Daily Record Motoring Section – The Road Traffic Lawyer Q & A

Q. I have received a court citationaccusing me of speeding at 101mphon the A74(M) in Dumfries. I haveheard that anything over 100mph willattract a period of dis ...

Q. I have received a court citation accusing me of speeding at 101mph on the A74(M) in Dumfries. I have heard that anything over 100mph will attract a period of disqualification. Is this correct and do I need a lawyer if I am pleading guilty? Colin W, Newcastle

A. You may wish to consider legal representation. It is incorrect to assume that speeds in excess of 100mph will automatically attract a period of disqualification, although you should be in a position to properly address the court in mitigation. This can be done through a solicitor or by attending to matters yourself. I would be confident that Dumfries Justice of the Peace Court will not impose a period of disqualification at 101mph.

Q. I am a doctor and I was responding to an emergency call-out to an elderly patient. I was clocked by a speed camera doing 86mph in a 60mph limit. I have been asked to attend Lanark JP Court next month.

I want to plead guilty. Can I avoid penalty points because I was acting in an emergency? Lucinda, Hamilton

A. The Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 makes provision, in certain circumstances, for the court to refrain from disqualifying in respect of an offence carrying obligatory disqualification or to refrain from endorsing a licence in respect of an endorseable offence. Special reasons are mitigating circumstances that fall short of an absolute defence in law and relate to the offence rather than the personal circumstances of an accused. A doctor responding to an emergency would meet the legal test.

Q. I have spoken to two different solicitors about my forthcoming careless driving case at Edinburgh. One has told me to plead guilty and the other has told me to plead not guilty. What should I do?Dr A, Livingston

A. Ultimately, it is for you to consider what has been discussed and thereafter whose advice you should accept. It may also be prudent to do your research on the respective firms to ascertain their reputation and track record in similar cases. Credible testimonials from previous clients would also be a good indicator of whom you should place your trust in.