Motoring offences (summary only offences)
Price Transparency Information for Summary Motoring Offences
A. A summary motoring offence is one that must be heard in the magistrates’ court, typically being a matter charged under Part 1 Road Traffic Act 1988 and s89 Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. This guide does not apply to any matter that could go to the Crown Court.
B. Guilty Pleas
For any summary motoring offence that will be a guilty plea at the first hearing of the case, our charges will be £500 plus VAT.
(i) Work included in the fixed price
- Taking your instructions
- Obtaining and considering prosecution evidence
- Advising on evidence, plea, and likely sentence
- Representation at a single hearing at Leicester Magistrates’ Court
- Advising on possible appeal against sentence
(ii) Key Stages in dealing with a Guilty Plea
- Initial meeting with one of our team for you to provide instructions
- As appropriate, we will apply for prosecution papers including details of any interview conducted by the police with you
- We will explain court procedures, so you know what to expect at the hearing, and advise you on the likely sentence
- We will advise you on the use of character witness letters, to include whether to obtain them and the appropriate content
- We will liaise with the court and advise you regarding the time and date of your hearing
- On the date of hearing, we will meet you at court in advance of the scheduled hearing time and confirm any last minute instructions you may have
- We will represent you at the hearing, presenting your mitigation
- We will advise you after the hearing regarding the sentence and whether an appeal is appropriate.
Typically, a case will be started by the prosecution sending you a Postal Requisition. That may be many months after the date of the offence, although there is a time limit of 6 months within which most proceedings must be commenced.
The Postal Requisition is likely to give you 3 or 4 weeks’ notice of a hearing date, but that date may be changed by the court.
On the date of hearing you are likely to be at court for between 1 and 3 hours in total, but the actual hearing may be less than 30 minutes.
(iv) Work NOT included in the fixed price
- Additional hearings due to adjournments beyond our control
- Additional applications such as:
– arguing that ‘special reasons’ apply to avoid disqualification
– arguing that a totting up disqualification, due to you having accumulated 12 or more points on your licence, should not be imposed due to ‘exceptional hardship’
– a fact-finding hearing conducted by the court to determine the proper basis for sentence when this is not agreed by prosecution and defence (known as Newton hearing)
- Instructing expert witnesses
- Cost of time at the hourly rates set out below and mileage for travel to courts other than Leicester Magistrates’ Court
- Cost of a copy of the official record from the court (Memorandum of Conviction) where that may be needed
- Any other additional work, where the initial instructions are for a not guilty plea that is subsequently changed to guilty
(v) Hourly charges and cost of travel
We will advise you of the reason for needing extra expenditure and provide an estimate before incurring any such costs.
Our hourly rates are as follows:
- Senior solicitors £220 plus VAT
- Other solicitors £200 plus VAT
- Legal Executive £180 plus VAT
- Paralegal £150 plus VAT
- Travel to courts other than Leicester Magistrates’ Court will be charged at 45p per mile plus VAT.
- VAT is charged at the standard rate, details of which can be found here.
C. Not Guilty Pleas
(i) The costs for the first hearing of the case will be the same as quoted above for a guilty plea hearing. The difference is that at the hearing your not guilty plea will be entered, and the court will then try to manage the case by enquiring into the nature of the defence and which witnesses will be called by the prosecution and defence. The court will try to ascertain how long the trial will last and then fix the hearing date accordingly.
(ii) The costs of a trial will depend on a variety of factors such as where your trial will be held, the number of witnesses, whether any expert witnesses will be required, and the nature and complexity of the case. It will only be possible to provide you with an estimate for the costs of trial once we have clarified the issues and decided with you the strategy for pursuing the matter.
(iii) Our overall charges will depend upon the member or members of our team who need to be involved in the preparation and hearing of your case and that time and mileage will be charged at the rates set out in section B(v) above.
(iv) Typically the range of fees for the preparation and hearing of a summary motoring offence where a not guilty plea is lodged is between £1,500 and £3,000 plus VAT plus any additional costs such as the costs of reports and/or attendance from expert witnesses and costs of obtaining records from the court or elsewhere. This is not an exhaustive list of those extra costs which will depend on the circumstances of the case.
For details of members of our team who may work on your matter please view Our People page here. Members of the team are supervised by Mike Garvey, who is a Partner and Head of Department, and Duncan Jefferson, who is also a Partner in the firm.