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Hello, I am a solicitor with over 15 years experience. I will try to help you with this.
The test for careless driving cases is whether your driving fell below the standard expected of a competent driver, or that you did not show reasonable consideration for other pedestrians and vehicles on the road. The definitions above are obviously open to interpretation and can include a great variety of circumstances. On the assumption that you do not accept your driving was careless then you should instruct a solicitor to represent you in the proceedings. You will not get legal aid to defend the case and unless your insurance covers criminal legal fees you will need to instruct a solicitor privately.
YOu could represent yourself privately but it is unlikely you will get a better outcome on your own than with a solicitor. The sentencing range is 3-9 points and in some circumstances a disqualification. A fine is also very likely.
Is that on to of the court costs?
You can instruct a specialist road traffic form of which there are many, easy to find on the internet or a local criminal defence firm who may actually know the local magistrates. Your choice really.
If convicted yes you would have to pay a contribution to prosecution costs. Also you wold have to pay the victim surcharge (a tax on being convicted). If you were found not guilty then you would probably get an order for some but not all of your legal costs to be paid from Central Funds.
You should be able to get good representation in a case that has a half day magistrates court trial for a fixed fee of less than £1500.00 plus disbursements if any.
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