As Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce spend their first days behind bars, they might be reflecting upon what they ought to have done when that Notice of Intended Prosecution dropped through their letterbox all those years ago.
Anxious to avoid disqualification from driving, Mr Huhne asked his then wife Vicky Pryce to take his speeding points for him and in doing so the pair committed the very serious offence of perverting the course of justice. Ironically, they have both ended up sentenced to eight months in prison for trying to avoid conviction for a non-imprisonable offence and Mr Huhne’s political career is almost certainly over.
If you were to find yourself in Mr Huhne’s position, you might share his fear of losing your driving licence. You might fear losing your job, your freedom or your ability to care for elderly or disabled dependents.
Rather than follow Mr Huhne’s foolhardy example, you should contact an expert criminal defence lawyer. In many cases, your solicitor can present mitigation to the court to persuade the magistrates to impose penalty points rather than a ban. This is true even if the offence itself might attract a disqualification, (for example grossly excessive speeding) or if you are at risk of disqualification owing to the accumulation of penalty points, as in Mr Huhne’s case.
Even motorists who would ordinarily be disqualified under the totting-up provisions (where the new points would produce a total of 12 or more), can retain their licences by arguing that they would suffer exceptional hardship if disqualified from driving.
At Hegarty Solicitors, our criminal defence team has many years of experience in helping those whose driving licences are at risk. Our solicitors know how important your driving licence might be and will leave no stone unturned in helping you to keep yours.
So before you think about running the risk of joining Mr Huhne and Ms Pryce at Her Majesty’s Pleasure, give our criminal department a call. We are always happy to help!
Sarah Acres, Associate Solicitor