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Driving and your legal responsibilities
If the police pull you over, you have to be able to produce the requested documents, such as your driver’s licence, motor registration document, insurance policy, and MOT certificate. If you don’t have them with you, you have seven days in which to turn up, in person, at a police station with them. You can’t post them; you have to go there yourself. If you don’t have your licence because you’ve been given a fixed penalty for a previous offence and the licence is having points added, you should produce the receipt and take the licence along once you get it back. You’re likely to be arrested only if you’ve done something very serious, such as dangerous driving or drinking and driving. If you’re arrested and taken to the police station, you’re likely to be let out on bail rather than kept locked up until your case comes to court. If you’re released on bail, you have to turn up at court when required or at the police station if and when told to. If you don’t keep to the terms of your bail arrangement, that’s another separate offence.
If you’re locked up in the cells, you’ll be given access to legal advice from the solicitor who is on duty that day to offer advice to people arrested for criminal offences. Take that advice. Many people don’t because they think they’re innocent, but failure to take advice can cause endless delays and revisits to court.
If you’re on bail, see a solicitor as soon as possible. If offences are serious enough for police to arrest you, you’re facing the possibility of a prison sentence and hefty fines.