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Trial win for Chesterfield motoring solicitor

Chesterfield motoring solicitor David Gittins successfully represented a client appearing before Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court for being drunk in charge of a motor vehicle.

You can read information about this offence here.

The guideline penalties upon conviction can be found here.

Our client accepted that he was over the drink drive limit.  He had been found in the driver’s seat of the vehicle.  He stated, however, that he had no intention of driving the vehicle.

Using his extensive knowledge, Chesterfield motoring solicitor David Gittins instructed an expert, sought defence witnesses and ensured the acquittal of his client.

Client alleged to be drunk in charge

chesterfield motoring solicitorOur client was seen asleep by the police at around 9.30am on a Sunday morning.  He was sat in the driver’s seat of a car. The police stopped and could see that the engine was running. Upon speaking to him it was also noticeable that he was under the influence of alcohol.

The client was arrested as he was found to be over twice the drink drive limit.

The police charged our client without interviewing him.  They believed their case was compelling and there was no need for his side of the story.

David took early instructions.  He established that our client had no intention of driving whilst still over the legal limit. He had driven to his brother’s house before heading into Chesterfield for drinks. He became separated from his brother and had no way of getting into the house he was parked outside. As a result, he had simply decided to sleep in the car with the engine on to keep him warm. The plan was that he would be collected by his father and taken for a Sunday dinner.  This happened weekly. He would have returned later in the day to collect his car and driven it once sober.

David knew that this account could amount to a defence if an expert confirmed that by the time he intended to drive he would be under the drink drive limit. The client would have to give evidence to the court that that was his intention.

Instructing An Expert

Such a defence, in this case, would need to be supported by an expert report confirming when our client would be under the legal limit to drive.

David tasked then-trainee Chloe Wright to instruct an expert asking for analysis of whether, on our client’s instructions, he would have been under the legal limit to drive at the point he intended to.  Our expert performed the calculation and our client would have been able to drive legally at the point he planned.

We obtained statements from our client’s brother with whom he had been out with the night before, and his father about plans for that Sunday.  Both witnesses agreed to attend court and give evidence.

The trial

David persuaded the prosecution to accept the evidence of our expert as it was not contentious.  The real issue for trial was whether the court accepted the evidence of our client in terms of when he intended to drive.

The prosecution presented its evidence which again was not challenged.  The defence case consisted of our client and his family members all giving evidence, as well as the agreed expert evidence.

The evidence given was credible and consistent between our client and the two witnesses.

The Magistrates listened closely and found our client not guilty.  Our client was delighted and was able to keep his driving licence.


In this case David’s client had the benefit of legal aid meaning he didn’t have to pay for either his legal fees or the expert reports. For more information on legal aid click here: Criminal Legal Aid Solicitors – VHS Fletchers Solicitors

In some circumstances Legal Aid may not be eligible for cases such as this. However, in those case competitive Fixed Fees can be agreed for VHS Fletchers to provide legal representation. Click here for more information about our Private Road Traffic Fees: Motoring Offences Fixed Fees – VHS Fletchers Solicitors

Instructing a Chesterfield motoring solicitor

Seeking legal advice at the earliest opportunity will allow us to provide advice to you about the law and the evidence in either a police investigation or a prosecution.

If you are arrested or know that the police wish to speak to you about any criminal allegation make sure you insist on your right to free and independent legal advice.  We will be present in your interview to advise through the investigation stage.

The advantages of such early advice legal advice can be found here.


If you have already been interviewed or face court proceedings we can still make a real difference to the outcome of your case as set out above.

Legal aid may well be available to fund your defence at court.


We have offices across the East Midlands and will happily travel across the country to provide representation for all types of offences.

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