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Should I get a lawyer or represent myself at court?Should I get a lawyer or represent myself at court?

We are often asked, “Should I get a lawyer or represent myself at court?”  The answer is clear- you should always take legal advice and you are always better off with a good lawyer to represent you (for more, see this Guardian article).  At the very least, you should take legal advice before going to court.  Our telephone legal advice is free.  Once you get to court, the only reason not to use a lawyer is if you can’t afford it (or simply don’t want to pay).  Once you have our advice, you will be able to decide if the legal costs are worth it for you personally.

If I plead Guilty, does using a lawyer make any difference?

Judges have a wide discretion in sentence.  A lawyer can mean the difference between a severe sentence and a soft one.  There’s no place for the view, “I’ll take what’s coming to me.”  The judge hasn’t yet decided what is fair and appropriate in your case.  Your lawyer will understand what outcomes are possible in your case.  Sometimes, further legal procedure in a case can prevent a driving ban altogether, or a significant reduction of the points.  By careful preparation and presentation of the facts, you will be able to obtain the best outcome in your case.

Does using a lawyer suggest I have something to hide?

Engaging a lawyer does not mean you have something to hide.  It means you can present your case at the appropriate time, persuasively and properly prepared.  With a lawyer, your case will be presented concisely, with all the facts and documents that the court needs to consider your circumstances properly.   Despite the lawyer-jokes, solicitors are held to high ethical standards set down by the Law Society of Scotland.  Our role is to obtain the best possible outcome for you within the rules.  That it where the skill and professionalism of the profession lies.

If you’d like advice on whether you should plead Guilty or Not Guilty, call us today.

TESTIMONIAL

Grant Millar, Dumfries Justice of the Peace Court, April 2019

“I’d like to thank Joe for the time that he spent with me on my case for Extreme Hardship. Joe is professional, courteous, measured and realistic at all times. I was confident that my case was in good hands at all times and was sure that if anyone was going to get the best outcome from my position then it would be Joe McPherson.

As a further example of Joe’s ability, I bumped into another defendant who was on his second visit to court after being advised by the JP to employ a lawyer rather than conduct his own defence. This defendant had witnessed Joe in court and was so impressed by his ability that he had no hesitation in deciding that he was the best lawyer for his case

It’s was a pleasure working with Joe on my case (or at least, as pleasurable as these things can be!) and I would not hesitate to recommend Scottish Driving Law to anyone who is looking for an outstanding driving defence lawyer.”

 


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