Will you be worse off for pleading not guilty?
We often get asked ‘If I plead not guilty won’t the punishment be more severe if I lose the case’?
If you were to be fined on a guilty plea at the first hearing with weekly earnings of £300 the amount of the fine would be around £300 less third discount of £100 meaning the fine is £200.
If you plead not guilty then change plea to guilty later in the case before trial your discount will be around a quarter meaning your fine will be £225.
So for a fine for someone earning £300 per week you are worse off by £25 in financial penalties.
You will see that your punishment will not be more severe if you lose the case but there may be a slight loss of discount.
You therefore have nothing to lose from trying to avoid a driving ban with a not guilty plea.
We always keep under review your chances of success once we have considered all the evidence nearer the trial.
There may be costs claimed by the prosecution for not guilty plea cases but we minimise your exposure to such costs by notifying the other side in advance of trial of a change of plea to guilty if we do not think you are likely to succeed after going through all the evidence. This means they are less likely to be able to claim for the lawyer preparing to attend the trial.
If we successfully defend the case you are entitled to have a proportion, if not all your legal fees reimbursed and you will not have to pay any Court costs, fines or prosecution costs.
If we cannot find a way to avoid a driving ban and it becomes necessary to change the plea to guilty plea before trial we can still ask for the drink driving awareness course (25% off driving ban) which equates to up to a 50% ban reduction when added to the 25% for late guilty plea which is available at the Court’s discretion.
Obviously it is to be hoped that you can maintain your not guilty plea to trial and you become one of our many success stories.
Call us now on 0800 044 3730 to find out how we can help you