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What is the cost to me if I get a driving conviction?

May 13, 2020 by in category Drink Driving, Drug Driving, News with 0 and 0
Home > News > Drink Driving > What is the cost to me if I get a driving conviction?
what is the cost to me for a motoring conviction

The majority of people will be aware of the immediate repercussions in terms of penalty and sentence should they be convicted of a motoring offence. For example, a drink/drug drive conviction will see you disqualified from driving for a mandatory minimum period of 12 months and an unlimited fine, community order or in the most extreme cases, a prison sentence. If you are somewhat of a “speed demon” and clock up 12 penalty points on your driving licence in a 3 year period, you will be facing at least a 6 month totting up driving disqualification.

The loss of your ability to drive clearly causes inconvenience to most motorists and there is usually a far reaching impact on most areas of life for the majority of people. Be that getting to and from work, nipping to the shops or maybe losing your livelihood as driving is a part of your work. However, there are also other costs that come with a conviction. We have devised a number of calculators to assist you in measuring the financial impact of a conviction to enable you to weigh up your options before attending court and entering your plea. We have explained in more detail below what these often lesser known costs are and how they are calculated.

driving cost calculators

Court Costs and Fines

Should you be convicted of any motoring offence and the matter goes to a Court hearing, you will, in addition to an imposition of penalty points or a driving disqualification depending on the offence, receive a fine and be ordered to pay Court costs.

The Court impose a fine ordinarily linked to an offender’s income with a number of caps for less serious offences. For more serious offences such as drink driving, the fine is unlimited. The fine is imposed as part of the punitive element of a sentence.

Should you be at Court for an offence that is serious enough to warrant a community order or in exceptional circumstances a custodial sentence, you will not usually receive a financial penalty in addition to this.

A fine is calculated using an individual’s income and is in some instances unlimited.

The situation regarding Court costs is a little more complicated. The costs awarded by the Court to be paid by the offender is heavily dependent upon the stage of conviction in the court proceedings. For example a guilty plea to drink/drug driving entered at the first opportunity will result in costs of £85.00 being ordered. However, if you were to defend an allegation but convicted following a trial, Court costs are much more likely to be in the region of £500.00-£1,000.00. This reflects the amount of time taken up by a trial in the Magistrates’ Court.

It is worth noting that should you successfully defend the allegation you face and be acquitted, as the vast majority of our clients who plead not guilty are, you would face no financial penalties, points or disqualification and in most cases, you are also entitled to recover a small proportion of your legal fees.

Increased Insurance

increased car insuranceAny driving conviction will have a long-lasting impact on your motor insurance policy. The imposition of penalty points will see your annual costs increase for the next 5 years. This is despite the penalty points only being active on your driving licence for 3 years.

However, should you be convicted of a more serious offence such as drink or drug driving, you will find that many mainstream insurers may not even be willing to renew your policy. The specialist insurance brokers who will insure you, take advantage of the reduced number of providers and do so charging a significant premium.

A drink/drug drive conviction remains on your driving record for 11 years. Again, insurers take your conviction into account for a 5 year period. Therefore you could find that your policy prices increase year on year for some time. For many people it is this increased cost that will hit your pocket far more than any other aspect of the conviction.

Other Expenses

The simplest of things may start to cost you more and more money should you be off the road. For example, getting public transport or paying for taxis to name just two day to day expenses that may be incurred.

For an accurate view on what your insurance policy may increase by depending on the offence alleged, please use our Hidden Costs Calculator.

When you have a better idea of the likely financial impact you face following conviction, you can make a more informed decision about the best way forwards for you. And of course, we welcome you to contact our professional team of legal experts to offer further guidance on the legal choices available.

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Geoffrey Miller Solicitors are specialists defending drivers nationwide for all types of driving offences. Call our team of expert driving offence solicitors for some free initial advice.

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