In this situation, do you advise i need a solicitor to represent me at court?
Is it a bad idea to represent myself?
What is my likely sentence?
Like a lot of other people charged with drink driving, i have done this before but not been caught although never to the alcohol limit i was on this occasion. Should i admit to previous stupidities when asked or would it damage my sentence. I am really worried about getting a custodial sentence.
The charge reads ".......the proportion of alcohol in my breathe, namely 136 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath......."
The Police said this was 4 times over.
I accept thereading - is this 4 times over?
Thank you for your honesty, i now even more appreciate how stupid and irresponsible i have been.
The desk sargent said he had never seen anyone get a custodial sentence for a first offence, even when highlighting the high reading to me. Hence i am shocked by your response re possible custody.
When you say "Despite the starting point being custody, if you plead guilty then probably that would knock it down into a high-level community order or a suspended sentence" Is this your experience or is a custodial sentence still possible in your experience - especially for a first offence and no other criminal convictions.
Should i say as a result of the charge i am seeking help from my GP for an alcohol problem, or would it harm my case to admit to this?
A short custodial sentence would mean i lose my job of 20 years standing. I cannot afford to lose my income due to supporting my family household expenses. My wife's job is currently at risk which would mean we could lose the family home. Should i make reference to this?
I will get in touch with a solicitor tomorrow - should it be a drink driving / motoring specialist?
Thank you, ***** ***** is very much apprecaited and has opended my mind that i need legal representation.
Thank you for your advice Jo, it is very much appreciated and as a result i will consult a solicitor tomorrow because i wouldn't want to risk the Duty Solicitor because i think i can only see him / her on the day itself and this in itself would cause me no end of worry.
Whilst your advice is deeply worrying i am so glad that i looked up this service and "thank you" for your honest responses. I will be rating you in the highest category.
As a final question, any idea how much a solicitor will charge? I ask because i haven't the time to shop around and compare costs because my court appearance is on 19th May only 2 weeks away. Hence i just need a general feel for value for money cost range.
When you say "Just to make clear that although the sentencing guidelines do say the starting point is custody you would probably avoid it"
I know you have to use the word "probably" and that's fine because you can't say 100% because it depens on the Magistrate concerned and no doubt their mood on the day towards a high reading drink driver first time offender
In my circumstances, given i accept the ban, the court costs, fine imposed, the high level community order and that my sole desire is to avoid any form of custodial sentence, rather than seek a legal rep beforehand can i probably rely on securing my sole aim by speaking with the duty solicitor on the day and explain my sole aim and acceptance of any other sentence?
And can i speak with him / her before the court date?
I am assuming the duty solicitor is at NIL cost ? Is this right?
Sorry for keeping on hassling you
Thank again Jo
To clarify, can i see the duty solicitor before the court appearance date? Or is it ony on the day if i turn up early and no gurantees to see him/her? Although it's likely i can see him/her given sentencing starting point.
Should i provide an employer reference explaining the offence is out of charachter? And with employer setting out my positives.
Should i write a letter to the Magistrate? setting out my remorse and mitigation - i.e. nobody else involved. No accident. It's a first time offence, never been in trouble before in any sort of kind, no previous criminal convictions, a clean driving licence, i have genuine remorse, the distance to be driven was short 3 to 3.5 miles, fully accepting what I did was wrong, it will not happen again.
Also what is a high level community order likely to be; and can i do this in the evenungs and/or weekends? This is because i work 9 - 5 Mon - Fri
Thanks again Jo
What's an alchol order?
Based on probably i won't get a custodial sentence, is it probably best I go with the duty solicitor on the day?
Or seek private representation?
Will the prosecution address me direct? What kind of questions?
Will the magistrates address me direct? What kind of questions?
That's a relief !
"Huge thank you" for the advice today Jo, the best £37 I have ever spent
Best wishes and take care x