and taken back to Dundee Police Headquarters where he was asked to provide two evidential specimens from the Intoximeter device. As the lower of the two readings was above the legal limit of 22mgs (at 38mgs) he was charged with the offence of being in charge of a vehicle while over the legal limit. This is a contravention of s5(1)(b) of the Road Traffic Act 1988.
Road traffic law however provides a person accused of this offence with a defence, if he or she can establish, on the balance of probabilities, that there was no likelihood of them driving while over the legal limit. The accused most likely will need to lead evidence from a toxicologist to give evidence when that would have been. The accused would then need to be in a position to convince the court that there was no likelihood of them driving until after that time. An accused's evidence would have to stand up to the scrutiny of the court. In this case our client's position was supported by other evidence which convinced the Fiscal to accept that the defence was properly made out and to, unusually, discontinue the proceedings against our client before the trial started.
Our client was very relieved indeed. The penalty for being drunk in charge is either 10 penalty points or a discretionary disqualification depending on the circumstances of the case. If you have been charged with this offence it is important to consult a road traffic expert as soon as possible, as early preparation of the defence is vital to its success.
Dangerous Driving: Dundee Sheriff Court, 5th October 2017
Client facing driving disqualification for allegedly bad driving and nearly causing a head on collision. Richard Freeman AKA Mr. 'Technicality' finds a technicality which on day of trial he advises the Fiscal. Fiscal reluctantly drops the case!
Details: This client was reported by another motorist and his wife for tailgating their vehicle for a considerable distance and then carrying out a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre on a blind bend in the face of oncoming traffic. The witnesses said they had to brake harshly in order to avoid a head on collision with the oncoming vehicle. The witnesses maintained that they were so shaken up by the whole ordeal that they drove to the nearest police station to report the driver, having noted down the number plate of our client's vehicle.
The evidence from the police was that they shortly thereafter attended at the accused's house saw the car in the driveway, and as our client was the registered keeper they required him to identify the driver of the vehicle on the date in question at the location and time of the incident. Our client advised the police that it was his car and that he was the only driver.
The Police charged him with dangerous driving and he was given a s1 warning that he may be prosecuted for this offence. He was subsequently summoned to Dundee Sheriff Court and thereafter consulted us to represent him. He was adamant that the driving was not as described by the other witnesses but he was the only one who could speak to that in court. As always we searched the evidence for a technical point of an evidential nature and discovered there was a fundamental problem with the case. We attended at court on the trial diet and advised the Fiscal in court of the legal issue. The Fiscal reluctantly agreed to take no further action against our client.
Drink Driving: Dumbarton Sheriff Court, 4th October 2017
Client captured on video acting drunk, client refuses preliminary breathalyser, then fails breathalyser test after arrest. We argue our defence and Fiscal can't prove case. Case deserted and client delighted.
Details: This client had been charged with drink driving after he had been reported attending at a local garage forecourt and shop in a drunken state. There was video footage showing this and a taxi driver followed him home in his vehicle having reported him to the police. The police attended his home address shortly after to discover the vehicle in the driveway and our client in a drunken state. Our client refused to provide a preliminary breath test and thereafter failed the test after he was arrested and taken to Mill Street Police station.
His position was that he was under the legal limit when driving but consumed a substantial amount of alcohol as soon as he arrived back home. He therefore intended to lodge a post incident drinking defence for which we instructed a toxicologist. The difficulties he required to overcome however, were firstly the fact that he was seen at the garage premises to be drunk, and secondly the opportunity he had for drinking all the alcohol back home, before the police arrived was very short - a matter of minutes.
At the trial diet we were aware that the Fiscal was not in a position to prove the case. They moved the court to grant an adjournment. We opposed it and the sheriff was persuaded by us simply to desert the case i.e. dismiss the case for all time. Needless to say our client was delighted and provided us with a testimonial.
"Hi Richard and Colleagues, I got a sore head still not settled. This is due to Happiness. I was so wound up with tension in my brain. You and your colleagues took off seriously! I can not Thank You All Enough. Anyways let me settle I will come by your office next week. I phoned the office and spoke to Rachel and praised her and everyone there. I openly invite you all for a meal of your choice and invite you to my house near Christmas or New year which ever suits you all. Love from me and all my Family.
No insurance charge: Paisley Justice of the Peace Court, 4th October 2017
Client is new driver and faces licence being revoked. Advised by other solicitors to plead guilty but we persuade client to hire us and vigorously fight the case in court and Win a Not Guilty! veridct. Client ecstatic!
Details: This client had been stopped driving in Paisley by the police after they carried out a moving PNC check of our client's vehicle which disclosed that no insurance was in place for it. Our client was notified of their suspicions and remained with the police while they carried out a further check with the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB). The MIB disclosed that our client's policy of insurance had been cancelled the month before. The police seized the vehicle in terms of s165 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, and charged him with driving with no insurance to which our client made no reply.
During the trial, at the end of the Crown case, we made a no case to answer submission, by presenting a legal argument that the crown case had not been proved. This was opposed by the Prosecutor, but upheld by the court, and accordingly our client was found not guilty.
Case Analysis: The High Court has stated that with an offence such as driving without insurance it is not for the Prosecutor to show that the vehicle wasn't insured. The prosecutor cannot be expected to prove a negative, and as the question of whether or not a vehicle is insured is one that the driver ought to know, all the prosecution has to show is that the vehicle was being driven on a public road and the driver has been asked to produce an insurance certificate that he is relying on to fulfil his insurance obligation under s143 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. It would appear the the presumption of innocence does not apply once evidence is lead of actual driving. In this case we were able to rebut the inference that our client was not insured which inverted the onus of proof back to the prosecution. As the Prosecutor was unable to rebut our challenge, the court found our client not guilty.
Our client was a new driver ( for a period under two years) and it was so important to him that he was not convicted, as his licence would have been automatically revoked if he had 6 points imposed, which is the minimum outcome following a conviction, (unless special reasons could be established). Our client's parents very kindly provided us with a review.
"Got myself a not guilty for no insurance, all the other solicitors told me to go with special reasons, they weren't prepared to take the chance to go with myself pleading not guilty, not this law firm, if I am ever accused of another road traffic offence I would come back to this solicitors, I can't thank them enough for saving my licence, if you need a road traffic lawyer use this company, probably the best in scotland.
Failing to stop and failing to report an Accident : Dumbarton Sheriff Court, 28th September 2017
Client on 9pts, facing 2 charges and likely ban. Advised by another lawyer to please guilty. However we scrutinize the evidence and find an unsurmountable legal requirement which we higlight to Fiscal and he agrees to drop all charges. Client is ecstatic!
Details: This client was charged with failing to stop and provide his details to the driver of a car that he collided with, and also with failing to report the offence to the police.
The circumstances were that our client was driving his car behind a Ford Fiesta motor vehicle on the A82 when he failed to stop in time and as a result collided with the rear of the Fiesta causing that vehicle in turn to collide with the vehicle in front ,damaging both the front and rear of the Fiesta. Our client alighted from his vehicle and inspected his car and the Fiesta. The driver of the Fiesta asked our client to move his vehicle round the corner to exchange details. Our client required to comply with a statutory requirement to provide his name and address and his registration number of the vehicle. Instead of doing this however, our client returned to his car and drove away.
The driver of the vehicle reported the matter to the police who located our client via the registration number of his car, which the driver of the Fiesta managed to catch in a photograph when photographing the damage to both vehicles. Our client accepted he was the driver but denied seeing any damage and also denied ever being asked for his details. The police charged him with failing to stop and provide the necessary details, and also with failing to report the accident to the police timeously.
Our client was very anxious about the outcome as the punishment for each offence can attract a discretionary disqualification or an endorsement of between 5 and 10 penalty points. As he already had 9 points on his licence even the most lenient sentence upon conviction of 5 points would have resulted in totting up and therefore for him a 6 month disqualification.
He had consulted another solicitor who had advised him to plead guilty. He was then advised to consult us. On scrutinising the evidence we discovered a legal requirement, created by the road traffic law, which placed an evidential burden on the crown relating to a fundamental part of the offence. This caused them severe difficulty in proving the case. We highlighted this to the Fiscal who accepted the problem was insurmountable and accordingly agreed to accept not guilty pleas to both charges.
Case Analysis: These offences were prosecuted under Sections 170(2)&(4) and Section 170(3)&(4) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 which are very complex in nature. We see other cases where accused persons in court plead guilty where they in fact have a defence. It is important to seek advice from a solicitor who specialises in road traffic law to ensure that the correct advice is given.
Drink Driving: Edinburgh Sheriff Court, 20th September 2017
3 times over the limit! We find a procedural technicality and fervently argue the point.
We win a Not Guilty verdict and client's licence is saved!
Details: This client contacted Roadtrafficexpert because he had been charged with a drink driving offence committed within Edinburgh city centre. He was first seen by the police to drive erratically and at speed. The police followed him for a short distance and stopped him. When they were speaking to him they smelled alcohol in his breath. The roadside ( also known as the preliminary) breath test was administered to him which he failed. He was arrested and taken to St. Leonards police station where he was required to provide two specimens of breath. Both specimens produced a reading of 67 micrograms of alcohol in his breath, representing a figure 3 times the legal limit. He was subsequently charged with drink driving, and released for court.
It appeared from the above procedure that our client did not have a defence to the charge. On investigating the case in detail however, we discovered that the police may have missed an essential part of the procedure which could prove fatal in a trial. We advised our client of this technical point and about the potential for securing a not guilty verdict. It required a number of different evidential steps to take place, and for the crown to prosecute the case in a certain way, in order to succeed. Once we explained this to our client he chose to instruct us to proceed to test the crown case.
During the trial, evidence was led from both police officers who spoke about the facts and procedures as stated above. During the course of evidence Richard Freeman objected to certain evidence on the basis that it was inadmissible. The legal point was debated before the sheriff. The sheriff accepted that he could not be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the police carried out the correct procedure and therefore upheld the legal technicality. This struck at the heart of the crown case and accordingly the prosecutor could not prove the case against our client. He was found not guilty.
Case Analysis:Many of our clients want to save their licence but do not have an actual defence to the charge. Clearly in this case had the technical point not been successful he would have been convicted and disqualified. It is a case however which demonstrates that every accused is entitled to test the crown case and cannot be punished for doing that. What they forego is the right for the court to credit them with a discount in the sentence for pleading guilty if they did that at an early stage. However a slightly shorter disqualification and a lower fine for doing that might not make a significant difference to an accused who needs their licence, or who cannot afford to have a conviction for employment or immigration reasons. Such a person is better testing the crown case where a legal point or technicality in their favour has been identified. Such technicalities are there for a reason - to ensure that an accused receives a fair trial. The Appeal court has dismissed many cases where there has been procedural and evidential irregularities in the interest of a fair trial.
Dangerous Driving: Glasgow Sheriff Court, 19th September 2017
Video of client is shown on Scotland's Worst Drivers website, repeatedly cutting in front of a lorry and braking thus forcing the lorry to take emergency evasive action. Client faces disqualification. We scrutinize evidence and show the lorry driver had tailgated our client and present mitigating circumstances. We get charges dropped to Careless Driving and save client's licence!
Details: The charge of dangerous driving included repeatedly undertaking and cutting-in directly in front of the lorry then braking to cause the lorry driver to take evasive action to avoid a collision. This was a very serious charge as it amounted to a deliberate act in what is typically described as a road rage incident. The potential for a serious collision between the two vehicles and other vehicles on the motorway was obvious when looking at the scene develop on the footage.
Specifically our client was recorded driving his car on the M8 motorway by a dash cam fitted to a 30 tonne heavy goods vehicle. He was seen to repeatedly undertake the lorry in order to deliberately cut-in in front of the lorry leaving a few feet between them, and then apply his brakes to cause the lorry to brake harshly and change lanes to avoid a collision. The video recording was posted on Facebook and then on the Scotland's worst drivers website where the police intervened due to the manner of driving attracting wide media attention.Our client was subsequently located and charged with dangerous driving.
We obtained a statement from the HGV driver and analysed the recording in detail. It was apparent from the recording that the lorry driver instead of braking to create a safe distance between the vehicles actually resorted to tailgating our client's vehicle,thereby escalating the level of danger. On further analysis it could be seen that although our client's driving fell below the appropriate standard once the lorry driver's contribution was discounted it could be seen that the manner of driving by our client was not as severe as it appeared. This allowed us to negotiate a plea of guilty to a lesser charge of careless driving. We then had to address the sheriff in mitigation to avoid a disqualification. The standard of driving was still very bad, falling short of dangerous driving which in itself could easily have resulted in the court imposing a lengthy disqualification.
Our client had a number of personal circumstances which provided further mitigating circumstances which when taken together was enough to persuade the court not to impose a period of disqualification. Instead and in order to reflect the nature of the careless driving the court imposed 7 penalty points. Needless to say our client was relieved at the outcome.
Had the accused been found guilty of dangerous driving no amount of personal mitigation would have permitted the court to refrain from disqualifying the accused as parliament has imposed a mandatory minimum disqualification of 12 months along with a requirement to resit an extended driving test. The case also demonstrates how a sheriff could easily still disqualify an accused even when the charged is reduced to careless driving,where disqualification is only a discretionary power. The interesting feature of this case is that although the sheriff considered that the offence merited a disqualification he was able to appropriately refrain from imposing that due to the mitigating circumstances relating to the accused.
NOTE: There has been a noticeable increase in the number of cases being prosecuted as a result of Dash Cam footage. Recent case law has made radical changes to the way such footage is treated evidentially in court. One such change is that a judge or jury (the fact finder) is entitled to look at a video and decide what to make of it themselves. The fact finder once the provenance of the footage has been proved, is entitled to form their own view and draw their own conclusions about what is happening as seen in the video.
Notwithstanding this development we have been very successful in defending such cases by attacking cases where the crown seek to rely on dash cam evidence. If you are facing such charge please contact us immediately as we will be able to confirm your prospects of winning from a very early stage.
Drink Driving: Airdrie Sheriff Court, 15th September 2017
Client faces disqualification. Seemingly a "no hope" case for several reasons. However, we robustly cross-examine witness and provide legal arguments persuading court on several points. Client found Not Guilty!
Details: This client was charged with drink driving after he was seen driving his van into an industrial estate and alight from it to retrieve alcohol from his boot, and then return to the driver seat to drink it before driving away. This was reported to the police by an eye witness.
During the trial the witness gave evidence that he saw the accused throw the empty cans of lager out of the window of the van before he drove off. The police found him a short while later parked a short distance away sitting in the driver seat still drinking alcohol. He admitted to drinking vodka and almost 4 cans of beer in his vehicle. Our client's position was however that he had only began to drink once he had parked up for the second time and continued to drink up until the police arrived. Had the police not arrived he would have finished his last beer and walked home, and not driven until he would have been below the legal limit. This case presented a number of hurdles to overcome:
First, he was charged with drink driving because of the eye witness who claimed he saw our client drink and drive. Further our client admitted driving, as he was bound to do, in term of s172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. The police saw him later drinking in is van a short distance away.
Secondly, The crown have the benefit of a statutory presumption to the effect that the amount of alcohol in one's breath is at the time of driving no less than that measured by the intoximeter when breathalyzed later at the police station.
Thirdly, at the very least it could be argued by the crown that he was found drunk in charge of a vehicle when the police arrived. It would then be for the accused to prove that he was not going to drive until he was below the legal limit.
In order to win this case we had to cross examine the witness about his observations in order to undermine his evidence that he saw our client drinking. We had to persuade the court that although he was found by the police in charge of a vehicle while drunk, the alcohol was only consumed after he stopped driving. Additionally, we had to persuade the court that at the time the police caught up with him, our client's vehicle was not in a public place as it was parked in an area where the public would not normally attend.
At the end of the trial we made submissions to the sheriff to support our argument that there was a reasonable doubt and that he should acquit our client. The sheriff agreed and he was found not guilty. Needless to say our client was delighted at the outcome!
Client kindly texted his gratitude:
"Hi Richard, just a short text to thank you and your colleagues for all the help advice and support you have given me through my case, also please will you pass my kind regards to Sean as today he was brilliant and was cool, calm and collective and made my experience at court very reassuring also the guy from your office was looking after me from start to finish, I will also being leaving a very highly recommend comment on your reviews.
Thanks Eddie "
Drink Driving: Dumbarton Sheriff Court, 4th September 2017
Client failed Roadside breath test, we investigate and find a legal technicality to use as a defence and persuade fiscal to drop the case. Client delighted.
Details: The circumstances of this case were that our client had attended a party at a friend's house. Whilst there he consumed alcohol during the course of that night, and into the early hours of the following morning. An accident had occurred on the premises which resulted in an an ambulance being summoned. Shortly after arriving, the ambulance driver witnessed the accused, when intoxicated, drive a transit van away from the premises, and return in the van 20 minutes later. He then witnessed the accused lose control of the vehicle and collide with bushes at the side of the road. The ambulance driver called the police who attended the scene. After smelling alcohol in our client's breath, and because he was involved in a road traffic accident they required him to take a preliminary breath test, otherwise known as the roadside test. He failed that test and was consequently arrested and taken back to the police station where he was required to provide two evidential breath samples, the lower of which was approximately three times the legal limit. He was then charged with drink driving.
When we were investigating the case against him, we discovered a legal technicality which had the potential to amount to a defence to the case. After further examination of the evidence and procedures, we were able to develop a legal argument which on the day of the trial persuaded the Fiscal to accept a plea of not guilty to the charge. Our client was delighted at the outcome.
Case Analysis: This was an interesting case which demonstrates a crucial difference between the law of Scotland and the law in England. This is something of a legal curio, as drink driving is the same statutory offence in Scotland as it is in England, created by S.5 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. Despite this, we were able to turn the case on a subtle but fundamental difference between the two jurisdictions, to secure an acquittal for our client. Had the same circumstances occurred in England, the defence would not have been available to our client.
Red Light Offence: Edinburgh JP Court, 31st August 2017
Taxi Driver faces ban and losing livelihood. 3 Police witnesses against our client. We delve into the details and find irregularities and persuade the Fiscal to discontinue case and therefore no need for trial!
Details: This client was a taxi driver in Edinburgh. He had 9 points on his licence and was therefore facing a totting up disqualification of 6 months when he contacted us about a red light offence. When the citation arrived we could see that there was evidence from 3 police officers who claimed that they were en route to attend a disturbance when they were approaching a junction with traffic lights displaying a red light. They all observed our client ahead of them drive through the red light which had been displayed for a considerable time. They caught up with the vehicle after he had turned a corner and subsequently charged him with the offence. Our client was clearly desperate to keep his licence. We investigated the crown case and obtained valuable information from the local council including an ordinance survey map. We were able to demonstrate that there were some significant irregularities in the police evidence which was sufficient for the Fiscal in court to agree to drop the proceedings against our client. Our client was delighted as his livelihood was at stake.
Case Analysis: Note our client's position was that, as he was approaching the traffic lights they changed from green to amber at which point two pedestrians crossed in front of him. As the roads were wet he was apprehensive of braking in case his car skidded into the pedestrians. He decided to take his foot of the accelerator to slow down (as he was in a low gear) allowing enough time for the pedestrians to cross over. He was unsure whether by that time the lights had changed from amber to red. At best this would amount to a defence but his fall back position would have been to establish special reasons existed to avoid penalty points. However due to our Mr Freeman highlighting various technical irregularities the Fiscal was persuaded to drop the proceedings completely. Our client remarked that he could see how our Mr Freeman has earned the name Mr Technicality.
Drink Driving : Glasgow Sheriff Court, 30th August 2017
Client faces loses driving licence. Other solicitor said he had no defence. We dig deep and find a minor procedural technicality! On day of trial we present Fiscal with the technicality and he admits the point. Fiscal then accepts 'Not Guilty' plea. Client delighted!
Details: This client accepted that he drove his friend's vehicle because his friend was unfit through alcohol to drive home from Glasgow city centre. Our client unfortunately misjudged the amount of alcohol he had taken himself so when the police subsequently pulled him over they breathalysed him because they could smell alcohol in his breath. He failed the roadside breath test and was arrested and taken to London Road police station where he was required by the police to provide two specimens of breath both of which were over twice the legal limit. He was subsequently charged with drink driving under s5 of The Road Traffic Act 1988. He took advice from a local criminal solicitor who advised him that he did not have a defence to the charge. Because our clients livelihood and indeed his future career was at stake he contacted us for a second opinion. We advised him that we would need to investigate the case further. After doing so we identified a very small but potentially fatal procedural error. Our client instructed us to proceed to trial on this one point.
On the day of the trial, just before the trial was about to start, the Fiscal asked our Mr Freeman what our defence was as he couldn't see it. As it was by the day of the trial an irreparable problem for the prosecution, our Mr Freeman demonstrated the issue to the Fiscal, and provided him with the legal authorities for the proposition that we were ready to advance to the sheriff. Once the fiscal accepted the validity of our technical point, he agreed to accept a not guilty plea from our client who was delighted.
Case Analysis: This demonstrates that it is always for the Crown i.e prosecution to prove the case against anyone whom they accuse of committing an offence. Everyone is entitled to test the crown case and hold them to that obligation without criticism. The only matter that an accused has to be aware of is that the court has to give credit for an early plea of guilty by reducing any penalty to reflect that. What the court cannot do is punish an accused for taking a matter to trial. Very often the credit given is not sufficient to put a client off from testing the case.
This case is typical of many cases we are instructed in, which on the face of it seem impossible to win even - by other solicitors. We have a reputation for winning complex cases and we thrive on such a challenge.
Dangerous Driving: Glasgow Sheriff Court, 21st June 2017
Speeding, not staying in lane and colliding with 2 vehicles causing one to flip on roof. Client facing mandatory ban and possibly prison. We use our court room expertise, the prosecution’s failure to disclose evidence and our fervent objection to their adjournment request and get the case dropped! Client ecstatic!
Details: This client was facing a serious charge of dangerous driving where it was alleged that she drove her car at excessive speed and in so doing failed to remain in her own lane causing her vehicle to collide with another two vehicles and causing her own vehicle to flip onto its roof and come to rest in that position on the pavement.
During the investigation of the case we discovered that although there appeared to be numerous witnesses on examination of their account it became clear that the evidence mainly consisted of various witnesses speaking to different parts of the incident. The Crown could have developed a circumstantial case but they were resting their case on certain eye witnesses that could prove problematic.
At the trial diet there were a number of witnesses cited but we knew that the Fiscal did not have enough of the important witnesses. Additionally the Crown had not made available any of the essential witness statements to the defence. At court the Fiscal asked the court to allow the trial to be adjourned to allow another witness to attend court as one essential witness was untraceable. In addition the police had failed to organise a collision investigation report which further weakened their case.
It was important from the client's perspective that the crown were not given an opportunity to try to bolster their case, as this could have proved problematic for our client.
The sheriff had to decide whether or not it was in the interests of justice to grant the Fiscal's request to give them more time to cite additional witnesses. The sheriff required to weigh in the balance, on the one hand, the interests of the public in prosecuting a serious offence, against, on the other hand, the interests of the accused to have her case dealt with expeditiously.
The sheriff had to consider competing submissions made by the Fiscal and by us and then decide whether to allow the adjournment or not, knowing that if he did not allow the adjournment the crown would not be able to proceed, and the case would then be dismissed.
The sheriff accepted that the interests of justice favoured the accused on this occasion. He said that in the circumstances, although it was a serious case and the trial had not been adjourned before, and further there was no fault on behalf of the police, the fact remained that the crown raised the prosecution at a time when they had no statements and that this triggered a disclosure obligation on them to provide the statements to the defence, which they could not meet, and that this faltering had to be regarded as a serious one because of the serious nature of the offence. Accordingly he refused the crown motion to adjourn which resulted in the case against the accused being dismissed prohibiting the crown from raising the case again any time in the future. Needless to say our client was delighted at the outcome.
Case Analysis: This case demonstrates a particular occurrence that is not uncommon, where the crown realise at the trial diet that they are short of witnesses for one reason or another. The Fiscal will most often ask the court to adjourn the trial to a later date. Many factors have to be weighed in the balance to determine whether the case should be adjourned in the knowledge that if it is not the case against the case against our client will never proceed. On this occasion despite the serious nature of the offence we were able to demonstrate to the sheriff that it was not in the interest of justice to grant the crown request for an adjournment.
Drink Driving: Edinburgh Sheriff Court, June 2017
Client fails breathalyzer test and showed just over the limit. We build a case to refute reading and on day of trial, vehemently oppose prosecutor requesting adjournment as we are prepared for case, but their police officer is ill and cannot attend. We get case dropped!
Details: This client appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court charged with drink driving stop. At the trial diet his case was dropped when the crown motion to adjourn was refused by the magistrate The police were on mobile patrol in a marked police vehicle when they maintain that our client was driving dangerously. When he passed the police vehicle he flashed his lights and pressed his horn as he perceived that their vehicle presented a danger to him. The police followed him and pulled him over and challenged him about his driving. They asked him if he had been drinking as they could smell alcohol on his breath he admitted to shortly before drinking one bottle of beer. He was then required to to provide a road side breath test which gave a reading of 24 mg. He was therefor only 2 mg over the drink driving limit He was arrested and taken back to the police station where he was required to provide two further specimens of breath 40 minutes later. He gave two readings the lower of which was 28 mg of alcohol in his breath. He was then charged with drunk driving.
As the client had shortly before driving consumed a small amount of alcohol and had only driven for less than five minutes thereafter (and was only going to drive for a further few minutes) it was possible to carry out a back calculation to identify what the level of alcohol was at the time of driving. It was clear to us that it would be below the legal driving limit taking account of the rate of absorption and the metabolic rate . The road side test is an imprecise device used for indicative purposes only and therefore the reading of 24mgs could not be relied upon nor could it be used for evidential purposes.
When the case called at the trial diet the crown sought to adjourn the trial as a police officer was ill. We oppose the motion highlighting the fact that our client had a stateable defence and even though the police officer was ill, when considering the interests of justice in this case the balance fell in favour of our client. The magistrate agreed and our client's case was deserted simpliciter which means that it was dismissed by the court.
Our client was absolutely delighted as it was an anxious charge to have hanging over him.
Speeding: Dumfries Justice of the Peace Court, 14th June 2017
Police Sergeant charged with Speeding by mobile speed camera. He was adamant he was innocent and asks Richard Freeman (AKA Mr. Technicality) to prove it. We scrutinize the evidence and find significant issues on how the speed camera was operated. Case is dropped and client is delighted!
Details: We were instructed by a Police Sergeant from Police Scotland to represent him in relation to a speeding offence. He was travelling on the M74 when the police targeted his vehicle while on speed detection duties in a mobile camera van using an LTI 20 -20 Ultralyte device. He was accused of travelling at 80mph in a 70mph speed limit. He was adamant that he was abiding by the speed limit so he contacted us because of Mr Freeman's reputation as Mr. Technicality. He knew that the reliability and use of the device had to be called into question to demonstrate that the recorded speed was erroneous.
We pled not guilty on behalf of our client and set about scrutinising the evidence. In particular we examined the way in which the police officer operating the device had targeted our client's vehicle. From our experience, it appeared on viewing the video footage that the police officer had not complied with the appropriate operating instructions to such an extent that we knew it would clearly cast doubt on the accuracy of the reading.
In this case we decided to draw this to the attention of the Procurator Fiscal before the trial. Shortly thereafter the Fiscal agreed to drop the proceedings against our client. As a Police Sergeant this was a very important case. He was an advanced driver and had a clean driving licence and felt extremely aggrieved that the speed of his vehicle had been so erroneously recorded that he instructed us to defend the charge. Needless to say he was delighted at the outcome and satisfied that justice had been done.
CASE ANALYSIS: This case was an unusual case in the sense that the most frequent instruction we receive is from motorists who are not in a position to deny that they were over the limit, perhaps because they were just unaware of their precise speed. The reason for this is that most devices the police use capture a snapshot in time which is unknown to the motorist, but because their livelihood is on the line they wish to put the crown to the test. This approach is entirely appropriate and is beyond criticism of the court. Indeed an accused is perfectly entitled to take advantage of the various safeguards that are put in place by various road traffic laws and procedures to ensure a fair trial. This is where our area of expertise flourishes and it was our in depth knowledge of such matters that helped to secure success for our client.
Dangerous Driving: Edinburgh Sheriff Court, 29th May 2017
Client had previously pled guilty before realizing she would be automatically disqualified. She had drove through a red light, almost running over a mother and infant. We find legal arguments to fight case and with a good chance of an acquittal. However, client is desperate to keep licence, so rather than risk losing we negotiate charges down to Careless driving. Licence saved.
Details: This client was charged with dangerous driving by proceeding right through a cross roads junction against a red traffic light and over a pedestrian crossing while the green man was illuminated, causing a woman pushing a pram to take evasive action to avoid being hit. The manoeuvre was witnessed by 5 pedestrians all approaching the pedestrian crossing from various angles. The matter was reported to the police who reported the incident to the Fiscal's Office, who then raised a prosecution for dangerous driving. When our client received the summons she pled guilty without legal advice or representation and later discovered, when sentence had been continued, that she was facing a minimum disqualification of 12 months and requirement to resit an extended driving test.
Our client was anxious not to lose her licence which would have been inevitable if she was convicted of that. At the trial diet we were armed with a number of legal arguments which if successful would have resulted in a complete acquittal to the charge. The facts were not entirely clear cut however, and the legal submissions depending on the court's interpretation of them. The Fiscal conceded that, and offered a reduction in the charge to a moderate careless driving charge. In this case our client's main aim was to keep her licence and she therefore instructed us to accept the plea to careless driving. The sheriff after hearing our plea in mitigation was content to impose mid-range penalty points of 5 and a fine of ?270. Needless to say our client was both relieved and delighted at the outcome.
Dangerous Driving: Fort William Sheriff Court, 17th May 2017
Client charged with speeding through a village and dangerously overtaking a police car. Client also has video evidence and witnesses against him. However, we find a technical flaw in the evidence and get the case dropped. Client delighted!
Details: This client was charged with dangerous driving on the A82 by travelling at excessive speed through a village, thereafter carrying out an overtaking manoeuvre of an unmarked police vehicle at excessive speed and then a transit van in the face of oncoming traffic. It was alleged that he drove on the opposite carriageway round a sweeping bend and during the overtake he was seen travelling head on with an approaching vehicle which was on the same side of the road. The police signalled to our client to pull over. While the police were speaking to him the civilian driver of the vehicle travelling head on returned to speak to the police and to produce webcam evidence of the overtaking manoeuvre. She also maintained that he gesticulated at her during the overtake.
Our client was subsequently prosecuted in the sheriff court for dangerous driving. After full examination of all the evidence we discovered a fatal flaw in the crown case which was difficult to overcome. We drew this to the attention of the Fiscal, who eventually agreed and accordingly discontinued the case against our client.
CASE ANALYSIS: The case reported to the Fiscal consisted of a sustained manner of bad driving over a distance and not just one solitary overtaking manoeuvre. The evidence seemed overwhelming against our client, according to the police and civilian witnesses evidence. The case was won due to a little known matter of law which we were able to exploit.
Speeding: Oban Justice of the Peace Court, 17th May 2017
On 6pts and speeding at 88mph in a 60mmph zone with a potential Totting Up Disqualification. We find some evidential issues and save the client going to court by getting Fiscal to drop case the day before trial. ( Timing is everything!)
Details: This client was currently on 6 penalty points and was facing another endorsement for speeding of between 3 to 6 penalty points which would put him very close to if not subject to totting up procedure and disqualification if convicted. He was caught by police using a UNIPAR device travelling at 88 mph in a 60 mph speed limit on the A82, a single carriageway. The police followed the vehicle observing that he continued to travel at that speed and overtake a number of vehicles by crossing over to the opposing carriageway. The police maintained that they eventually stopped him by utilising their blue lights and siren. He was shown the reading of his speed on the UNIPAR device and charged by the police. We investigated the case and were prepared to proceed for trial. We were aware of certain evidential difficulties which we would have raised in court. In a discussion with the Fiscal the day before the trial he agreed to drop the proceedings.
Failing to Stop at Scene of Accident, and Failing to Report Accident to the Police. Glasgow JP Court , 16th May 2017
Client observed hitting stationary vehicle, inspecting damage then driving away and did not report it to police. Client now potentially facing a driving disqualification. Client admitted what happened, but asks us to try and save her licence and minimize points. We negotiate effectively with Fiscal and make legal submissions which served to minimize the penalty. No ban just 5 points and a small fine!
Details: This client was charged with two offences committed under Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 in that after causing an accident she failed to stop and provide her details, and thereafter failed to report the matter to the police. The accident happened in a public car park. Witnesses reported that they observed our client collide with a stationary vehicle ,alight from her car to inspect the damage and then drive off without attempting to contact the owner of the damaged vehicle or leaving a note.
She also failed to report the matter to the police as soon as reasonably practicable and in any event within 24hours of the accident.
The police traced her and charged her with both offences. She was then prosecuted in Glasgow JP Court. The penalties for these offences include a discretionary disqualification or the imposition of penalty points, falling anywhere between 5 to 10 inclusive, depending on the circumstances.
Our client instructed us to do everything possible to minimise the penalty. We discussed a plea with the Fiscal who was willing to accept a not guilty plea for the charge of failing to stop at the scene of the accident provided our client plead guilty to failing to report the accident to the police. We then made certain legal submissions to the court who dealt with our client very leniently by imposing the lowest number of penalty points, i.e 5 points, and a fine of ?175. Our client was extremely grateful.
CASE ANALYSIS: In a case of this nature all the Crown require to prove is that there was an accident owing to the presence of a vehicle on a road which resulted in third party damage. There is a popular misconception that a driver has 24 hours to report the offence, and that they do not need to stop at the time as long as they do that. The road traffic law is that reporting the offence does not excuse the failing to stop to provide details. Furthermore, it is still an offence if a driver fails to report the matter to the police when it was reasonably practicable to do so, even if they subsequently did within 24 hours.
Dangerous Driving: Inverness Sheriff Court, 15th May 2017
47mph over the speed limit! Facing disqualification. We persuade Sheriff to use his discretion and negotiate down to Careless Driving and 6 points. Ban avoided and client relieved!
This client was charged with dangerous driving the nature of which was that he was caught by police travelling at a speed of 107 mph in a 60 mph speed limit. The police maintained that they had taken up speed detection duties using a UNIPAR laser device. They saw his vehicle approaching at excessive speed and activated the UNIPAR which measured his speed at 107mph. They justified the charge of dangerous driving because he was passing a junction in the road and the road surface was uneven. These are considered to be examples of potential danger when placed along side a vehicle travelling at grossly above the speed limit. The matter was prosecuted by the Fiscal as dangerous driving as they shared the same view.
Road traffic law has developed over the years to establish that speed alone can constitute dangerous driving if it can be said that it represents a standard of driving that falls far below that of a careful and competent driver. When sentencing, each case has to be considered on its own facts and circumstances. The consequences of any sentence to the accused is a relevant consideration, as are their personal circumstances. In this case the sheriff had wide discretion in that he could have imposed a period of disqualification. The penalty points at his disposal ranged from a minimum of 3 to a maximum of 9. If he imposed 9 points our client would have been subject to the totting up procedure due to the 3 points already on his licence, which would have resulted in a 6 month disqualification. Fortunately the sheriff was persuaded to impose only 6 points which kept him on the road.
Driving through a Red Light Offence: Glasgow Justice of the Peace Court, 5th May 2017
Police claim witnessing client drive through red light. We find technical issues and convince Friscal to drop case.
Details: This client was observed by police to drive through a red traffic light at a junction on Shieldhall Road Glasgow. Our client was driving a red Porsche which had stopped at a red traffic light. The police maintained they drove up next to him and for no apparent reason saw our client drive off while the red light was still red. The police then drove forward and stopped our client and charged him with driving through the red light.
Our client was adamant that he did not drive through the red light and instructed us to defend him. The police checked the traffic light system which appeared to them to be working correctly at the time. Again this looked like a difficult case to win. In fact this is a rare case where the Fiscal does not need corroboration and can prove it by leading evidence from only one witness. Here their were two eye witness police officers who were directly behind our client at the traffic lights when they saw him make off through the red traffic light.
We knew to win this case we needed more than our client's version of events. On the day of the trial we were able to convince the Fiscal that there were technical problems with the case and accordingly she agreed to drop the proceedings against our client.
Speeding: Kilmarnock Justice of the Peace Court, 5th May 2017
Van driver charged with 83.2mph when his speed limit should be 60mph. We find a technical flaw with the evidence and win the case, client found Not Guilty!
Details: This client was charged with speeding at 83.2 mph on the A78 dual carriageway near Pennyburn. He was driving a van and therefore the speed limit applicable to him was 60mph. He was travelling northbound at a time when two police officers, both from the traffic division, were on speed detection duty. They observed our client driving in excess of the speed limit and proceeded to measure his speed using a VASCAR device. This measures a vehicle's average speed by measuring the time it has taken to travel over a certain distance.
The police were very experienced with 35 years road traffic experience and were very methodical in preparing their statements. However we were aware of one fatal shortcoming in the Crown case. We required in this case simply to let the trial run. At the end of the crown case we made a no case to answer submission which the magistrate upheld and found our client not guilty.
Case Analysis: The VASCAR device is not a Home Office approved device and therefore does not have the same evidential advantages provided by legislation. For this reason we were able to attack the evidence which defeated the Crown case. It was another technical defence we were able to secure from our expertise in road traffic law.
Dangerous Driving: Peterhead Sheriff Court, 3rd May 2017
Caught doing 114mph in a 60 &observed crossing double white lines. Client faces ban. We scrutinize evidence, find technical issues and robustly cross examine police. Charges are dropped to careless driving, client gets just 3 pts and small fine. client delighted!
Details: This client who works with explosives faced dismissal if he was convicted of dangerous driving. He was pulled over by the police on the A952 near to Cumbrae, Auchleuchries, Aberdeenshire for travelling at 114mph on a 60mph single carriageway while crossing over double white lines during an overtake of two other motor vehicles.
The police were on static speed detection duties operating a Unipar SL 700 laser device when they observed our client approaching at a speed which they described as travelling at grossly in excess of the speed limit. They also observed that he had crossed over a solid white line while overtaking two vehicles on a bend near a junction. The reporting officer targeted our client's vehicle, a high performance Mercedes, using the Unipar device which recorded a speed of 114mph. The police pursued our client over a short distance when he came to a halt. They then showed him the speed recorded on the device and pointed out their observations and charged him with dangerous driving.
We investigated the case and obtained the statements from the police officers , both were from the local police road traffic department. We also scrutinised other evidence and discovered that the officers' speed detection procedures were flawed. We took the matter to trial and cross examined the police officers at length, after which the sheriff concluded that he was not satisfied with the evidence from the police about the accused's speed, and also he was not satisfied that the client had crossed the solid lines at the junction. Ultimately, the allegation was stripped down to crossing over a solid line while overtaking, and accordingly the sheriff disposed of the case by imposing 3 penalty points and a ?100 fine, which equates to a minor fixed penalty. Our client was ecstatic at the outcome. Our client had despaired after he was stopped by the police as he knew that despite what the police had told him and the reading on the device that he had not been travelling at their claimed speed.
Careless driving and S.38 Criminal justice and licensing (Scotland) act 2010:
Dumbarton Justice of the Peace Court, 3rd May 2017
At trial diet not guilty plea to careless driving accepted, and admonished and dismissed in respect of S38 charge.
Details: This client was charged with careless driving and abusive behaviour after a road traffic accident on the A82 road while travelling towards Dumbarton. The allegation against him was that he had been driving along side another vehicle and been shouting at the driver, pulling back and then flashing his lights at him and then began tailgating him to the extent that both the driver(a retired teacher) of the other vehicle and his wife felt in danger. The driver of the other car maintained that he then decided to change lanes from the inside lane to add some distance between them. A collision then occurs with our client's vehicle. It was then alleged that our client exited the vehicle and began to shout and swear at the occupants of the other car in an aggressive manner. The retired teacher telephoned the police who witnesses our client continue to shout and swear.
He was charged at the scene with careless driving and the S38 charge which is similar to a breach of the peace. Our client contacted us, very upset because he maintained that the other driver was completely at fault and it was because of that he became frustrated and lost his self control. We examined the scene of the incident and carefully examined the crown evidence. It became clear that the driver of the other car and his wife had given statements to the police and their insurance company that were grossly exaggerated. Their position was also unrealistic and lacked sufficient corroboration essential for the crown to prove the case against our client. It appeared to ,us that the driver of the other car was trying to avoid taking responsibility for the cause of the accident.
We attended court at the intermediate diet when we had an opportunity to discuss the case with the Fiscal in court. We were able to persuade him that the careless driving charge would not succeed were he to take the case to trial. Our client was willing to plead guilty to the S38 because he accepted his behaviour could have caused fear and alarm. Accordingly when the case called the Fiscal accepted our client's plea of not guilty and the magistrate simply admonished our client in respect of the S38 Offence. As a consequence of this the third party insurers are now willing to accept liability in respect of our client's claim for the damage to his vehicle caused by the retired teachers driving.
CASE ANALYSIS This was a minor road rage incident where the fault was that of the other driver. The police attended and were convinced by the account given by the other driver involved, and his wife, in no small measure because they appeared plausible and because our client was alone and appeared very agitated. It is only when their evidence is really scrutinised and compared with other evidence that their account began to unravel. Our client was at risk of receiving anywhere between 3 to 9 penalty points on his licence, and maybe even a disqualification if the matter had proceeded to trial and the other witnesses believed. It was only once we attended at the scene and fully understood the detail of the journey that we could see the true position. It is important to instruct a road traffic lawyer who is experienced in these matters who can cast an expert eye on the evidence.
Mobile Phone Offence, Forfar Justice of the Peace Court, 3rd May 2017
Despite apparent overwhelming evidence, we find a technicality and the Fiscal is persuaded to take no further action.
Details: This client was pulled over by the police in Arbroath for using a mobile phone. The police evidence was that they were driving towards him when they observed him driving a Citreon Berlingo Van with a mobile phone in his right hand next to the steering wheel. He was seen to be looking down at the time in the direction of the phone with his lips moving consistent with him speaking into the device. The police maintained that he dropped the phone when he saw the police looking at him.
Further when he was questioned about it by the police he freely admitted that he was on a work related call. It would appear that on the police evidence this case was fairly cut and dried: there was evidence of him holding a mobile phone, and a strong inference that he was using it supported by an admission that he was. We however were able to take advantage of a technical defence which persuaded the crown to drop the case at the trial diet much to our very relieved client.
CASE ANALYSIS Very often it would appear that there is compelling evidence against a client but once the case is run by an experienced road traffic lawyer they are able to identify evidential, legal and procedural errors which can completely undermine the case against a client. It is always worth consulting a road traffic lawyer with expertise in such matters to ascertain if their is a defence to a charge of a technical nature, sometimes referred to as a loophole.
Commissioner Hearing: Glasgow, 24th April 2017
Client already had conviction and a Jail sentence for 'Causing Death by Careless Driving' (he had used another solicitor). Client wanted his HGV licence back and we represent him at hearing and show he is not a danger to public. Licence is restored.
This client had been represented by another firm of solicitors at a trial for causing death by careless driving. He was convicted of that charge by a jury. The circumstances were that he had been driving a heavy goods vehicle at the time when in the course of executing a right hand turn he steered his vehicle into the path of an approaching motorbike which could not evade a collision, resulting in the death of the driver and the passenger on the bike. He was sentenced to a jail sentence and was disqualified from driving for 12 months. After his disqualification expired he was entitled to apply to DVLA for his car licence but he was called to a hearing of the Traffic Commissioner who had to consider whether it was appropriate to allow his HGV licence to be restored. This is standard procedure where the offence was committed in a heavy goods vehicle.
CASE ANALYSIS: The main concern for the Traffic Commissioner was the safety of the public. To gain a better understanding of the nature of the offence we explained the circumstance of the offence in detail at the hearing. In support of our client we explained the nature of the manoeuvre, his previous good driving record and produced testimonials from his former employer. The sentence itself was unusual as the jail sentence was not proportionate to the relatively short period of disqualification. A disqualification is not intended to be punitive. Rather it is a measure to protect the public and in this case it was kept to a minimum reflecting the fact that although the consequences of the offence were catastrophic, the level of carelessness amounted to momentary lapse of concentration.
After considering our representations The Traffic Commissioner was satisfied that our client should be allowed his HGV licence back.
Dangerous Driving: Glasgow Sheriff Court, 6th April 2017
Client accused of performing illegal U turn causing a motorcycle accident. Client faces a minimum 12 month ban. We fervently argue it was not an illegal manoeuvre and successfully persuade Fiscal that it should be classed as Careless Driving. Client Driving licence is saved!
Details: This client was charged with dangerous driving on Great Western Road Glasgow by executing a U turn as a motorbike approached him, causing the motorbike to collide with his car damaging same and injuring the biker. The crown argued that our client carried out an illegal manoeuvre and without checking to see if it was safe to do so, by failing to look for and observe oncoming traffic during a busy period on a main road. The opinion of the police was that this was a standard of driving that fell far below that of a careful and competent driver and for that reason constituted dangerous driving. However after examining the crown case we took the view that this was overstating our client's culpability. He accepted, as he was bound to, that he failed to properly observe the motorbike's approach, but that this was partly down to a blind spot in his car as he was carrying out the U turn. Furthermore on this part of the carriageway a U turn was not per se an illegal manoeuvre. We were able to persuade the Fiscal that while the driving was poor it fell short of the definition of dangerous driving and more within the definition of careless driving. On this basis we plead guilty to careless driving and the court imposed just 5 points and thus our client’s driving licence was saved.
Dangerous Driving: Glasgow Sheriff Court, 29th March 2017
Speeding at 99mph in a 60mph and police witness swerving between lanes. Client faces lengthy driving disqualification. We find some weaknesses in case and get charges reduced to Careless Driving. Result: driving licence is saved with just 5pts and small fine imposed.
Details: This client was charged with driving dangerously by speeding at 99 mph in a 60mph speed limit in adverse weather conditions. It was alleged further that his vehicle threw up surface spray as it overtook a police vehicle. The police immediately activated the in-car Vascar device to measure the average speed of the vehicle. The police maintained that the accused continued to drive at this speed in darkness, and to such an extent that he was unable to maintain lane discipline such poor visibility and causing him to swerve between lanes to avoid colliding with traffic directly ahead of him.
Our client was desperate to keep his licence. This was a serious dangerous driving case which from the police evidence could have resulted in a lengthy disqualification beyond the 12 month minimum mandatory period of disqualification. We set about examining the evidence and were able to identify a number of weaknesses both in the Crown case, and in the way in which they were intending to prove the charge. Consequently at the trial diet we highlighted these issues to the Fiscal who agreed to resolve the case by accepting a plea of guilty to a lesser charge of careless driving. We were then able to address the sheriff in mitigation, and persuaded the sheriff to deal with the case leniently by imposing 5 penalty points and a small fine.
Drunk Driving: Paisley Sheriff Court, 20th March 2017
Client facing being disqualified from driving, fails breathalyzer. We find technical issues with police procedure and win a Not Guilty verdict!
Details: This client a professional employee required to remain on stand-by for any emergency calls through out the night. She was called into work and attended shortly thereafter. On arrival colleagues could smell alcohol and claimed she was unsteady on her feet. One colleague saw her car in the car park. The police arrived to deal with the emergency and was alerted by our clients colleague of her observations. The police also observed her car in the driveway and noticed it wasn't frozen over unlike the other cars in the car park.
They approached her and asked her if she had been drinking and then breathalysed her. She failed that test and was arrested and taken to the police station where she also fails the Intoximeter test. She was then charged with drink driving. We made a No case to answer submission relating to the nature of the evidence that had emerged during the trial. The sheriff agreed with the legal submissions and our client was found not guilty.
CASE ANALYSIS: This was a difficult case but due to our intimate knowledge of road traffic law we were able to determine that the police failed to carry out two important procedures which rendered certain evidence inadmissible. The police officer required to be robustly cross examined about the matters which ultimately revealed the error of his ways.
Dangerous Driving: Banff Sheriff Court, 20th March 2017
Client facing losing driving licence, charged with speeding at 104mph in a 60mph zone and overtaking at junctions. We closely examine evidence and find reasons to negotiate charge down to just speeding. Fiscal agrees and licence is saved!
Details: This client was charged with dangerous driving at a speed of 104mph in a 60mph A Class road. The police maintained that this speed was driven by our client while overtaking another motor vehicle as it past a number of junctions on the A947, a single undivided carriageway. The police charged him with dangerous driving as he was 44mph above the speed limit and in their view it showed a disregard for his safety and the safety of other road users. Our challenge was to avoid a conviction for dangerous driving as this would lead to a mandatory disqualification of a minimum period of 12 months with an extended resit requirement. After examining the evidence we were able to approach the Fiscal in court at the trial diet and persuade him to accept a charge of speeding only. After hearing our plea in mitigation the sheriff was content to impose 6 penalty points. The client therefore avoided a disqualification and was delighted.
Driving While Using Mobile Phone: Paisley Justice of the Peace Court, 17th March 2017
2 Police witnesses declare seeing client using mobile phone while driving. Despite this we persuade the Fiscal that evidence is weak and Fiscal agrees to drop the case!
Details: This client was accused by the police of using his mobile phone while driving. Both police officers maintained that they saw him hold his phone in his hand directly in front of his face and on the top part of the steering wheel. The police pulled him over and charged him with using his phone. We were able to persuade the Fiscal that there was no evidence of our client actually using an interactive communicative function at the time and consequently the case did not proceed any further.
CASE ANALYSIS: This was a fairly straight forward case in the sense that the police and the Fiscal's office over-looked the fact that there was no evidence of actual use by the accused at the time the accused had the device in his hand. Sometimes however, use can be inferred from the facts and circumstances without the need for direct evidence of it. One might say in this case, what was the accused doing with the phone in his hand in front of his face if he wasn't talking or at least watching something on his phone. The problem for the prosecutor that there was insufficient evidence to take any type of use beyond speculation at the time the police observed the accused's actions. Had the police been able to say that they saw him pressing buttons that may well have been enough to infer use.
Dangerous Driving: Dumbarton Sheriff Court, 15th March 2017
Client charged with 77mph in a 40mph, chased by police, drives through Pedestrian Crossing, cuts sharply in front of vehicles without indication. On 6 points and facing mandatory ban. We find evidence weaknesses, get charges dropped to Careless driving, then argue points down to just 3 points. Driving Licence Saved!
Details: Our client was recommended to us by a friend of his for whom we had previously successfully defended because he was in a very difficult position and was desperate to keep his licence. This client had 6 points on his licence and was facing a dangerous driving prosecution.
The nature of the charge was driving dangerously at grossly excessive speeds for the road conditions and failing to maintain road discipline over a sustained distance. Two police officers in a marked police vehicle, one a police sergeant, attempted to follow him on the A82 carriageway as he sped round a number of bends adjacent to Dumbarton police office and through a pedestrian crossing, cutting in sharply in front of other vehicles without indicating. By the time the police were eventually able to catch up with him his speed was measured at 77mph in a 40 mph speed limit.
After scrutinising the police evidence and examining the locus in detail we were able to identify a number of weaknesses in the evidence which allowed us to persuade the Fiscal to accept a lesser charge of careless driving. In order to keep our client on the road however we required to persuade the sheriff to impose less than 6 points otherwise our client would have been disqualified for a period of 6 months under the totting up procedure.
We were then able to make legal submissions to the court which persuaded the sheriff to dispose of the case by the imposition of 3 penalty points and a minimal fine- akin to a fixed penalty. Needless to say our client was delighted with the outcome.
CASE ANALYSIS: There were a number of components to this charge - the excessive speed and the potential dangers arising out of the manner of the driving. The speed alone was almost double the speed limit which could amount to a charge of dangerous driving in itself. It was then seriously aggravated by the presence of a pedestrian crossing and numerous other vehicles on the road as well as the other features as stated above. In order to tackle this case we called upon our expert knowledge of ROAD TRAFFIC LAW and the EVIDENTIAL REQUIREMENTS the crown needed to prove the case. Once the plea was brokered, next came the plea in mitigation to persuade the sheriff that this case was one which deserved special leniency. This is a distinct skill also calling upon an intimate knowledge of road traffic law and other vital components required of a plea in mitigation.
This was as a result of a team effort from Richard Freeman and our senior road traffic specialist solicitor Jim Eodanable.
Speeding: 13th March 2017
2 speeding charges and on 9 points, therefore facing a Totting up Ban. We win first case on a technicality and second case we show Fiscal that they cannot prove case and get case dropped. Licenced saved and no points!
Details: This client had 9 points on his licence and was facing two speeding charges both committed in Edinburgh. His licence was very important to him. An exceptional hardship argument was not available to him. When we analysed his options when he first contacted us we advised him that the only way that we would be able to save his licence would be if we were 100% successful, i.e. we had to win both speeding cases for him. Both speeding offences were captured by fixed cameras at the road side. This case is proved in court by the prosecutor leading evidence from police personnel who set up the device and who were then responsible for the audit trail of paperwork that follows a photographic capture of the vehicle and its speed. By the time this case had come up for trial we had already knocked out the first one on a technicality. Once we had fully investigated all the paperwork in his second case, we became aware that a certain essential component to prove the case missing. We advised the client to simply wait to the trial diet on 13th March 2017. When we attended, we were able to persuade the Fiscal that he couldn't prove the charge and he accordingly admitted defeat and dropped the case. Our client was ecstatic that both cases had been won and that he still had his driving licence.
CASE ANALYSIS: Very often we are contacted by clients who have amassed a number of points and have a number of outstanding cases which they look at in despair contemplating disqualification as being inevitable. We can analyse each predicament on a case by case basis, and with our in depth knowledge of road traffic law we can plan a strategy to maximise the best way for our clients to keep their licence. In this case the only way was to fight both cases. There was never a guaranteed outcome but we were confident that he had a very good chance of winning both cases.
Driving with revoked Licence and without an MOT: 10th March 2017
Driving without a valid driving licence, causing and obstruction and no MOT on vehicle. We find a weakness in Fiscal case and use it as leverage to have the more serious charges dropped. Fiscal agrees, client gets No Penalty points at all and only £100 fine!
Details: Client charged with causing an obstruction with his vehicle, driving with no MOT, and driving without a licence. This client had been in a bit of a hurry and had parked his car in such a way as to obstruct the passage of other motor vehicles. The police were called and while charging him with obstruction offence they became aware that the car did not have an MOT and more concerningly that our client didn't have a driving licence. On investigation we discovered that unknown to our client, the DVLA had revoked his licence some months prior to this incident. Our client accepted that he had caused an obstruction which is an offence covered by Regulation 103 of the 1986 Construction and Use Regulations. On reviewing the whole evidence we discovered a potential weakness which could have undermined the crown case. At the trial diet we negotiated a plea with the Fiscal who accepted our offer of a plea of guilty to the Obstruction charge on the basis that he accepted pleas if not guilty to both the MOT and the driving without a licence charge. Consequently all he was given by the court was ?100 fine with no endorsements on his licence.
Drink Driving: Dunoon Sheriff Court, 2nd March 2017
Client facing drink driving ban. We defend with a post incident drinking argument and win a Not Guilty!
Details: This client was charged with drink driving after police discovered his car in the early hours of the morning stuck in a ditch with our client standing next to it obviously under the influence of alcohol. They asked our client if he had driven the car. He admitted attempting to drive it out of the ditch with the help from a male he had spoken to in a nearby pub. He was then breathalysed at the road side which he failed. The police arrested him and took him back to the police station where it was shown that his alcohol level was more than 3 times the prescribed limit. The police spoke to the male from the bar who gave a statement that he assisted our client remove the vehicle. Our client's position was that he had previously driven the car while sober when he got into difficulty and ended up in the ditch. He walked to the pub to obtain assistance to tow it out. He accepted he was in the car trying to steer it out but such endeavours were not successful as the tow rope snapped. He then walked home drank alcohol and then concerned about his vehicle walked back to check on it when the police arrived. He therefore had a defence of post incident drinking. We ran the trial and without having to rely on the defence of post incident drinking we were able to secure a not guilty by making a no case to answer submission based on a lack of sufficiency of evidence in the crown case. Client was delighted at the outcome as he was saved from having to give evidence.
CASE ANALYSIS: Under road traffic law there is a legal presumption that the amount of alcohol at the time of driving is no less than the level of alcohol in ones breath/blood/urine when tested back at the police station. This creates a legal fiction albeit a rebuttable one if the accused can demonstrate in court that the actual amount of alcohol in his or her body at the time of driving would have been below the prescribed limit. A toxicologist requires to be instructed to calculate the amount of alcohol in one's system at the time of driving. He also needs to demonstrate that the total amount of alcohol stated by the accused to be consumed both before and after driving is in good agreement with the level of alcohol measured by the Intoximeter at the police station. before a post-incident drinking defence can be established to the satisfaction of the court. This can be a difficult defence to establish as many features required to be considered before it can be presented as part of a persuasive argument.
Speeding - Totting Up Ban: Paisley Justice of The Peace Court, 2nd March 2017
Client on 9 points and facing a driving ban. Client advised by another solicitor to plead Exceptional Hardship. However, we persuade client to fight the charges and find evidence issues weakening Fiscal case. We inform Fiscal and case is dropped!
Details: This client contacted us after he received a summons for a speeding case in Glasgow. He was on 9 points and had contacted another solicitor who advised him to plead guilty and argue Exceptional hardship to avoid a disqualification. He contacted us for a second opinion. On reviewing his circumstances we considered that he had a much better chance of successfully challenging the speeding offence than he did winning an a Exceptional hardship proof. Road traffic law provides a way to avoid a totting up disqualification by presenting mitigating circumstances to the court. Hardship is considered to be one such mitigating circumstance but only if it amounts to exceptional hardship. The High court has often said that the loss of a licence leading to the loss of a job does not automatically amount to exceptional hardship. Our advice was to in the first instance put the crown to the test in relation to the speeding offence itself.
Our client preferred our strategy and so we took the case on and plead not guilty for him to allow us to investigate the case. By the time the trial diet arrived on the 2nd March 2017 we had identified two solid points which as a matter of road traffic law would cause the prosecutor insurmountable hurdles to try to overcome. We approached the Fiscal in court and after discussing them with her, the Fiscal agreed and discontinued the case against our very relieved client.
Careless Driving: Glasgow Justice of The Peace Court, 27th February 2017
Client accused of running a red light and causing an accident. However, we show Fiscal that there is a strong weakness in their evidence and then persuade Fiscal to drop the case!
Details: This client was in a difficult position because he had proceeded through traffic lights on Edinburgh Road Glasgow intending to turn right when he collided with another vehicle proceeding across the traffic lights from the opposite direction. The witnesses in the other car were satisfied that their lights were green but our client couldn't say whether his lights were green or red. For that reason he could not quarrel with their evidence. We however were able to attack the case from an evidential point of view. At the trial diet we were able to persuade the Fiscal that they could not prove careless driving and so the case was discontinued by the prosecutor.
4 x Speeding Charges: Inverness Justice of The Peace Court, 20th February 2017
Client facing 4 speeding charges and a Totting Up ban. He could only have 3 points or his Indefinite Leave application was in jeapardy. We negotiate a deal with Fiscal and get 3 of the 4 charges dropped! Client only got 3 points and application is not in jeapardy.
Details: This client contacted us in a panic because he had received 4 NIPS in quick succession from speeding through the average speed cameras on the way to Inverness. Although his licence was clean he could only take 3 penalty points because he had an application for indefinite leave to remain in this country. Also he was employed as a van driver so were he to have accepted all of the fixed penalties he would have been disqualified under the totting up process. We gave him certain advice and eventually all 4 fixed penalties came in. We advised him not to accept any of them. A summons eventually arrived with 4 charges contained within it. We investigated the case and then contacted the procurator fiscal to discuss the possibility of him pleading guilty to just one charge in the basis that they would drop the remaining 3 charges. The Fiscal was in the circumstances of this case willing to do that provided we plead guilty to the most serious charge. We agreed and in court not guilty pleas were accepted to three of the charges and our client received only 3 points for the charge he pled guilty to.
Speeding Charge: Falkirk Justice of The Peace Court, 16th February 2017
New driver caught on mobile camera, speeding at 99mph in wet conditions. Client faces driving diqualification and to resit the driving test. We find weaknesses in prosecution case, negotaite with fiscal to reduce speed offence to 94mph and then persuade magistrate to impose just 4 points. Driving Licence is saved!
Details: This is an interesting case because our client was a new driver having passed his test less than two years before the commission of the offence. He was caught driving at that speed in wet conditions by a police officer using a mobile camera from a police van. In the event that he received 6 points he would have required to resit his driving test. Speeding at 99 mph in a 70 mph zone could easily attract 6 points, and a magistrate dealing with the offence could reasonably take the view that it is an aggravating feature of the offence where the driver is still a probationary driver, such as our client was at the time. During the preparation of the case we were able to identify weaknesses in the Crown case.After discussing the case with the Fiscal she was willing to reduce the speed to 94 mph which our client accepted. We were then able to persuade the magistrate to impose only 4 penalty points which served our client's purpose as he did not require to resit his test.
Speeding Charge: Forfar Justice of The Peace Court, 15th February 2017
Facing a driving ban doing 80mph on the A90. We scrutinize evidence and find a technical. On day of trial, we discuss with fiscal who agrees to drop charges. Driving License is saved!
Details: This client had 9 points endorsed on his licence and had been caught speeding at 80 mph on the A90 by police using a Lastec LTI 20/20 Speed detection device. He needed to defend the case because he would have otherwise faced a 6 month disqualification if convicted. We investigated the case and identified a technical issue with the proof of the case which allowed us to challenge the speeding offence. We were able to point this out to the Fiscal on the day of the trial who agreed that he could not prove the case. He accordingly took no further proceedings and our client left the court with his licence saved from an inevitable six month disqualification.
2 Charges of Driving with No Insurance: Glasgow Justice of The Peace Court, 8th February 2017
New Driver, facing a penalty point Totting Up disqualification, licence revocation and having to retake driving test. We put toegther a strong case in her defence and persuade the Fiscal to drop the case.
Details: This client was a new driver and still subject to revocation of her driving licence when she was charged with two insurance contraventions : One was causing and permitting a friend to drive her car without insurance and the other on a subsequent occasion driving without insurance. We successfully persuaded the Fiscal to drop both offences and consequently not only did she avoid a totting up disqualification, she also avoided a revocation and a requirement to resit her driving test. The common theme in relation to both offences was that she was relying on other people either to have insurance or to have insured her to drive her own car through a multi-car insurance policy. The documents were at the time available on-line but subsequently taken off and the Insurance company were not willing to release the documents to our client or indeed the police who were trying to assist in their recovery. The only option left was to raise a court action against the company for the recovery of documents called a Petition for Recovery and if necessary to appoint a Commissioner. This is an expensive process however. Fortunately we were able to piece together a circumstantial case to support our client's position which persuaded the Fiscal to take no further action against her.
Driving with No Insurance: Coatbridge Justice of The Peace Court, 7th February 2017
Client was driving car when stopped by police for not having insurance. We build adefence for Special reasons to be upheld and no endorsements made to licence or even a fine!
Details: This client had been charged with driving without insurance. The car was his own which he had kept in his driveway at home uninsured because he generally had no reason to drive it. However he intended to use the car on a certain day and contacted an insurance company to insure the car for that one day. He maintained that he identified an insurance company on-line and then used his bank card to pay for the premium. It appeared to him that the transaction had been completed successfully and so later that day drove the car. At some point that day he received a text from his bank to tell him that they were aware of his transaction and were carrying out a random security check. The text asked him to contact the bank to verify the transaction was one he made and not a fraudulent one. During the course of his journey, police on routine mobile patrol carried out a random check on his vehicle which included an insurance check. This disclosed that the car was not in fact insured. The police stopped his vehicle to speak to our client who informed the police of the insurance arrangements that he had made earlier that day. Despite that the police charged him with driving without insurance. It transpired that was correct as the bank had blocked the payment awaiting confirmation from our client that it was a legitimate transaction. As a consequence of non-payment the insurance company did not process cover for him to drive the car.
In a situation like this an accused requires to plead guilty and then advance special reasons to the court to persuade them not to endorse the licence with any penalty points. We were able to persuade the court that our client had a genuine, reasonable albeit mistaken belief that he was insured to drive the car and that he had taken all reasonable steps to ensure that he was insured. It was conceded that he should have contacted the bank, but he believed that they would not have blocked the payment meantime especially because the amount (under a hundred pounds) was a relatively insignificant some of money and the text he received did not say in terms that the payment was suspended. The court not only did not endorse his licence they also simply admonished him with no fine at all.
Dangerous Driving: Dunfermline JP Court, 20th December 2016
Client caught driving on Motorway reading newspaper. Client facing losing licence. Other solicitors say "No Hope". However, after robustly cross examining police, charges dropped to Careless Driving and we save his licence!
Details: This client was charged with dangerous driving by driving his car along the motorway between Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy while reading a newspaper. Our client had consulted a number of solicitors who advised him that he should plead guilty as he had no defence to the charge. In despair he decided to represent himself until he contacted us in one final attempt obtain representation from a firm specialising in road traffic cases. We agreed to take the case on as he was so desperate to save his licence. He contacted us three days before the trial so we had to prepare very quickly. On reviewing the evidence against him, and his account of what happened we considered that there were two hurdles to overcome: First we had to persuade the sheriff that there was just enough room to define his driving as careless, as opposed to dangerous; and secondly, even if that was the case, the court should not disqualify him from driving, which it is quite entitled to do for a case of high end careless driving.
Due to the shortage of time available to prepare, we took the unusual step of taking full statements from the police officers in court before the trial commenced. This was very important and provided us with very helpful information that was not contained within the police statements provided to us by the Procurator Fiscal's office the day before.
We thereafter proceeded to trial and after effective cross examination of the police officers we submitted to the court for various reasons that the quality of driving did not meet the test for dangerous driving. The fiscal prosecuting the case invited the sheriff to take the view that this was a clear case of dangerous driving.
The sheriff agreed with our submissions and convicted our client of careless driving, as we invited him to do.
We were then able to persuade the sheriff that he could adequately dispose of the case by imposing penalty points, rather than disqualify him. The sheriff imposed 9 penalty points and a fine. Our client was delighted that he escaped a disqualification in for a case for which everyone else had regarded as an impossible achievement.
Drink Driving: Falkirk Sheriff Court, 9th December 2016
The Crown after tenacious negotiations accepted a plea to 'Drunk in Charge' and instead of receiving a mandatory minimum 12 month ban he received 10 points. Client delighted to have kept his driving licence!
Details: Case Analysis To Follow
Speeding & No Licence & No Insurance: Dumbarton Justice of the Peace Court, 7th December 2016
Client previously defended himself and had pled guilty to speeding charge before appointing us. He faced a driving ban on other charges. However after appointing us, we do our homework and argue his Pakistani licence was valid and so was insurance. Charges dropped and client allowed to drive.
Details: This client had been charge with speeding and driving without a licence and without insurance. He represented himself and pled guilty to speeding, (before he consulted us) and wanted us to defend him in relation to the no insurance charge and the no licence charge.The matter was a complex a case because he had lived in Pakistan and unusually organised insurance for him to drive any car in the UK. He also possessed a Pakistan driving licence. The difficulty arose because he would travel back and forth on business from Pakistan to the UK. He had on one occasion (prior to the one we were dealing with)been stopped by the police who told home his licence was invalid and needed a UK licence and further because his Pakistan licence was no longer valid in the UK it followed that he wasn't insured. For that case he accepted 6 points and so when he got stopped by the police for a second time he consulted us. By this time he had secured a provisional UK licence and so when the police stopped him they said he wasn't insured because he was only driving on a provisional licence and also was not complying with the conditions of same i.e. he had not been displaying L plates and had no supervising driver with him.
After we checked his passport we discovered that his Pakistan licence was still valid and the provisional licence would not supersede that. Additionally we were able to satisfy the Fiscal that he had taken out insurance which wasn't challenged by the police. Accordingly the Fiscal dropped these charges and our client was able to retain his licence.
Speeding: Falkirk Justice of the Peace Court, 1st December 2016
Speeding charge with speed recorded by Mobile Camera. However, we scrutinize evidence and find a technicality. Fiscal asks for more time, we vigorously oppose and persuade Magistrate to drop the case!
Details: This client was charged with speeding on the M9 motorway after police measured his speed from a mobile camera van using an UltraLyte laser device. We investigated the case and became aware that there was certain evidence that the Crown was lacking in order to be able to prove the case against our client. We advised our client of this and his instructions were to take the matter to trial. At court on the trial diet the Fiscal reviewed his file and became aware of his difficulty and asked the court for more time to address it. We opposed this on behalf of our client and persuaded the magistrate not to allow this Fiscal any more time. The magistrate accordingly dismissed the case and our client was effectively found not guilty. The difficulty for the Crown amounted to a legal issue of a technical nature which was easily missed in the preparation of the prosecution but one which we identified upon scrutinising their case on the run up to the trial diet. As can be seen such matters can make a fundamental difference to the success of a prosecution. It is always a worthwhile exercise for us to undertake on behalf of a client.
Mobile Phone Offence: Glasgow Sheriff Court, 29th November 2016
Two Police officers witness client driving and using phone. Client admits to phoning friend. We present a legal issue and Fiscal fairly drops the case!
Details: Our client was charged with driving while using a mobile phone. The police both spoke to seeing our client driving while holding a mobile phone in his right hand and talking. He was alone in the car at the time. Further when questioned by the police under caution he admitted to phoning a friend. Despite this we were able to draw a legal issue to the Fiscal who very fairly agreed to drop the proceedings against our client.
Speeding: Dundee Justice of the Peace Court, 24th November 2016
Vascar device used by police. However, we find technical issue and proceed to trial confident of a win. Police do not attend court, fiscal requests extra time, but we switch strategy and oppose motion then persuade magistrate to dismiss the case!
Details: Our client instructing us to defend a speeding offence which was allegedly caught by police using a Vascar device fitted to their police vehicle when travelling on the A90 Dundee to Aberdeen Road. We attended court for a trial confident that we would win it when the Fiscal announced that the police officers hadn't attended. The Fiscal made a motion to adjourn the trial which we opposed as we didn't want to give them an opportunity to fix the issues we identified. The court was not willing to allow the Fiscal more time and as they couldn't start the trial, never mind prove the case, the magistrate dismissed it and our client was free to go.
Dangerous Driving: Dumbarton Sheriff Court, 23rd November 2016
2 Police witnesses allege client is speeding and driving dangerously. Client faces mandatory 12 month ban and driving test re-sit. We argue tenaciously and get the charge dropped to Careless Driving and then persuade sheriff to impose only 5 penalty points, saving clients driving licence!
Details: This client was charged with dangerous driving by two police officers who followed our client along the A82 near to Erskine Bridge,Clydebank. They alleged that they were aware that our client was gaining considerable distance from them at an increasing speed well above the 50 mph speed limit in very poor weather conditions including heavy rain and standing water on the road. They maintained that they eventually caught up with the driver and charged him with dangerous driving. We were tasked by our client to challenge this as he denied driving in the manner maintained by the police.
The main challenge was to avoid a conviction for dangerous driving as it attracts a mandatory minimum 12 month disqualification and a requirement to sit an extended driving test. After examining the evidence in detail we were able to present a case to the Fiscal to accept a plea to the lesser charge of careless driving. We were then able to persuade the Sheriff to treat the case as a mid- level careless driving charge and impose only 5 penalty points which suited our client and saved him from a much bleaker outlook.
Red Light Contravention: Glasgow Justice of the Peace Court, 21st November 2016
Prosecution presents 3 photos as evidence of client running a red light. We still get the dase dismissed!
Details: This was a case where it was alleged that our client was caught violating a red traffic light which was caught by a Red Guard automatic camera system at the traffic lights on Stockwell Street Glasgow. 3 images were produced showing our client's vehicle crossing the white line at a time that the traffic lights were red. This case was all the more challenging because unlike most offences the Crown only need to lead one source of evidence to prove the case, that is they do not need corroboration. After examining the pack of evidence from the crown as part of their disclosure obligation it became apparent that they were not in a position to prove the case against our client. We advised our client to take the matter to trial. At the trial diet the Crown asked the court to allow them more time to secure the evidence that they needed. We opposed this and the magistrate agreed with us and consequently dismissed the case against our client.
Speeding Charge - Totting Up: Edinburgh Justice of the Peace Court, 18th November 2016
Client on 9pts and facing driving ban! Gasto camera says 45mph. However, we find technical issues relating to the provenance of evidence and client is found Not Guilty!
Details: This client was charged with speeding at 45mph in a 30 mph zone on St John's Road Edinburgh. Our client was allegedly caught by a GATSO camera and was sent a NIP. He subsequently admitted he was the driver of the vehicle as he was bound to do. At the trial evidence was led that the usual operational checks had been carried out on the device and that three digital images of our client's vehicle taken by the GATSO camera were transferred to the police office using 3G telephone network where two officers views them and confirmed that the offence had been committed. At the end of the Crown case we made a no case to answer submission relating to the provenance of the evidence of the images. This was upheld by the magistrate and our client was found not guilty. This was a case our client had to win as he was carrying 9 penalty points at the time, which would have resulted in a disqualification had he been convicted.
Dangerous Driving: Perth Sheriff Court, 18th November 2016
HGV driver allegedly dangerously speeding, not looking and crashing into vehicle. Client aces driving diqualification and loss of job. We get the case dropped!
Details: This client was charged with driving an HGV Lorry on a road through a village at excessive speed, failing to keep a proper look out and collide with a vehicle in front causing it to be shunted over into the opposing carriageway and into a garden there, causing extensive damage to both vehicles. Our client was extremely worried at the prospect of a conviction as he was a professional driver requiring his licence for his livelihood. It was undisputed that our client collided with the back of the vehicle involved but what was disputed was that it was our client's fault. After we examined the crown case in detail and carried out a reconstruction of the journey it became apparent that the Crown case could be undermined. On the day of the trial we discussed our revelation with the Fiscal in court who agreed to take no further proceedings against our very happy and relieved client.
Dangerous Driving: Lanark Justice of the Peace Court, 14th November 2016
Client speeding in HGV lorry and trailer on snow bound motorway, almost collides with police, destroys 20m of barrier and jackknifes on opposite carriageway. Client facing driving ban, but we argue mitigating circumstances and negotiate charges down to Careless Driving and licence is saved!
Details: This client was charged with driving by driving his articulated HGV with a trailer attached at excessive speed on a snow bound motorway losing control of his vehicle, almost colliding with other vehicles being driven by police, and thereafter destroying 20 metres of Amco motorway barrier as his vehicle entered the opposing carriageway and jackknifed there. When we investigated the case we were able to determine evidence that would undermine the crown case not least was the fact that the the motorway lane that he was travelling in was untreated with grit or salt.
At the trial diet we were able to have a frank discussion with the Fiscal about the case where it was agreed that a lesser charge of careless driving would resolve matters.
We plead guilty on that basis and after making a plea in mitigation to the court the magistrate was persuaded to deal with the case very leniently and imposed 3 penalty points and a ?150 fine. This case started off as a very serious charge which could have ended in disqualification. Needless to say client was delighted.
2 Speeding charges and Totting Up Ban: Inverness Sheriff Court, 14th November 2016
Client has 2 Speeding cases and faced Totting up ban. Client desperate to save licence. We negotiate a deal with fiscal. Client delighted his licence is saved!
Details: This client had two speeding cases and if convicted of both he would have lost his licence under the totting up procedure. His options were to defend both cases and as long as he was successful in winning one of them he would be able to keep his licence. We prepared to defend both cases. We then spoke to both prosecutors and were able to come to a practical solution whereby it was agreed that if he pled guilty to one of the charges the other charge would be dropped. This is called a plea negotiation and something we do regularly for clients who have more than one charge or offences to resolve. Our client was happy to proceed in this way and it saved his licence.
Failing to Provide a Breath Test: Dumfries Sheriff Court, 11th November 2016
Client failed road side breath test. At station fails another breath test, refuses to give final test. Client facing mandatory driving ban. We mount a medical reasons defence. Client found Not Guilty and driving licene is saved!
Details: This client was seen by the police acting suspiciously and on further investigation by them they took the view that she was under the influence of alcohol while witnessing her driving a motor vehicle. She was arrested and taken back to the local police station after failing the road side preliminary breath test. She was then required to provide two specimens of breath from the Intoximeter machine at the local police station. The police officers gave evidence that she provided a first specimen which was significantly over the drink driving limit but that she refused to provide the second specimen. They maintained that they fully explained the procedure to her and that she was made aware on a number of occasions that it was an offence not to provide two specimens.
Our defence was that the police knew that our client had a certain condition which would make it difficult for her to understand and follow instructions. The police ought to have taken her condition into account and provided her with more basic instructions and ensured she understood them. We led expert medical evidence from a chartered clinical Psychologist about this and then after a legal debate invited the sheriff to uphold this as a defence. The sheriff agreed and found our client not guilty of the charge.
Dangerous Driving: Fort William Sheriff Court, 10th November 2016
Client had pled guilty and faced mandatory ban. However, despite major objections from Fiscal, we get plea withdrawn and examine the evidence. We find a fatal technicality to the prosecution case and get the case dropped!
Details: This client contacted us after he plead guilty to dangerous driving in order that we could represent him in relation to the sentence. When our Mr Freeman spoke to him it became apparent that he pled guilty in error thinking that he was only pleading guilty to a speeding charge, not a dangerous driving offence. The allegation was that he was travelling at over 90mph in a 60mph speed limit in adverse weather conditions in that there was snow lying on the carriageway.
We contacted the Fiscal's Office to seek their agreement to allow us to withdraw the plea. The Fiscal refused and opposed our motion to the court to allow us to take the matter to trial. After legal submissions were made the Sheriff however allowed us to withdraw the guilty plea and substitute a not guilty plea. We then we're able to fully examine the Crown case. This consisted of Video evidence of our client driving his vehicle at 91mph as seen by a police officer using a laser device to measure his speed.
We were however able to identify a legal technicality which was fatal to the Crown case, one which they would never be able to remedy, and accordingly once we explained this to the Fiscal who had been allocated the trial, she agreed to drop the proceedings against our client.
This is a typical example of a case where a client has plead guilty to a road traffic case without legal advice, not realising what they are pleading guilty to. He was about to blindly walk into a mandatory disqualification but for the fact that we were able to rescue the situation for him.
Careless Driving: Glasgow JP Court, 9th November 2016
Taxi Driver allegedly causing bus to perform emergency braking and passenger is injured. Bus web cam video footage of taxi in evidence. However we find a technicality on admissibility and crown case can not win. Charges are dropped, Taxi driver licence and livelihood saved!
Details: This client was a taxi driver who was facing a prosecution for careless driving where it was alleged that he pulled his taxi vehicle in front of a public service bus on Paisley Road West Glasgow without warning causing the bus driver to brake harshly to avoid a collision injuring a passenger on the bus who fell to the ground injuring his nose. The crown intended to rely on the bus driver and a webcam which purported to show the manner of driving. It also showed the consequent injury. On the day of the trial we advised the Fiscal that we would be objecting to the video footage being played as the Crown had failed to set it up properly as an admissible production, (very similar to the case we had earlier on in the week). Once we explained this to the Fiscal he agreed that it was an insurmountable problem for him and as a result agreed to take no further action. Our client was delighted as his livelihood was at stake.
Speeding: Glasgow JP Court, 9th November 2016
25mph over speed limit on M8 Motorway. We find a technicality based on the evidence and case gets dropped!
Details: This client contacted us because he was being prosecuted for speeding on the M8 motorway. The police maintained that they caught him driving at 75mph on a 50 mph speed limit. They measured his speed using a calibrated speedometer which is a recognised method of speed detection. It has to be done over a minimum distance of not less than half a mile and the police must demonstrate that they were able to remain a constant distance from the target vehicle over that distance. The police witnesses were present and the Fiscal was about to start the trial when we pointed out to them that there was a technical issue with proving some of the evidence. The Fiscal accepted that and dropped the prosecution. Client is delighted.
Speeding: Ayr JP Court, 8th November 2016
Despite seeming an undisputable case, we dig deep and identify a Roads Order technical issue, creating a landmark case for voiding speeding charges on certain roads in Ayrshire. Charges dropped!
Details: This client was charged with speeding in Ayr by driving at 55mph in a 40mph speed limit. The police at the time were carrying out speed detection duties using a Unipar laser gun. Their evidence was that they targeted our client because they suspected he was travelling in excess of the speed limit and aimed the laser gun from inside their vehicle which registered a speed of 55mph at a distance of over 200 metres. They maintained that they carried out the usual accuracy and confidence checks before and after its use that day. They further maintained that there was adequate speed signage up at the location including 40 mph repeater signs. A calibration certificate was also lodged. On examining the evidence prior to the trial we identified an issue with the Roads Order which in fact made it invalid. This order had been in existence for many years and the issue had not yet been identified by anyone. We debated the matter in court and the Fiscal eventual had to concede the point and withdrew the charge from court. Our client was delighted. This means that until the Local Authority resolves the issue with the Roads Order many speeding offences cannot be prosecuted in a number of roads in Ayrshire.
Careless Driving: Glasgow Court, 7th November 2016
Allegedly running red light, causing accident on CCTV. We find strong legals issues and case is dropped!
Details: This client was prosecuted for careless driving. It was alleged that he drove through a red light at a time well after the traffic light controlling the other junction had turned to green and when other cars had proceeded to cross over the intersection. It was further alleged that he failed to stop in time and collided with another vehicle causing extensive damage. The police were called and they seized CCTV footage from nearby shop premises which captured the whole incident. At the trial the Fiscal attempted to adjourn the trial because a witness failed to attend court. Normally this would have been granted however once we explained to the Sheriff that the Crown couldn't proceed in any event due to legal issues relating to the CCTV footage, he refused the adjournment bringing the prosecution to an end. Our client was particularly relieved because he needed to avoid a conviction for employment purposes.
Drink Driving, Dangerous Driving, Failing to Stop after causing Accident: Stirling JP Court, 7th November 2016
A seemingly open and shut case however we fight in court against the circumstantial evidence and client is found Not Guilty on all charges!
Details: This client was being investigated for driving dangerously, drink driving and failing to stop and report after causing an accident and no insurance. There was circumstantial evidence that he was the driver of the vehicle. He was arrested and breathalysed at over 3 times the drink driving limit. The case was very important to our client because his employment was at stake. The trial ran for two days due to the number of witnesses cited. At the end of the trial we successfully argued that there was not enough evidence to establish that the accused was the driver of the vehicle despite the circumstantial evidence led by the Crown.
As a consequence of our submission he was acquitted (found not guilty) of all charges.This case illustrates that circumstantial evidence which can very often be more compelling than direct evidence, has to be broken down and analysed very carefully to determine whether as a matter of law it reaches the required standard set out by the Law of Scotland.
Drink Driving and using Mobile Phone: Hamilton JP Court, 3rd November 2016
Client advised by other solicitors to plead guilty. However, we advise to test the prosecution at trial and during our cross examination of the police officers, find weaknesses. Result: Not Guilty on both charges!
Details: This client was charged with drink driving and using a mobile phone. She had consulted other solicitors who advised her to plead guilty but a conviction and disqualification would have had far reaching consequences to her so she decided to contact a Road Traffic Specialist. We advised her that it was possible to win these cases by testing the crown case. We needed to investigate the case and then determine whether there were any lines of attack on the Crown evidence. After fully investigating the case it appeared that there was nothing which stood out that could help her. We advised her that the only option left to her would be to run the trial and fully test the crown case under cross examination. This means that we cross examine the two police officers who were to give evidence of fact and the procedures invoked by them.
After robustly cross examining the two police officers we identified a number of issues relating to the police officers' actions and the procedures back at the police station. Legal submissions were made by us which were upheld by the court, and accordingly our client was found not guilty of both the drink driving charge and the mobile phone charge. Our client was so very relieved.
The significance of this case is that it demonstrates that it is entirely proper to test the Crown case to ascertain if the evidence is both sufficient in terms of its quantity and quality, and that due regard is had to the legal safe guards that are put in place to ensure a fair trial.
Driving using Mobile Phone: Inverness JP Court, 3rd November 2016
Police claim witnessing client using phone and then admitting guilt. However, we robustly cross examine police undermining their credibility and win a Not Guilty verdict!
Details: This client was accused of driving an HGV South on the A9 while using his mobile phone. Both police maintained that as they were driving towards him from the opposite direction, they could clearly see him holding his phone in both hands while resting them on the top of the steering wheel. They also said they observed his thumbs moving across the screen as if typing, all while he was driving. The police then cautioned him and in reply they noted him saying sorry it won't happen again.
On the face of it this seemed a strong case for the Crown but we had instructions to proceed to trial. During robust cross examination of the police we were able to uncover issues which seriously undermined the credibility of the police officers leading to the accused being found not guilty.
Speeding: Dundee JP Court, 31st October 2016
3 Speeding charges, facing ban. We offer client defence strategy optons to save licence. We get 2 out of 3 charges free from penalty, client only gets 3 points. Licence saved!
Details: This client had 3 speeding cases outstanding one in Dundee and two in Forfar. She was concerned about losing her licence. She approached us for help as she realised she needed a road traffic specialist firm of solicitors to extricate her from this quagmire. We considered all the charges and gave her a number of options. After being guided by us she decided to instruct us to negotiate one speeding charge out with the Fiscal in Forfar and to go to trial on the speeding charge in Dundee. If successful she would only be left with 3 penalty points. Part of this strategy involved identifying the best charge to take to trial.
We negotiated a plea in Forfar on the basis that our client pled guilty to one charge with the Fiscal accepting in return a not guilty plea for the other charge. As a result she received 3 penalty points.
We then proceeded to trial on the speeding offence in Dundee. This case involved a mobile camera where the police captured her speed using an Ultralyte laser device operated from within a mobile camera van with a DVD recording facility. They maintained that they had thereafter sent our client by post two standard Notice of intention to Prosecute forms with a s172 Requirement to identify the driver of the vehicle. These forms was not received by our client and accordingly two police officers subsequently attended on her and made a verbal requirement of her to identify who the driver of the vehicle was. She freely admitted that she was the driver to both officers and this was noted down by them. At the trial the police gave evidence of the speeding offence and her admission that she was the driver.
We anticipated however that the Crown would be left with a legal lacuna in their evidence. At the end of the Crown case we addressed the court and eventually it was accepted that the Crown case did not prove and our client was acquitted.
This strategy had a number of dimensions to it and our client was very pleased that it proceeded according to plan.
Multiples Driving Offences - Driving While Disqualified- No Insurance - vehicle theft and taking vehicle without consent: Edinburgh Sheriff Court, 28th October 2016
Facing prison sentence, remanded in custody but we find evidence issues and get client released and have Not Guilty pleas accepted by fiscal!
Details: This client was arrested on a warrant and remanded when he instructed a duty solicitor in relation to a number of road traffic cases. He was charged with 2 charges of driving whilst disqualified, two charges of driving without insurance and with theft of a motor vehicle and taking away a motor vehicle without the consent of the owner. We prepared his case while he was remanded in prison awaiting trial. We discovered a number of issues with the evidence. At the trial we were able to persuade the Fiscal that they could not prove any of the road traffic cases in relation to which they accepted pleas of not guilty and our client was released from custody. Had he been convicted it would have been inevitable that he would have received a prison sentence because of his extensive record of previous convictions of an analogous nature.
Running a Red Light: Glasgow JP Court, 28th October 2016
2 Police officers claim to witness the offence, but we submit an argument on Jurisdiction and client is found Not Guilty!
This client was charged by police with driving through a red light. The police maintained that they saw him drive through the red light while they were directly behind him in a marked police vehicle. Although this offence can be established with the evidence of only one witness, both police officers attended court. We discovered however during the trial that the police were not able to establish the correct jurisdiction of the court and accordingly our submission to this effect was upheld and our client found not guilty.
Restoration of Driving Licence : Perth Sheriff Court, 25th October 2016
Client previously disqualified for 4 years. We build a strong case and get early restoration of his licence.
Details: This client had been disqualified from driving for a period of 4 years following a conviction for dangerous driving in 2014. He sought early restoration of his licence for employment purposes and instead of instructing his former solicitors he contacted us to represent him.
There is a certain criteria which requires to be met before the court will grant such an application. Having discussed the matter with our client and obtained certain supporting documentation we were satisfied that our client had a realistic chance of success. When his case called on 25th October the sheriff after hearing our representations was prepared to grant the application., thereby allowing our client to resit his test half way through the period of disqualification.
Note employment prospects are one of many reasons for successfully applying for early restoration of a driving licence. If you think you have grounds please contact us for advice.
Drink Driving: Dumbarton Court, 24th October 2016
Client failed blood test, but we argue its admissiablity show that due process was not followed. We win a Not Guilty verdict.
Details: This client was charged with drink driving. She was arrested and taken to Dumbarton police station where she was required to provide two specimens of breath. The police maintained that there was an issue with the Intoximeter machine and because of that made a requirement of her to provide a blood specimen instead. This specimen was taken by a doctor and analysed by the police laboratory. The analysis proved that the alcohol in our client's blood at the time of driving was above the legal limit.
During the trial we cross-examined the police officers on the basis upon which they took the decision to take a blood sample. We then made a legal submission challenging the admissibility of the blood sample evidence. The sheriff upheld our submission rendering the blood sample and the subsequent analysis to be inadmissible in evidence. As this was an essential piece of evidence required by the crown to prove their case it meant that the crown case failed and our client found not guilty.
This is a typical example of a client being acquitted on the basis that the proper procedures were not followed by the police. The procedures are in place to protect the due process of law and to ensure that every accused receives a fair trial.
Careless Driving: Glasgow JP Court, 17th October 2016
Speeding,witnessed driving roundabout wrong way and on the wrong side of the road. We find a technicality and get case dropped.
Details: This client was charged with careless driving by driving at excessive speed overtake a number of vehicles and travel round a roundabout in the opposite direction and continue to travel on the wrong side of the road. The evidence was from two civilian witnesses who saw the vehicle shoot passed them on the wrong side of the road. They contacted the police who then attended on the accused and required him to identify the driver. He admitted that he was the driver and so the police subsequently charged him with careless driving.
As the trial was about to commence we brought a technical difficulty to the attention of the Fiscal prosecuting the case. It involved a statutory procedure that had to be invoked without which it was incompetent for the Crown to seek a conviction. After we produced the statutory provisions to the Fiscal he realised that he could not proceed with the trial and agreed to discontinue the prosecution against our very relieved client.
Speeding: Dumfries JP Court, 13th October 2016
Speeding 106mph in a 70mph - disqualification avoided - just 6 penalty points imposed.
Details: This client pled guilty without legal representation to speeding at 106 mph. He was ordered to appear at court because they had a disqualification in contemplation due to the high speed and because our client already had a previous conviction in the sheriff court for speeding resulting in a disqualification. Our client contacted us as he was recommended by his friend for whom we had previously acted. After speaking to our client we attended at court with him and persuaded the magistrate to refrain from disqualifying him and instead to impose 6 penalty points. He was fined £350. Our client was most relieved that his licence was saved.
Speeding: Glasgow JP Court, 12th October 2016
Caught speeding at 68mph in a 30 mph built up area by police using a UNIPAR SL 700 -found not guilty after trial.
Details: This client was extremely worried as he was caught speeding at over double the speed limit at 68mph on Carmunnock Road which in fact is a speed often charged as dangerous driving. We plead not guilty for the client in order that we could investigate his case to determine a strategy to attack the crown case. The case on paper, was otherwise unremarkable in that it was typical of a standard speeding case where the police take up static speed detection duties with a UNIPAR device In their statements they stated that they carried out all usual confidence and accuracy checks on the device before and after its use. The speed of the vehicle was registered on the digital display of the laser gun at 68 mph, and the police stopped him a short distance later.
However we identified a number of potential failings in the crown case and so our client instructed us to proceed to trial. During the trial, the police officers’ evidence about a particular chapter was objected to by us, and after hearing our legal submission, our objection was sustained by the court. The Crown consequently had to accept that they could not prove the case and accordingly our client was found not guilty by the court.
Unqualified Driving Instructor: Edinburgh JP Court, 10th October 2016
Trainee driving instructor giving paid driving lessons. Police stated that he was not a qualified instructor, however we argue the issue in court and get case dropped.
Details: This case was unusual and involved a client charged with the offence of providing driving lessons in exchange for payment before he qualified as a driving instructor. The client was in the process of sitting his ADI exams to qualify as an instructor when he was stopped by the police as a result of a routine check, when they discovered that he was teaching a learner driver. The student at the time told the police that he thought the instructor was fully qualified.
The student though was a personal friend of our client and our client had not set himself up as an instructor or was marketing himself as such at the time.
The question of whether he was actually receiving payment became an issue. This was an essential component of the charge. After discussing the case with the Fiscal in court he was persuaded to drop the proceedings against our client bringing the case to a satisfactory end for the client.
No insurance charge - s143 Road Traffic Act 1988:
Edinburgh JP Court, 10th October 2016
No Insurance on new vehicle and driving it for business purposes. We use a hardly known technicality and case is dropped!
Details: This appeared to be an impossible case as our client had been stopped by the police as part of a routine check at which time they discovered that his vehicle was not insured for him to drive it. Notwithstanding that he was convinced he was insured to drive the vehicle.
He had just purchased the vehicle, which was a car derived van, but accepted that he had not arranged any insurance. His further difficulty was that he had 2 previous convictions for driving without insurance and so it could be argued, as it often is, that he ought to have known better.
In any event he already had 6 points on his driving licence so if he was convicted of this offence he would be subject to the totting up provisions leading to a 6 month disqualification unless he could argue special reasons, or mitigating circumstances that would have led to exceptional hardship. He could not argue special reasons not to endorse his licence because although he genuinely believed he was insured, it was not a reasonable belief, as a matter of law, because his failure to insure the vehicle was entirely of his own doing.
His position was that he had owned another car, a VW Golf, which he had destroyed prior to purchasing this vehicle, and had continued to pay the insurance premium as he thought, albeit wrongly, that it would cover him to drive the new vehicle on a third party basis. He was wrong about that for two reasons: first, because the cover he had on the Golf would not extend to any other vehicle which he owned,( unless he simply transferred the policy to his new vehicle which he hadn’t ), and secondly because he was using the new vehicle for business purposes, a use which was not covered by that policy.
At the trial diet however, we we were able to persuade the fiscal using a little known technique to drop the proceedings much to our client’s delight and relief.
A road traffic case with a difference! - Hamilton Sheriff Court, 6th October 2016
Facing serious charges of pursuing a driver causing fear and alarm, captured on CCTV. However, we still win a not guilty!
Details: This case highlights that a car can be instrumental in the commission of a crime but does not need to be an offence under Road traffic legislation for a disqualification to be imposed as part of a general disposal by the courts.
This case was prosecuted under S38 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing( Scotland) Act as an offence of causing fear and alarm. The allegation was inter alia that our client had pursued another driver in their own car and blocked her path in a car park, and thereafter pursued her in his vehicle. The evidence was supported by cctv footage. This offence requires the evidence to be looked at objectively and in a relevant context. It was anticipated that the Complainer would give evidence that our client’s behaviour caused her sufficient fear and alarm that she contacted the police. Our client had an innocent explanation for the behaviour which would have amounted to a defence. However, as in every trial, the Crown has to prove the case with corroborated evidence. After the first witness was led by the Crown during the trial, it was clear to us that the crown case would fail. We were as a result able to prevail upon the Fiscal simply to lead no further evidence resulting in our client being found not guilty.
Speeding (deferred sentence): Fort William JP Court, 6th October 2016
Facing ban for 90mph in 60mph zone. Fort William recognized as being very tough on excessive speeders. However, we persuade fiscal to accept lower speed, thus saving client’s driving licence.
Details: This client contacted us because his case was continued for legal representation as he was facing the prospect of a disqualification due to driving at an excessive speed - over 90mph in a 60 mph zone. Indeed in Fort William Sheriff Court such cases are often prosecuted as dangerous driving. Our client was most concerned about losing his licence particularly in the current climate in Fort William.
Prior to a plea in mitigation we telephoned the Fiscal to discuss the case and after obtaining a greater understanding of the case we were able to persuade the Fiscal to accept a plea of guilty to a lesser speed of 88mph. This, together with other mitigating material allowed us to persuade the magistrate to impose only 3 penalty points and a small fine. Our client was very relieved.
Exceptional Hardship Proof with a twist: Fort William JP Court, 6th October 2016
Facing totting up ban after pleading guilty. However, we use police actions against them. Client’s gets off with just a small fine and licence saved!
Details: This client contacted us after he appeared at court without representation and pled guilty to driving a van containing unsecured passengers, and also with a construction and use contravention in that one of the van doors was defective and was held shut with a piece of rope. The court was intending to endorse his licence with 3 penalty points and as he already had 9 points on his licence he was summoned by the court to an exceptional hardship proof to allow him an opportunity to persuade the court that a six month disqualification would amount to exceptional hardship. He then contacted us with instructions to represent him at the proof. We advised him exactly how to do that, but also investigated the imposition of points for this case which had been considered appropriate by the court prior to our representation. On examining the position further we became aware that the police allowed our client to drive off with the door of the van in the same position. This information conflicted with any suggestion that any potential danger could arise from the construction or use of the vehicle. Consequently we turned our attention to the issue of endorsement and persuaded the court that the offence contrary to what they had thought was non-endorsable and therefore our client was fined £75 with no penalty points and accordingly left the court with his licence still intact and without the requirement of an Exceptional Hardship Proof.
Drink Driving & Dangerous Driving: Paisley Sheriff Court, 4th October 2016
Plea of not guilty accepted to dangerous driving and pled guilty to his 4th drink driving conviction - while over 5 times the drink driving limit - client spared a jail sentence.
Details: This was also an anxious case because our client had been accused of dangerous driving while over 5 times the drink driving limit. The allegation was one of a road rage type incident with another driver while on the motorway to Braehead, Glasgow where it was alleged that he deliberately cut up another driver causing him to take evasive action to avoid a collision.
The added difficulty was that our clients record was peppered with road traffic convictions including three previous drink driving convictions and dangerous driving convictions as well as driving while disqualified.
A custodial sentence would be considered almost inevitable in these circumstances. However after an impassioned plea in mitigation the sheriff spared him this and instead imposed a community pay back order.
Drink Driving & Dangerous Driving: Glasgow Sheriff Court, 28th September 2016
At trial diet - We win not guilty to drink driving, and dangerous driving reduced to careless driving - client walks away with just 6 penalty points and £500 fine.
Details: This was a serious case of its type: Our client had been drinking the night before and then set off to drive to work early the following morning. On the way to work it was alleged that he drove at excessive speed and lost control of his vehicle round a bend while crossing over onto the opposing carriageway thus having to swerve to avoid another vehicle, thereby causing his vehicle to enter a field and crash into a tree at significant speed which resulted in extensive injuries to himself and his front seat passenger. Our client and his passenger were trapped in the car with crush injuries and broken bones. The car caught fire while they were within the vehicle and then exploded, seconds after they managed to extricate themselves.
The police attended and our client was taken to a local hospital and then flown to Aberdeen hospital for a series of urgent operations. He was breathalysed in hospital and failed the preliminary breath alcohol test. An evidential blood specimen was taken from him which was subsequently analysed, and a back calculation then carried out to determine his alcohol level at the time of driving. This concluded that he was at least three time over the drink driving limit when he was involved in the collision.
At this point, if convicted, our client was facing an obligatory disqualification with a test resit requirement. We pled not guilty for our client and set about carefully examining the evidence looking for any challenges in the Crown case. We instructed an expert examiner to work out various calculations relating to the dangerous driving charge and closely examined the blood analysis and back calculation. It became apparent to us that we could develop a strategy that could save his licence by attacking both charges.
At the trial diet we were able to persuade the fiscal that there was a defect relating to the reliability of the blood alcohol reading, and that the other charge fell short of dangerous driving. Consequently we brokered a plea whereby the crown accepted a plea of not guilty to the drink driving charge and we pled guilty to a reduced charge of careless driving with a significantly lower level of culpability being accepted by the crown.
After hearing mitigation the sheriff imposed 6 penalty points and a fine of £500.
Needless to say our client was delighted with the outcome.
2 x Speeding & 2 x Failing to identify Driver: Perth JP Court, 27th September 2016
2 speeding charges and 2 failure to disclose details of driver. After discussion with Fiscal at trial diet fiscal he agrees to accept a plea of not guilty to all four charges.
Details: Our client a Lorry driver approached us the week before his trial. He attempted to represent himself but was advised by the court to seek representation as the case was approaching the trial diet and he could lose his licence if convicted. During the procedural history of the case two warrants for his arrest had been granted as he had not appreciated the intricacies of the court procedure, and had created certain difficulties. At the trial diet we approached the court fiscal allocated to prosecute the case. We were able to obtain an understanding of the evidence in the crown’s possession. It related to two speeding offences committed approximately a month apart when he was caught by the same average speed cameras. In addition he was also being prosecuted for failing initially to advise the police that he was the driver of the vehicles on both occasions. In fact the police had to attend at his home to speak to him and to make a requirement of him to identify who the driver was. By this time in the procedure, the s172 offences had been committed, and the police were at this stage attempting to secure enough evidence to prove the identification of the driver relating to the speeding charges. He admitted to the police that he had been the driver on both occasions.
We had attended court with the intention of proceeding to trial, but once we were aware of the evidence available at the trial we were able to persuade the Fiscal to accept not guilty pleas for all four charges thus saving our client’s licence and livelihood.
This case illustrates a number of interesting features:
First, when a driver is caught speeding by a mobile camera or average speed camera the police do not stop you at the time, and consequently a written requirement is posted to the registered keeper to identify the driver. If this is not completed and returned to the police timeously an offence is committed in terms of s172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 which usually carries 6 penalty points and a fine by way of a fixed penalty. However there is nothing to stop the police pursuing the driver by personally visiting them and making a verbal requirement of them to identify the driver and then having secured that information to then charge them with the speeding offences. There is however a very little known technical challenge to such cases which was invoked in this case.
Secondly, There is an element of double jeopardy arising from this type of prosecution where the accused is punished for not providing the required details in time ( which is presumably because he has frustrated the prosecution of the speeding charges ) and then receives a separate punishment for the speeding offences themselves.
Thirdly, in situations where someone is on the cusp of losing their licence it is imperative to instruct a solicitor who truly specialises in road traffic cases to analyse the evidence and to check that it satisfies the myriad of fine legal detail.
Drink Driving: Glasgow Sheriff Court, 8th September 2016
7 times over the legal limit and facing the maximum ban.
We manage to persuade the court to impose the minimum ban.
Details: Client found almost 7 times over the legal limit at 152 mgs of alcohol while driving to shops to buy more alcohol. Given minimum disqualification and allowed to reduce that with a drink driving awareness course.
Careless Driving: Paisley JP Court, 6th September 2016
Driving in face of oncoming traffic.Police intervened. We persuade court to give lowest penalty possible.
Details: This client had driven her vehicle the wrong way round a one way system at Glasgow airport allegedly in the face of oncoming traffic in poor weather conditions. Police stopped her before vehicles entered from the M8 motorway and she was subsequently charged with careless driving. At the trial diet the fiscal accepted it was genuine mistake on the client’s part, born out of her confusion over the direction of travel. We were then able to persuade the magistrate that it represented a punishment at the lowest end of the scale and she consequently imposed 3 points and a modest fine. Client was delighted.
Death by Dangerous Driving: Edinburgh High Court, 6th September 2016
Client faces prison sentence for crossing centre line tragically causing fatal collision. An emotional and delicate case, we are able to persuade significant leniency and client avoids jail.
Details: Our client was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving by allowing his vehicle to cross over the centre line and collide with an oncoming vehicle causing the death of the driver. The purpose of taking the case to trial was to demonstrate the true manner of driving and although the jury convicted it demonstrated a number of favourable points that could be used with great effect in mitigation of sentence. This was a tragic case as are all such offences where the usual sentence is inevitably a custodial sentence to mark both the gravity of the offence and the loss of life of an innocent victim. Evidence was led during the trial that the accused was driving at an excessive speed for the road conditions but still below the speed limit shortly before the collision.
It was accepted that this was truly an exceptional case where the interests of justice did not demand a custodial sentence. Regard was had in court to the fact that the accused was a model citizen with no risk of reoffending,; that he was a valuable contributor to society; and that he was an inexperienced driver. Additionally the fact that the offence was instantaneous and not sustained over any distance or period of time was also taken into account. The court imposed a community service order and a 5 year disqualification.
2 Clients charged with Dangerous Driving: Hamilton Sheriff Court, 9th August 2016
Facing ban for Racing at 100mph, tailgating, causing police car to go into tail spin on roundabout.
We carefully scrutinize the evidence, find cracks and get charges reduced to just speeding, with 3pts given!
Both clients were charged with dangerous driving on 16th January 2016 through East Kilbride and Glasgow by driving their vehicles dangerously over a 20 minute journey in below freezing weather conditions. It was alleged that they both drove at speed together towards a roundabout cutting up a police vehicle travelling on the roundabout, causing the police to perform an emergency stop and thereby go into a spin, thereafter by tailgating and overtaking each other in a dangerous manner, and travelling at speeds in excess of 100 mph in below -2 degrees. This was the account given by the police who had to call in another traffic unit to assist in stopping the two accused on the M8 motorway.
After investigating the case and analysing the police evidence it became apparent that their account did not stand up to scrutiny. Indeed after examining the locus on video, further cracks appeared in the Crown case. Accordingly just before the trial was about to commence we spoke to the Fiscal who fairly accepted the shortcomings and accepted a plea to minor speeding charge which would have only attracted a fixed penalty of 3 points and hundred pound fine. We asked the sheriff to impose the same sentence which he did. Both clients were delighted and very relieved as they were facing the prospect of a minimum statutory disqualification of 12 months and an an extended resit if they had been convicted of dangerous driving.
Speeding: Perth JP Court, 9th August 2016
Speed trap indicates client 12mph over limit.
We get case dropped on a technicality!
Details: This client was charged with speeding on the A90 Perth to Dundee road when caught doing 82mph in a 70 mph by police operating a mobile camera van using an LTI Ultralyte 1000 device. We plead not guilty for him and during the course of our investigation we became aware of a technical and evidential lacuna in the Crown case. At the trial diet we discussed this with the Fiscal in court who conceded his difficulty and agreed for that reason to discontinue the prosecution. Client was very happy.
Speeding: Glasgow JP Court, 27th July 2016
Facing ban, we investigate and find a fatal technicality and get case dropped!
Details: This client was charged with speeding in Glasgow by police who measured his speed using a calibrated speedometer. At the trial diet we spoke to the Crown about a fatal technical difficulty which they had which we discovered after investigating the case. The fiscal agreed and decided not to proceed with the trial. Clients licence was saved.
Speeding: Stirling Sheriff Court, 25th July 2016
On 9pts and facing ban! Police allude to unfair prejudicial evidence.
We use this to get case dropped.
Details: This client was on 9 points and was caught speeding on the A811 in Buchlyvie by police using a mobile camera van with an Ultralyte laser device. During the course of the trial the police alluded to evidence which was unfairly prejudicial to the accused. A submission was made that the crown case ought to be deserted due to this evidence which was spontaneously given by the police witness. The magistrate agreed and discontinued the trial resulting in the case being dropped against our client.
Dangerous Driving: Aberdeen Sheriff Court, 25th July 2016
101mph in a 60 mph zone. Facing Ban and test resit. We strategically negotiate down to careless driving and save his licence.
Details: This client was caught by the police doing 101mph in a 60 speed zone while overtaking another vehicle in a crawler lane. The offence was aggravated by the fact that there were many junctions off at this point which created potential dangers of their own. Despite that we succeeded in negotiating the charge from dangerous driving to careless driving which then allowed us to argue that the court did not need to disqualify him.
Client kindly gave a Review:
" I would like to thank Mr Freeman, Mr Eodanable and the whole team for saving me the liberty of my license. Having been charged with dangerous driving for being caught driving at 100 mph in a 60mph zone I was convinced I would be facing a lengthy ban, a resit and hefty fine. Talking to other solicitors the outcome looked very bleak, however after coming across his website I gave him a phone and after one conversation with Mr Freeman, I was left feeling a lot more optimistic on the matter. For over half a year, the staff at RTE left me stress free, dealing with any issues such as trial dates I was not able to attend due to work matters and arranging dates suitable for me and keeping my mind at ease that I had the best representing me. On the day of trial, Mr Eodanable negotiated my charge down to Careless Driving and even though I had points on my license from previous speeding, I received points and a fine smaller than I expected, and still managed to retain my license. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone faced with a driving offence "
Speeding: Stirling JP Court, 25th July 2016
Case deserted by court due to legal submission and client escapes conviction!
Details: This client was charged with speeding at 60mph in a 50 mph speed limit after being caught by the police in a mobile camera van using an Ultralyte laser gun. During the course of the evidence a legal objection was taken by our solicitor which was upheld by the magistrate who agreed to desert the case, bringing the proceedings to an end. Client was very happy as he was a self employed courier.
Drunk Driving: Fort William Sheriff Court, 18th July 2016
Taxi driver facing ban and loss of livelihood. We find technical issues and Win a Not Guilty!
Details: This client was charged with drunk driving in Fort William after he was seen driving out of a taxi rank. He was arrested after failing a road side breath test and conveyed to the nearest police station where he was required to provide two specimens of breath. The result from the Intoximeter was unreliable due to a breath difference between the two samples and so the police called a doctor to take a blood sample from our client. This was then sent to the police lab for analysis which showed he was above the legal limit. During the trial a legal submission was made of a technical nature relating to the blood sample evidence which the sheriff upheld. As this was fatal to the crown case the sheriff found our client not guilty. This client was a professional driver and needed his licence for his livelihood and that is why he instructed our firm to represent him having been recommended by a friend and client of ours.
Failing to stop and failing to report after a road traffic accident:
Perth JP Court, 12th July 2016
Witness to accident, client admits driving and thus potentially facing ban. We find & raise evidence issue and case is dropped!
Details: This client was facing potentially a disqualification for not stopping after a road traffic accident and then failing to report it to the police. The circumstances were that a witness had reported to the police that she had seen our client drive her car into the Asda car park in Perth and then collide with a stationary vehicle Thereafter alight from her vehicle to examine the damage to the vehicles and then drive off. The police were given the accused a registration number and a description of her and they attended at her home where she accepted she could not dispute that she was the driver of the vehicle. There was accident damage to the wing of the third party vehicle. At the trial diet an issue arose over the question of corroboration which when brought to the Fiscal’s attention agreed to discontinue the case against her.
Drunk in Charge: Ayr Sheriff Court, 12th July 2016
Complex case that could easily lead to more serious charge of Drink Driving. Client needed licence so we focused on saving that and won!
Details: This client was luckily only charged with drunk in charge as there was plenty evidence including CCTV showing him driving his vehicle and eye witnesses to back it up as well. He was facing strong evidence of drink driving. To take the matter to trial would have exposed this evidence making a disqualification inevitable. We were able to persuade the Fiscal to accept a plea to drunk in charge and to restrict the narrative to the court to that only. Even with a plea of guilty to drunk in charge most sheriffs will still impose a disqualification because it implies as a matter of law that at some stage the accused would have subsequently driven while above the limit. We were however able to persuade the Sheriff that he could deal with the case without a disqualification. The sheriff imposed 10 penalty points and client was delighted.
Dangerous Driving & Breach of the Peace: Alloa Sheriff Court, 28th June 2016
Facing Prison sentence- CCTV footage of client mounting pavement towards ex-partner. We win Not Guilty on both charges!
Details: This client was charged with driving dangerously by deliberately mounting the pavement with his car towards his former partner causing her to take evasive action to avoid being struck by his vehicle. He was also charged with a breach of the peace by making threatening jesters to her at the time. The case was caught on CCTV footage which was the corroborated by the victim’s account of what took place. Our client denied the offences his defence was that he was simply doing a u turn at the time. During the course of the trial the crown sought to play the CCTV evidence using certain routine evidence procedures. This was objected to based on a technicality. The matter was debated after which the Fiscal in court conceded the point and the sheriff found the client Not Guilty of both charges. This was a serious allegation which could have resulted in a prison sentence if convicted.
Drunk in charge : Dumbarton Sheriff Court, 24th June 2016
Suspected drink driver found sleeping intoxicated in car with engine on. We still win a Not Guilty!
Details: This client was found by the police in his car in a lay-by off the A82 at Inverbeg. The police arrived having received a report of suspect drunk driver travelling in the vicinity. They identified the vehicle in the lay-by and on approaching discovered our client lying across the front seats trying to sleep with the engine still running. Our clients position was that he had driven from Campbelltown and had pulled over to go to sleep for the night and had drunk alcohol in the car which he had bought in Campbeltown. While he was obviously in charge of the vehicle at the time the police arrived he had available to him a statutory defence if he could prove that there was no likelihood of him driving while above the legal limit. We obtained a toxicology report which calculated when that would be and then proceeded to trial. It was incumbent upon an accused to give evidence in a case like this which he did. The sheriff was persuaded that the defence was made out and acquitted the client finding him not guilty.
Drink Driving: Paisley Sheriff Court, 24th June 2016
Client allegedly crashed car while twice the legal limit. Facing ban.
We get case dropped on a technicality. Client delighted!
Details: This client was charged with drink driving in Bishopton, where it was alleged that he crashed his car while driving with twice the legal limit of alcohol in his system. The applicant’s position was that after crashing the car he returned home and consumed alcohol which would have put him above the legal limit. He therefore he had a post incident drinking defence. When the police found him at home he had a number of head injuries as a consequence of the crash, so they conveyed him to hospital where an evidential blood sample was taken from him. Strict procedures have to be followed by the police at the hospital. It was evident from the information that we had that these had not been complied with. We discussed this with the Fiscal in court on the day of the trial and he agreed to discontinue the case against our client without having to proceed to trial. Our client was delighted.
Dangerous Driving : Edinburgh Sheriff Court, 21st June 2016
Driving at 133mph! Facing Prison with multiple serious driving convictions on record. We get charges reduced to just speeding.
Details: This client attended at his trial diet charged with dangerous driving where it was alleged he was driving at 133mph through the Edinburgh City bypass. His speed was measured by the police using a Pro laser 3 device. The fiscal was persuaded by us to drop the case down to a speeding charge. The difficulty we had in mitigating the outcome was that he had a previous conviction for dangerous driving and also careless driving as well as speeding and other road traffic offences. On the face of it the client could have been facing a custodial sentence but we were able to persuade the sheriff to deal with the case by way of a disqualification for 6 months and a fine. Our client was delighted at the outcome.
Dangerous Driving: Oban Sheriff Court, 20th June 2016
Video of client’s HGV overtaking cyclists on a blind bend, facing 12 month ban and losing Job.
We find technical issues and get charges reduced to careless driving and 4 pts.
Details: Our client was charged with driving an articulated lorry dangerously on the A82 near to Bridge of Orchy by overtaking a convoy of cyclists and a motorbike when unsafe to do so on the approach to a blind bend in the face of oncoming traffic causing the driver of the oncoming vehicle to take evasive action to avoid a collision. This was caught on a dash cam fitted to the motor bike who was at the time escorting the cyclists carrying out a charity ride at the time. The police were contacted and shown the video footage who then contacted our client who admitted driving the vehicle. During the preparation of the crown case we were able to identify certain technical issues which would seriously undermine the crown case. We were able for that reason agree a plea to much lesser charge of careless driving and then persuade the court to impose only 4 penalty points and a modest fine. Had the matter run its course it was conceivable that our client could have been convicted of dangerous driving and disqualified for 12 months at least with a requirement to resit an extended driving test. Our client was delighted as he would have lost his employment as an HGV driver.
Driving without Insurance: Edinburgh JP Court, 17th June 2016
Facing Totting up ban and driving without insurance. We persuade the crown to drop the case!
Details: This client who was on 6 points at the time was stopped by the police while driving in York Place Edinburgh as they suspected he had no insurance to drive the vehicle. The police checked their PNC and the MIB when they discovered that there was no insurance. Our client explained that he thought the vehicle was insured because he had purchased it from a dealership who had insured the vehicle for him to drive for a period of a month to allow him to transfer the insurance over from another vehicle. The police however were satisfied that no cover was in place and charged him with driving with no insurance. Our client was particularly concerned because he already had 6 points on his licence at the time of this incident. We were able to demonstrate that our client had done everything he could to insure the vehicle and that the fault was on the part of his own insurance company . Consequently the crown were persuaded to drop the proceedings against him and his licence was therefore unaffected.
Speeding: Ayr JP Court, 16th June 2016
Facing Totting up ban. We use a technicality and get case dropped!
Details: This client had 9 points and required her licence to commute to work and to help her aged parents. She was caught speeding on the A77 in South Ayrshire by Average Speed cameras on 3rd August 2015. When she received her citation we advised her that the only way for her to avoid a totting up disqualification of 6 months was to plead not guilty and to let us test the crown case. During our investigation it became apparent to us that the case against her couldn’t prove due to certain technical difficulties. At the trial diet the Crown attempted to adjourn the trial to another date to give them more time to resolve the issue. We opposed this motion and after lengthy submissions the court was persuaded to refuse the crown motion. On the basis that the Crown conceded that they could not prove the case they decided not to proceed with the trial and consequently the court brought the proceedings to an end by deserting it. Our client’s licence remained intact.
Speeding: Fort William JP Court, 16th June 2016
23mph over the speed limit. We get the case dropped!
Details: Our client had been charged with driving at 53mph in a 30mph speed zone having been caught by police using a mobile camera.
The crown were not in a position to proceed with the trial due to witness difficulties and asked the court for an adjournment. We successfully argued that this was not in the interests of justice and consequently the court refused the crown motion bringing the proceedings to an end.
Speeding: Paisley JP Court, 14th June 2016
90mph in a 60mph zone. Client had already pled guilty, but crown wanted to consider a ban as well. After contacting us, we persuade court to withdraw guilty plea and then go on to get case dropped!
Details: This client was a specialist physician who was caught by the police travelling at an average speed of 90 mph on a 60 mph stretch of the M8 motorway near Govan, on 29th December 2015 over a distance of 0.2 miles. His speed was measured by the police using a calibrated speedometer. He originally plead guilty by letter and was summoned to court to appear personally before the magistrate, as they were considering whether to disqualify him from driving in view of the excessive speed. He then contacted us for advice. We understood from his account that he may have had a defence. At his deferred sentence hearing we were able to persuade the court to allow us to withdraw his guilty plea and a trial was set for the 14th June 2016.
After investigating the case we discovered a fatal flaw in the evidence and after a lengthy discussion with the Fiscal he agreed to drop the prosecution against our client.
Crossing a Level Crossing when Red Lights Flashing: Lanark JP Court, 8th June 2016
Captured on Police Video. Facing totting up ban. Client thought it was hopeless. We scrutinize the scene & get case dropped at trial diet after exposing technical defences.
Details: On 8th August 2015 at the Cleghorn railway level crossing this client was captured on Police video travelling over the Level Crossing at a time when the red stop lights had been flashing for over 3 seconds. Our client had 10 points on his licence and was facing a totting up disqualification of 6 months on conviction of this offence. As in every case, our client was entitled to test the Crown case and accordingly we advised our client to plead not guilty to allow us to investigate and test the case. We then attended at the scene to examine the necessary signage and we also examined the evidence that the crown intended to rely on to prove the case against him. As this was a case prosecuted under s36 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 where no corroboration was necessary, the Crown only needed to cite one witness, the police officer to prove the case. This made the case more of a challenge for us. However, we discovered at least two fatal flaws in the Crown case of an evidential nature which we made known to the prosecutor in court. She agreed and consequently agreed to discontinue the prosecution against our very relieved client who thereby avoided a disqualification.
Level crossing offences can be quite serious and can often lead to a charge of dangerous driving depending on how blatant the offence is. It is important to visit the scene to check the Level crossing it is as there are a number of different types, and also to check that the signage and layout comply with a myriad of different regulations. Anyone charged with such an offence should consult us immediately for advice.
Failing to Provide a Breath Specimen and Failing to Stop after Causing a Road Accident:
Glasgow Sheriff Court, 24th May 2016
Outcome: Not Guilty to two charges and a plea of guilty to failing to provide a specimen ( when in charge of a vehicle) and disqualification avoided with 10 points imposed and a £250 fine.
Details: This client was suspected of driving whilst many times over the drink driving limit and failing failing to stop after colliding with another car. The evidence was that after colliding with another vehicle he drove away, and then made off on foot after abandoning his motor vehicle only to return to the vehicle approximately 40 minutes later when the police were in attendance. The accused was identified to the police by the driver of the damaged vehicle. As he was entering the vehicle the police could smell alcohol in his breath. The police maintained that he admitted to them that he was going to drive off there and then. They required him provide a roadside breath test which he failed and was then arrested and taken back to the police station to provide two specimens of breath. He provided one and then told the police that he wasn’t going to provide another one. He was then charged twice,unusually, with failing to provide a specimen of breath, one in relation to when he was driving, and the other when he was in charge of the vehicle.
We managed to negotiate a plea with the Fiscal in court due to evidential issues which we raised, whereby she accepted a not guilty plea to failing to stop after causing an accident and also a not guilty plea to failing to provide a specimen in relation to a time when he was driving. The plea of guilty to the remaining charge only allowed us to argue that as the disqualification was not mandatory , the sheriff could refrain from imposing a ban and instead impose penalty points which according to law had to be 10 points, thereby saving our client’s licence. The sheriff was persuaded and our client kept his licence with the greatest of relief.
Speeding: Dumfries JP Court, 12th May 2016
Client needed to avoid points. We find a technical deficiency in the evidence and exploit it, winning a Not Guilty!
Details: This client needed to defend this case as he couldn’t afford the points if convicted. Our client was happy to instruct us to investigate the case with a view to identifying any technical deficiencies in the crown case. We carried out an extensive investigation after which we were able to tender certain advice to the client. On this basis we proceeded to trial and at the end of the crown evidence we were able to make a no case to answer submission which although opposed by the deputy in court, was upheld and accordingly our client was found not guilty.
Drink Driving: Glasgow JP Court, 12th May 2016
Client facing disqualification. Crown feels it has solid case, but we find technicalties in evidence. We vehemently oppose their motion to adjourn and then win a Not Guilty!
Details: This client appeared at an adjourned trial diet at which the crown moved to adjourn after discovering that they had evidential difficulties which we had identified during the preparation of our client’s case. We opposed the crown’s motion to adjourn and after hearing the parties, the magistrate refused the crown motion as a consequence of which they had to concede that they could not prove the case and client found not guilty. A delighted client.
Drink Driving: Livingston Sheriff Court, 12th May 2016
Client allegedly 4 times the legal limit! Client also admitted driving the car and has cctv against him. We scrutinize evidence, find a technicality and win a Not Guilty!
Details: This client was charged with drunk driving while over 4 times the drink driving limit after he was seen helping his wife out his car at a shopping centre with the car keys in his hand while staggering about and smelling of alcohol. He admitted he had driven the car there, and he was caught on CCTV footage driving into the car park. His wife was also cited by the Crown to give evidence of him driving to the shopping centre.
On the face of it the case looked hopeless, however after analysing the evidence we discovered that there was a fatal technical flaw in the police procedure relating to the taking of the breath specimen.
We discussed this at length with the Fiscal in court just before his case was to call who ultimately agreed to accept a not guilty plea. Our client was ecstatic as he was preparing for a lengthy disqualification.
Unfit to Drive, Hindering & Obstructing Police: Dunoon Sheriff Court, 5th May 2016
Client facing 2 serious charges and being disqualified. We still win a Not Guilty on both counts, despite the evidence from 6 police officers!
1.In charge of vehicle while unfit to drive through drink
2. Contravention of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2002 by hindering and obstructing the police in the execution of their duty
Found Not guilty of both charges after trial.
Our client and his wife had driven to a campsite where they had been drinking alcohol during the day and night. They had been promised the use of a tent to stay overnight. By night time they were told that there was no tent and so they sought refuge in their vehicle parked nearby. In the early hours of the morning the police attended due to another matter and saw our client and his wife in their vehicle they said with our client sitting in the driver’s seat. They asked him to come out the vehicle but he maintained he was locked in and couldn’t find the keys. After searching the vehicle in vain for the keys he suggested a camper might have taken the keys and locked them in. The police called for assistance and a search was instituted.
After two hours he found the keys in the car but concealed them from the police in panic. He was then breathalysed and found to be over the limit. A back calculation was carried out to show he would have been twice the legal limit at the time the police attended at a time when he would have been in charge of vehicle.
He was prosecuted for being in charge of vehicle while unfit to drive due to his alcohol content, and also separately with hindering and obstructing the police in the execution of their duty.
After 2 days of trial with 6 police officers called to give evidence we made a legal no case to answer submission at the end of the Crown case in relation to both charges.After lengthy legal debate the sheriff upheld both submissions and found our client not guilty of both charges.
Needless to say our client was very relieved.
Client kindly gave a Review:
" Again, I would like to thank you for your expert representation and I will certainly be recommending your services if friends or family ever need legal assistance. You have made such a difference to Elaine and I’s future as a result of the hard work you put into my case. "
Drink Driving: Greenock Sheriff Court, 4th May 2016
Client facing a ban and desperate to save licence. We find evidential difficulties with Fiscal’s case and so negotiate strongly to a lessor charge. Ban avoided!
Details: Negotiated a plea of guilty to a lessor charge of being Drunk In Charge, after advising the Fiscal that there were evidential difficulties with their case. This was important as unlike drink driving a disqualification is only discretionary and not mandatory for being drunk in charge. After pleading mitigating circumstances the sheriff was persuaded not to impose a disqualification. Instead our client was given 10 penalty points which was the only alternative disposal to a disqualification.
Speeding: Glasgow JP Court, 27th April 2016
Robust cross examination of police officers at trial causes their case to fold. Client found Not Guilty !
Details: Client was charged with speeding after police caught him allegedly driving at 52mph in a 30 mph limit. The first police officer a Sergeant, gave evidence but after our robust cross examination the crown folded the case and client was found not guilty.
Speeding: Hamilton JP Court, 27th April 2016
32mph over limit. New Driver facing ban and test resit. We find technical issues and client is found Not Guilty!
Details: This was a case for a new driver who had 3 points on his licence and was facing his second speeding charge of 82 mph in a 50mph speed limit as a result of being caught by average speed cameras on the M74 northbound. Even if he were only to have received three points he would require to resit his test as his licence would be revoked.
After the trial started we took an objection to the admissibility of the evidence of a very technical nature. After extensive legal submissions the magistrate decided in our favour and consequently the crown could not proceed and our client was found not guilty.
Speeding: Perth JP Court, 26th April 2016
Allegedly caught speeding, but with critical timing we present 2 technical attacks on evidence and get case dropped!
Details: This client had a clean licence but did not want any points on his licence. He was caught by a Mobile camera van then occupied by a police officer using the LTI Ultralyte 1000/Concept .
After investigating the case we attended at court to proceed to trial with two technical attacks on the evidence. Just before the trial was about to be called we approached the PF and she agreed to drop the proceedings against him.
Speeding: Glasgow JP Court, 26th April 2016
23mph over the limit! We robustly cross examine and find a technical flaw. Client found Not Guilty!
Details: This client was charged with speeding at 53 mph in a 30mph zone and was caught by police using a Unipar laser device. On the day of the trial we plead not guilty and after the first police officer a Sergeant gave evidence and was cross examined by us. The Fiscal agreed that there was a fatal technical flaw in the case and accordingly our client was found not guilty.
3 x Speeding Charges: Glasgow JP Court, 21st April 2016
3 separate speeding charges & facing Totting Up Ban. We find 2 weaknesses in Crown case and so client only charged with one. Licence saved!
Details: This client had 3 points on his licence and was facing three separate charges of speeding which would have caused him to fall within the toting up provisions were he to be convicted. After we investigated the case we were aware of at least two weaknesses in the Crown case in relation to all three charges.
On the day of the trial we highlighted these points to the Fiscal who was as a result prepared to drop two of the three charges. On this basis our client was only fined £170 with 3 points imposed on his licence.
Client kindly gave a Review:
" I wish to offer my sincere thanks to Mr Freeman for securing a successful outcome in my case.
I was facing 3 separate speeding charges within a few days of each other from the same camera in Glasgow in 2014. That amounted to 9 penalty points on top of an existing 3, and a potential loss of my driving license. Instead, I received 3 penalty points and a fine of £160 due to Mr Freeman’s precise and exacting attention to detail on 2 points of law, rendering the Fiscal’s case incomplete. The anxiety I experienced during the long wait for trial was greatly relieved by the calm reassurance & successful negotiations before the case came before the magistrate.
Should anyone I know need legal advice or help I will not hesitate to highly recommend your firm. "
Drink Driving: Elgin Sheriff Court, 19th April 2016
6 times Drink Drive limit, car seized for forfeiture and facing a long ban. Client wanted to plead guilty but not lose car. We negotiate hard and save car and reduce ban!
Details: Drink driving charged at 6 times the drink driving level and because of that libel his car was seized pending forfeiture. Our client just wanted to plead guilty, so we focused our strategy on reducing the punishment imposed. We saved the clients vehicle by tough negotiating the drink driving level down and then showing it fell out with guidelines to forfeit his vehicle.
Client kindly gave a Review:
" Richard Freeman and his company provided an excellent, professional service and help over the last traumatic 3 months following my drink driving charge.
> Especially by saving my new car which was seized and subjected to a forfeiture order. Also the fine and ban I received were much lower than I was expecting! Highly recommended and well worth the fee! "
(Anonymous, Moray area)
5 x Speeding Charges: Hamilton JP Court,
19th April 2016
5 Speeding Charges in 3 days,on 6pts & facing totting up ban! We use technicalities and get 3 charges dropped, then win just 3 pts for remaining 2 charges. No Ban!
Details: This client had 6 points on his licence and received a summons containing 5 separate speeding charges over a period of 3 days. He had never received any fixed penalties.
The difficulty was that he could only afford 3 penalty points otherwise he would have been disqualified from driving under the totting up provisions
After preparing the case it appeared to us that there were a number of technicalities that we could take advantage of. On the day of the trial we advised the depute in court of some of the ones he couldn’t fix.
The dilemma we had however was that the Fiscal wasn’t prepared to drop all charges but would drop three out of the five because he accepted he had some difficulties. We advised our client on this basis we would be better proceeding to trial on all charges.
However just before the trial started we further convinced the fiscal that the two charges arise out of the same journey in terms of proximity in place and time which allowed us to make representations to the court that our client should only receive 3 points.
Consequently the magistrate agreed and imposed only three points which allowed our client to keep his licence. Again a very delighted client!
Mobile Phone charge: Glasgow JP Court,
11th April 2016
Police testify they witnessed our client using a mobile phone while driving. We robustly cross examine police and show reasonable doubt. Client acquitted!
Details: This client contacted us because he had been given a fixed penalty by the police for using a mobile phone while driving a transit van on the M8 motorway. He denied this and awaited a summons. Both police officers gave evidence that they saw our client driving on the second lane of a motorway while holding a mobile phone to his right ear with his right hand and that they saw his lips moving in conversation. They further advised that they could see the light from the screen of the phone reflect on his face.
This on the face of it sounded as convincing a case as possible for the crown but after robust cross examination the court was persuaded that their was a reasonable doubt and accordingly the client was acquitted.
Speeding charge: Kilmarnock JP Court, 31st March 2016
114mph and facing significant ban. We put forward a powerful argument of mitigation and client is not banned but gets just 5pts.
Details: This client was charged with speeding at 114 mph on a dual carriageway at a time when other vehicles were on the road. The police used a UNIPAR SL 700 laser device to measure his speed after they formed the view that his speed was extremely fast.
We were able to discuss the case with the Fiscal and to agree a narrative. After a powerful plea in mitigation the magistrates were persuaded not to disqualify our client and instead to deal with the matter by way of 5 penalty points.
Speeding charge: Lanark JP Court, 30th March 2016
Client facing a Totting Up points ban. We find a technical issue and persuade Depute to drop case!
Details: This client was on 9 penalty points and was caught speeding by police using Unipar SL 700 device on a 30mph speed limit. The police evidence was that they had carried out all the usual accuracy and calibration checks. We decided to speak to the police before the trial as we had discovered a potential flaw in the way the case has been prepared by them. Thereafter we spoke to the depute about a technical issue which would prove fatal to the crown case. The depute was persuaded to drop the proceedings thereby avoiding the need to take the case to trial.
No Insurance: Paisley JP Court, 24th March 2016
We show unlawful police behaviour and persuade Fiscal to drop case on day of trial!
Details: Client was involved in delivering pizzas for a local business. Police were positioned covertly to observe drivers coming in and out the shop and then followed them to allow them time to check with the MIB using their police radios if business insurance was in place. We prepared a video of the length of the journey our client took before the police pulled him over. This assisted in demonstrating that the police actions were unlawful meaning certain essential evidence was inadmissible. The Depute agreed and discontinued the case against our client. Our client was a new driver and would have required to resit his test if he had been convicted.
Drink Driving: Glasgow Falkirk Sheriff Court, 18th March 2016
Accused of Drink driving and hitting car. We gather contrary evidence and get a Not guilty plea accepted by the Crown on the day of trial!
This client had been charged with drink driving having been reported by shop assistants seeing her in the shop apparently drunk and drive away hitting a car in the process. The CCTV from the shop showed the accused leaving the shop and briefly drive off. The police caught up with our client at her house shortly thereafter. We investigated the case and discovered other CCTV evidence from neighbouring premises which showed that our client did not in fact collide with any vehicle and further her manner of driving was fine. This assisted in undermining the crown case and when discussed at the door of the court, the Fiscal agreed to drop the proceedings against our very happy client.
No Insurance: Falkirk Sheriff Court, 15th March 2016
Invalid license & No Insurance. We win admonished verdict and no penalty points after special reasons upheld!
Details: Client was charged with driving her mum’s horse box carrier and had thought she was insured to drive it because she had been advised so by her mother. The added complication was that our client did not possess the correct class of driving licence to drive such a vehicle, so even if she believed her mother had insured the vehicle for her to drive, this could only have been on the basis that our client had a valid licence to drive it which she did not.
After leading evidence and making legal submissions the court nevertheless was persuaded to accept that there were special reasons all round to avoid imposing any penalty points. Accordingly our client’s licence was saved and she was delighted with the outcome which on the face of it looked impossible!
Dangerous Driving: Hamilton Sheriff Court, 25th February 2016
New driver, 50mph above speed limit with existing points, facing 12 month ban and driving test resit. We find weaknesses, have charges reduced to just speeding and short ban of just 30 days with no resit
Details: This client was in a difficult position as he had been charged with dangerous driving by travelling at double the speed limit doing 100 mph in a 50 mph zone. He was also a new driver and had 3 points on his licence. If convicted of dangerous driving he would have received a minimum 12 month mandatory disqualification and required to resit his driving test which was in itself a major concern to him.
To make matters worse even 3 points for a lesser charge would cause his licence to be revoked and to have to resit his driving test as a probationary driver.
Although we identified some evidential issues with the case it was still a risk to take the matter to trial. We were able however to use the weaknesses in the crown case to negotiate a plea to a charge of speeding at 90mph. We did this as it took the client away from a dangerous driving conviction and allowed us to mitigate the sentence. Our client couldn’t afford any points on his licence but could absorb a short term disqualification which meant that he would not need to resit his driving test. We were able to persuade the sheriff to disqualify him for 30 days which was exactly the outcome sought by the client.
Dangerous Driving: Dumbarton Sheriff Court, 25th February 2016
Facing losing licence at 42mph above speed limit.
We undermine charges and get them reduced to just speeding, thus saving his licence!
Details: This client was charged with dangerous driving by driving at 102mph within a 60mph zone.
The method used to measure the client’s speed was by using a Vascar device which measures an average speed over a certain measured minimum distance. We were able to undermine the case to bring the charge down to a speeding charge and then persuaded the sheriff to keep the points within the range for speeding. The sheriff imposed only 5 penalty points and our client’s licence was saved.
Speeding: Aberdeen JP Court, 23rd February 2016
Client was desperate to win. We find a flaw and tell Fiscal at court doors. ( Timing is everything!) He drops the case!
Details: This client was charged with speeding. The client was caught by the Average Speed Cameras and needed to win the case. We turned up for a trial knowing that the Crown would not be able to prove the case. At the door of the court we spoke to the Fiscal who agreed and accordingly admitted defeat and discontinued the case against him.
Dangerous Driving: Livingstone Sheriff Court, 23rd February 2016
Facing long ban with video featured on Worst Drivers website!
We negotiate hard and get charges dropped to Careless driving and save his licence!
Details: This client was charged with dangerous driving by allegedly driving at over 90 mph on the hard shoulder of a motorway for approximately half a mile in poor weather conditions, thereby undertaking two lanes of rush hour motorway traffic. The driving was caught on a webcam and downloaded on Scotland’s Worst Drivers U Tube sites and so was available as evidence. On this evidence the client was facing a lengthy mandatory disqualification and a requirement to resit an extended driving test.
However due to negotiations on the day of the trial with the depute prosecuting the case a plea to the lesser charge of careless driving was agreed and after hearing submissions the sheriff was persuaded to deal with the case by way of the imposition of 4 penalty points and a modest fine. Needless to say the client was delighted.
Speeding: Aberdeen JP Court, 23rd February 2016
Client did not want more points on his licence. We find a technicality and case gets dropped!
Details: This client had been caught by a Gatso camera and was offered a fixedly penalty. He at the time only had 3 points on his licence. He was advised of our success rate in defending cases and sought our advice about the prospects. We advised him that there was a good chance of us being able to successfully attack the case but could not guarantee success. On this basis he was happy to instruct us. We identified two technicalities which would have been fatal to the crown case and advised the client to take the case to trial. On the day of the trial we were able to speak to the depute prosecuting the case who agreed with us, and consequently dropped the proceedings against our client.
Speeding: Glasgow JP Court, 23rd February 2016
Facing losing licence due to Totting Up points. We trip Police up on evidence, client found Not Guilty!
Details: This client was caught speeding on the M74 by two police officers on static speed control duties using a UNIPAR SL 700 device. Our client was already on 9 points and was extremely worried about losing his licence. The first witness gave evidence a police sergeant with over 20 years experience in the road policing complex. After giving his evidence before our cross examination we made a submission to dessert (ie dismiss )the case due to a prejudicial comment gratuitously made by the police officer. After the point was debated the court agreed and dismissed the case with a finding of not guilty for our client.
Dangerous Driving: Greenock Sheriff Court, 22nd February 2016
Facing losing licence due to alleged dangerous driving with witnesses to clients road rage. We cross examine witnesses and show reasonable doubt, client found Not Guilty!
Details: This was a trial which extended over two days. The crown case relied on the evidence from civilian witnesses who contacted the police complaining of dangerous driving as part of what is commonly referred to as a road rage incident. After robust cross examination by us the sheriff was persuaded that there was a reasonable doubt and accordingly was found not guilty.
Careless Driving: Livingston JP Court, 17th February 2016
Client on 9 points and facing a Totting Up Ban. We turn police evidence against them and case gets dropped!
Details: This client had 9 points and was facing a trial for careless driving. The police maintained that he had accelerated at full speed in excess of the speed limit in a built up area within the vicinity of pedestrians and other vehicles. The police also issued the accused with an ASBO because of the excessive noise caused by the exhaust. We argued two points with the crown: first the police cannot have their cake and eat it - either the noise from the exhaust was loud because it was defective or it was because of excessive revving which could imply high speed, but they couldn’t have both; additionally there was no evidence to support the allegation of actual careless driving in terms of its legal definition.
The crown agreed and discontinued the proceedings.
Speeding: Glasgow JP Court, 17th February 2016
Stopped by police with a Vascar device. We make strong legal submissions and client is found Not Guilty!
Details: Trial for client who had been stopped for speeding by police operating a Vascar device. At the end of the trial 3
legal submissions of no case to answer were made. The magistrate upheld them and found client not guilty.
Speeding: Inverness JP Court, 15th February 2016
Facing 2 Speeding charges in a van. We prove a misinterpretation of van class and client is cleared of both charges!
Details: Client was facing two charges of speeding where on both occasions he had been driving a van and therefore was
subject to a 50mph speed restriction. The police were of the view that the statutory exception did not apply as although it was of the correct size it
did not comply with the other requirement relating to the type of van. We were able to demonstrate to the Fiscal by contacting the manufacturer of
the vehicle that it did in fact comply as a consequence of which the Fiscal accepted pleas of not guilty to both charges.
No Licence & No Insurance: Paisley JP Court, 15th February 2016
Police and Fiscal adamant that his international licence was invalid, however we argue our case vehemently and both charges are dropped!
Details: Client had been driving on an international licence but also had a UK provisional licence. He was stopped by the police following a routine check where they discovered that he did not have L plates on his car, nor did he have a qualified driver with him, both required for a provisional licence. The police and the Fiscal took the view that his international licence was no longer of use in the UK as it had been superseded by the UK provisional licence. We argued that because of his history of visits to the UK he could still drive under his international licence. The Crown were unable to disapprove that and accordingly the case was discontinued in relation to both charges.
Dangerous Driving: Glasgow Sheriff Court, 12th February 2016
Client prosecuted for 40mph above speed limit and facing ban. We get reduced to just 3pts and a fine!
Details: This client was charged with driving almost at twice the speed limit while overtaking an unmarked police car. The manner of driving was alleged to be dangerous because his car was described as being driven dangerously close to the barrier and the kerb as he negotiated the off slip. After discussing with the Fiscal a careless driving charge was accepted and the magistrate was persuaded to deal with the case by the imposition of the minimum penalty points and a fine. Our clients licence was not only saved but, he received the lowest points possible. Client was delighted!
Client kindly gave a Review:
" I wish to offer my gratitude to Mr Freeman and his associate Mr McKay I cannot thank you enough! I was so stressed for the passed year. I received 3 penalty points and a fine of £300 pounds which was due to you both speaking up for me.
Should any of my family or friends require legal advise or assistance I will not hesitate to recommend your services!"
Speeding: Aberdeen JP Court, 11th February 2016
Facing Totting Up Disqualification. We find evidential proof issues and client is found Not Guilty!
Details: This client had previously instructed us to defend a speeding case in Glasgow JP court when he was on 9 points. That case was a UNIPAR laser device case which we won, thus avoiding a totting up ban. Unfortunately while he was still on 9 points he accumulated another speeding offence in Aberdeen, this time having been caught by a mobile camera van thus exposing him to the totting up process once again he instructed us to defend the case. We ran the trial and at the end of the crown case made a number of no case to answer submissions in relation to the sufficiency of evidence. We identified three technical deficiencies which we addressed the court on. The magistrate agreed and found our client Not Guilty!
Client was delighted!
Drink Driving & Careless Driving: Dumbarton Sheriff Court, 10th February 2016
Facing Disqualification. Police state client drove into oncoming traffic almost crashing into them. We find evidential anomalies and case gets dropped!
Details: In this case the police maintained our client had been driving carelessly by allowing her car to cross the centre line of the road as they were approaching in a police vehicle from the opposite direction causing them to swerve to avoid a collision. They stopped the accused and detected a smell of alcohol. For various reasons they elected to take a sample of blood.
During the course of the trial a number of anomalies surfaced following an objection to certain evidence being led. The trial was not concluded by the end of court business, but after making representations to the Fiscal about the evidence that came out in the trial he agreed not to pursue the case any further.
Client kindly gave a Review:
" Hi Richard,I was going through a very difficult time in my life and I am ashamed to say I did some very stupid thing’s over a short period of time. I’ve got a great career that I am very passionate about and nearly lost everything. In the space of 2 years Richard got me through not one or two but three cases, the third case , which I had prepared for the very worst got thrown out! I am still blown away.
Richard is not only seriously skilled in what he does, his people skills are second to none, he’s human and treats you like a human. Richard knows exactly what he is doing, he is completely straight with you and will blow you away in the court room, he doesn’t miss a thing. I could have lost everything if it wasn’t for Richard, he is worth every penny and more.
I trust no one but I can honestly say that I completely trust in Richard and I can not thank him enough for everything. Don’t waste your money anywhere else. Richard is the only man I would trust to defend me in court. I will always be grateful. Thank you so much Richard.
Again Thank you Richard You really have blown me away"
Dangerous Driving: Ayr Sheriff Court, 8th
Speeding, overtaking vehicles and crashed car.
Facing mandatory disqualification.
We persuade Sheriff to drop to Careless Driving & points!
This client was facing a serious dangerous driving charge which alleged that he had been driving at excessive speed while carrying out dangerous overtaking manoeuvres forcing vehicles to take evasive action to avoid a collision and thereafter completely fail to negotiate a right hand bend causing his vehicle to leave the road and to become airborne until it came to rest 100 metres into a field where it landed nose down. The car was a write off.
On the day of the trial we were able to secure a plea to a reduced charge of careless driving which then opened up an opportunity to avoid a disqualification by way of submissions to the court.
Despite the serious nature of the offence, we were able to persuade the sheriff to deal with the case by way of just penalty points but due to the seriousness of the offence he imposed 8 penalty points. The client was elated that he avoided a dangerous driving conviction and a significant disqualification.
Speeding: Lanark JP Court, 5th January 2016
Speeding at 97mph in a 70mph zone. We find an evidential weakness and client found Not Guilty!
Details: Charged with speeding at 97mph in a 70mph zone by police using a Unipar laser device. At the trial both police
officers gave evidence that they were from the road traffic complex and both gave evidence of checking the accuracy of the device before and
after its use by carrying out alignment and range checks in the correct manner. They advised that they both observed our client’s vehicle
approaching at speed, the UNIPAR was then deployed to measure its speed at 97mph and thereafter they stopped him a short distance later and
charged him with the offence.
At the end of the Crown case however a legal submission was made by us of an evidential nature which was upheld by the magistrate who
accordingly found our client not guilty.
Tachograph Offence: Forfar Sheriff Court, 14th December
Owner and employee facing serious charges. A very complex case in which we Win 2 Not Guilty verdicts for Owner and Win an Absolute
Discharge for driver even after he plead guilty.
Details: Charged with using a commercial goods vehicle with no VU and digital Tachograph and operating it without an
The circumstances here are that an employee driver was stopped by the police and was found to be driving a commercial vehicle without using
digital tachograph. The owner of the company was also charged with causing and permitting the driver to drive the vehicle and also with operating
the vehicle without an operators licence.
At the trial diet due to some technical issues of a complex nature the Fiscal accepted a plea of not guilty to both charges from the owner. The
driver plead guilty but after exceptional mitigating circumstances were advanced to the court the sheriff imposed an absolute discharge which is a
very rare disposal as it avoids a conviction being recorded. The business owners and driver were delighted!
Speeding: Wick Sheriff Court, 10th December 2015
Facing long disqualification for speeding 98mph in a 60 mph zone. We persuade court to reduce the speed and client gets just 4 points
Details: Speeding at 98mph in a 60 mph speed limit which if convicted would often result in a lengthy disqualification. We
were able to argue a lesser speed of 85mph and after addressing the sheriff in mitigation we persuaded the court to refrain from disqualifying. As
a consequence 4 points were imposed on our client’s licence.
Driving while Using a Mobile Phone: Glasgow JP
3rd December 2015
Two police witnesses adamant Taxi driver was using phone. We find a problem for Crown to overcome and get case dropped shortly before
Details: This client was a taxi driver and was stopped by the police both of whom maintained that they saw him driving with
a mobile phone in his right hand up at his right ear with his lips moving. Our client totally refuted this. After preparing our client’s case we were
aware of a real problem that existed for the crown. We advised the Depute in court shortly before the trial began whereupon the case was
dropped. Another example of experience,timing and technical knowledge being utilized to win for the client.
Dangerous Driving: 3rd December 2015
Facing mandatory ban which would result in losing his HGV Driver job.
We get Dangerous Driving reduced to section Careless Driving
and save clients licence
Details: Client was charged with dangerous driving by driving his HGV causing it to collide with a motor vehicle pinning it to
the front of the lorry and dragging it 200 yards causing extensive damage to the motor vehicle.
We were able to persuade the depute and the court that the level of carelessness was significantly lower than that made out and did not amount to
dangerous driving. He was convicted of careless driving and given 6 penalty points
Driving While Disqualified and No Insurance: Airdrie Sheriff Court, 2nd December 2015
Faced a very long ban extension, but we argue the circumstances strongly and client just gets penalty points!
Details: This client had previously been disqualified. His father subsequently drove him about in his car. On the day of the
incident the father had parked his car at the family business car park and both then entered the premises. Subsequently our client returned to the
car park to observe an ongoing disturbance amongst various youths with missiles being thrown in the vicinity of his car. He decided on the
suggestion of the police to move it directly into a neighbouring car park only to discover that the gate was closed. He decided to drive along the
roadway to enter said car park and was stopped by the police.
He was subsequently charged with No Insurance and Driving Whilst Disqualified. The sheriff however accepted the extenuating circumstances
and agreed that they fell just short of special reasons and because of that he unusually refrained from following the usual course of imposing a
disqualification and instead imposed penalty points. Client was delighted.
Dangerous Driving: Inverness Sheriff Court,
105mph in a 60 mph zone. Facing mandatory loss of driving licence and driving test resit. We get charges dropped to Careless Driving and no
Details: This client was charged with Dangerous Driving by driving at a grossly excessive speed over an extended
distance at a speed of 105mph in a 60mph limit. It was further alleged that this was on a road which had a number of potential dangers such as
junctions and an uneven road surface. This is normally more than enough to establish dangerous driving. We were however able to resolve this
case with a plea to Careless Driving and the client’s licence was saved. His licence was endorsed with 7 penalty points thus avoiding a mandatory
disqualification and resit of his driving test. Client was ecstatic not to lose his licence.
Speeding: Aberdeen JP Court, 25th November 2015
We find a fatal error in Crown case. We present at a crucial stage and client is found Not Guilty!
Details: Client charged with speeding. During the preparation of the case we were aware that there was a potential fatal
error in the Crown case. The difficulty was that the matter was fixable by the crown so we had to run the case to trial. At the end of the crown case
when all their evidence was presented to the court, we made a No Case to Answer submission to the effect that the Crown had not led sufficient
evidence as a matter of law to prove the case against our client. This was upheld by the court and our client was found Not Guilty! He was
Speeding: Inverness JP Court, 24th November 2015
We found weaknesses in the Crown’s case and strongly opposed the Crown’s request to adjourn. Not Guilty plea accepted!
Details: There was a Crown motion to adjourn when they realised that they would not be in a position to prove the case.
We opposed the motion on the basis that it was not in the interests of justice for the motion to be granted. The magistrate was persuaded by us
and accordingly the Crown motion to adjourn was refused and our client’s case was deserted which means the prosecution could never go ahead!
Exceptional Hardship: Edinburgh JP Court, 23rd November 2015
We prove the difficult to obtain ’Exceptional Hardship’ for a business owner and save his driving licence!
Details: Our client was facing a totting up disqualification of 6 months because he had accumulated 12 points. To avoid this
we ran an exceptional hardship proof to establish that his business would be so badly affected that he would have to make redundant two
employees who would clearly severely suffer financially as a result. This was established by evidence from his accountant and his employees. It
is a high test to overcome due to the statutory requirement to prove that the hardship is exceptional. Our client was very relieved to be able to keep
Speeding: Lanark JP Court, 19th November 2015
Facing driving disqualification after he pled guilty, but we save his licence and he gets just 4pts.
Details: This client was facing a disqualification for speeding due to the high level of speed which fell just short of
dangerous driving. The penalties range from 3 to 6 penalty points and an unlimited discretionary disqualification is available. The magistrate was
persuaded by our plea in mitigation to impose only 4 penalty points which was not far from the minimum sentence available to the court. We were
also able to persuade the Fiscal to drop another charge.
Speeding: Tain JP Court, 17th November 2015
Mr. Technicality does it again! Case Dropped due to a technicality.
Details: Dropped by crown at trial diet. Client speed was measured by two police officers using a pro laser 3 device. We
attended at Tain on the trial diet and pointed out a fatal technical error to the Fiscal who agreed and dropped the proceedings against the client
Dangerous Driving: Alloa Sheriff Court, 16th November 2015
124mph. Biker facing lengthy mandatory disqualification and resit. We raise technical issues and so charges dropped to Speeding and just 6
Details: The allegation was that he had been riding his motorbike at 124mph in close proximity to two other motorbikes and
proceeded to over take another vehicle after the carriageway changed from single to double lanes. The police suspected the bikers to be racing
After negotiating with the depute in court having regard to a number of technical points raised by us, the Fiscal accepted a charge of speeding
and after addressing the sheriff he imposed 6 penalty points, avoiding a lengthy mandatory disqualification and resit.
Special Reasons, Aberdeen, 6th November 2015
Proved Special Reasons
Special reasons established on basis ordered to remove car minimal distance avoided. Disqualification trial over 2 days
Dangerous Driving: Trial Diet, 3rd November 2015
Caught driving between 100 and 126 mph, overtaking vehicles. Facing a ban, but we get charges dropped to just Speeding and save his
Details: Reduced to speeding charge in proximity to other drivers and while overtaking other motor vehicles. Reduced to a
speeding charge and 6 points and a £300 fine imposed
Drink Driving: Aberdeen Sheriff Court 29th October 2015
Found a technical procedural error by police and had the case dropped before trial!
Details: Our client was in the course of an urgent journey taking his diabetic friend to a sweet shop to purchase chocolate
to head off a hypoglycaemic episode. He was stopped by the police who suspected him of drink driving case. He was breathalysed and found to
be above the limit. At the trial we intended to advance a defence of necessity. We were also aware from investigating the case that there were
procedural errors at the police station. At the trial diet we were able to persuade the Fiscal that the police had not carried out the correct
procedures and accordingly the fiscal agreed to discontinue the proceedings without us having to proceed to trial! Client delighted!
Drink Driving: Lerwick Sheriff Court, 17th September 2015
Client crashes car, alcohol well level above legal limit.
We get her off on a technicality!
Details: Our client was charged with drink driving. The circumstances are that after crashing her car the police arrived took
her to hospital and then took a urine sample from her which was then subsequently analysed and found to have alcohol well above the legal limit.
During the procedural history of the case we were asked by the crown and the sheriff to agree certain evidence which we refused to do as we
were aware of a possible technicality. At the trial diet the technicality arose which was fatal to the crown case. Our client was ecstatic with the
Dangerous Driving: Lanark Sheriff Court, 16th September
Driving at 116mph, facing a 12 month ban! At trial diet, we manage to persuade the crown to accept the lesser charge of speeding.
Details: This client was being prosecuted for dangerous driving at 116 mph. At the trial diet the crown were unusually persuaded to accept a speeding charge instead and the client although still disqualified was only for a period of 55 days. Client was happy to receive the far lesser charge and the far smaller penalty.
Drink Driving: Hamilton Sheriff Court, 16th Sep 2015
Crashed car while drunk but special circumstances involved. Crown want to prosecute, but we highlight our ’necessity’ defence and persuade
fiscal to dop the case!
Details: Client charged with drunk driving. The circumstances were that the accused was home when he discovered a
relative unconscious in his downstairs living room. After failing to wake the person he took the decision to drive them to hospital in an attempt to
obtain emergency medical help. On route he crashed the car and the police attended and charged him with drunk driving. We attempted to
persuade the crown to take a view but they refused to do so. At the trial diet we spoke to the Fiscal and highlighted the law to her and the
difficulties she had to overcome. The Fiscal agreed not to continue with the prosecution. This case involved a defence of necessity which is very
rarely available but in this case the crown were eventually persuaded to drop the case.
Dangerous Driving: Glasgow JP Court, 14th September 2015
Facing lengthy ban: Speeding, 69 in 30 mph zone,overtaking too close to cars and crossing solid white lines.
We get it reduced to Careless driving and fine. NO Ban!
Details: Speeding 69 in a 30 overtaking a number of vehicles causing drivers to take evasive action to avoid a collision attempt to overtake another vehicle by crossing double white lines. This was a particularly serious aggravation which would result in a lengthy period of disqualification. We were successful in getting the charges reduced to careless driving 7 points a £450 fine. Thus saving his driving licence, client was very relieved!
Dangerous Driving: Dundee Sheriff Court, 28th August 2015
Facing ban: Client speeding, overtaking marked police car in fog, losing control and crashes! We save his licence and get charges reduced to
just careless driving.
Details: This client was charged with dangerous driving by overtaking two vehicles including a marked police vehicle on an A Road in foggy conditions, thereafter accelerated at speed in bad weather conditions and lost control of his vehicle round a bend causing it to cross over the carriageway, rotate 360 degrees colliding into crash barriers, causing extensive damage to his own vehicle.
The accused maintained that he saw a rabbit which caused him to swerve but no mention of that was made to the police at the time. We took this defence however and prepared a novel approach by raising a defence of non- insane automatism ie a knee jerk reaction which was outwith the control of the accused. Before the trial commenced the Fiscal accepted a plea of guilty to a moderate level careless driving charge and instead of an automatic disqualification of at least 12 months he was given 5 penalty points and thereby allowed to keep his licence.
Failing to provide Specimen of Breath & Breach of the Peace:
Hamilton Sheriff Court, 10th August 2015
We rigorously cross examine police. Crown asks for adjournment. We oppose and get the case dropped!
Details: This was a trial that proceeded over two days. The first police officers evidence was severely damaged after cross examination. The case was continued until the 10th August when the crown made a motion to adjourn the trial again as they wished to cite another witness to bolster their case.
This motion was opposed by us on the basis of fairness and prejudice to our client. After hearing our submission the sheriff refused the crown motion and our client was found not guilty!
Dangerous Driving: Glasgow JP Court, August 2015
53mph over Speed Limit! and 4 other Driving Offences.
We Win Not Guilty on all Counts!
Details: This client was charged with dangerous driving by travelling at 83 mph in a 30mph speed limit and also with 4 other offences of driving on the same occasion with four unfit tyres due to the presence of numerous gouges and cuts on all four tyres.
The evidence from the police at the trial was that they had heard a high revving engine approaching their vantage point while carrying out speed detection duties using a UNIPAR SL laser device. Both police officers were satisfied the vehicle could be travelling at speed and so they trained the gun on the vehicle which registered a speed of 83 mph in a 30 mph speed limit, within a built up area which was heavily pedestrianised at the time.
When the police stepped onto the roadway to bring the vehicle in, the accused couldn’t stop the vehicle in time. On inspecting the vehicle they discovered all four tyres were suffering from gouges and cuts.
The fiscal then moved the court to add that part of the evidence to the dangerous driving charge, and thereafter closed the Crown case. After Richard Freeman made certain submissions of a technical nature, the magistrate agreed that the technical deficiencies were fatal to the proof of all the charges and found the accused not guilty.
Our client was delighted as he would have received a substantial disqualification and would have had to resit an extended driving test.
Driving while using Mobile Phone: 22nd July 2015
Police insist client using phone. We rigorously cross examine police and prove reasonable doubt. Client found Not Guilty!
Details: Our client was adamant he wasn’t using a mobile phone and was just seen holding a set of keys. After cross examination of the police witnesses the magistrate agreed that there was a reasonable doubt and found client not guilty. The client felt justly vindicated.
No Insurance: Edinburgh JP Court, 21st July 2015
Admitted to the police that he was the driver. However we find a fatal lack of evidence and get case dropped!
Details: This client was charged with using a vehicle with no insurance contrary to S143 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. The circumstances were that he was a passenger in another vehicle, a van, which stopped directly behind his own. The police had reason to speak to the driver of the van at which point our client exited the van and made off. The police were suspicious of this behaviour and made after him. The driver of the van told the police that our client was the owner of the vehicle in front of his and that he was returning our client to the vehicle. When questioned by the police our client freely admitted he was the driver and owner of the vehicle.
However on the day of the trial we were able to highlight a fatal lack of evidence which persuaded the Fiscal that he would not be able to prove the charge against our client. The Fiscal consequently dropped the case against him.
Exceptional Hardship: Edinburgh High Court of Appeal, 7th July 2015
We win an Excepional Hardship appeal, even though the hardship would not be suffered by our client or their family!
Details: Our client a Doctor specialising in child heart problems attempted to avoid a disqualification on the grounds of exceptional hardship which would be caused to her patients and her professional colleagues. This was refused wrongly at the Justice of the Peace Court. Hence we appealed this decision at the High court of Appeal in Edinburgh.
It was argued by us that the Magistrate erred in the exercise of her discretion by not properly evaluating the level of hardship that would befall others in the event our client was disqualified. This was a difficult argument because the High Court will rarely interfere with the discretion of a magistrate, and will only do so where there are cogent and compelling reasons.
The Appellate Judges agreed with our argument and so quashed the decision of the lower court, and upheld the appeal, allowing the doctor to keep her licence.
An interesting feature of this case was that there were no grounds to argue that our client would suffer exceptional hardship. Instead, we had to rely on the hardship caused to others.
Speeding: Forfar JP Court, 1st July 2015
30mph over speed limit and facing disqualification
We identify weakness in case, client only gets 3 points & fine!
Details: This client was charged with driving at double the 30 mph speed limit which had been imposed by a local Council Order. He instructed us because he was in danger of losing his licence if he was convicted of driving at that speed. We fully investigated the case and were able to identify a weakness in the crown case which allowed us to reduce its seriousness, resulting in the clients case being dealt with by only 3 points and £160 fine.
No Insurance: Livingston JP Court, 30th June 2015
Probationary driver on vacation found uninsured car impounded. 6 points also meant a Ban!
We manage to persuade fiscal to drop the case!
Details: This client was charged by the police with using a vehicle without insurance. She had attempted to jump start her car because the battery was flat by pushing it along the road in second gear. At this point her insurance had 5 days left before it expired. She failed to start it and pushed it into a lay-by at the side of the road. She then left the country on a pre-booked holiday to return after two weeks to find the police had impounded her car. The police subsequently charged her with no insurance as the certificate had expired while she was on holiday.
At the pleading diet the crown were persuaded to drop the proceedings against her. She was in a difficult position as her licence would have been revoked if she was given the minimum of 6 penalty points because she was a probationary driver. This is an example of a case where one does not actually have to be driving a vehicle to be seen to be using it - it is enough to keep it on a public road for the requirement to insure the vehicle to apply.
Client kindly gave a Review:
" Hi Richard,
Thanks very much for your expert help. I’m so relieved and thrilled with the better than expected outcome. Thanks for your support and miracle working!
Hopefully I won’t need traffic legal help again (I’ve learned my lesson!) but I’ll definitely recommend your services in future.
(Name withheld at Client request- Due to the nature of our work - many clients request this)
Totting Up / Exceptional Hardship: Paisley JP Court,
12th June 2015
On 9 pts already. We argue Exceptional Hardship if disqualified, despite being single on a very high salary.
No Disqualification imposed!
Details: This client appeared at court having plead guilty himself with 9 points on his licence which would have lead to a six month disqualification. This case was won against the odds because the exceptional hardship related only to the accused - he had no family and no one else relying on his driving licence.
The high court has often said that the hardship normally has to extend to others than the accused and his immediate family members and the courts at first instance are applying that dicta very strictly even although the statutory provisions do not say that in terms.
In this case the client was a very high earner with a high net disposable income. The difficulty he had was that the nature of his job was very specialised and required ongoing quality assessment and authorisations from various regulatory bodies. It was argued that, together with his age (he would be 50 years old would by the time he would get his licence back) would cause long term difficulties in obtaining employment well beyond the length of a six month disqualification.
The argument succeeded and a disqualification was avoided despite totting up to 12 penalty points.
Speeding: Dumfries JP Court, 8th June 2015
91mph in a 60- Facing substantial ban with a poor driving record and other aggravating factors. Client just wants to avoid a ban. We strongly defend the case to gain leniency and get a ’No Ban!’
Details: This client was facing a disqualification because of the high speed, other aggravating circumstances relating to the
driving, and because of his driving record.
Prior to the trial commencing we were able to persuade the fiscal to make some fundamental concessions which in turn allowed us to persuade
the magistrate to deal with the case very leniently resulting in only 3 penalty points and £100 fine - the same as a fixed penalty. The client was
Speeding: Edinburgh JP Court, 8th June 2015
We find evidential difficulties. Crown pushes for adjournment,
but we vigorously oppose and client is found Not Guilty!
Details: Client charged with speeding by police using a UNIPAR SL 700 hand held laser device. At trial diet crown realised
they had evidential difficulties and made a crown motion to adjourn the trial to another date. This was opposed by us and on the basis of the
opposition the crown motion to adjourn was refused by the magistrate and our client found not guilty.
3 Charges: Driving without Insurance, Driving without a valid driving licence, No
Stirling JP Court, 18th May 2015
We use a Statutory Defence and build Special Reasons Defence
The result being: No Points or even a fine!
Details: This client was caught driving an employer’s commercial vehicle without insurance; without the correct driving
licence and with no tachograph recording the journey. He was charged with all those offences. He was clearly worried about losing his licence
and his job. At the trial we were able to persuade the fiscal that he had a statutory defence to the no insurance charge so a plea of not guilty was
accepted to that charge. We then asked for a special reasons proof to be fixed to lead evidence to establish special reasons not to endorse his
The magistrate was satisfied that there were cogent reasons not to follow the mandatory course of imposing points on his licence and simply
admonished the accused on all charges with no points being imposed and went further and did not even impose any fines.
Multiple charges: Failing to Provide Breath Sample and also evidential Blood
Failing to identify herself as the driver of the vehicle and resisting arrest:
Kilmarnock Sheriff Court, 11th May 2015
Despite facing a substantial ban with multiple charges
We get crown to reduce charges and client just gets points!
Details: This case was very problematic as the picture being painted by the crown was that the client while very drunk,
after abandoning her car in a gulley, returned home and reused to identify herself as the driver of the car, refused to provide a sample of breath in
her house,and when arrested resisted arrest. Most seriously though when taken to the nearest police station refused to provide a sample of
As a result she was in at serious risk of receiving a substantial disqualification.
After discussing the case with the depute in court however the crown were prepared to make concessions resulting in the client pleading guilty to
reduced charges and only receiving penalty points her licence.
Speeding: Edinburgh JP Court, 11th May 2015
Already on 9 penalty points and facing Totting Up ban
We find errors and get case dropped!
Details: This client had 9 penalty points and was worried about the totting up process applying were he to receive more
points for this speeding case. When we appeared with him at the trial diet we were able to persuade the Depute to drop the proceedings in light of
certain errors relating to the way the charge was actually framed.
Dangerous Driving: Hamilton Sheriff Court, 7th May 2015
Facing ban for overtaking 2 vehicles onto
oncoming traffic and at a blind bend!
We get reduced to careless driving and save his licence!
Details: This client was charged with dangerous driving by overtaking two vehicles on the opposing carriageway on the
approach to a blind bend causing them and an oncoming vehicle to brake harshly to avoid a collision. Our client denied this version but had no
witnesses to contradict the evidence of the four civilian witnesses one of whom was driving a bus at the time.
After a detailed discussion prior to the trial starting with the Depute in court, a plea was negotiated to careless driving which allowed us sufficient
room to advise the sheriff of extenuating circumstances of the offence. Had the client been convicted of a dangerous driving charge he would
have faced a mandatory disqualification. We were able to persuade the sheriff to treat the case as a low level careless driving charge and
accordingly he was given only 4 penalty points. The client was delighted as he left court with his licence fully intact.
Drink Driving: Glasgow Sheriff Court, 6th May 2015
Car Collided with Council property, Failed Breathalyser.
However we find technical issues and win a Not Guilty!
Details: This client was charged with drink driving after leaving town for home and lost control of her vehicle , causing it to
collide with Council furniture damaging same as well as her own car. The police subsequently tracked her down and after claiming that her breath
smelled of alcohol required her to provide a roadside test which she failed.
She was then arrested and taken to the local police station where she failed the intoximeter evidential breath test and charged with drunk driving.
After fully examining the Crown case we advised our client that she should take the case to trial. It became evident half way thorough the Crown
case that they were having difficulty proving certain evidence of a technical nature. After be granted a brief adjournment by the magistrate to allow
the Fiscal to confer with her colleagues, the Fiscal returned and admitted defeat thereby accepting a not guilty verdict by the court.
Tachograph & Others Offences:
Traffic Commissioner Hearing,
6th May 2015
A serious Road Traffic Commissioner hearing which
could close client’s business. We win a reprieve!
Details: This client instructed us to represent him at a TC Hearing where it was alleged that he had failed to comply with the
undertakings he had agreed to in his operators licence. This related to road traffic infringements and failures to set up systems for drivers hours,
Tachograph compliance, driver training licence and CPC checks.
We attended at the hearing and persuaded the TC to allow him an opportunity to bring everything into line without affecting the use of the vehicles
he was operating.
Dangerous Driving: Edinburgh Sheriff Court, 5th May 2015
Driving at a colossal speed and undertaking on police video. We find an issue and have charges dropped to Careless Driving and then
persuade Sheriff not to disqualify!
Details: Client caught on video by police driving at up to 130mph and undertaking another car which was travelling at
speeds of 110 mph when it was being undertaken by our client. Unknown to both drivers the police were directly behind them measuring their
speed with a Vascar Device which had a video recorder recording both vehicles.
After investigating the Crown case it became apparent that their was an issue with the use of the Vascar case which allowed us to negotiate the
case down to a careless driving charge. We then plead guilty to that charge when it called before the sheriff and after submitting a lengthy plea in
mitigation the sheriff was persuaded not to disqualify our client.
There were two hurdles to overcome here: the actual dangerous driving charge and then avoiding a disqualification. Had the matter proved in
court it certainly would have amounted to a very serious dangerous driving conviction where a substantial period of disqualification would have
been inevitable. Having reduced the charge to careless driving the court could easily have justified a disqualification. Needless to say the client
was over the moon.
Driving Without Insurance: Hamilton JP Court, 30th April 2015
Stopped by police after being informed by insurance company that policy was cancelled.
We identify technicality issues and Fiscal agrees to a plea of Not Guilty!
Details: This case involved our client’s husband being stopped by the police driving our clients vehicle without insurance.
She advised the police that she had a certificate of insurance. When the police investigated the case they were told by the MIB that the
insurance company wrote to our client on 3 occasions requesting proof of no claims bonus and then subsequently on not receiving it wrote to her
cancelling the policy. There were certain technical issues with the case which we identified during the preparation of the case. On the day of the
trial the Fiscal agreed to accept a plea of not guilty. Client very relieved.
Speeding: Earey Dumfries Sheriff Court, 29th April 2015
Facing am almost inevitable ban for speeding at 105mph!
We fight hard and get it reduced to just 4 penalty points!
Details: This client was caught speeding by police using a hand held laser device at 105mph and then pursued her over a
distance of 4 miles before being able to stop her. In normal circumstances this would almost inevitably result in a disqualification. At the date of the
trial we were able to present certain information about the case to the Depute which allowed for a reduced plea and consequently the accused
plead guilty and was only given 4 penalty points. She left the court delighted with the outcome.
Dangerous Driving: Stirling Sherrif Court, 23rd April 2015
CCTV evidence of client performing a deliberate manoeuvre almost causing a serious accident.
We get charges lessened to Careless Driving and avoid a ban!
Details: This client was caught on CCTV carrying out what the police and the Crown considered to be a deliberate driving
manoeuvre. The video showed the accused driving along the outside lane of a dual carriageway with a 70 mph speed limit and without warning
deliberately cut up a driver in the inside lane causing him to brake to avoid a collision and then drive off.
It was clear that the manner of driving was deliberate with no other explanation other than to disturb the other driver. Upon scrutiny of the evidence
however we persuaded the Fiscal to accept a lesser charge of careless driving and then persuaded the Sheriff to allow the client to keep his
licence in circumstances where a disqualification would be inevitable.
Speeding: Glasgow JP Court, 27th April 2015
Facing a 6 month totting up ban.
We fight it in court and win a Not Guilty!
Details: This client,a Doctor, on more than 12 points (due to an administrative error he hadn’t been disqualified ), was
facing a speeding offence which would have resulted in a minimum 6 month disqualification if convicted. He like almost all our clients accepted
that he had been speeding but obviously wanted to avoid a conviction and disqualification.
We took the case to trial after preparing the case to our advantage. At the end of the Crown case we made a no case to answer submission which
was upheld and our client found not guilty.
Speeding: Perth JP Court, 14th April 2015
Charged while on probation for another speeding offence. We challenge the procedure followed get the case dismissed
Details: Our client was facing revocation of his driving licence as he was being prosecuted for his second speeding
offence within the 2 year probationary period. He was caught speeding by a mobile camera. At the trial diet the crown realised that they were
unable to prove the case as we had previously challenged certain procedures which they had attempted to rely on under routine evidence
procedures. They sought an adjournment of the trial diet stating that they were given late notice of the challenge ( not our problem) and they were
not ready to proceed citing the fact that it was the first trial diet. The court has to weigh up in the balance the interests of the public in prosecuting
cases and the interest of the accused and his right to a fair trial within a reasonable time. We opposed the crown motion to adjourn the trial, and
after hearing submissions from both sides the magistrate refused the crown motion and the case was deserted ie dismissed. Client was delighted.
Dangerous Driving: Stirling Sheriff Court, 13th April 2015
Speeding, overtaking vehicles into oncoming traffic, several near collisions. We use an evidential loophole and client is acquitted!
Details: Client was charged with dangerous driving by driving at excessive speed and over taking other vehicles when
unsafe to do so in the face of on coming traffic who required to brake heavily in order to avoid a collision. The client was facing a minimum 12
month mandatory disqualification and he would have required to sit an extended driving test in the event of a conviction. At the commencement of
the trial we were able to highlight a fatal evidential loophole which the crown were unable to extricate themselves from, and accordingly the Crown
conceded the point and our client was acquitted.
Client kindly gave a Review:
" It gives me a great pleasure to recommend Richard Freeman for his professional services when defending my case. Richard used his
extensive depth of knowledge and experience to examine the case from various angles, proposed several options and outlined a winning strategy
for his client. Richard spend time to understand the event, personal circumstances and explained the entire procedure with clarity which certainly
aided my overall confidence."
Careless Driving and Failing to Stop: Falkirk JP Court Trial Diet
Crown had cited 8 witnesses against our client,
we get all charges dropped!
Details: Client was charged with driving carelessly and colliding with another vehicle causing damage to same and then
driving away. The Crown had 8 witnesses cited to give evidence against him.
After discussing the case with the Prosecutor on the day of the trial we were able to persuade him to drop all charges against him.
Drink Driving and No Insurance: Stirling Sheriff Court,
9th April 2015
Employer and Employee Facing Mandatory ban.
We save both licences!
Details: Two clients, employer and employee, were prosecuted as co-accused on the same complaint for both drink
driving and driving without insurance. At the trial diet, both accused were facing lengthy disqualifications if convicted. After highlighting complex
technical issues to the Crown, the Fiscal accepted a plea of not guilty from the employer to both the drink driving charge and also the causing
and permitting his employee to drive without insurance offence. He also accepted a not guilty plea to the no insurance charge of the employee
who had to plead guilty to the drink driving charge. We then were able to persuade the Sheriff with legal submissions that special reasons existed
to justify not imposing what would normally be a mandatory disqualification. Both accused were delighted as they both walked away with their
Dangerous Driving: Inverness Sheriff Court, 27th March
Driving 115mph in a 60mph zone chased by police for 15 miles.
We get it reduced to just a speeding charge!
Details: Client speed was recorded at 115 mph in a 60 mph by police using a Prolaser 3 laser device. Police took up
immediate dispute and after chasing him for 15 miles eventually caught up with him and charged him with dangerous driving. A plea was
successfully negotiated to a speeding offence only and not guilty to dangerous driving was accepted. Client was ecstatic!
Careless Driving: Paisley Sheriff Court, 26th March
HGV driver charged with carelessly overtaking a car,
if convicted could lose livelihood. We win a Not Guilty!
Details: A client consulted us because a father and son accused him of driving his HGV lorry carelessly while overtaking
their vehicle. They reported the matter to the police who attended at our client’s house and subsequently charged him with careless driving thus
threatening his livelihood.
After we investigated the case we identified a weakness in the crown case. At the trial diet we were able to disclose this to the Fiscal who agreed
with the point and accepted a plea of not guilty.
Drink Driving: Elgin Sheriff Court, 26th March
We use a technical point and Win a ’No Case to Answer’!
Details: Client proceeded to trial in relation to a charge of drunk driving. She had been involved in a minor road traffic
accident and a witness informed the police of her suspicion that the accused had been drink driving. For technical reasons a blood test was done.
At the trial a no case to answer submission was made on the basis that there was a fatal evidential error in the crown case. The accused was
found not guilty.
Dangerous Driving: Aberdeen Sheriff Court, 25th March 2015
Speeding at 107mph, police insist charge to be dangerous driving which has severe penalties, we convince court to drop to much lesser
charge of careless driving!
Details: Client was prosecuted for dangerous driving on a dual carriageway at 107 mph. There were junctions off and the
driving proceeded round a bend. The police maintained in their evidence that the driving fell far below that of a careful and competent driver and
was therefore dangerous.
At the end of the trial in this case the sheriff accepted the police officers evidence of speed but accepted that the manner of driving was over
stated by the police and therefore he refused to accept the driving was dangerous. Instead he convicted the client of the much lesser charge of
careless driving. Client was very happy.
Speeding: Glasgow Justice of the Peace Court,
24th February 2015
Charged with speeding twice the speed limit, we use a technicality and case is dropped!
Details: Speeding twice the speed limit on a restricted road. At the trial diet Richard Freeman spoke to the Fiscal about 2
technical issues and after speaking to the Police officers conceded the points and agreed to discontinue the prosecution.
Drink Driving: Paisley Sheriff Court, 20th February 2015
3rd Offence and facing very lengthy driving ban, however Richard Freeman gets charges dropped!
Details: At trial diet crown conceded that they could not proceed after speaking to Richard Freeman and agreed to
discontinue proceedings against the client.
Speeding: Hamilton JP Court Speeding, 16th February 2015
Client maintains that police were mistaken on his speed. We prove that it was possible they did and get charges dropped.
Details: Client charged with speeding. Police used a calibrated speedometer to measure his speed over a set measured
distance. Client denied travelling at that speed and maintained that the police actually pulled over 2 vehicles at the same time. At the trial diet on
investigating this point with the police the crown were prepared to take a view and agreed not to proceed any further.
Mobile Phone: Dunfermline Sheriff Court, 16th February 2015
Client on 9 points, facing ban. Police witnesses testify client using phone! We find evidence flaws & oppose an adjournment. Court agrees and the case is dropped!
Details: This client was on 9 points and charged with using a hand held device. The police said that they saw him using a mobile phone by holding it in his right hand up to his ear and that they could see his lips moving. The crown realised that they had evidential difficulties and moved the court to adjourn the trial to resolve them. This was opposed by us and the court refused the crown motion thereby bringing the case to an end.
Drink Driving: Tain sheriff Court, 16th February 2015
Client facing driving ban and has a witness willing to testify against him. We argue on evidence and win a Not Guilty verdict!
Details: This client was being prosecuted for drink driving where a passer by saw the accused in a drunken state next to his car. After discussing case with the prosecutor it was agreed that there was insufficient evidence to prove the offence and a not guilty verdict was recorded.
Drunk in Charge: 13th February 2015
Client charged with being drunk in charge of a vehicle
while supervising learner. We win a Not Guilty verdict!
Details: Very unusual case where accused charged with being drunk in charge of a vehicle while supervising a learner
driver. It was pointed out to the prosecutor at the trial diet that the crown would find it impossible to prove that an arrangement was made by the
accused to supervise and a not guilty verdict was given.
Speeding: Inverness JP Court, 29th January 2015
Client had no defence and about to get a 6 month totting up ban! However, we use a little known traffic legislation clause to get it reduced to just
Details: Client facing a totting up disqualification of a minimum 6 months for a speeding charge. He did not have an
argument for avoiding a six month disqualification based on exceptional hardship, but using a little known section in the road traffic legislation we
persuaded the magistrate to impose a short term ban of 55 days thus avoiding a 6 month ban.
(In some circumstances, for example when a client has already plead guilty or admitted the offence, the best strategy is to focus on improving
the client’s position and minimize the sentence imposed. Each case is different and needs to be discussed in detail with us.)
Failing to provide Breath Specimen: Edinburgh sheriff court, 29th January 2015
Client facing 12 month ban. We make a legal submission based on the circumstances and client is found not guilty!
Details: This client was charged with failing to provide a specimen of breath at the police station and was kept in custody to
appear at Edinburgh sheriff court the following day. He plead not guilty and then instructed us to defend his case. At the trial today a legal
submission was upheld and our client was found not guilty thereby avoiding a conviction for a serious charge and a minimum 12 month
Speeding x 2: Dundee JP court, 29th January 2015
Client on 9pts and facing 2 seperate speeding charges. Thus facing a totting up ban. We win both cases and save his licence!
Details: This client had 9 points when he approached us with 2 speeding cases. If he had been convicted of either offence
he would have been subject to the totting up provisions and disqualified for 6 months. We fought the first one in Dunfermline and won it and then
took the second one in Dundee to trial. A legal submission was made at the end of the crown case by the defence that was up held and the client
was found not guilty. The applicant left the court with his licence intact
Failing to Stop and Failing to Report an Accident:
Stirling Sheriff Court, 28th January 2015
Client crashes into wall, abandons car and leaves scene.
We make a technical submission and client acquitted!
Details: This client had a bad driving record. The police had information that an individual had been drinking and had been
involved in an accident. Police arrived at a scene of a crash by which time a car had been abandoned with the accused not present at the scene.
The accused was traced and he maintained that he had not been aware that he had caused damage to a wall by losing control of his vehicle. We
ran the trial and the client was acquitted after a submission was made of a technical nature that was upheld by the court.
Careless Driving: Dunfermline JP Court, January 2015
We rigorously cross examined the two police officers involved and persuade magistrate to find client not guilty!
Details: This client instructed us to defend a charge of careless driving where it was alleged by the crown that he was
persistently tailgating other vehicles and then over took a bus at excessive speed cutting in sharply causing the bus driver to take evasive action by
braking to avoid a collision. At the trial we cross examined the two police officers and at the conclusion of the case legal submissions were made
which persuaded the magistrate to find the client not guilty.
Speeding: Falkirk JP Court, 22nd January 2015
We find a technicality and fiscal drops the case!
Details: Client with clean licence accused of speeding by police using a a mobile camera. Due to a technical point which
we highlighted to the crown was unrepairable by the crown the fiscal was persuaded to discontinue the proceedings against our client.
Drink Driving: Perth Sheriff Court, January 2015
We find a procedural irregularity and client is acquitted!
Details: Client was charged with drink driving. He was pulled over by the police as they had received recent intelligence
that he was regularly stopping off at a pub before making his way home. Evidence was led that the police stopped him and smelled alcohol from
his breath and he conceded that he had been drinking alcohol. The usual procedures we’re then followed and he was subsequently arrested after
failing the road side test. After evidence was led about the procedures at the police station where he was found to have exceeded the drink driving
limit, legal submissions were made relating to a procedural irregularity. This was upheld and the client was acquitted.
No Insurance: Edinburgh High Court of Appeal, 2nd December 2014
Client had previously lost case using another solicitor and so lost his driving licence due to Totting Up points.
We argue Judge erred in Law & win his appeal case. No penalty!
Details: This client had instructed a local solicitor to represent him in Lanark Justice of the Peace Court in relation to
driving without insurance charge. The local solicitor advised him to plead guilty and thereafter advance special reasons at a proof hearing. The
local solicitor attempted to persuade the Justice not to endorse the client’s licence with penalty points, (the minimum of which would be 6), as this
would lead to a totting up disqualification of 6 months. The case was lost by the local solicitor, and the client was disqualified for 6 months.
It was at this stage that Richard Freeman was instructed as a Solicitor Advocate to see if it was worth appealing the decision to the High Court of
Appeal in Edinburgh. On reviewing the papers it appeared that there was a narrow point of law that could be appealed. The circumstances were
that the accused had relied on his wife to renew the insurance for his own vehicle and that unknown to him she neglected to do so. The Justice
decided that the onus remained on the accused to insure his vehicle and that he was not entitled to rely on anyone else to do that, far less his wife
who had been ill for at least a year prior to the renewal date. Further he took the view that in any event he should have asked his wife explicitly if
she had renewed the policy, which he had not. On that basis he distinguished the case from the leading case on special reasons and refused to
uphold that special reasons existed not to endorse his licence with the 6 penalty points.
At the Appeal Court on 2nd December 2014 however Richard Freeman was able to persuade the Judges that the justice had erred in law and
that it was possible to equiparate the appellant’s case with that the leading legal authority on special reasons, and after hearing legal submissions
the judges quashed the Justice’s decision and sustained the appeal. Accordingly the appellant had the 6 points removed from his licence and the
disqualification recalled allowing the appellant his licence back.
The appellant and his wife were grateful and said " thank you so much we are on cloud nine. Thank God we found you so, so happy and
Drink Driving & Fleeing Scene of Accident:
Edinburgh Sheriff Court, 28th Nov 2014
Drink driving, Crashing into another Vehicle, failing to stop.
Client facing a long ban, fine and points if convicted.
We raise technical issues and Win a Not Guilty on all charges!
Details: This client was prosecuted for driving her car into the back of another vehicle causing a collision and thereafter
failing to stop and exchange the necessary details with the driver of that car. She was also prosecuted for driving while over the prescribed limit
and accordingly was facing a lengthy period of disqualification if convicted. She had originally instructed a local solicitor who advised her to plead
guilty to both charges. She contacted our Richard Freeman for a second opinion.
At the trial the accused was defended by Richard Freeman who took an objection to the admissibility of the evidence relating to the blood
specimen taken from her. The trial extended over 2 days when evidence was heard under reservation as to its admissibility. After legal
submissions the sheriff upheld our legal point and the client was found not guilty of drink driving. The witnesses were also cross examined at
length in relation to the charge of failing to stop which clearly undermined their evidence resulting in a verdict of not guilty to that charge also.
This case was another example of the two different approaches available to defending road traffic cases.: on examining the crown evidence it
was apparent that there was a technical defence to the drink driving charge, but on paper it looked like the evidence relating to the other charge
demonstrated a strong Crown case, however once the witnesses were tested in court the reality was totally different and the client was acquitted.
Speeding: Hamilton JP Court, 19th November 2014
Speeding with 9 points and facing mandatory Totting up ban.
We rigorously cross examine police witness and Win a Not Guilty!
Details: This client was on 9 penalty points and was facing a disqualification if convicted of this speeding offence. The
matter proceeded to trial. During the course of the trial the identification of the accused became an issue and after cross examination of the
police witness the crown accepted the plea of not guilty.
Client kindly gave a Review:
" I was very happy with the way Richard presented my case and saved me from a 6 month ban. He came up with some excellent arguments
which led to my acquittal which I am indebted to him for.
Best Regards. "
Drunk Driving: Glasgow JP Court, 17th November 2014
Failed breathalyser three times and facing mandatory ban.
We find a technical issue and win a Not Guilty!
Details: This client was stopped by the police because they alleged that his driving was erratic. When they spoke to him the
police noticed that his breath smelled of alcohol and his eyes were glazed.
They then administered the road side breath test which he failed. He was then taken to the nearest police station where he was required to
provide 2 specimens of breath and was subsequently charged with drink driving contrary to S.5 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.
The matter proceeded to trial and certain evidence was taken under reservation after which submissions were made relating to a technical issue.
The court upheld the submission and our client was found not guilty.
Drink Driving: Falkirk JP Court, 12th November 2014
Failed Breathalyser test but we are able to
use toxicologist expert evidence
to have the case dropped.
Details: This was a very unusual case where the client quickly drank two bottles of wine at the car and then immediately
drove off home. Approximately 1 hour later he was arrested from his home but two hours later he failed a breathalyser test by being significantly
over the limit.
A toxicologist was employed by us to help work out whether or not it would be likely for the accused to be over the limit at the time of driving. The
Fiscal quizzed the toxicologist who agreed that on any view the absorption rate was such that he would not have been over the drink driving limit at
the time of driving. Consequently the Fiscal agreed to drop the proceedings in this case.
Please note that this case does not set a precedence for the proposition that you can drive a short distance immediately after drinking and
you will be safe. That in fact would in itself not amount to a defence. This case turned on its own unique circumstances, as is often the case.
Careless Driving: Stirling JP Court, 10th November 2014
Fast speed in bad weather conditions and police statements against him.
We argue strongly in court and win a Not Guilty!
Details: This client was charged with careless driving having regard to the speed he was travelling at in bad weather
conditions. The police provided statements saying that the standard of driving was below that of a careful and competent driving.
The prosecution was determined to proceed, despite us advising them that we had a strong case. Accordingly the matter proceeded to trial at
which the accused was found not guilty!
Dangerous Driving & No Insurance
Dumfries JP Court,
7th November 2014
Driving 103mph, weaving between lanes to avoid police!
Facing a 12 month ban and resit of driving test.
We persuade the fiscal to reduce charges and save his driving licence
Details: This client, a train driver, was facing a 12 month disqualification and also a requirement to re-sit his driving test if
convicted. The dangerous driving consisted of driving his vehicle at speed of 103 mph and weaving between lanes on seeing the police.
Although the speed was quick we took the view that it amounted only to speeding and that the crown over-charged the offence. We advised the
Fiscal in court of this and she eventually relented and amended the charge to speeding and the client received a total of 6 penalty points.
Careless Driving & Failing to Stop:
Inverness JP Court, 6th November 2014
HGV Driver overtakes forcing a car off the road and Fails to Stop. We argue 2 technicalities and Win Not Guilty on both charges!
Details: This client was charged with careless driving by driving his HGV lorry round a sweeping bend in the dark while
forcing an overtaking vehicle off the road into a gully on the opposing carriageway. He was also charged with failing to stop after driving off.
At the trial diet we alerted the Fiscal to a technical problem in relation to both charges. The crown conceded the points were not only entirely
valid but were fatal to the proof of the prosecution. The fiscal accepted pleas of not guilty to both charges.
3 Charges: Failure to Stop, Failure to Report,
Failure to Identify driver, Glasgow JP Court 30th October 2014
3 Charges which put her licence in jeapardy!
We launch a series of technical attacks on the crown case and force them to accept pleas of Not Guilty on all 3!
Details: This client drove her car into a multi story car park and while attempting to park struck a stationary vehicle. After
inspecting the alleged damage the client was caught on CCTV driving away. She then failed to report the incident. The police subsequently
attended at her house and required her to identify the driver of the vehicle. She refused to do so.
She was subsequently charged with failing to stop after causing an accident, failing to report it to the police and refusing to identify herself to
the police as the driver of the vehicles. At the trial diet the accused was facing 3 charges and the likely loss of her licence if convicted. However
due to as series of technical attacks on the crown case, the Fiscal was back footed enough to accept pleas of not guilty to all charges.
No Insurance: Aberdeen JP Court 29th October 2014
Driving without Insurance and facing Totting up Ban.
We present our case and persuade Fiscal to drop charges!
Details: This client had 6 live penalty points and was facing a totting up disqualification because he was being prosecuted
for driving with no insurance contrary to S143 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 in Aberdeen Justice of the Peace Court. The circumstances were
unusual in that our client drove a car to a car auction, bought a car and intended to leave it within the auction premises until the following day to
organise insurance. The auction was however closing and so he drove the car along the side street to a lower car park to leave it there until the
next day. Two police officers observed him driving a short distance along the road from one car park to another and charged him with driving
At the trial diet we were able to demonstrate exactly what happened to the Fiscal prosecuting the case by reference to aerial view photographs.
The police officers in court maintained it was a serious offence but we were able to establish that the circumstances were such that the client
could have special reasons to persuade the court not to endorse his licence with penalty points. Ultimately the Fiscal accepted the position and
discontinued the prosecution.
This case is an example of a situation where the Fiscal may be able to prove a charge but after hearing a more balanced view of what
happened will reconsider whether it is in the public interest to prosecute.
Speeding: Falkirk JP Court 24th October 2014
Speeding and facing Totting up Ban.
We object to evidence admissibility and Win a Not Guilty!
Details: This client had 9 points on his licence and had been caught speeding by the Road Traffic Police using a hand held
device. If he were to have been convicted he would have been disqualified for 6 months under the totting up provisions in terms of Road Traffic
Offenders Act 1988.
During the course of the trial, Richard Freeman took an objection to the admissibility of certain evidence which was crucial to the crown case.
The crown conceded that if the objection was upheld by the court, the prosecution would fail. The objection was debated and subsequently upheld
thereby bringing the prosecution to an end. The court accordingly made a finding of not guilty and the client was able to drive away.
Speeding: Tain JP Court 20th October 2014
Caught by laser device but we cast doubt on its reliability
We highlight other logistical difficulties and case is dropped
Details: This case was also marked down for a trial that day. Our client was facing a speeding charge, where police say
that they measured his speed using a Prolaser 3 device.
He denied the speed and our investigations revealed that there was at least a reasonable doubt about the reliability of the reading from the
device. The crown had other logistical difficulties with the case and were persuaded by us to drop the case. Another delighted client who could
drive away with his licence intact.
Speeding: Tain JP Court 20th October 2014
Client also 9 Points and facing Totting up Disqualification. We prove it was not in the interest of Justice to proceed
Details: This client was in a similar position in that he was also facing a disqualification were he to have been convicted of speeding. The crown accepted however that it was not in the interests of justice to prosecute him and accordingly he was persuaded by us to discontinue the proceedings against our client at the trial diet.
Speeding: Tain JP Court 20th October 2014
On 9 Points and facing Totting up Disqualification. We show them evidence difficulties and drop the case!
Details: This client had 9 points on his licence and at the trial diet the crown realised that they could not prove the case that
day. They were intending to obtain an adjournment but after we explained the further difficulties that they had relating to the admissibility of the
evidence which they intended to rely on to prove the speed, they agreed to discontinue the prosecution and the client’s licence was saved.
No Insurance or Licence: Paisley JP Court 17th October 2014
Stopped for No seatbelt, then charged with No insurance or driving licence!
We argue technicalities & win Not Guilty!
Details: This client had 6 points on his licence, and had been stopped for not wearing a seat belt. When the police checked
their systems, they maintained he did not have a licence because it had been revoked by DVLA, and also as a consequence he had been
driving with no insurance. He was very worried naturally because were he to have been convicted he would inevitably lose his licence for 6
months. We investigated the case and took it to trial.
Submissions were made of a technical nature resulting in him being given an absolute discharge for the revocation charge, and being found not
guilty for the no insurance charge. No points were added to his licence and he drove away a happy man.
Drink Driving: Hamilton Sheriff Court 16th October 2014
Witnesses state they saw our client very drunk and driving
We argue admissability of evidence and win a Not Guilty!
Details: This client had been charged by the police for drink driving following a report from members of staff working in a
grocers shop that they had seen the accused attend at the shop twice within the hour to purchase alcohol. On the second occasion he appeared
very drunk and then saw him drive of in his car. During the course of the crown case, objection was taken to the admissibility of evidence which
was sustained by the sheriff and the Fiscal had no choice but to accept a plea of not guilty.
Speeding: Forfar JP Court 15th October 2014
Also on 9 points and facing Totting Up Ban. We find evidence weakness & demand witnesses forcing Fiscal to need adjournment. We then oppose and case is closed
Details: This client was also facing a speeding trial in Forfar. He too was on 9 points and had been caught by a Gatso
camera. The crown need to call a number of witnesses to prove this type of case and they realised that they couldn’t prove the case were the
matter to proceed to trial that day. They asked the magistrate for permission to part hear the trial and then adjourn for the missing evidence. This
was opposed by is as being manifestly unfair in the particular circumstances of this case. The magistrate agreed and the case was therefore
brought to an end by the court, equal to a complete acquittal. Our client was also delighted because his livelihood was at stake.
Dangerous Driving: Edinburgh Sheriff Court 14th October 2014
Taxi Speeding with open doors and passengers against their will
We use technical issue and win a "No Case to Answer"
Details: This client was charged with dangerous driving by repeatedly driving his taxi at excessive speed with passengers
in it against their will while the taxi doors were open. The evidence consisted of two passengers , one of whom had recorded the whole episode
on his mobile phone, and a police officer. The matter proceeded to trial and at the end of the crown case a no case to answer submission was
made by Richard Freeman relating to certain evidence of a technical nature. The case was adjourned over lunch to allow the prosecutor to
consider the terms of the submission after which the point was conceded and the accused was found not guilty.
Driving on a provisional licence without L plates and a qualified driver: Glasgow JP Court 7th October 2014
We utilise the clients International Licence instead of his UK Licence and get the case discontinued
Client drove on an international licence but also had a UK provisional licence. The point here was that the client was able to demonstrate that he
had a Pakistani passport and an international driving licence and had been in the country for less than 12 months.
Despite this the police charged him with driving without being supervised and without L plates. We were able to advise the Fiscal that he was still
entitled to drive on his international licence and accordingly proceedings were discontinued against him.
Dangerous Driving: Glasgow JP Court 7th October 2014
Client facing mandatory ban, laser gun measured 73mph in 30mph limit. Car seen swerving and fishtailing to a stop.
We undermine gun and police evidence and save his licence
This client was charged with dangerous driving by driving at a speed of 73mph in a 30 mph limit in a built up area at a time of heavy vehicular and
pedestrian traffic. The police measured his speed using a hand held laser device at 73 mph and then saw his car fishtail and swerve to a stop.
This was clearly a difficult case but during the course of a three day trial we were able to undermine the reliability of the laser gun and persuade
the magistrate to ignore the speed detected by it.
This left the police officers independent evidence of their own assessment of speed before the court. At the end of the crown case submissions
about the police officers evidence were made. The magistrate ultimately acquitted our client of dangerous driving and convicted him of careless
driving. He was then persuaded not to disqualify him and instead imposed 7 penalty points.
Client kindly gave a Review:
" I was accused of driving 73mph in a 30 Mph zone, I went to Richard and met with him personally to discuss the case. When the citation
came through it confirmed that it was dangerous driving. He agreed to take on my case and explained the seriousness of the charge I was faced
with and that I would be facing a ban of proven guilty. This was a huge blow to me. I was very impressed with Richard?s tactics in court as he
challeneged every piece of evidence, He proved that the speed could not be relied upon to make my case a dangerous driving charge and was
reduced to a careless driving charge which only left me with 7 points endorsed onto my licence with no disqualification.
To say I was relieved would be an understatement. I cannot thank Richard and the team enough for all they did for me throughout my case, I
thought there was no hope of me keeping my licence. I have experienced first hand why Richard is called the Road traffic expert and will highly
recommend him to anyone that finds themselves in the position that I was in.
Thanks again. "
Drink Driving: Glasgow JP Court 6th October 2014
(2X limit): Another solicitor advised client to plead guilty but he came to us and we get the Case Dismissed!
Details: This client was charged with drink driving at over twice the drink driving limit. He had previously instructed another
firm of solicitors who advised him to plead guilty. He then contacted us and we advised him that there was potential for a technical defence. After
investigating the case it was clear that there could be evidential difficulties. At the trial diet we approached the Crown who conceded the point and
agreed to discontinue the case against him.
Client kindly gave a Review:
" Thank you all, especially Mr FREEMAN for all the professional, long-drawn out professional and sensitive legal activities on my behalf.
NOBODY COULD EXPECT A MORE EFFICIENT, DECISIVE, PERSONAL SERVICE.
During the difficult and at times bewildering legal situation I was in, Mr Freeman made me feel that my personal worries and fears were also taken
into account. IN OTHER WORDS YOU FEEL EVERY WORD IS BEING LISTENED TO AND EVERY LITTLE LEGAL DETAIL IN YOUR FAVOUR
IS BEING WORKED ON IN YOUR INTEREST. You have a massive weight taken off your shoulders, given a chance to go over every scenario -
and will be able to contact his excellent staff who will support you in any way they can.
Best Wishes. "
Mr. S. Joyce
2 Cases: Dangerous Driving & Running a Red Light,
Glasgow JP Court 6th Oct. 2014
Client is a bus driver on 6 points, facing a ban and losing his job
We battle both charges and he gets just 3 points!
Details: This client a bus driver, had 6 penalty points on his licence when he instructed us to represent him in relation to
The first was a dangerous deriving case where it was alleged that he drove his motorbike out of a garage in front of an oncoming police vehicle
causing him to brake harshly to avoid a collision, drive off at excessive speed and drive with headphones on playing music thereby rendering him
unable to hear traffic
The second charge was driving through a red light. It was important to win the red light case as it gave him more room for more penalty points
if that proved necessary for the pending dangerous driving case. We ran that trial and won it, our client being found not guilty.
The dangerous driving trial called on 6th October 2014 at Glasgow JP Court. After discussing the case with the depute in court she agreed to
accept a plea of guilty to a lesser charge of careless driving. Our client could only afford 6 points on his licence before he was subject to a totting
up ban. After making representations to the court the magistrate imposed 3 penalty points and a small fine thereby allowing our client to keep his
licence and his employment.
Client kindly gave a Review:
" I drive for a living & already had six points on my licence when I was alleged to have run a red light in full view of two police officers and in a separate incident, alleged to been ’dangerous driving’ my motorcycle also in full view of two police officers.
The outlook was 99% twelve months ban & losing my job, plus having to resit three tests to get all my licences back. Enter Richard from the Road Traffic Experts.
In what literally left jaws on floors of myself, the Judge &, the police officer who had just given evidence, Richard had the red light case dropped.
For the next case Richard had my dangerous driving allegation reduced to careless to which I received a measly thee points & £300 fine. How good is that :D
Richard is a guy you can depend on if you are in trouble with your licence, who’s easy to talk to and in my opinion the best in his business.
It’s like that & that’s the way it is.
(RUN DMC ’83)
Exceptional Hardship Proof Glasgow JP Court 3rd Oct. 2014
Using Mobile Phone and 9pts, facing a Totting up ban - 9 Offences in 10 years! We still manage to prove Exceptional Hardship and save his licence
Details: Our client had plead guilty to driving while using a mobile phone. He had already amassed 9 points and in fact had
committed 9 offences within 10 years. He instructed us to represent him in relation to an exceptional hardship proof. The purpose of such a proof
is to lead evidence to establish that a totting up disqualification would cause exceptional hardship to him and others. Our clients’ circumstances
were that he was employed by an English Company as a truck driver to deliver and assemble furniture in various areas in Scotland. He had a
porter who would travel with him to assist with the assembly. The porter relied on our client for his own employment and there was a realistic risk
that a second driver would lose his employment as the company could withdraw its operation from Scotland. Our client was estranged from the
mother of his child who relied on him to pay her maintenance. After evidence was lead the court was satisfied that exceptional hardship was made
out and accordingly our client was able to keep his licence.
Speeding: Glasgow JP Court, 2nd October 2014
On 9pts, facing a Totting up ban. Their evidence not enough to prove case and they ask for time.
We strongly oppose adjournment and win. Case Dismissed!
Details: Client was on 9 points and had attended the trial. The crown tried to adjourn the case as they appreciated they
couldn’t prove the case that day. We opposed the crown motion for the adjournment on various grounds and the magistrate refused to give the
crown more time. The case was dismissed against our client.
Dangerous Driving: Edinburgh Sheriff Court, 29th Sept. 2014
106mph in a 60mph, overtaking 4 vehicles, facing a ban. We discover issues and crown drops charges to just speeding, we also save his licence!
Details: This client was facing a dangerous driving charge by overtaking 4 vehicles on A road at 106 mph on a 60 mph
speed limit. If convicted he would be left with a serious conviction on his record and driving licence for many years and disqualified for at least 12
months and have to re-sit an extended driving test.
There were a number of issues which were discovered during the preparation of the defence case. At the trial diet because of this, the Crown
accepted a plea to a lesser charge of speeding. This was only one of two hurdles to overcome: although it was much preferable to have a
conviction for speeding over dangerous driving, it was still very likely that our client could receive a disqualification. The advantage here though,
was that it was now open to us to persuade the Sheriff to refrain from disqualifying the accused. After submissions were made (including
reference to one of our other speeding cases won on appeal), we were able to persuade the sheriff to impose 6 penalty points.
Licence Restoration: Edinburgh High Court 29th September 2014
Early Restoration Of Driving Licence following a 10 Year disqualification. Petition is granted.
Details: This client instructed Richard Freeman as a Solicitor Advocate to represent him in the High Court of Justiciary in relation to the restoration of his driving licence. He had been convicted of causing death by dangerous driving in 2009 and was sentenced to two and a half years imprisonment and disqualified for 10 years. At the end of the 5 year period he instructed Richard Freeman to petition the High court to restore his licence half way thorough the disqualification. The case called in the High Court before the original sentencing judge who was persuaded by Richard Freeman to grant the petition thus allowing early restoration of our client’s licence.
This demonstrates that even in the case of a very serious charge where it was considered in the public interest to disqualify a driver for 10 years, it is possible to reduce the disqualification by half, by applying to the sentencing court for early restoration. It is important that the correct criteria is met however and advice from a solicitor should be taken in advance of the qualifying period to optimise the best chance of success.
Speeding: Kilmarnock Sheriff Court 19th September 2014
105mph with 6 prior speeding offences, facing disqualification. We find weaknesses in crown case, and negotiate a lesser speed plea to save his licence
Details: Client prosecuted for speeding at 105mph. Because of the speed it was prosecuted in the sheriff Court as
opposed to the Justice of the Peace Court.
Matters were compounded by the fact that this client had 6 previous speeding offences endorsed on his licence.
At the trial diet we were able to highlight weaknesses in the Crown case. The depute was willing to reduce the speed to compensate. We advised
our client that he had a choice : we could run the trial and we might win but as we would not be able to tell until we were half way thorough the trial
we couldn’t guarantee that. Alternatively he could plead guilty to the reduced speed and he would likely receive penalty points instead of a
disqualification. As the client’s priority was to avoid a disqualification he opted to accept the negotiated plea and, as advised, his licence was
This case demonstrates that our advise has to be tailored to meet our clients needs. We could easily have won the trial but this was one where it
was impossible to say for sure until the trial was underway. That risk had to be properly managed to suit our client’s requirements
Client kindly gave a Review:
" Hi Richard,
I just wanted to thank you again for this morning’s outcome. I was extremely relieved to come away without a disqualification.
I’m sure you’ll understand when I say that I hope not to need your services again in the future but if any of my friends ever find themselves in a similar situation I would definitely refer them to you.
Again, thank you
Dangerous Driving: Greenock Sheriff Court 18th Sept. 2014
Speeding,Tailgating and crashing the vehicle!
We identify evidential issues and present to fiscal,immediately before trial starts.
Fiscal agrees his case can’t win and accepts a Not Guilty Plea!
Details: This client was facing a dangerous driving charge where it was alleged that he had driven his vehicle at excessive speed while tailgating another vehicle through the village and thereafter lose control of his vehicle causing it to break through a hedge and come to rest in a field whereby the vehicle was extensively damaged. When the police attended shortly after they saw the vehicle being driven along the road by the accused with no front bumper and jagged metal protruding from the bonnet.
Just before the trial was about to start we identified some evidential difficulties to the Fiscal who agreed that they were insurmountable and accepted a not guilty plea from the client.
Dangerous Driving: Glasgow Sheriff Court 17th Sept. 2014
93mph in a 30mph! We find a technical issue and robustly cross examine police. We win a Not Guilty!
Details: This client was stopped by the police after they measured his speed using a Unipar device on Edinburgh Road
Glasgow at the 30mph speed limit at 8.55am over a pedestrian crossing near to a school. During the course of the trial it became apparent that the
accuracy of the laser device had not been properly established, and we were also able in cross examination to undermine both police officers
own evidence of the speed of the vehicle.
A no case to answer submission was made to the sheriff at the end of the crown case which was upheld by the sheriff. The client consequently
was found not guilty!
Speeding: JP Court 17th September 2014
Facing a 6 month Totting up ban. We find document error and use it to win the case.
Details: This client was flashed by a Gatso camera and contacted our firm when he received his summons. He was on 9
points and was facing a 6 month totting up disqualification. We ran the trial during which an error in the documentation became apparent which
we exploited causing the Prosecution to fail.
Speeding: Stirling JP Court, 17th September 2014
Charged with Speeding with Mobile Camera Evidence. We find a defect in Crown case and the case is dropped!
Details: This client was charged with speeding using a mobile camera. During the course of the trial a defect in the crown
case was highlighted to the Fiscal prosecuting the case which forced him to discontinue the trial.
Speeding: Aberdeen JP Court 17th September 2014
Client charged with Speeding 88mph in a 60mph. We find a technical accuracy issue with equipment,strike at the right moment and the case is dropped!
Details: Client charged with speeding at 88 mph in 60 mph speed limit after the police followed him for half a mile using the
Puma speed measuring device. They did not issue a fixed penalty because of the speed alleged. At the trial diet Richard Freeman spoke to the
Fiscal and highlighted an issue with the way the police where to set up the accuracy of the device in court. After consulting with other deputes the
Fiscal conceded the point and dropped the prosecution against our client.
This illustrates that there are some cases where we can approach the Fiscal on the day of the trial to highlight a technicality. On other occasions it
is not appropriate to do that and the trial should be run with legal submissions being made at the appropriate stage in the trial
Breath Test: Dumbarton Sheriff Court, 16th September 2014
Failure to provide Breath test after an accident. Also facing a long driving ban and losing her job. We find a technicality and client is found Not Guilty!
Details: Our client was charged with failing to provide both a preliminary (roadside) breath test and an intoximeter breath
test back at the police station. Evidence was led that her car collided with another vehicle and that she appeared under the influence of alcohol at
the time she had been driving.
During the course of the trial on analysing the evidence that had been led Richard Freeman identified a technicality which would render any
evidence of the requirement made by the police to provide both specimens of breath as inadmissible. This was brought to the attention of the
depute prosecuting the case during the lunch adjournment who after considering the point conceded it and agreed to accept a plea of not guilty
from the client to both charges.
Our client was delighted as she avoided a lengthy disqualification and the consequential loss of her employment.
Running a Red Light: Dumbarton JP Court, 12th Sept. 2014
Bus Driver spotted by Police running a Red Light. We find a technicality in evidence, client found Not Guilty!
Details: This client, a bus driver, was charged with going through a red light. The client’s position was that the traffic light
was orange. The crown led the first police witness who appeared adamant that the light was red saying that he was stationary in his police vehicle
at the same set of lights when the accused then drove straight through the red light. Due to Richard Freeman highlighting a technical omission
in the police evidence after he gave his testimony the crown conceded the point and the client was found not guilty.
Careless Driving: Aberdeen JP Court, 11th September 2014
Twice overtaking by crossing line onto opposite carriageway
We use an absent document to win a Not Guilty!
Details: This client was charged with driving carelessly by overtaking a vehicle by crossing over a double white centre
lines twice onto the opposite carriageway. At the trial diet the Crown became aware that they could not prove the case due to the absence of a
document which they needed to establish the driver of the vehicle and accordingly moved to adjourn the trial diet.
The magistrate had to consider whether it was in the interests of justice to adjourn the trial particularly having regard to the serious nature of the
allegation. Submissions were made my the crown which were opposed by Richard Freeman. The magistrate was persuaded to refuse the crown
motion resulting in the client being found not guilty.
Client kindly gave a Review:
"Richard was tireless in his pursuit of all options for a defence. ?I learned that it was well worth defending my case to prevent excessive
points and a fine against my name. ?Richards personal intervention in my trial utilising his considerable skills as an advocate secured a win
with no blemish to my licence. "
Speeding: Inverness JP Court, 11th September 2014
We challenge the Laser gun evidence. Client found not Guilty!
Details: Client was charged with speeding. His speed was measured by the police with a pro laser 3 device. During the
course of the trial we challenged the technical use of the device successfully and accordingly the magistrate found the case not proved and
accordingly our client was found not guilty.
Dangerous Driving: Ayr Sheriff Court, 9th September 2014
Overtaking police car into oncoming traffic! Overtaking on blind bend and causing a car to emergency stop. We argue on Driver Identificaton evidence by Police,
client found not Guilty!
Details: The client was charged with driving his vehicle dangerously by overtaking 2 vehicles in a row ( one of them with 2
off duty police officers in it ) both of whom observed the vehicle cross over to the opposing carriageway in the face of oncoming traffic causing
the lead vehicle to execute an emergency stop and then fishtail out of control coming to rest across both carriageways. It was further alleged that
the accused overtook another vehicle round a blind bend by crossing over two solid white lines.
At the end of the crown evidence Richard Freeman made a no case to answer submission relating to the identification of the driver as a result of
insufficient evidence being led of the s172 procedure carried out by the police officers later that day.
This submission was upheld by the sheriff and accordingly the client was found not guilty.
Speeding: Perth JP Court, 9th September 2014
We get Warrants to arrest the 2 Police officers! Client Acquitted!
Details: This client was charged with speeding. On the day of the trial the 2 police witnesses failed to turn up at court. We
questioned the explanation forcing the Fiscal to obtain warrants to arrest both police officers. The crown then was required to move the court to
adjourn the trial diet which we successfully objected to. The client was as a consequence acquitted of the charge.
Speeding: Hamilton JP Court, 8th September 2014
On 9pts and facing losing his licence.
We raise issue relating to applicable speed limit. Client acquitted!
Details: Client charged with speeding. During the trial an issue arose in relation to proof of the speed limit applicable. At
the end of the Crown case a No Case to Answer’ submission was made in relation to this point, which was upheld and the client acquitted. Our
client was on 9 points and his licence was in jeopardy.
Speeding: Glasgow JP Court, 8th September 2014
Client anxious to defend clean licence.
We find 2 technical points to argue & get the PF to drop case!
Details: This client had a clean licence and was charged with speeding at 42mph on a 30 mph. The police used a laser
device to measure the speed of our client’s vehicle. Our client denied travelling in excess of the speed limit, but accepted that the device
displayed 42mph when he was shown the reading on it by the police. He was anxious to keep his licence clean and instructed me to defend the
On the day of the trial diet we were ready to proceed to trial with a multi- strategy approach. A number of strategies relied on trial advocacy but
two technical points were available to high light to the crown. Shortly prior to the trial commencing Richard Freeman spoke to the Prosecutor who
after conceding the difficulties agreed to discontinue the proceedings.
Dangerous Driving: Paisley Sheriff Court, 28th August 2014
Client faces a mandatory 12 month ban and driving test resit
We raise a highly technical point making it impossible for Prosecutor to obtain a conviction. Case is dropped!
Details: This client, an HGV driver was charged with dangerous driving by tailgating another vehicle on the motorway ,
undertaking it and then drawing level with another vehicle and deliberately swerving towards it causing that vehicle to swerve away to avoid a
collision.A case often described as road rage.
At the trial diet Richard Freeman alerted the Fiscal prosecuting the case to a highly technical point which if accepted would make it incompetent
for the Prosecutor to obtain a conviction. It was a novel point which was eventually accepted by the prosecutor and accordingly the crown
ceased the prosecution
The client was saved from a mandatory disqualification and having to resit his driving test. Needless to say he was delighted!
Client kindly gave a Review:
"Not only did Richard Freeman save my licence, but my livelihood. I am forever grateful for his acute attention to detail, and his expertise
and professionalism throughout my case. Mr Technicality won the day. I will do everything in my power never to require his services again, but I
will be recommending him to friends and family."
Failure to identify Driver: Dundee JP Court, 5th Sept. 2014
Client on 6pts, facing another 6pts to get a totting up ban.
We argue on admissibility of evidence and win a Not Guilty!
Details: Client was initially suspected of a speeding offence and the police
maintained that the usual s172 Notice had been sent out on 4 occasions and
that they had not received a response from the accused identifying the
driver of the vehicle.
He was subsequently prosecuted for a contravention of s172 of The Road
Traffic Act 1988 for failing to identify the driver. During the course of
the trial objections were taken to the admissibility of certain evidence. At
the end of the Crown case a no case to answer submission was successfully
made by Richard Freeman and the client was found not guilty.
This was an anxious case for the client as he already had 6 live points and
if convicted he would have been given another 6 points and disqualified
potentially under the totting up provisions.
Client kindly gave a Review:
"I was so impressed by Richard Freemans dedication towards me as a client and the understanding of how essential my licence is to my
business as well as my family.
He objected to nearly every argument the Crown Prosecution presented and his dedication to me as a client to not let anything lie, to challenge every argument presented was admirable.
Dangerous Driving: Perth Sheriff Court, 21st August 2014
Facing a mandatory 12 month ban and driving test resit. We find flaws in allegations & get it reduced to Careless Driving. Thus no mandatory driving ban or driving test resit
Details: This client was charged with dangerous driving by driving at grossly excessive speeds for over 15 miles on a motorbike passing a number of junctions etc.
After an extensive investigation we were able to determine a number of important features of the case which did not support a dangerous driving allegation despite the police charging our client with that and the Crown subsequently prosecuting him for it.
On the day of the trial we were able to persuade the Fiscal to accept a charge of careless driving and the court imposed 4 penalty points instead of a mandatory minimum 12 month disqualification and a requirement to resit an extended driving test.
Client kindly gave a Review:
"Initially I thought the fees were pretty high but in actual fact he’s worth double. The threat of serving a 6 month ban would definitely have hindered the progression of my business, his support in fighting tooth and nail to have my case thrown out of court for insufficient evidence I am truly thankful.
I travel 35,000 miles a year so my licence is everything and I will no doubt require Richard Freemans services again, I will use no other lawyer and can’t recommend this guy enough. I know the above sounds too good to be true but he has just saved me from losing my livelihood. Incredible lawyer."
Speeding: Glasgow JP Court, 18th August 2014
Client did not want 9pts on licence.
We argue admissiblity of crucial evidence. Client found Not Guilty!
Details: This was a speeding case where client did not want to end up with 9 points on his driving licence .
He instructed us to represent him as he was recommended by a fellow gas engineer whom we acted for previously. We advised him what our
strategy would be and reassured him that prospects were very high of winning the case.
The matter proceeded to trial and during the evidence of a police officer objection was taken to the admissibility of crucial evidence. The point was
considered well founded by the magistrate who sustained the objection, as a result of which the accused was found not guilty!
Client kindly gave a Review:
"I was facing a ban which could have had serious implications to my work as I am self-employed when charged I was unsure what to do
but arranged a meeting to discuss and from that point on Richard and his team put me at ease and gave me confidence all the way through the
long drawn out process. This is a specialist area and their knowledge and experience means they are in a strong position before you start. A
year down the line they managed to get my case thrown out in court so it has worked out the best investment I have made.
I would suggest anyone who is charged in a road traffic offence to gives them a call - I would just like to say that I was very satisfied with the
outcome in my case and would be happy to refer others to your firm. I was found not guilty and kept my license.?"
Thank you so much.
Speeding: Aberdeen JP Court, 13th August 2014
Another Repeat Client facing Speeding and Totting up ban!
We argue jurisdiction and a technicality.We get a Not Guilty!
Details: This was also a repeat client who was originally on 9 points and instructed us to defend him in a mobile phone
case in Motherwell JP Court which we won after trial in March 2014.
This left him still with 9 points but facing another charge of speeding in Aberdeen. Mr Freeman represented him at the trial diet The fiscal was
advised of the weakness in the crown case but refused to drop the proceedings. At a certain stage during the trial a legal submission was made
relating to a technicality which was upheld by the magistrate and accordingly the client was found not guilty.
The client sent a nice thank you email to us, we appreciate it!:
"Hi, would just like to thank Richard and his great team for the help at both court cases at Hamilton and Aberdeen, went into this with 6 points
on my license and still have 6, both cases a great success well done Richard and your team, a credit to your profession."
Speeding: Aberdeen JP Court, 13th August 2014
Repeat Client facing Speeding and Totting up ban!
We get Magistrate to desert the case, client avoids conviction and ban!
Details: This was a repeat client who was facing a disqualification as he was on 9 points. We had already saved his
licence from a previous speeding offence in Duns involving a Gatso camera.
When we attended at the trial diet in Aberdeen we alerted the fiscal to a number of weaknesses relating to the evidence of speed and the
jurisdiction of the court. The prosecutor made a motion to adjourn which would have been pointless but we opposed it and persuaded the
magistrate to desert the case which brought it to an end thus avoiding a conviction and a disqualification!
Speeding: Glasgow JP Court, 11th August 2014
Client at court charged with speeding, we get the case dismissed!
Details: Our client was charged with speeding and at the trial diet it became apparent that certain evidence relating to the
accuracy of the police calibrated speedometer was missing. After making submissions to the magistrate he was persuaded that it was essential
evidence for the proof of the case and dismissed the case against our client!
Speeding/Totting Up: Glasgow JP Court, 7th August 2014
Speeding charge on 9 points and facing a totting up ban.
We find a fatal flaw and get the fiscal to drop the case!
Details: Client was caught speeding on a motorway but was not issued with a fixed penalty because he was on 9 points
and therefore subject to the totting up process. The police measured his speed over 0.2 of a mile using a ’ calibrated speedometer’. When the
matter called in court for trial we were able to demonstrate to the Fiscal that the case was fatally flawed and consequently she discontinued the
proceedings against him!
Failure to Provide a Breath Specimen: Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court, 6th August 2014
Client facing a Ban and large fine. We get a Not Guilty!
Details: Suspected of drink driving client was asked to provide a specimen of breath but failed to do so. He was charged
with failing to provide a specimen of breath. He contacted us because he felt that he tried his best even though the police said he hadn’t. We
instructed our respiratory clinician to examine him and provide a report about his ability to provide a sample. We then took the matter to trial and
after leading evidence from our expert, the client was found not guilty thereby saving his licence and avoiding a conviction. Needless to say the
client was extremely happy and relieved!
Client kindly gave a Review:
"I can not thank Mr Freeman & Mr Burke enough! They both worked tirelessly on my behalf on a very complex case in which I could of lost
my business, job, car and house. Proving you are innocent is not easy as it may seem.
No other solicitor firm could match the expertise of Richard’s team and I will recommend anyone who is in such a precarious position like I was to
call him immediately.
I wish them all, all the best in the future and never forget how they saved my life."
Careless Driving: Dumbarton JP Court, 30th July 2014
Saved client from careless driving charge, even after crashing into a car
downgraded to just 3 points and a fine
Details: Charged with careless driving. We were acting for a serving police officer who was charged wth careless driving
by failing to keep a safe distance from a preceding vehicle colliding with same, shunting it onto a roundabout and causing it to enter the central
embankment of the roundabout causing injury to the occupants one of whom had to have the roof of the vehicle cut open.
After a protracted investigation and discussions with the crown they accepted a much lesser charge and the client was given just 3 penalty points
and £200 fine!
Speeding: Edinburgh JP Court, 23rd July 2014
Facing 6 month Totting up ban. However we put together a
comprehensive case not to ban him, saving his licence and job!
Details: Our client was facing a six month disqualification from totting up when we advised him to proceed by way of an
exceptional hardship proof. This was on the basis that not only would he suffer exceptional hardship but also his employers and other members of
staff with the company would. After evidence was led and submissions made the magistrate was satisfied that this high test was met, and
accordingly he upheld the argument and did not disqualify our very happy and relieved client!
Drink Driving: Glasgow Sheriff Court, 9th July 2014
We find a technicality related to the Intoximeter procedure. Client found Not Guilty!
Details: Client very anxious to save his licence and to avoid a conviction. We take the case to trial and at the end of the
Crown case we make a no case to answer submission over a technicality. The sheriff upheld our no case to answer submission and the client was
found not guilty. The technicality related to the intoximeter EH/IR procedure back at the police station.The technicality proved fatal to the Crown
case. The client was utterly delighted!
Speeding: Lanark JP Court, 9th July 2014
Client caught with laser gun, but we find a fatal weakness! Client is dismissed of all charges!
Details: Speeding case client caught with Unipar SL 700 device. After thorough examination of the case by Richard
Freeman a fatal weakness was revealed and following discussions with the Crown at the trial diet the case was closed and client therefore
Speeding: Dunfermline JP Court, 8th July 2014
On 11pts, facing totting up ban and had another case pending! We argue on Fiscals tactics and get Case Dismissed!
Details: Client on 11 points facing a speeding charge and totting up disqualification of 6 months. Caught with a pro laser 3
device driving over 20 mph above a 30mph speed limit. Client has another outstanding case. We asked the Fiscal to take a view on this case if he
plead guilty on a without prejudice basis to the other case. The Fiscal refused because of the significant speed.
At the trial diet issue was taken by Richard Freeman over the Fiscal moving to adjourn the case. The court was persuaded that it was in the
interest of justice to refuse the crown adjournment and the case was deserted which means dismissed completely!
Speeding: Hamilton Justice of the Peace Court, 4th July 2014
On 9pts, facing totting up ban, and client previously plead guilty!
We challenge police evidence, argue case for 3 hours: Get a Not Guilty!
Details: Our client lived in England and was in Scotland on business when he was caught speeding in Hamilton by 2 police
officers on speed detection duty using a Unipar SL700 laser device.The difficulty for him was that he was on 9 points at the time and was now
facing a totting up disqualification of 6 months if he were to have been convicted. Before consulting us he plead guilty and then contacted
Richard Freeman for advice.
Richard advised him to allow us to withdraw his plea of guilty and plead not guilty to allow us to look at his case. After extensive investigation of the
Crown case we discovered a way to challenge the police evidence of the speed alleged by them using this device. During the course of the trial
Richard Freeman raised objections to the evidence from the first police officer. After approximately 3 hours of legal debate the magistrate upheld
our legal objections, and the trial collapsed and the client found not guilty!
Dangerous Driving: Kilmarnock Sheriff Court, 4th July 2014
Speeding at 115mph, forcing cars to take evasive action. Licence, business & house on the line. We save all three!
Details: Our client was charged with dangerous driving and was being prosecuted in Kilmarnock sheriff court for this
offence. The main allegations by the Crown were that the client drove at speed in excess of 115 mph causing other vehicles to take evasive action
and braking heavily at roundabout to negotiate round it. Our Client needed his licence as he was a self employed engineer. If convicted he would
have faced a minimum 12 month disqualification and a requirement to resit an extended driving test.
When our client first approached us he was extremly anxious to avoid a disqualification as his licence was essential to run his business
without which he and his partner would lose their house.
After preparing the case and investigating the crown evidence it became apparent that we could introduce certain evidential obstacles to the
proof of the Crown case. After discussing this with the Procurator Fiscal we negotiated a plea to a lesser charge of careless driving and the client
was able to drive away with only 6 points on his licence. To say he was relieved is an understatement!
Speeding Case: Perth JP Court, 3rd July 2014
Client on 9 Point and facing a totting up ban. We find flaw in technical evidence, case is dropped before court!
Details: The accused was charged with speeding where the police used a Unipar Device. Our client was on 9 points and
was desperate to save his licence.
The case trundled on as we insisted in obtaining certain information front the Fiscal’s Office before we could fully assess the Crown case. After
examining all the evidence it became apparent that the Crown had certain difficulties involving the admissibility of evidence of the speed detected
from the Unipar Device. As this was unfixable we advised the Fiscal in advance of the trial diet. After considering the point the Crown contacted us
in writing to advise that they had decided not to continue with the prosecution.
On advising our client he said ’ Thank you very much again Richard for your help and professional skill in acting for me. Without doubt if any of
our 1000+ employees or anyone else I know needs your help, we know where to come.’
2 x Speeding Cases: Aberdeen JP Court, 2nd July 2014
One client had 2 Speeding Cases with Fiscal determined to get a ban.
We fight hard and win both cases! Licence Saved! Client Ecstatic!
Details: This client had 6 points on her licence and had been served with 2 complaints both for speeding offences and
both calling for trial in Aberdeen Justice of the Peace Court - the first one on 25th of June and second on 2nd July 2014.
Were she to have been convicted of both she would have faced a totting up disqualification of 6 months. We suggested to the client that she
instruct us to negotiate a plea with the Fiscal’s office by way of a plea of guilty to one charge and not guilty to the other resulting in 3 penalty
points which would save her licence. The Fiscal’s office refused to accept this offer as they wanted the totting up provisions to apply
We advised our client that she had no option but to defend both cases. We took the first case to trial and won that on a technicality. This left the
other case to consider. As she was no longer in danger of losing her licence she had to decide whether to change her plea to guilty or to take this
case to trial. The decision she made was to take it to trial as the prospect of sitting on 9 points if she plead guilty to the second case was
The difficulty with this case was that the Fiscal had been made aware of the legal technicality that we used to win the previous case and set about
fixing it on the day of this trial as it was an identical case. Richard Freeman advised the client that there was nothing to lose by running the trial
anyway as he may be able to undermine the Crown case in another way. The trial started and after cross examining 3 police witnesses the Crown
case collapsed and the court found the client not guilty.
This case demonstrates that while we often go to court with a strategy to win a case, as we did with the first case, we often win cases where we
have no particular strategy other than to test the crown case and undermine the evidence.
Our client was mightily relieved that we managed to win both cases for her.
Speeding Cases: Aberdeen & Dumfries, 25th June 2014
We win 2 Simultaneous Speeding Cases in 2 different courts!
Details: On 25th june 2014, we had two winning trials running at the same time for two clients in different courts. Both were
speeding trials, one was in Aberdeen and the other in Dumfries. I was closely monitoring both cases as they both involved the same legal
arguments. I maintained a remote watching brief by phone on both trials to assist if need be. Luckily the magistrates rose from the bench in each
case during the submissions which allowed me to provide each solicitor with ongoing feedback about the other court’s view of the legal arguments
as that case developed. After legal submissions were concluded each magistrate left the court to consider the points and both returned upholding
our submissions and found each client not guilty.
Each case was like a mirror image of the other, both in terms of the legal points and the parallel timing of the trials.
Both clients were in danger of losing their licence, one because of the high speed in excess of 100mph, and the other under the threat of a totting
This is a typical example of the many cases won by us. Each case is scrutinised and researched by Richard Freeman in minute detail. A
strategy is prepared and if Richard is committed to another court, he primes and prepares another Solicitor or Advocate from our team to advance
the legal arguments. Each solicitor is given copies of all legal authorities including the most up to date statutes and case law to support the legal
points so that the solicitor in court can advance the argument in the most compelling and persuasive manner.
It is important to note that in these type of cases, the question of guilt or innocence does not arise. It is always for the prosecutor to prove the
case beyond reasonable doubt. It is on this footing that the crown case fails - when we are able to identify loopholes and technicalities that are
fatal to the proof of the case against our clients.
Careless Driving: Glasgow JP Court, 20th June 2014
Police zealously quizzed. Client found not guilty, clean licence kept intact!
Details: Mature woman was pulled over by police for careless driving. She had two elderly passengers in the car and held
a clean driving licence for over 30 years. Very angry when received a court summons. She could have pled guilty but decided to defend it out of
principle. We quizzed the police zealously and the client was found ’Not Guilty’ at trial. The police officers were not believed. Client was vindicated
and licence still clean!
Running a Red Light: Glasgow JP Court, 10th June 2014
Police robustly cross examined causing reasonable doubt. Client acquitted and also avoided Totting Up Ban!
Details: Client charged with running a red light. The client was already on 9 points and so faced a totting up ban. Found
not guilty after trial. Police officers robustly cross examined undermining their reliability and credibility Magistrate accepted there was a
reasonable doubt and acquitted the client.
No Insurance: Hamilton JP court, 9th June 2014
On 6 Points, but we get Prosecutor to back down, Client gets Not Guilty!
Details: Client on 6 points charged with driving a vehicle with no insurance. The circumstances were that he had during the
course of his employment been instructed to drive a substitute vehicle to make some deliveries. The vehicle belonged to the boss’s wife who our
client knew was an official in the business and had no reason to believe that the vehicle would not have been insured for him to drive. It turned out
that the vehicle was not insured for business use - only for social and domestic purposes.
At the trial the client’s defence was taken under the Road Traffic Act 1988. Just before the prosecutor was going to call her first witness she
relented,accepting the representations made to her earlier by Richard Freeman. Accordingly the client was found not guilty.
Drink Driving & Failure to Provide a Breath & a
Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court, 29th May 2014
We get Not Guilty for 2 charges! & negotiate just 4pts & fine for 3rd charge
Details: Client prosecuted for driving while unfit through drink and drugs, failing to provide a preliminary breath test, and
failing to provide a blood sample.
At the trial diet after highlighting technical errors with the 2 serious charges of driving while unfit and failing to provide specimen of blood the
Fiscal accepted pleas of not guilty to both. The client thus avoided a minimum statutory disqualification on each of those charges.
We then plead guilty to failing to comply with a preliminary breath test, and after hearing mitigating circumstances the sheriff refrained from
disqualifying and imposed 4 penalty points and a fine of £250. Client was delighted!
Driving Without Insurance: Paisley JP court, 28th May
Director of company charged because Employee was Uninsured, and
Totting up Points would have meant a ban. We get both off completely!
Details: This case had 2 clients. One was a Director of a company on 6 points prosecuted for causing and permitting his
employee to drive a fleet vehicle without insurance. The employee, who was 19, was charged with driving without insurance We persuaded the
Fiscal to accept a plea of not guilty from the employee.
The Director plead guilty but we then set a special reasons proof to argue that he should not receive any penalty points because of the way the
policy was written.
The magistrate after hearing evidence agreed, sustained the submission and did not impose any penalty points or a fine. Both clients delighted
especially the employer as he would have otherwise been disqualified under the totting up provisions for a period of 6 months.
Speeding: Haddington JP Court, 7th May 2014
On 9 points already and Facing Totting up 6 month ban,
We get it down to only 55 days and saved his job!
Details: We represented a client on 9 points and facing a 6 month disqualification under the totting up provisions. He had 3 recent previous speeding convictions and was appearing at court on his 4th speeding charge of 69mph in a 50mph speed limit.
He was in a difficult position as he was unable to ask for an exceptional hardship proof as any hardship caused by a 6 month disqualification would have been only on himself and his immediate family, which doesn’t qualify.
We did however manage to persuade the court by addressing the 3 magistrates on an under utilised provision of a statute, to impose a 55 day
disqualification, thus saving the client’s employment.!
Speeding: Aberdeen JP Court, 1st May 2014
On 9 Penalty Points, facing Totting Up Ban, we get client acquitted!
Details: Client charged with speeding while on 9 penalty points and was very anxious not to be convicted which would have
resulted in a six month disqualification. Just before the trial was about to start we highlighted difficulties in the evidence relating to proof of the
accuracy of the device.
The fiscal was not prepared to drop the case, but moved to adjourn the case because of the lack of witnesses. This motion was opposed by
Richard Freeman and refused by the magistrate at which point the crown realised their options were limited and conceded the point, subsequently
the client was acquitted. Client was greatly relieved.
Tachograph: Stonehaven Sheriff Court, 30th April 2014
4 charges of altering both analogue and digital Tachographs,
Client thought it was hopeless, but we get all charges dropped!
Details: Client charged with 4 charges of altering both analogue and digital Tachographs with intent to deceive by making
out that his HGV vehicle was at rest when in fact he was still driving the vehicle. The evidence from the Crown was that his vehicle was caught on
the ANPR system moving when the tachographs were made to say his vehicle was at rest.
He also had incurred a speeding ticket during a claimed rest period which he had accepted.
At the end of the first day of trial after making certain technical submissions to the court the Fiscal considered his position overnight and agreed to
discontinue the case in respect of all charges.
This meant that the accused who was a lorry driver could keep his licence away from the scrutiny of the Traffic Commissioner. Client was utterly
ecstatic as it undoubtedly saved his job!
Dangerous Driving: Paisley Sheriff Court, 25th April 2014
We get it dropped to Careless Driving and just 3 points & no fine!
Client facing trial for Dangerous Driving by undertaking police car and tailgating and undertaking other vehicles in poor weather conditions at
speed over 4 miles
After certain representations made to Prosecutor crown accepted careless driving sheriff imposed 3 points and admonished - no fine. Client was
Careless Driving: Dumfries JP Court, 17th April 2014
Undertaking on motorway after overtaking marked police car!
Details: Client charged with careless driving by undertaking another vehicle on the motorway shortly after overtaking a
marked police vehicle. The Police maintained that there were inherent potential dangers with such a manoeuvre. We advised our client that this
did not necessarily amount to careless driving and that he should take the matter to trial This case was unusual because the facts of the case
were not really in dispute. We maintained that the two part statutory definition of careless driving had not been established on the facts and
further that the police officers’ opinions and indeed the prosecutors were wrong. The Justice agreed and acquitted the client having found him not
Client kindly gave a Review:
" I instructed Richard Freeman of www.roadtrafficexpert.com to represent me in a careless driving charge in Dumfries. The police accused me of driving without due care and attention by overtaking them and then undertaking another vehicle in the fast lane of a motorway. I had a clean licence and could have taken the points but I felt I wasn’t guilty of careless driving.
Richard explained the process and his fee which wasn’t insubstantial but I felt I needed a road traffic specialist to handle my case and he was confident that we could win.
After Richard fully investigated the case, I met him in his office and he discussed the evidence, the law and his proposed strategy in court for the trial.
Unfortunately he wasn’t available on the trial diet but he advised me of this in advance and instructed Senior Counsel to represent me in court. He reassured me that the QC was very good and that he had discussed the strategy with him at length. I could see that this was so during the course of the trial by the way the QC cross examined the police officers. At the end of the trial I was found not guilty.
I would thoroughly recommend Richard and his team. He always responded to my questions and his immediate assessment of my prospects was spot on, as was his court strategy."
Speeding: Coatbridge JP Court, 11th April 2014
Before the case even began, we got the case dismissed!
Details: We are often able to to contact the Crown after investigating a case in order to persuade them to discontinue the
prosecution. For example in this speeding case, the crown were approached by us on the day before to advise that they had real difficulties which
were incurable. After considering the issues, the Crown agreed and pulled the case and client didn’t even need to turn up at court. This strategy
can only implemented where the technical failures in a case cannot ever be remedied.
Speeding: Livingston JP Court, 10th April 2014
70 mph in a 40 mph zone, facing ban but we get client acquitted!
Details: Female client charged with over 70mph in a 40mph. At first trial diet the crown conceded that they couldn’t prove
the speed because of lack of technical evidence. They tried to remedy the problem but after we made submissions to the court the accused was
acquitted and case dismissed.
Dangerous Driving: Aberdeen Sheriff Court, 3rd April 2014
2nd Dangerous Driving Charge, driving 116mph overtaking cars
We get charge reduced to just speeding!
Details: The police physically witnessed the client driving at the grossly excessive speed of 116mph, while overtaking other
vehicles. Our very in depth knowledge of the different speed measuring devices used by the police and their correct usage, enables us to spot
tiny flaws and so we argued a very fine technical point. If convicted of Dangerous Driving, the client was facing a 12 month mandatory driving ban
and would also have to re-sit his driving test. Having already been charged with another Dangerous Driving offence, it was unlikely that the court
would show any leniency. We managed to argue the technical point to such an extent that it was agreed to drop the charges to just speeding,
thus saving the client the mandatory 12 month ban and driving test. Client extremely happy!
Speeding: Coatbridge JP Court, 28th March 2014
Facing a Totting Up ban: We back Crown into corner, defeated!
Details: Client on 9 points facing totting up driving an and loss of job. We make a strong objection as to the admissibility of
evidence of speed. The Crown felt backed into a corner and hence conceded defeat!
Failure to provide a Specimen: Aberdeen Sheriff Court, 27th March 2014
Failure to provide Breath Specimen 3 times. We get a Not Guilty!
Details: Client charged with failing to comply with road side breath test and also failing to provide 2 specimens of breath
at the police station. We very strongly cross examined the Police officers’ testimony regarding the method of obtaining the breath test and found
weaknesses in the procedure which we combined with expert clinical evidence. Sheriff found client not guilty on all charges!
Speeding: Ayr JP Court, 27th March 2014
Charged with Speeding. We use our loophole and get Case dropped!
Details: The Road Traffic Expert legal team encompasses the services of a top QC and we asked him to cover this case. It
was another speeding charge in which we had discovered a fatal technicality to the prosecutions’s case. The QC had a quiet word with the Fiscal
about the technicality and the case was dropped immediately. Client was absolutely delighted!
Speeding: Glasgow JP Court, 26th March 2014
Faces ban for speeding 60mph in a 30mph.
We find flaw in Crown’s case and negotiate to just 3pts & a fine
Details: The client was caught doing 60mph in a 30mph zone and faced 6 points, a potential ban and a very heavy fine.
After scrutinizing the circumstances, we identified a major problem in the Crown’s case, it was then agreed to bring the speed down to an
agreeable level and the client received just 3 points and a £180 fine. Client was relieved.
Drink Driving: Edinburgh Sheriff Court, 23rd March 2014
Charged with 3 X limit. Argued a technical Flaw, client acquitted!
Details: Client at trial diet charged with drink driving almost 3 times legal limit. Before trial started we argued a fatal
technical issue which the Prosecutor attempted to remedy by seeking an adjournment. The crown motion to adjourn was opposed by us and was
refused by the sheriff. As the prosecutor accepted the flaw was fatal the sheriff acquitted the client who was extremely delighted.
Speeding: Paisley Court, 25th March 2014
John Paul ( a previous client see top of page) is charged with Speeding
We find a technicality and Fiscal drops the case!
Details: John Paul (he has given us permission to use his name) had another speeding case this week in Paisley where
we represented him at trial diet. The Procurator Fiscal thought she could prove the case. Richard Freeman challenged her to a trial but she
backed down and dropped it because of a technicality. John Paul’s licence is still intact! John Paul is utterly delighted and said that we should
use his name to tell people what an amazing legal team we have.
Speeding: Lanark JP Court, 19th March 2014
Another Speeding well in excess of 100mph. Case dropped Again!
Details: This is the second speeding case that we won today at Lanark JP Court. Similar to the speeding case earlier that
day, the same technicality applied and was thus fatal to the prosecution case and so they dropped the charges.
The client could not believe it!
Speeding: Lanark JP Court, 19th March 2014
Speeding Charge in excess of 100mph. We get Case dropped!
Details: The client was charged with speeding in excess of 100mph. This would normally result in a driving ban and a large
fine. However, we used a little known technicality at the trial diet and once this fatal technicality was drawn to the deputes attention, the case was
The client was ectatic!
Drink Driving: Edinburgh Sheriff Court, 17th March 2014
Charged with 2.5 X limit. Job and career at risk. Used Court process to get case dismissed!
Details: We represented a scientist charged with drink driving and persuaded the Court not to allow the crown an adjournment
sought by them on the basis that one of the arresting officers was on an extended honeymoon. The Crown had been aware of this for some time
and had not notified us or the court.
The client was over 2.5 times the drink driving limit and although had a stateable defence the case was thrown out without having to go to trial. Her
job and future profession were at risk.
Dangerous Driving: Glasgow Sheriff Court, March 2014
Saved Driving Licence even after client plead guilty!
Details: Client is a respected Surgeon who it was alleged drove his car through a red traffic light and down a one way
street in the face of oncoming motorists, who were seen to repeatedly flash their lights at him and had to take evasive action to avoid a collision.
He was followed by the police until he turned off where he was stopped and charged with dangerous driving. He faced a driving ban for at
least a year and required to sit an extended driving test if convicted of dangerous driving.
He originally plead guilty to dangerous driving and was about to return to court to be sentenced when he contacted us. We carefully looked at
the circumstances and managed to withdraw the plea to allow us to investigate the case. An offer to plead guilty to careless driving was rejected
initially by the Crown. It was accepted at the trial diet because we were able to illustrate the true context of the offence from our own
investigations including the use of photographs and our observations from attending at the scene.
Speeding: Perth Sheriff Court, 4th March 2014
Speeding at 95mph- Technical issue leads to case dismissal!
Details: Client charged with speeding 95mph. The Police used a Vascar in their vehicle to measure speed. However we
were able to challenge on a technical issue forcing the crown to request more time to gather evidence. We made a strong argument opposing this
and the court ruled refused the crown’s request and so the case was dismissed!
Careless Driving: Paisley JP Court, 25th Feb 2014
We persuade Crown to discontinue case!
Details: The client was a young new driver and doing a handbrake turn in a car when he hit the accelerator instead of the
brake and subsequently collided with a wall causing significant damage to the car. The client was being prosecuted for Careless Driving. This
would obviously have expensive implications for being able to obtain future insurance as well as the penalties for the offence. We were able to
make certain representations on the client?s behalf and the Crown agreed to discontinue case at the trial diet.
Death by Careless Driving: Perth Sherriff Court, 12th Feb 2014
Avoids up to 5 years in prison & a 12 month ban
Details: We were asked by another solicitor for help and represented the client who was charged with Death by Careless
Driving. Client did a 3 point turn on a country road with a national speed limit and restricted view when hit by a motorbike, tragically killing the
motorbiker.? Despite potentially facing a 5 year prison sentence we got the sentence reduced to just 300 hours community service and the
Speeding: Forfar JP Court, 5th Feb 2014
Speeding at 100.8mph - We get all charges dropped!
Details: The client was charged with driving at 100.8mph on dual carriageway. This would usually result in a
disqualification but because we identified a fatal technicality which the Crown conceded they couldn’t rectify, the client got off completely!
Failure to Provide Breath Test and Dangerous Driving:
Dumbarton Sheriff Court, 21st Jan 2014
We find a procedural error and crown accepts our Not Guilty plea!
Details: Client charged with failing to provide both a preliminary breath test and an intoximeter breath alcohol test as well as
dangerous driving. This combination of serious charges carries serious penalties.Refusal to provide sample captured on CCTV as was accused’s
At trial diet procedural error by police pointed out to Fiscal in court and accordingly pleas of not guilty to all charges accepted by crown.
Drink Driving: Dumbarton Sheriff Court,January 2014
We find a fatal technicality and get the case Dropped !
Details: Female charged with drunk driving at trial diet. A technicality was identified prior to the trial diet but for tactical
reasons we advised the Crown on the day of the trial. The Crown conceded the point, agreed that it was fatal to the Crown case and withdrew the
Dangerous Driving: Paisley Sheriff Court, Jan 2014
We save client from a 12 Month Mandatory Ban!
Details: Client appeared at a trial diet charged with dangerous driving by overtaking two vehicles on the opposing
carriageway in the face of oncoming traffic traffic which had to brake harshly to avoid a collision. This offence carries a mandatory minimum 12
month ban and a requirement to sit an extended driving test. A plea was negotiated down to careless driving and the client was fined £200 and
licence endorsed with only 5 penalty points.
Speeding Offences: Peebles JP Court, 16th Jan 2014
Client faces Totting-up Ban: We get Fiscal to drop charges!
Details: Client on 9 points had been to see another solicitor in Glasgow who
specialised in road traffic law about a speeding prosecution. He consulted us because he wanted a second opinion as he was worried about a totting up disqualification if convicted . At the trial diet we managed to persuade the Fiscal to drop the proceedings against the client.
Dangerous Driving: Edinburgh Sheriff court, 10th Jan 2014
Client collides with Taxi, then her car hits the driver and flees. We get the client a rare ’Absolute Discharge’!
Details: Client charged with dangerous driving by colliding with a London taxi and driving off. Taxi driver chased after her
and stopped her both got out and as the taxi driver was taking pictures in front of her car she drove the car at him colliding with him and causing
him to enter the roadway. A plea to careless driving was agreed and the client after hearing the extenuating circumstances was given an absolute
discharge with no points or fine. Truly an exceptional result.
Dangerous Driving: Paisley Sheriff Court, 9th Jan 2014
Speeding over 100mph, swerving on icy roads. Client faces Driving Ban but we get it reduced to just 3 points!
Details: Client prosecuted at trial diet for dangerous driving by driving in excess of 100mph in 70,60 and 50mph zones in freezing conditions overtaking vehicles and changing lanes sharply. ?After taking advantage of a number of technicalities the client was convicted at the trial diet of a minor speeding offence and was given 3 penalty points.
Dangerous Driving Case: Paisley JP Court
Speeding, undertaking police car almost causing collison. Faces Driving Ban but we get it reduced to just 5 points!
Details: A dangerous driving case in Paisley where the allegation was that the client was driving at excessive speed undertaking an unmarked police car while crossing over chevrons on the approach to a lane dividing crash barrier, causing the police car to brake harshly to avoid a collision and continuing along the motorway in heavy traffic tailgating and undertaking other vehicles. Charges reduced to careless driving and just 5 penalty points
"Thanks again for your help couldn’t have asked for a better result you definitely pulled that out that bag, don’t think you even
expected to pull off that result! appreciate it."
No Insurance Case: Hamilton JP Court
Client is a Police Inspector! We get a Not Guilty verdict on a Technicality!
Details: A no insurance case for a Scottish Police Inspector. We battle hard and manage to get a him acquitted based on a technicality. This is yet another example where our thorough knowledge and understanding of court and police procedures can break the prosecutors case. It should be noted that these are particularly difficult cases to defend because the Crown will fight very hard to win their case as they do not want to be seen to show any favouritism to the police.
The delighted client kindly sent us a thank you message:
"I’m going to recommend you to fellow police officers who find themselves being prosecuted for road traffic offences."
Careless Driving Case: Perth Justice of the Peace Court
Drives on wrong side of road towards oncoming Police car!
On 9 pts already, we get ban reduced from 6 months to 54 days!
Details: Client charged with careless driving, overtaking an hgv lorry on wrong side of road in face of an oncoming
vehicle which just happened to be an unmarked police vehicle with recording equipment. Police vehicle and lorry had to slow down to avoid
collision. Client on 9 live points. Avoided 6 months totting up ban 54 days imposed instead.
Why people ask, are your success rates so high?
Well it comes from representing clients charged with road traffic offences across Scotland over many years. Nothing beats extensive experience. Experience teaches us the important detail of how the police work, where they’re failings are, and how well (or not )the cases are prepared for prosecution. We know exactly what must be done to prove a case. We know where cases often break down and what to look for. We learn from experience which strategies work best for certain types of cases.
Get the Best ! Call us Now on Freephone 0800 567 7810
We assume nothing and often think out the box. If we don’t get what we want, we will not hesitate to seek a court order for delivery of documents and other important evidence. We are immensely proud of our successes. We keep our strategies protected and whenever all of our solicitors are in court we will instruct a QC Senior Advocate rather than another solicitor to conduct a trial to ensure our strategies are not emulated by others.
What makes us different is that we are able to demonstrate on a daily basis a constant stream of delighted clients who were initially facing very bleak outcomes.
If ever we lose a case our client will be left feeling no better job could have be done. We will closely examine the case again to see if any other approach or detail would have been of benefit. We will also carefully consider the question of an appeal against conviction.