Driving Whilst Using A Mobile
It is a criminal offence to use a mobile phone whilst you are driving a motor vehicle. Many people don’t realise that this applies even when the vehicle isn’t moving; if you use your mobile phone whilst stationary at traffic lights with the handbrake on, you are still committing the offence; but if you were parked at the side of the road at the time, you might have a defence.
Another common myth is that you can only be guilty if you were actually talking on the phone. If you read or send a text message whilst behind the wheel, or listen to a voice message, or use an app, you can still be convicted of the offence. You can even be convicted simply for picking up the mobile in your hand to look at the screen.
Anybody caught using their mobile phone whilst driving is automatically given 3 penalty points. If you are approaching 12 points on your licence, the consequences of this could be disastrous.
If you deny the offence, we can put our trial expertise to use on your behalf, challenging the evidence presented by the police. If you admit using your phone whilst driving, there might be special reasons in your case why the magistrates should not impose the penalty points. If so, we can argue your case before the magistrates so you stand the best chance of avoiding the points.
1. Don’t panic!
Sometimes things aren’t as bad as they may first appear.
2. Don’t delay in taking legal advice.
These days, you can go directly to a barrister (rather than using a solicitor) for advice. The sooner you tell us about the circumstances surrounding your case, the more time there is to get information together to ensure we get the best possible outcome.
3. Make sure you comply with any deadlines given by the police or court.
If you don’t comply with deadline dates, you could be making things a whole lot worse for yourself. Failure to respond to a notice of intended prosecution means you have committed a further offence.
4. You can represent yourself in Court if you wish.
If you do represent yourself in court, we recommend that for ‘peace of mind’ you ask us for an advice about your case. That way, you are bit more prepared. We can tell you what to expect on the day, your likely sentence and how best to present yourself to the magistrates.
5. You can appeal the decision
If you don’t get the outcome you expected, you can appeal on the grounds of a procedural or legal error.
The Direct Gov website has more detailed information on what the penalties are and when it is considered safe to use your phone.