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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My son has been charged with in charge of a motor vehicle –

Customer Question

My son has been charged with in charge of a motor vehicle – alcohol level above limit. He fell asleep in his car trying to get hold of his girlfriend to see if he could stay the night. He did not want to just turn up, as she still lives with her parents.
He was sat in the front seat, and had the engine running trying to keep warm!!
We have phone records to show that he was trying to ring her, and she has records of her calls back to him. His breath test result was 55. We live in the country, and he works 15 miles away, and without his license his job would probably be lost. He is thinking of pleading not guilty at the first hearing as he wants to put his mitigation to the court, would the second hearing still be at magistrates or would it be at crown court.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Was he in the driver's seat with the engine running?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

FOR JOMO1972



yes he was

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I'm really sorry but he should be pleading guilty.

There is stacks of case law which says that if you are sitting in a driver's seat with the engine running then you are in charge of a motor vehicle.

Whether he attempt to actually move the car or not is a non issue and the fact that he called his girlfriend really isn't particularly good mitigation of itself.

If he is intent upon pleading not guilty then he is free to do so but its a bad idea because he will lose at trial and have to pay costs.

Probably if he tells the court his account they would tell him to see the duty solicitor who would tell him to plead anyway.

This is a summary only offence so it can only be heard at the Magistrates. The advantage of that here is that at least if he raises an account that doesn't amount to a defence and loses at trial then the costs would only be about £600.

Sorry thats probably not the answer you wanted but it is the position that you have and I have a duty to give you truthful and accurate information even though its not what I want to say.

Hope this helps. Please rate my answer OK SERVICE or above and I can answer your related questions.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69371
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

FOR JOMO1972



Are you saying if he pleads guilty first time, he would still be able to give his account of the situation and ask the court to seriously consider not disqualifying, as my understanding is that a disqualification for the charge and breath level that he has is discretionary.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
It doesn't really matter when he pleads from the point of view of disqualification.

It is discretionary with drunk in charge. They can just add points. It does depend on the reading and this isn't the highest.

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