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Linda crashed her car drink driving. A case study

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Introduction

Linda had never been in trouble with the police in her life and she had a clean driving licence.  But, the last few years had been traumatic for her in that she had had relationship issues that left her needing counselling.  Then suddenly her mother’s care needs and pressure of work also added to the load.  Almost without realising it she had begun to drink more frequently until one day she crashed her car and was found to be more than double the legal limit!  She was arrested and interviewed and then bailed to attend court.  She looked for a lawyer online to represent her, checking Google and Trustpilot reviews, and then rang Kent Traffic Law.

The Initial Call

I usually take calls as clients invariably have questions to which they seek authoratitive answers.  If a clerk or paralegal answers the phone instead the risk is that, with the best will in the world, s/he cannot credibly answer the questions as they don’t personally have the advocacy experience or the qualifications to do so.  Although during an initial call I cannot give formal ‘legal advice’ I can, usually, give broad guidance as to the way forward.  In Linda’s case she had been involved in a crash and had written her car off.  I quoted Linda a fixed fee and she considered matters before calling back to book an appointment to meet.

The Meeting

We met on a pre-arranged date in a local hotel and discussed the case and the background facts.  I advised Linda of the sentencing guidelines and was able to reassure her that her case was not a ‘prison’ case.  I also advised her to obtain a reference from the Forward Trust as we would need to show this to the court.  (The Forward Trust is an organisation that helps those with addictive alcohol issues.)  I ensured that Linda was aware of the likely procedure at court so that she knew what to expect and agreed to meet her early on the day of her appearance (to answer any last-minute questions and to ensure that I would have time to speak to the prosecutor before her case was called on).

At Court

The Magistrate accepted the mitigation in full.  Consequently, he sentenced Linda at the lenient end of the relevant sentencing guidelines.  He also ruled that Linda should be allowed to take a drink drive rehabilitation course.  (Once completed this affords Defendants a 25% reduction in the length of the disqualification.)  Although mortified at having to appear in court Linda was enormously relieved to have been dealt with so sympathetically.  We spoke afterwards and she stated,

‘I couldn’t have done it without you.’

I asked her if she had spoken to other law firms.  She said that she had and that they quoted cheaper prices but none spoke to her for any length during the initial call.  This persuaded her, as well as reading online reviews, that she should book me.  She said that she doubted the other lawyers would have taken so much care at court (judging by the way they spoke to her on the phone) and that the outcome would probably have been worse. Although there is never any guarantee of the outcome sought Defendants should always have complete confidence in the ability and professionalism of their lawyers so that they can be sure the sentence imposed was the best that their circumstances would allow.  Linda left court knowing that she had obtained the best possible outcome given the facts of her case.

If you would like to speak to me, Sunil Rupasinha, for an initial discussion, without obligation, please don’t hesitate to call.

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