motoring offences

Motoring Offences

Why instruct Swinburne Snowball & Jackson Solicitors?

As part of our professional rules, we aim to ensure that anyone wishing to use our services has the information they need to make an informed choice of legal services provider, including understanding what the costs may be.

Swinburne Snowball & Jackson Solicitors specialise in criminal defence in all areas of Criminal Law. We undertake both legally aided clients and those who are privately funded. We strive to ensure our clients have expert assistance at the point of arrest, the Magistrates and Crown Court as well as appeals in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

Based in Consett and accredited against the Law Society Lexcel standard, our approach to clients is one of friendliness and efficiency. Our clients are made to feel welcome but also confident that their legal issues are dealt with in a manner that is both expedient and competent. We strive to create the right impression by being as available and as approachable as possible. We can offer appointments outside normal working hours and are available 24 hours a day 365 days a year for emergencies and clients who have been arrested. We feel it important that our clients have access to a solicitor at all times and we ensure that as a firm we work as efficiently as possible to deliver an excellent service to all our clients.

There are many driving offences which can vary from minor offences to major offences and so can the punishments. We can help with drink/drug driving, mobile phone offences, speeding, dangerous driving and driving without insurance to name a few. These laws are in place to protect you, however, if you have fallen victim to such an offence then we are here to help you get out of it. At Swinburne Snowball & Jackson Solicitors we are trained to handle every issue promptly and professionally, to help put your mind at ease.

Our Motoring Offences Team

Paul Donoghue BA (Hons) MA


Our Criminal Defence Team is led by Partner and Duty Solicitor Paul Donoghue. Born and bred in Derwentside, Paul qualified in 1998 and has become one of the most well-known criminal advocates in the North of England with over 20 years of experience in the field. Paul is an accredited Duty Solicitor and a Solicitor-Advocate allowing him to represent clients in the Crown Court. With a reputation for robustly defending those he represents, he is often involved in the most notable criminal cases in the North East.

As well as his extensive client base in the North East, such is his reputation that Paul is regularly asked to represent clients in other parts of the country including Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham. He has developed a particular interest and experience in serious firearms offences. Paul is instructed regularly in cases involving homicides, large-scale drug supply, human trafficking, robbery, kidnap, and multi-million-pound fraud matters.

Paul is also supported by an experienced team of Solicitors, Paralegals and Support Staff.

Typical Costs

Motoring Offence, Summary Only1 , Guilty Plea

Fixed Fee£350
VAT @ 20%£70

What is Included?

  • Attendance and/or preparation
  • Considering evidence
  • Taking your instructions
  • Providing advice on likely sentence
  • Attendance and representation at a single hearing at the Magistrates Court

What is not Included?

  • Instruction of any expert witnesses
  • Taking statements from any witnesses
  • Advice and assistance in relation to a Special Reasons2 hearing
  • Advice or assistance in relation to any appeal

Key Stages Involved

The key stages of your matter are based on the presumption that you have entered a guilty plea and have a date for your hearing. They typically include:

  • Meet with you to provide instructions on what happened
  • Consider initial disclosure, and any other evidence and provide advice
  • Arranging to take any witness statements, if necessary (this will have an additional cost)
  • Explain the court procedure to you so you know what to expect on the day of your hearing, and the sentencing options available to the Court
  • Conduct any further preparatory work, obtain further instructions from you, if necessary, and answer any follow-up queries you have
  • Attend court on the day, meet with you before going before the court
  • Discuss the outcome with you. If advice is required on appeal, this will carry an additional cost

Please note we cannot provide a timescale of when your hearing will take place, as this depends on the court listing for that day.


1. A ‘summary only’ offence is an offence which can only be tried in the magistrates’ court. There are exceptions. Under the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (CJA 1988) offences specified in the Act can be tried on indictment by a jury if they are linked to an offence triable only in the Crown Court. The principal summary only offences are: 

  • Driving whilst Disqualified
  • Careless and inconsiderate driving
  • Failing to give information as to the identity of the driver
  • Failing to stop or report
  • Speeding

2. Special Reasons pertain exclusively to situations where the accused has been found or has pled guilty and now faces disqualification unless he/she can persuade the Court that the circumstances of the offence are such that it would be unjust to impose a ban.