Personal Life

Frequently Asked Questions

Our specialist team of motoring lawyers provide expert legal representation at the police station and in court, for all motoring offences, in Bath, Bristol, across the South West and Nationwide.

You will find answers to our most commonly asked questions below. If you have any other questions or would like to discuss your matter with one of our expert motoring lawyers, please call 01225 485700 or email hello@mowbraywoodwards.co.uk

 

View Why should I choose Mowbray Woodwards?

Our clients say:

Their determined, analytical approach makes winning the norm”

“I cannot believe I ever considered tackling this without a solicitor.”

"I thought the clarity of advice, communication, and service in general was outstanding."

If you’re still not sure, contact our team of specialist motoring solicitors and have a chat with us.

View Are the costs really fixed?

Yes. There is no small print and no hidden bill coming. Sometimes you might want to have us do other work on your case above and beyond the fixed costs of the Case Strategy Meeting or Court Appearance, for example, such as contacting witnesses, making formal representations to the Prosecution or obtaining Camera evidence.  If this arises in your case we will tell you about it up front and agree what will be done and at what cost before we do it. It’s always your choice.

 

View Can I pay at an hourly rate just for the work that you need to do?

Yes.  We charge either £240 or £250 plus VAT per hour, with routine items charged at £24 or £25 per item plus VAT, and all work we do can always be done on a time charged basis. Our fixed fees usually work out cheaper for you, but we fix fees primarily to give you certainty over the cost, especially when we cannot control how long something will take. For some cases, hourly rate charging will be better, for many cases fixed fees will be better. Some cases are a combination of fixed fees and hourly rate. We will finalise all of this with you during the Case Strategy Meeting.

 

View Can you do a no-win no-fee?

No, we are not allowed as a matter of law to offer a no-win no-fee agreement for a Motoring Case in a criminal Court.  The law says we cannot charge a client contingent on the outcome. If we could we would - we are confident in our expertise, our processes and that we know how to win for our clients.

 

View What is your record like?

We achieve a successful outcome in the vast majority of the cases we handle, but each case turns on its own facts - yours will be different to every other.

Beware anyone who posts statistics about winning motoring cases – these are easily manipulated and may not be relevant to your case. The real issue here is why we win, because this will apply to your case. Firstly, we prepare properly and thoroughly. There is no substitute for proper preparation in a motoring case and the most common reason people lose when they could have won is poor preparation. There is no magic wand that we or any other lawyer can wave over your case, but we do know exactly what it takes to get the best outcome, and together we achieve that. Secondly, our solicitors really know what they’re doing. We do not use clerks, or junior solicitors or junior barristers. We all have experience of hundreds of real cases in real courts. We all go out to courts and police stations all the time. The person you speak to, the person you meet, is the person who will come to court and is the person who will handle your case.  Motoring lawyers all over the country take your money and send a junior barrister to meet you at court, who will have barely any experience of winning in a Magistrates Court.  Likewise, countless motoring firms will take your money and just instruct a local solicitor to cover the case, keeping a cut of your money, whilst you end up with a lawyer who doesn’t specialise in motoring work, and doesn’t know your case. 

 

View Who will actually go to court for me?

We will. We all have experience of hundreds of real cases in real courts.  We all go out to courts and police stations all the time.  The person you speak to, the person you meet, is the person who will come to court and is the person who will handle your case.  Motoring lawyers all over the country take your money and send a junior barrister to meet you at court, who will have barely any experience of winning in a Magistrates Court.  Likewise, countless motoring firms will take your money and just instruct a local solicitor to cover the case, keeping a cut of your money, whilst you end up with a lawyer who doesn’t specialise in motoring work, and doesn’t know your case.

 

View Are you expert motoring lawyers?

Yes. Not only do all of our solicitors have a range of general criminal law experience, but all are experts in motoring work.  We all appear in Magistrates and Crown Courts week in week out.  We have collectively spent decades dealing with motoring cases, and we handle new enquiries every day.  Mowbray Woodwards is a firm of solicitors that has been based in Bath for over 70 years, operating throughout in the best traditions of legal practice over a wide range of specialisms and practice areas. Fully regulated by the Law Society and Solicitors Regulation Authority, with Lexcel Accreditation in practice standards and client care, we pride ourselves on our standards of expertise and service.

 

View Are there cheaper options?

Yes, we are quite sure that there are cheaper options available, however we don’t engage in a race to the bottom when it comes to handling client cases.  Our prices reflect the experience and quality of the service we offer.

 

View Can you cover a case on Legal Aid?

No, we do not offer legal aid for motoring work.

 

View Why should I choose a Partner to handle my case?

Matthew Graham is the partner who handles motoring work in the firm, and he is head of the Criminal Team.  Matthew has a wealth of experience in courts all over the country, especially in London and the West Country.  Matthew typically handles more serious criminal work, and can bring to any case, from a speeding allegation to homicide, that quality of experience and influence that is appropriate for some clients or some cases. Matthew will generally handle high profile cases or those that are likely to attract media attention, as well as those that have innovative legal challenges. 

 

View What if my motoring problem doesn’t seem to be covered by your fixed fees?

In many motoring cases it is not clear at the beginning what will be needed. You might have just received a Notice of Intended Prosecution, a Single Justice Notice Procedure letter, a letter from the police or have just been stopped or involved in an accident. This is why we offer our Case Strategy Meeting as a one-off fixed option - so that we can understand what is needed in your specific case and to make sure you get the expert advice you need at the outset. Nothing else might be needed. If in doubt, give us call and we will talk it through with you. We can offer fixed fees or a mix of options in every case, and you will always have a choice.

 

View Could there be any other expenses?

If we have to travel to court there may be a travelling cost, such as a rail fare or mileage, which is charged at 45p per mile.  All travelling costs are subject to VAT.  We will tell you what this amount is likely to be before we charge you.  If you are pleading not guilty or have a more complex case it is sometimes necessary to have an expert report, for example an accident reconstruction expert or a forensic toxicology report.  These expert reports are a separate cost, and if applicable we will provide you with a quote or range of options before incurring the expense.

View What are our qualifications and experience?

We only use high quality, highly experienced, fully qualified solicitors, registered with the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Law Society.  Our Senior Solicitors all have at least 8 years post qualification experience, and all have other professional qualifications in addition to being a solicitor.  Matthew Graham qualified as a solicitor in 2002 and is the partner in charge of the department, and he also has overall supervisory responsibility for all cases.  Tracey Smith is the managing partner of Mowbray Woodwards and she is also a fully qualified solicitor with over 20 years’ experience.

View How long will my case take?

Many motoring cases can be sorted out within a few weeks, although sometimes it might take nearer to 6 months. A speeding or drink driving case must generally come to court within 6 months (although the rules are complicated). From when you first contact us, we can arrange a case strategy meeting within a few days. We will start work straight away. It is often possible to change the date of a court hearing if you are otherwise committed with work or elsewhere. If you plead not guilty, the court will generally arrange a trial within 6-8 weeks, although court delays are frequently frustrating. However long it takes, we will make sure it works in your interests. We will always be able to give a more accurate estimate of timescale once we have met with you.

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