You are facing a Motoring Offence? Should you engage a lawyer and, if so, should it be a solicitor or a barrister?

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Introduction

If the matter you face can be dealt with by the endorsement of penalty points and a fine without the need for you to attend court and without risk of a driving disqualification then why should you engage a lawyer at all? On the other hand, if you are at risk of a harsh sentence and / or a driving disqualification you may think that you need informed advice and skilled representation in court to seek to mitigate the penalties.

What kind of lawyer should you choose?

  • Do you want a lawyer who specialises in motoring cases? Most criminal solicitors and barristers take this kind of case but in the same way your GP might ‘specialise’ in ‘flu ie very few specialise in it to the exclusion of other areas of work. In fact, for most, privately funded work, such as most motoring cases, (as opposed to legal aid matters) is a tiny part of their workload.

  • Do you want a solicitor or a barrister? Generally, barristers are regarded as experts in advocacy and act as consultants for solicitors when they need advice whereas the role of solicitors includes investigatory work and case preparation. If you need the latter, because, for example, you face a trial requiring investigation and litigation skills, you may think a solicitor is better for you. On the other hand, if you need straightforward advice and expert court room representation you may think a barrister’s expertise is better suited to your case.

  • Are you someone who accepts what you are told at face value? If not, you might wish to make your own investigations into the skill and reputation of the lawyers you are considering. You should be able to do this easily by making a few checks. If there are no live testimonial links on their websites then you may conclude that the site does not allow any previous client to leave a review but only those who obtained favourable results. This may concern you. Why is there no live link? If there is a live link, controlled by a third party such as Bing, Google or Trustpilot, then do read the reviews and make up your own mind.

  • Check the Linked In in profile of the individual concerned. Don’t just look at the endorsements but check the personal recommendations which, you may think, carry much more weight.

  • Put names into a search engine to see what the lawyers are known for and whether they have authored articles and case studies concerning the type of allegation you face. If not, draw your own conclusions.

Conclusion

It is fairly simple with just a few checks to learn a great deal about any individual lawyer. If your driving licence is important to you why wouldn’t you make such checks either about an individual or a Firm of solicitors? If your case requires the support of a team and litigation services you may think you should consider engaging a solicitor. If, on the other hand, you want continuity of advice and representation from start to finish you may think that your case is better suited to a barrister.

Imagine any decision into which you would put a deal of effort, for example, your choice of a second-hand car for your child. Would you just buy the cheapest or accept what you were told by a car dealer? If not, then why wouldn’t you take at least as much care over your choice of lawyer?

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