You will always be given the opportunity to raise mitigation, even if you’re convicted after a trial. However, mitigation may not necessarily be as effective as you may think. This is because the magistrates are bound by the Sentencing Guidelines – meaning they have very little discretion to reduce the disqualification period.
In reality, mitigation is only worth presenting if you are facing a prison sentence; it may just persuade the court to give you community service instead. The easiest way to find out what punishment the court is likely to impose is to use our Driving Ban Calculator, or download a copy of the Magistrates Court Sentencing Guidelines.
If you are presenting mitigation, you might want to discuss:
Character references can be particularly helpful when presenting mitigation in court. Here at M.A.J. Law, we have experienced a great deal of success with the help of character references. The magistrates are usually happy to read a character reference that you provide, before deciding what penalty to impose, and remember, anything that they read may affect their decision.
Character references assist the court in understanding who you are on a personal level. The goal is always to present to the court the genuine character of the accused, and to avoid any aggravating circumstances.
If you think that a character reference may help your case, consider acquiring one from one of the following people:
Speak to an Expert About Your Case
We can explain, in simple & straightforward terms, how mitigation may help reduce the penalty.
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Character references should be original and personal. They must be well balanced and demonstrate thought and consideration. They should aim to focus on a person’s qualities, but also should not be afraid to discuss flaws in the name of accuracy and honesty. No one is perfect and the court know that. A realistic reference will carry far more weight than one that is exaggerated.
It may be that someone has asked you to write a character reference for a criminal charge. In this situation, there are some important points to consider:
The reference should be honest. It should provide a detailed opinion of what a person is like, often in ways that no solicitor – no matter how good – can explain. The following points may help to get you started:
We’ve got an excellent success rate of keeping our clients out of prison, and we could do the same for you. Call for a free consultation.
M.A.J. Law specialise in defending motorists nationwide. Our team have over 50 years of combined experience and first-hand knowledge of most courts in England and Wales. Free advice? Please get in touch.