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If you have been convicted of an offence by the Magistrates’ Court you have an automatic right to appeal to the Crown Court. Appeals are heard by a Crown Court Judge and two Magistrates. They are conducted in the same manner as a trial before the Magistrates’ Court and entail a rehearing of all the evidence. Therefore, a conviction and potential disqualification by the Magistrates’ Court need not be the end of the line. For example, Mr A appealed before Derby Crown Court against his conviction for drink driving. He had provided a positive breath sample at the police station but after initially refusing the chance of a blood test, he changed his mind. The police did not give him a second chance. On appeal, one of our barristers successfully argued that this was against the spirit of the law and that therefore the evidence of his positive test was not admissible. The appeal was successful and Mr A kept his licence.

Even if you have already been convicted of a motoring offence, securing representation of one of our specialist lawyers may yet lead to the retention of your licence. However, there are strict time limits in relation to appealing convictions so if you think you may have a case, contact one of our barristers today.


Driverless cars – it’s the future!

Driverless cars were once the preserve of science-fiction films, but from January 2015 they will be a reality on the UK roads. But what about the law that currently governs road users? How will they apply to driverless cars being used on public roads?

Just because a car can be driven autonomously, this won’t mean that drivers are released from all of their obligations. The term ‘driverless vehicle’ covers all sorts of functions that already exist on many cars already – such as cruise control, automatic braking and self-parking functions.

However, the government recognises that driverless vehicles have implications for the laws and regulations governing public roads. That’s why they are currently reviewing the legal and insurance issues surrounding driverless cars. The results of this review and the regulatory changes required will be announced at the end of the year, so if you’re thinking of getting a driverless car for Christmas, make sure you also get the low down on what new laws will govern you.

There is no doubt that whilst the technological hurdles surrounding driverless cars have been overcome, the legal hurdles are yet to come! So watch this space for details.