It is difficult to provide an exact time frame for the conclusion of your case as this may depend on the court date that you have been given and a number of other factors over which we have no direct control.
The following key stages are based upon the presumption that you have been charged, received a summons or a Single Justice Procedure Notice and have a date for your court hearing.
- Meeting with you to take your instructions. It is important that we do this as quickly as possible so that we can quickly identify the issues in the case and begin work to resolve them.
- Consideration of the case papers and analysis of the evidence. This can only take place once the papers have been provided to us by the CPS and, depending on the region, this is often just 48 hours before the hearing date.
- Providing advice as to whether any expert reports or the input of an expert Barrister is required. The instruction of an expert or Barrister will come at an additional cost, please see below.
- We will advise you as to whether there is sufficient evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt you have committed an offence(s) and/or have a legal or procedural defence to advance.
- We will advise as to your prospects, the merits or otherwise of pleading guilty, or whether it would be better for you to plead not guilty and dispute the allegations. We will do this once the case papers have been obtained and analysed.
- We will advise you on the sentencing options available to the court, and where possible, what the likely outcome will be in your case.
- We will explain the court procedure to you so you know what to expect on the day of your hearing.
- We will conduct any preparatory work and obtain further instructions from you to ensure that the case is fully prepared for the court hearing.
- We will attend with you at court on the day and speak with you before the hearing to ensure that you are fully prepared.
- The length of time spent at court will depend upon the nature of the offence and length of the hearing. There will be time waiting for your case to be called into court and this will depend upon how busy the court is. We normally anticipate being at court for at least 2-3 hours, but this can sometimes take longer if the court is particularly busy.
- Following the hearing, we will discuss the outcome with you. If advice on appeal is required, this will come at an additional cost.
At Lupton Fawcett we recognise that each client and each case is unique. We tailor our advice to meet our clients’ individual needs and when appearing before the court we do not operate on the basis that ‘one size fits all’.
As each case is unique, our costs may vary depending on the complexity and the nature of your case, including what preparatory work is needed.
It can be difficult to determine what factors might affect the complexity of the case, but factors can include:
- the nature and seriousness of the offence;
- the number of offences that you are alleged to have committed; and
- whether there will be any complex legal argument.
Our Road Traffic team charge for the number of hours of work completed, based on an hourly rate.
The hourly rates for the three specialist solicitors in our team are as follows;
- Jeremy Scott – Partner – £325 + VAT per hour
- Meghan Waldron – Associate – £250 + VAT per hour
Estimate of costs
If your case proceeds to the Magistrates Court, you will have to attend a hearing. If you plead guilty it is likely that your case will be concluded on the first occasion and you will be sentenced.
We have provided an estimate of costs for advice and representation up to and including the first hearing.
Simple guilty plea case 5 to 20 hours (e.g., one offence, guilty plea, simple mitigation)
Complex guilty plea case 8 to 25 hours (e.g., multiple offences, legal argument, mitigation requiring evidence)
What is included?
Unless otherwise stated, our fees will include:
- Taking your instructions
- Liaising with the Police and/or Crown Prosecution Service to obtain the case papers and evidence
- Obtaining and considering all documentation from you that is relevant to the offence and/or your defence
- Considering the relevant legislation and guidance relevant to the offences that you face
- Analysing and considering the evidence against you
- Providing verbal advice on the plea
- Providing verbal advice on sentencing powers and where appropriate, the likely sentence that you will receive
- Providing advice on whether a separate application, such as Exceptional Hardship or Special Reasons, should be advanced (there will be additional costs for the preparation of such applications, if necessary, please see below).
- Representation at a single Magistrates Court hearing
Unless otherwise stated, our fees will not include:
- Providing advice at the police station
- Providing pre charge advice or making representations against prosecution
- Instructing experts and considering expert reports
- Speaking with witnesses and taking witness statements
- Instructing expert Barristers
- Preparing additional applications such as Exceptional Hardship or Special Reasons applications
- Preparing the case for trial
- Attending any court hearings above and beyond the first hearing
- Advice and assistance with an appeal
Additional fees not included in our costs
- In some cases it will be appropriate to obtain an expert report in order to consider whether you have a defence to advance
- Common reports can include:
- Mobile phone analysis for offences of driving whilst using a mobile phone
- Toxicology reports for offences of driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs
- Accident collision reports for offences of careless driving
- Fees for experts will be charged in addition to our fees – estimates will always be obtained for your approval before any additional work is carried out.
- In some cases, it will be appropriate for an expert Barrister to be instructed, particularly if the case is likely to involve novel or complex legal arguments.
- The cost of a Barrister will depend upon the experience of the Barrister, the nature of the offence and the work required.
- If we deem it appropriate to instruct a Barrister, we will first obtain a quote for their fees for you to agree before any additional work is carried out.
- Depending on where your case is to be heard, it may be necessary for us to travel in order to represent you.
- If we travel by car, we will charge for mileage (0.45p per mile plus VAT) and parking
- If we travel by train, we will charge for the train fare
- Once we know where your case is to be heard we will provide an estimate of our travel costs
- If you enter a guilty plea or are convicted at court you will normally be asked to make a contribution towards the costs of the case being before the court.
- Most road traffic offences attract a financial penalty as part of the sentence and the amount will depend on the nature of the offence, along with your income.
- Any fines or court fees imposed by the court will be in addition to our fees and are payable by you directly to the court.
Follow the link below for details of the team who may work on your case.