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Letter of mitigation for drink driving court appearance

stubear

Active member
#1
I'm due in court next week. (Sheriff court, in Scotland)

I met with a junior solicitor yesterday, who I was going to have represent me, but on retrospect
as its a guilty plea, I think I'll go it alone.

My Reading was 96mg

There was no other aggrivating factors at the time, bar I was pulled as the Police felt I was swerving.

I have no previous convictions at all and no previous motoring offences.

If I do decide to just go on my own, I have rattled up a letter I thought I could maybe give to the sheriff to show
my remorse.

Please feel free to have a read over it below and let me know if you think anything needs taken out that could aggrivate or could be added in.

Thanks

__________________________________________________ _______________________________________________


Dear Sheriff,

Can I please take the opportunity to apologise to yourself, to the court and to society for the reckless, irresponsible and indefensible offence I committed.

I can’t express enough how deeply ashamed and remorseful I am for committing this offence , which sees me appear before you today.

There is no excuse for it. I made a mindless mistake that I’ll regret for the rest of my days.

Being arrested and charged for this offence, has made me stand back and assess my life and the direction it was in. As a background, I’d suffered mental health difficulties in the past and they’d come to the fore these past months. Instead of seeking the appropriate help and support for this, I was burying my head in the sand and stupidly self-medicating with alcohol at home, alone.

Post offence, I came to the decision that I would have to fully abstain from alcohol, and have done since. In light of this my depression and anxiety has actually curtailed a great deal, and this health benefit coupled with the horror and shame of my offence tells me that my life will be so much better without alcohol and the many negative effects It has had on me.

Prior to offending, I saw myself as a decent, respectable, hardworking member of the community. I previously worked for Royal Mail in and around ****, including delivering the mail to this court house. For the past four and half years I have worked in a responsible and demanding job in nursing at *******.

I have never had any contact with the law before, and I will always reflect on this experience to ensure that I reform as a character. I have driven and held a licence for over eight years and have no cautions/points on it.

I’d be grateful and willing to attend a drink driving rehabilitation course, If I’m deemed suitable for such.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Sincerely

stubear
 
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#2
Re: Letter for Sheriff

I think that the letter reads well.
With a reading of 96 (assuming that is in breath?) you will be classed as a high risk offender and have to undertake a medical before you get your licence back.
in Scottish courts there are no firm guidelines on what the length of your ban will be, unlike English courts.
 
#3
Re: Letter for Sheriff

Agree, I think this comes across very well.

You might already have done this, but as well as this letter it can't hurt to have additional character references from your employer or even close friends if you don't want to get work involved.

I did this and the Chairman made a point of saying he read them all. Not saying it will have a huge impact on sentencing but can't do any harm.

Good luck for the hearing!
 

stubear

Active member
#4
Thanks guys.

Yes the reading was in breath, which is some 4 times 😌 in Scotland given the limit is 22.

I'm not sure if they do HRO in Scotland, not that it should be a problem if they do, cause comitting this offence has been a wake up call, I'm gonny totally curb my drinking apart from very special occassions.

Although there are no guidelines in Scotland, I'm thinking starting point will be 18-24 months, with hopeful discount for early plea and possible course refferal.
 

stubear

Active member
#5
I was up in court today.

It was a busy court and I think they my case was at the bottom of the pile.

As they only dealt with me after 3pm having been there since 10am when a police officer noticed I was still there, I was keeping sctum in the hope it was lost ha!

The duty solicitor was very good and represented me after a very brief chat, she also read the above letter I prepped and proceded to give it to the sheriff, who seemed receptive of it as It covered my background to the offence.

The sheriff was informed my car had been sold.

I was given an interim ban (which will obviously be substanciated)

I've to go back on Dec 1 after social work reports/intervention.

I have two questions please:

Will the ban I get, start from today, ie will the ban I get in Dec be back counted?

Whats likely to be involved in the social work thing? I have a clean history and this is my first offence, bar mentioning probs with alcohol in my letter, I dont really know what they can report/throw up, i've not had a drink in 3 weeks.


Many thanks

Stuart,
 
#6
The ban runs from the first time that you are banned, not when you are finally sentenced, so from today.
The wording may be different is Scotland, but you will have to see a probation officer, or similar, who will go through the circumstances with you, examine your level of remorse and explore your drinking habits or any other problems you have. They will explore your ability to undertake community work and if there is the need for you to have any form of supervision to help you deal with the offence and its aftermath if the loss of licence costs you your job for example.
This report will be handed in to court with a recommendation as to a suitable sentence they feel you should receive. The court are not bound to act on this, they can ignore the recommendations but they often follow what it says.
 

stubear

Active member
#7
Thanks for the info mate, its helpful in letting me understand it.

I have a responsible job in nursing full time, which will be a struggle for me to get too but i should manage, community service / work would be difficult to work arround this.

Im not sure how common that is in Scotland compared to England, however I know its a high reading but theres no sentincing guidelines per se other than the 12 month starting point.

My ban will obs be higher than 12, but im hoping for guilt plea and course discounts if avail, i'll also be fined.

Thats what the duty solicitor mentioned anyway, just need to wait and see.

Court was generally fine though for those worried.

The only thing was I was a bit fatigued sitting through it all to the end as i was overseen and was up last!, it was a busy day in court and a bit of a conveyor belt. All became a bit of a blur.
 

Cinders

#8
Thanks for the info mate, its helpful in letting me understand it.

I have a responsible job in nursing full time, which will be a struggle for me to get too but i should manage, community service / work would be difficult to work arround this.

Im not sure how common that is in Scotland compared to England, however I know its a high reading but theres no sentincing guidelines per se other than the 12 month starting point.

My ban will obs be higher than 12, but im hoping for guilt plea and course discounts if avail, i'll also be fined.

Thats what the duty solicitor mentioned anyway, just need to wait and see.

Court was generally fine though for those worried.

The only thing was I was a bit fatigued sitting through it all to the end as i was overseen and was up last!, it was a busy day in court and a bit of a conveyor belt. All became a bit of a blur.
Hi Stubear, I just wondered how you got on with your case? My husband is in a very similar situation on readings etc and it would be helpful to know what we are expecting roughly as a punishment?
Thanks
 
#9
Stubear has not posted on here for over 18 months, so I doubt that he will reply.
i have found his original message to the solicitor asking about his punishment and I have copied it below for you:

Was sentenced at court today.

Excess whilst in charge, no aggrivating factors other than swerving on road.

Blew 96mcg


Was sentenced to:

24 month driving ban

1 year community payback order (1 year social work supervision)

Unfortunately in court there was no mention of the DD course to help reduce the ban, I wanted to ask but was a bit afraid to butt in
on the proceedings. I did ask for it in my letter of apology at first hearing, but there was no mention of it at all so they maybe weren't aware.

When I went to the social work office after court, the woman seemed to reckon they could ask the court to refer me onto a course,

But I didn't seem to think this would be possible, have this ever been heard of??

Or could I phone the court first thing to ask if this was considered or added to my sentence

Or am I basically donald ducked?

Bit gutted as there doesnt seem to be consistencies from court to court, that said I'm no detracting from
my appalling offence, would just have been positive to have something to aim at, and thought I would have been offered as a first offender
but the process just went past so quick, and now I'm deflated that the chance has maybe gone??
 

Cinders

#10
Stubear has not posted on here for over 18 months, so I doubt that he will reply.
i have found his original message to the solicitor asking about his punishment and I have copied it below for you:

Was sentenced at court today.

Excess whilst in charge, no aggrivating factors other than swerving on road.

Blew 96mcg


Was sentenced to:

24 month driving ban

1 year community payback order (1 year social work supervision)

Unfortunately in court there was no mention of the DD course to help reduce the ban, I wanted to ask but was a bit afraid to butt in
on the proceedings. I did ask for it in my letter of apology at first hearing, but there was no mention of it at all so they maybe weren't aware.

When I went to the social work office after court, the woman seemed to reckon they could ask the court to refer me onto a course,

But I didn't seem to think this would be possible, have this ever been heard of??

Or could I phone the court first thing to ask if this was considered or added to my sentence

Or am I basically donald ducked?

Bit gutted as there doesnt seem to be consistencies from court to court, that said I'm no detracting from
my appalling offence, would just have been positive to have something to aim at, and thought I would have been offered as a first offender
but the process just went past so quick, and now I'm deflated that the chance has maybe gone??
Cheers,Thankyou!
 
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