That’s plain daft. Do ask for expert help. White Dalton are probably the finest firm of biking solicitors in the country and with them on your side you may avoid being bummed by Bubba when you pick up the hairy soap, but as Andrew says, sometimes it can work if you defend yourself: “It can work, especially if you’ve personally made loads of procedural cock ups!”
It’s a high risk strategy though, “Then, if you instruct a brief late in the day he will not be cut as much slack as you will be in court. Any other time, you need to remember that the courtroom isn’t your place. If anyone could bowl up and do it, we wouldn’t spend six-years training to do it. Instruct your brief early, answer their questions, don’t ignore awkward questions and remember to give yourself a real fighting chance, make sure your brief is better prepared than the Prosecutor’s.”
So there. Magistrates and their clerks will pick holes in your arguments if you defend yourself so better leave it to the experts, unless you want to delve into the legal books for weeks. So, you know not to try and be a Perry Mason, but what are you looking at for your misdemeanours? For instance, what happens if you…
1. Overtake across solid white lines
It’s a real no-no to the feds, this so do it when they’re not looking. Solid white lines means no overtaking and you could – depending on speed, location, annoyance to other traffic – get a Dangerous Driving ban for 12 months and a big fine. More likely is something like ‘failing to conform to a traffic sign’, which is three points and a fine.
2. Have a noisy pipe?
This is an un-endorsable offence, which carries a level two fine (£30-40).
3. Ride without a number plate?
Better to ride without a plate than one which has been altered to look different. You’ll either get a ticking-off or a fine (level two again) and be told to stick it back on sharpish. If you’re going to do it, make it look realistic. Remember this though: do it too many times and they’ll smell a rat. Pretty soon the Customs and Excise will get involved and they have the power to Q-plate your bike, halving its value.
4. Prosecuted for multiple offences?
The Court will only endorse your licence for the biggest amount of points for a single offence, so if you are being done for speeding and driving without insurance you could get three points for the speeding and six points for the driving without insurance, but your licence will only show six points.
5. Caught driving whilst disqualified?
If you have been disqualified the Magistrates’ or the Crown Court Judge would have given you a very clear warning as to what the consequences of driving whilst disqualified are. It has a maximum fine of £5,000 and a six-month prison sentence. Your period for disqualification will doubtless be extended and you can be made to retake your driving test after a period of a ban.
COPS & NOBBERS PART II – Courting Disaster
Superbike Magazine – November 2006
Disclaimer: This article is reproduced from Superbike Magazine – It’s views do not represent White Dalton’s