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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 71256
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Traffic Law
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morning, my issue is regarding driving whilst on a ban... potentially

facing a custodial sentence for... Show More
facing a custodial sentence for being stopped by police while taking my son to primary school in the morning. would just like to know what i can say to help the court consider an alternative form of punishment...
can you help?
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Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.

Why were you banned? For how long?

Why were you driving on this occasion?


Customer reply replied 3 years ago.

was a drive whilst "very slightly" (according to breatherliser test) over legal achohol limit without insurance. banned for 3yrs

driving on this occasion - was trying to get my 3yr old son to school on time. was stopped with my son in the car.

i was worried about getting him to school on time as i have constant struggle with his mother and did not want the school having to call her should i be late. with that on my mind i stupidly took the risk.

3 years? Why was it 3 years? Was it second or 3rd offence?
Can I have full details of the ban please?
What was different about this occasion to school if you have constant problem with the mother?
Customer reply replied 3 years ago.

oh ok sorry was just answering ur qs directly and secifically. This currenly is the 3rd offense. 1st offence was 1 year ban. 2nd offence i believed ban was over but turned out i had 1 month left and was given 3 years.

relationship with mother has in the past been fine but now she seems to b trying to build a case against me based on any lil errors. (not that i say this to make an excuse, just trying to present my mindset tat the time.)

she has blocked me from contact her directly on her fone to speak to my five year old son, and has restricted me to giving her four days notice when i wish to see him. might i add we havnt bben to court or any form of mediation. she has also restricted communication with her regarding our son to only paper form - jotting down my concerns on a piece of paper and she replies accordingly.

The climate of our relationship is what has made this occasion different from the others.

my usual form of travel was train from bexleyheath to deptford, where his school is. usual train was missed and taking the nxt one would have certainly made me at leadt 30-40mins late which would warrant his school to contact her. tbh i slightly paniced!

i understand the gravity to my situation, i would wish to know what i can say to allow the court to give me an alternative punishment other than custodial and prevent me being separated from my son for any length of time, and somehow see that i was not totally negligent or showed blatant disregard for the law, and distinguish me from the usual suspect.... alternative sentence i.e. curfew, suspended sentance etc...

Customer reply replied 3 years ago.

hello, still there? unfortunately i have to head to work in the next four trying to load gmail on my phone so i can check your reply bfor i leave...

Also would it at all help that i am a young parent, 28yrs old and working...

Thank you for your time thus far...

I will look at this now?
Customer reply replied 3 years ago.

Thank u v much Jo

Ok. Thanks.
How long ago were you banned?
How much of the ban have you served?
Customer reply replied 3 years ago.

Cant remembr off the top of my head im affraid...roughly a year id b guessing...

so served around that time period.

Apologies for the delay. Im @ wrk n can only check my phone every so often..

Thank you.
It's no problem. I'm here now so you can respond when you like.
It is fair to say that magistrates do get very stroppy about driving whilst disqualified. Most of them are only there because they are on power trips and they get very annoyed when they place people on bans and they are breached.
It is aggravated by the fact that you do have a history of offending although I think you are saying that you have a history of committing traffic offences rather than breaching the order not to drive? It is also aggravated by the fact that you had a child with you.
If this is the first time that you have been picked up for driving whilst disqualified then I would not expect a custody sentence. They would probably markets with unpaid work or with a curfew although the latter has no real nexus to the offence.
If you are saying that you have been prosecuted three times before for driving whilst disqualified then you have to be realistic and accept the fact that custody is a very real risk. Your only real hope is that they might suspend the sentence. Whether they would not really depends. I see what you're saying that you are a person with no issues or pro-criminal attitudes but the trouble with that is that driving whilst disqualified does very often affect people in that situation. Those are the people who have work commitments and need to get about in a way that people with more obvious issues do not.
Sorry if that is bad news. You do have the advantage of having served a fairly long period of the ban.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer reply replied 3 years ago.

I understand. Your information has been helpful. Going forward id just like to know how I should present myself/case in order to try and get a suspended sentence or unpaid wrk?

Am I able to submit my own evidence to help mitigate my case?

Would the mention of im in employment, not wanting to b seperated from my son or willingness to do unpaid wrk etc help my stance at all...?

Yes, you can self represents. It isn't a brilliant idea but you can do it.
A person in work with family commitments is generally considered more useful to society than one without but it doesn't of itself mean that you will not get custody.
What this will come down to is how many times you have done this.
Customer reply replied 3 years ago.

I understand. Last couple of qs...

Firstly, what exactly do u mean by self represent? U talkin in terms of submit my own evidence of my usefulness to society n fam commitments or do u mean simply representing myself in court?

Secondly, what exactly would you advise I say in order to persuade the courts into giving me a Suspended custodial rather than immediate custody sentences?

Representing yourself in court.
You can only tell the truth. This will come down to how many times you have done this. If this is the first time you probably will avoid custody. If it is the third then probably not.
You can emphasise the impact of immediate custody upon you by reference to employment and family. We don't really know on what basis Magistrates make decisions when they retire. Everything is always a double edged sword. They could say that because you had these commitments you should have known better. I suspect the truth is that they just decide which outcome they want to reach and then look for evidence to support it.
Customer reply replied 3 years ago.

I see... so really what it comes down to is whether I can convey my remorse, try to distinguish myself, and really the rest is down to thier discretion?

Is this the first driving whilst disqualified?
Customer reply replied 3 years ago.

This current occasion is my 2nd driving whilst disq

You are on the borderline then.
Generally speaking people avoid it on the first occasion and sometimes on the second but not on the third.
You will just have to emphasis your guilty plea, remorse, the fact that this was an unusual situation etc.
Customer reply replied 3 years ago.

Ok I understand. I already knew the law wasnt necessarily on my side but wanted to equipt myself with the general aspects of my situation. You have helped me greatly. Thank you.

How can I emphasis my guilty plea other than say I plea guilty...? (Last qs I promise!)

That is all you do.
You shouldn't need to make that point as it is something they should recognise without being reminded really but it is your best point.
Customer reply replied 3 years ago.

Sry, I mean "how" would I Emphasis it?

Is there a particular way ir things I should say that will best help me?

Not really.
You just make the point that you have pleaded guilty and so are entitled to credit for a guilty plea.
I am happy to continue with this but please leave feedback for my answer.