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FightBack Forums _ Speeding and other Criminal Offences _ Attachment of earnings.

Posted by: penfoldmole24 Tue, 25 Jul 2017 - 08:39
Post #1303280

Good morning,

I have recently found this website and am just after some advice.

Last week I received an attachment to earnings request from A court in Poole. I phoned the number on the form and was informed that i had been found guilty in court of failing to provide drivers details. This is for a speeding offence which apparently happened in October 2016. Around about that time, due to a marriage breakdown, both me and my wife had left the address my car was registered at, so never received any of the letters from the police. From what the person said on the phone i was doing 79 in a 70, and was caught by one of those police speed camera vans. From what i remember them saying on the phone, the original letter was sent around about the 10th October, but as mentioned earlier, both myself and my wife had moved out of the house by then (we moved out 4th Oct). When I informed them of this, they said I would need to go to court and give a statutory declaration to say I never received any letters, which I never have. They also said that the process would restart and I would be sent a new first letter (not sure of terminology).

When looking at my drivers licence details on-line after speaking to the court, i can see that i have been given 6 penalty points and a £660 fine, as shown in attached screenshot. To my untrained eye, the dates i was told on the phone the original letter was sent, and the date i was convicted of the offence seem to be very close together (about a month).

Can anyone tell me a rough timeline for the process (time from first letter to being taken to court), and whether, after i have given my statutory declaration, the points and fine will come off my licence.

And if anyone can give advice moving forward from the statutory declaration it would be a godsend.

Your help in this matter is greatly appreciated.

 

Posted by: The Rookie Tue, 25 Jul 2017 - 09:26
Post #1303298

Contact your local court and arrange to perform a statutory declaration to the effect you were unaware of court proceedings, you will then be asked to plea (plead not guilty).

Its very likely you were summonsed for both the failing to furnish and speeding (couldn't be found guilty without a driver ID), if you believe you were probably driving you can then (at the next hearing) do a plea deal to plead guilty to the less onerous speeding in exchange for them dropping the S172 FtF offence.

You have 21 days to perform the SD in which they have to accept it, if your local court asks you to attend outside that they will still accept it.

Its likely to be 3-4 weeks to the SD and the same again to the subsequent court hearing, we can tell you in more details how to do the deal nearer the event.

It can sometimes pay to not think to hard as to who was driving as long as you genuinely believe you probably were, if you knew you were not you couldn't do the deal.

Posted by: Jlc Tue, 25 Jul 2017 - 09:51
Post #1303305

Yup, this is normal. The s172 offence usually occurs around 1 month after the underlying (speeding) offence because of the 28 days to respond. The fine is based on assumed earnings where no other information exists.

But your priority is to perform the Statutory Declaration. This will remove the conviction but as you note this won't be the end of the matter.

However, you will have the opportunity to at least defend yourself. As Rookie has noted the 'plea bargain' may be the best way forward if you were likely driving otherwise you may have to defend the s172 charge itself which might be difficult - a lot will depend on the circumstances and when the v5 was updated.

If you get the the point of accepting the speeding offence (and the s172 is confirmed dropped) then you can ask the bench to consider a fixed penalty equivalent sentence. They may not oblige but that excess would normally have been offered one (and a course but that's long gone and cannot be issued by a court).

Posted by: andy_foster Tue, 25 Jul 2017 - 10:44
Post #1303322

The statutory declaration does not 'reset the clock' back to when the original NIP/s. 172 was sent out, depending on where it is done, it resets it back to when the summons (or postal requisition or SJPN) was issued, or the first court hearing to enter a plea. This is because the right to a fair trial (and the right to attend and be heard at that trial) is considered so fundamental that if you were not aware of the court hearing(s) and were therefore unable to attend, they will quash the outcome and give you an opportunity to be heard.

An s. 172 requirement to name the driver (almost invariably incorporated into a NIP) is presumed to have been served 2 working days after posting (if sent by first class post), and subject to any defences, the offence is committed at the expiration of 28 days beginning with the date of service (day 1).

There is a defence if you can show that it was not reasonably practicable to provide the information. Case law (which might be bad law due to failing to consider slightly earlier case law, but arguing that is not for the faint of heart) provides that the court can (and in practice will) look at whether or not it would have been reasonably practicable to ensure that you would have been aware of any such notice. This is generally a problem when people do not receive notices due to moving house and not updating the V5C. In your case, it seems that the notice was issued 6 days after you moved house. Even if you had sent off the V5C to update your address immediately, it seems very unlikely that the DVLA would have updated their records that quickly, so you would seem to have at least an arguable defence.

Posted by: cp8759 Tue, 25 Jul 2017 - 14:47
Post #1303393

QUOTE (andy_foster @ Tue, 25 Jul 2017 - 11:44) *
Even if you had sent off the V5C to update your address immediately, it seems very unlikely that the DVLA would have updated their records that quickly, so you would seem to have at least an arguable defence.


Although a question that is likely to be is is whether any arrangements were made to collect or redirect post sent to the old address, and if not, why not.

Posted by: penfoldmole24 Tue, 25 Jul 2017 - 15:10
Post #1303400

Thanks for the responses. Looks like i will be waiting for a court date, and when i get that i may come back here for further advice.

CP, all my normal mail (ie Bank, Mobile phone) was redirected to my new address, however, as i lived in military accommodation, they can sometimes be vacant for a long period of time between families living in them. I drove past it a couple of nights ago, and it was still unnoccupied, so the NIPs and court summons are probably still sat in the mail box.

Posted by: Jlc Tue, 25 Jul 2017 - 15:33
Post #1303405

...I believe the reference was possibly to the Post Office redirection service where all mail should be processed as opposed to the companies you had updated.

Obviously situation here is a bit different to the normal move situation which possibly assists. (But accepting the underlying offence in lieu of fighting the s172 is usually the safest option if available)

Posted by: NewJudge Tue, 25 Jul 2017 - 16:58
Post #1303422

QUOTE (penfoldmole24 @ Tue, 25 Jul 2017 - 16:10) *
Thanks for the responses. Looks like i will be waiting for a court date, and when i get that i may come back here for further advice.


I'm not quite sure if you are waiting for something to happen or if you have enquired about making your Statutory Declaration. You've had your court date (hence the fine and points) and if you simply wait for another one you'll be disappointed. If you make an appointment to make your Stat dec at the Magistrates' Court you should be given a date there and then.

Posted by: penfoldmole24 Tue, 25 Jul 2017 - 17:42
Post #1303436

I phoned the court who issued the Attachment to earnings request, and they have applied for the statutory declaration for me, after i explained the situation over the phone to them. They said i would receive a court date through email and by post, once the court date has been decided. However, if there wa something i was supposed to do, they never told me that, they just said wait for the new court summons.

Posted by: NewJudge Tue, 25 Jul 2017 - 17:48
Post #1303440

No, it's OK if you've got your SD in train. It wasn't clear from your post whether or not you'd done so. Most courts give you the next available date when you contact them.

As an aside, it is not a summons you are waiting for. It''s simply an appointment that you've requested to make your Stat Dec.

Posted by: andy_foster Tue, 25 Jul 2017 - 18:56
Post #1303460

Not totally relevant to the thread, but I feel compelled to point out that Penfold was a hamster, not a mole!

Posted by: penfoldmole24 Mon, 4 Sep 2017 - 15:02
Post #1313317

Thought i would come back and update this thread.

I have now done my Statutory Declaration in court, and my next court date is set for near the end of this month. What can i expect from this court appearance?

I have yet to see any of the paperwork relating to the original offence, and was wondering if i need to request it from somewhere?

And to top it all off, due to an error with my work i have already started to payback the fine, that was attached to my earnings, will that have any effect on what happens at court?


Posted by: peterguk Mon, 4 Sep 2017 - 17:01
Post #1313346

QUOTE (penfoldmole24 @ Mon, 4 Sep 2017 - 16:02) *
And to top it all off, due to an error with my work i have already started to payback the fine, that was attached to my earnings, will that have any effect on what happens at court?


Your employer is obliged to deduct from your earnings until they receive an order to stop the A of E.

Posted by: TheDisapprovingBrit Tue, 5 Sep 2017 - 14:55
Post #1313610

QUOTE (peterguk @ Mon, 4 Sep 2017 - 18:01) *
QUOTE (penfoldmole24 @ Mon, 4 Sep 2017 - 16:02) *
And to top it all off, due to an error with my work i have already started to payback the fine, that was attached to my earnings, will that have any effect on what happens at court?


Your employer is obliged to deduct from your earnings until they receive an order to stop the A of E.


But that aside, no, it won't have any effect on the court proceedings. Anything you pay will either be refunded or go towards any eventual fine.

Posted by: penfoldmole24 Tue, 12 Sep 2017 - 12:39
Post #1315504

As it is now 9 days until the court date, and i have yet to receive anything showing the alleged offence of speeding, do i go to court and plead not guilty to both offences? Is that the only way i will be able to see what evidence they have?

Posted by: Jlc Tue, 12 Sep 2017 - 12:53
Post #1315520

Are you planning on fighting the speeding allegation? (Noting that they can only convict that if you plead guilty to it - in exchange for dropping the more serious charge)

Posted by: penfoldmole24 Tue, 12 Sep 2017 - 13:00
Post #1315526

I am, as there are a couple of people who could have been driving the car at the time, if I admit to the speeding charge and then later realise it wasn't me, could that not put me on the grounds of giving false information? Thats all i'm worried about. I know the pictures / video that are taken by the mobile camera vans, are only used to identify the vehicle, and not the driver, but at least if I see the pictures / video, I might have a better idea of who was driving. If that makes sense.

Posted by: Logician Tue, 12 Sep 2017 - 13:15
Post #1315533

If you deliberately give false information about who was driving you are committing the offence of perverting or attempting to pervert the course of justice, for which prison is the usual sentence. However, if you honestly believe it was you, or was most likely to have been you, and say so, that is not an offence even if it later turns out that you were mistaken.

Posted by: Jlc Tue, 12 Sep 2017 - 13:18
Post #1315537

How can you fight a speeding allegation when they do not have evidence to convict anyway? (And attempting to do so will leave the s172 allegation)

Posted by: penfoldmole24 Tue, 12 Sep 2017 - 13:38
Post #1315548

Logician, thanks that puts my mind at rest.

Jlc, could you elaborate on what you mean, ie they have no evidence?

Posted by: Jlc Tue, 12 Sep 2017 - 13:48
Post #1315557

QUOTE (penfoldmole24 @ Tue, 12 Sep 2017 - 14:38) *
Jlc, could you elaborate on what you mean, ie they have no evidence?

They need to present evidence as to the driver. Given the other charge (s172) is for failing to furnish driver details...

Posted by: cp8759 Tue, 12 Sep 2017 - 18:13
Post #1315611

QUOTE (penfoldmole24 @ Tue, 12 Sep 2017 - 13:39) *
As it is now 9 days until the court date, and i have yet to receive anything showing the alleged offence of speeding, do i go to court and plead not guilty to both offences? Is that the only way i will be able to see what evidence they have?


No, you should phone the prosecution and ask for the initial details of the prosecution case (make sure to follow this up with an email or letter), they are then obliged to disclose their evidence to you. Once you have received their evidence, let us know what they have and we'll advise.

Posted by: penfoldmole24 Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 08:27
Post #1315683

Would i contact Hampshire Police, the courts, or CPS? Can't seem to find the answer anywhere.

Posted by: nosferatu1001 Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 08:54
Post #1315696

CPS as theyre the ones bringing the case, AIUI.

Posted by: Jlc Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 08:55
Post #1315697

QUOTE (nosferatu1001 @ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 09:54) *
CPS as theyre the ones bringing the case, AIUI.

Aye, I'd start http://www.cps.gov.uk/wessex/contact/

Posted by: samthecat Wed, 13 Sep 2017 - 13:16
Post #1315759

Just thinking out loud...... May be of use to the OP........

Evidence comes through and OP either

1) realises it was them driving
2) is able to name a different person who was driving
3) has no idea who was driving

Number 1 is easy, plea bargain for the speeding in return for the 172 being dropped.

Number 2 OP can't be convicted or plead guilty to speeding but would they have satisfactorily complied with the 172 request by providing the drivers details as soon as practicable? I guess not and it would be too late to bring a charge against the driver.

Number 3 leaves the OP to defend against the 172 charge.

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