Funding Motoring Law Cases
When you call our offices, one of our staff will take some brief details about you and your case which will be passed to one of our solicitors. You will then be telephoned by one of our solicitors who will provide you with some brief, preliminary advice free of charge. As we receive a large volume of enquiries and because this is a free service, we do limit these calls to 5 minutes.
Generally legal aid is not available for motoring cases, save for some serious or complex cases where a person is also financially eligible. More often than not, motoring cases are privately funded.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority Transparency Rules require us to publish details of costs for the provision of advice and representation at the magistrates’ court in relation to summary only offences dealt with at a single hearing.
We often represent clients on a fixed-fee basis. The fee is calculated on the basis of the amount of work we believe will be involved in a case. For straight forward not guilty/guilty plea case dealt with in one of our local courts (St Albans Magistrates’ Court) our usual fixed-fee would be £750 plus VAT and travel disbursements at 45p/mile and parking (a total of approximately £12.20 for St Albans) and VAT*. This fee includes:
• Obtaining and considering evidence
• Taking your instructions at court
• Advising you regarding the strength of evidence, plea and likely sentence
• Representation in court in a single hearing
If a pre-court conference is required, an additional fee of £325 plus VAT* will be charged.
More lengthy and complex cases such as an exceptional hardship or special reasons hearing would attract a fixed-fee in the region of £1,250 plus VAT* in addition to an initial conference.
The costs of representation at trial/special reasons would usually start at £2,500 plus disbursements and VAT*, the cost being dependant upon the complexity of the case and the length of trial.
It is difficult to give any sort of timescale as to how long any case will take to conclude as this depends on the court listing system.
If we are not representing you for a fixed fee, our hourly rates are as follows:
“It is difficult to give any sort of timescale as to how long any case will take to conclude as this depends on the court listing system. Many cases can be dealt with in one hearing. If a case is adjourned for sentence then the sentencing hearing will usually take place 3 weeks after the first hearing. If a case is adjourned for trial/special reasons/exceptional hardship hearing then this will usually take place within 3 – 6 months of the first appearance. However, each court has a different workload/backlog so it is difficult to say with any accuracy how long a case will take to conclude.”
In terms of how much work is required to conclude a case depends upon the complexity of the case, the number of witnesses, whether expert evidence is required and the length of time the hearing takes in court and any waiting time at court. The following is an approximate guide for straightforward cases which do not involve:”
|Driving with excess alcohol, guilty plea, no expert evidence and dealt with in one hearing without a pre-sentence report||3 hours||estimated cost £750 – £825*|
|Speeding, guilty plea||3 hours||estimated cost £1,250 – £1,375*|
|Exceptional hardship argument with no additional witnesses||5 hours||estimated cost £2,500 – £2,750*|
|Trial/special reasons argument with no additional witnesses or expert evidence||10 hours||estimated cost £2,250 – £2,500*|
|*plus travel which is charged at half our usually hourly rates, disbursements and VAT which is charged at the rate of 20%.|
The above examples are for straightforward cases which do not involve:
- instruction of any expert witnesses
- taking statements from any witnesses
- advice and assistance in relation to a special reasons hearing
- advice or assistance in relation to any appeal”
Typical disbursements consist of mileage to court from our offices in Hemel Hempstead and parking. Where expert evidence is required, the typical cost of a forensic toxicology report would be in the region of £275 plus VAT. Additional fees would be incurred if the expert was required to attend court which would typically be in the region £500 to £1,000 depending 1,000 plus VAT for the day.
Supervisors Tina Wagon
*VAT is currently charged at the rate of 20%