Law-breaking drivers inspired by Beckham's loophole lawyer

Law-breaking drivers inspired by Beckham's loophole lawyer
Record numbers of motorists caught breaking the law are choosing to fight their cases in court, encouraged by a number of celebrities successfully challenging their charges. 

Previously, most drivers accepted on-the-spot fines, but the number of cases being taken to court has jumped by almost 50% in four years.  

The Daily Telegraph reports the number of cases ending up in court rose from 240,000 in 2013 to 342,000 in 2017, while the number of fixed penalty notices dropped from 1.2 million to 969,000.

It’s thought drivers are inspired by the successes of a lawyer called “Mr Loophole”, who has helped celebrities including David Beckham and Jimmy Carr get off driving convictions on technicalities. 

In 2018, lawyer Nick Freeman helped David Beckham get off a speeding fine when he was caught doing 59mph in a 40mph zone, successfully arguing that the legal papers had been served too late.

Jimmy Carr got off a driving charge related to using a phone while driving in 2009 after Mr Freeman argued that the comedian had been dictating a joke into his device, not making a call.

However, lawyers warn that members of the public may not have the same success as these celebrities.

Peter Dodd, partner at Nockolds law firm, told the Telegraph: “This idea of being able to get off on a technicality is a bit of a myth and by going to court, you risk making things much worse.

“Magistrates can apply unlimited fines linked to your income and you will also be liable for court costs.”

Fixed Penalty Notices are issued for a variety of traffic and motoring offences, including speeding, using a smart phone behind the wheel, and driving without insurance.

The notices are either endorsable – which includes a fine and penalty points on your licence – or non-endorsable, which includes only a fine.

It is an administrative alternative to taking the case to a magistrate’s court, which could see you hit by bigger fines and points if you fail to get the charges dropped.

For more information, check out the RAC’s guide on everything you need to know about Fixed Penalty Notices and make sure you stay on the right side of the law.

Copyright Press Association 2019. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.

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