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Single Justice Procedure Notice - What to do next?
Costelles
post Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 08:43
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I have received a SJPN for 1) section 172 "Failure to identify" and 2) Speeding 52 in a 40 mph zone

The alleged offence was on the 15th Feb and we received the speeding notice in June

Both my wife and I have use of the vehicle on a regular basis. As the registered keeper of the vehicle I was unable to provide details of the driver within the 28-day period but have used reasonable diligence to try to identify who the driver of the vehicle was at the time and day of the offence. My wife and I have painstakingly discussed who might be driving at the date and time we have both looked at the photographic evidence (which didn’t assist in identifying the driver) and at our diaries, emails and phone records at that time and day and neither of us can pinpoint where we were at that time and what vehicle we were driving.

When we received the intended prosecution notice from Dorset police, we contacted the central ticket office to ask advice on how to proceed as neither my wife and I could pinpoint who was driving at the time and date. We asked by phone and by letter for the photographic evidence but the photograph was taken from the rear so we could not confirm the driver, this we confirmed by letter. We also then called the central ticket office again to ask for advice on how to proceed as we could not be sure who was driving and we were advised that if we could not identify the driver then the matter would be sent to the Traffic prosecution unit for consideration. We were both unsure of next steps until we received the Single Justice Procedure Notice. We both have clean licenses so we don't have any reason to withhold information or need to avoid points due to a ban, we genuinely don't know who was driving

In the meantime....I have phoned the local magistrates court yesterday to understand the process better and they cant find any cases under the URN on the SJPN paperwork or my name either locally or nationally. Iv'e also tried accessing the "plead online" web site using the URN but it shows an error with the URN.

Questions?

1) Is it best to plead not guilty to the Section 172 and as the registered keeper plead guilty to the speeding ticket, even though we are unsure it was me?
2) Is it best to plea the above on line or by post or go to court?
3) As there doesn't seem to be any record of my case held at the local Magistrates what do we do?

Thanks in advance


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post Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 08:43
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The Rookie
post Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 08:52
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1/ NO they could accept the guilty plea and still prosecute you successfully for the S172 - winning you 9 points
2/ For an SJPN you can ONLY do it remotely (letter or online) there is no hearing to attend.
3/ That's because its not at a magistrates court yet but on the SJP track.

The usual advice is to plead NOT GUILTY to both offence, it will then be transferred to a regular court where you can approach the prosecutor and suggest a plea deal, guilty to speeding and they drop the S172, they will usually accept. If you do that it was rather a waste not to say you were driving earlier as it would have been a lot less painful!

You can of course opt to defend the S172 if you feel you can demonstrate that despite exercising reasonable diligence you could not identify the driver, but the cost of failure is high, likely about £1200 in total and 6 points (4-5 for speeding in court or 3 for a fixed penalty or none for a course).


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There is no such thing as a law abiding motorist, just those who have been scammed and those yet to be scammed!

S172's
Rookies 1-0 Kent

Council PCN's
Rookies 1-0 Warwick
Rookies 1-0 Birmingham

PPC PCN's
Rookies 8-0 PPC's
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Jlc
post Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 09:07
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 09:52) *
4-5 for speeding in court

41-55 is a Band A offence of 3 points.

QUOTE (Costelles @ Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 09:43) *
The alleged offence was on the 15th Feb and we received the speeding notice in June

Is there a particular reason for the large delay? This could assist in defending the s172.


--------------------
RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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Costelles
post Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 09:11
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Thanks Rookie

So the best possible approach here is to plead not guilty by post (I cant use online as the URL number doesn't work) to both charges and then wait for a court date.

Do I need to complete the "Why I am pleading not guilty" sections to both charges? Do I also need legal representation in court?

Then when in court approach the prosecutor early and ask if they will accept a plea deal ie: drop the S172 if I please guilty to the speeding?

Thanks again
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Logician
post Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 09:12
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You have a choice:

1. Plead not guilty to the s.172 offence and defend yourself at a full magistrates' court hearing on the basis that you used reasonable diligence in an attempt to identify the driver but were unable to do so. Reasonable diligence in practice will mean everything humanly possible. This is a straightforward approach but is far from easy, the court will take considerable convincing and the success rate is low. One factor in your favour is the time gap between the offence date in February and your receipt of the NIP in June; what was the reason for that delay? If your are successful you will not be punished for the s.172 offence, obviously, and neither of you will be punished for the speeding as the driver will remain unknown. If you fail you will receive 6 points and a substantial fine, and as insurers particularly dislike this offence, wondering what the underlying offence was, increased insurance premiums for the next five years.

2. Accept that you are the most likely driver, attend court and offer the prosecutor a guilty plea to the speeding charge if the s.172 charge is dropped. an offer that is invariably accepted, prosecutors regarding these as in effect alternative charges and preferring a conviction for the underlying offence.

Both choices imply entering a not guilty plea to both offences, which will ensure that your case is transferred to a full court hearing, you cannot attend a single justice hearing. You will not normally be able to do a deal in advance of the court hearing, it is almost impossible to find the right person to talk to. If you cannot plead online, then plead by post, you cannot do it in person at this stage. Never attempt to get any advice from court staff by phone, they are well-meaning but often misleading, we see numerous examples. Your case may be listed at a different court to the one you phoned, it does not matter, simply plea by post, and keep copies of everything you do.


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Costelles
post Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 09:19
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JLC - when reading the ticket office statements on the SJPN we became aware that they had sent the original speeding ticket to our old address and then when no reply was received they searched our new address via our insurance. This is why it has taken so long to reach us and why we could not be certain who was driving at the time of the offence....this only came to light when we saw the timeline on the SJPN and wasn't highlighted during the three telephone calls I had with the Dorset ticket office

Not that this is a valid reason and its completley our error, but we have 4 cars in the household and this car was missed when updating DVLA records...it is now rectified
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Jlc
post Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 09:29
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Ok, so it appears you 'contributed' to the late delivery by not updating the v5?

Logician has summarised your position succinctly.

This post has been edited by Jlc: Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 09:29


--------------------
RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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Costelles
post Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 09:53
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Thanks all for your advice...I will follow the process outlined by Logician
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AntonyMMM
post Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 09:55
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QUOTE (Costelles @ Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 09:43) *
1) Is it best to plead not guilty to the Section 172 and as the registered keeper plead guilty to the speeding ticket, even though we are unsure it was me?


Just be aware that when you speak to the prosecutor and discuss the deal - you will be confirming that you were the driver. If you include any "probably", "most likely" or similar equivocation the plea may not be accepted.
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Jlc
post Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 10:40
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QUOTE (Costelles @ Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 10:53) *
Thanks all for your advice...I will follow the process outlined by Logician

1 or 2?


--------------------
RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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Costelles
post Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 11:00
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ok thanks

I will be following Option 2
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Costelles
post Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 14:27
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Update....

I've just found something that suggests that I may not have been the driver and it was most probably my wife.

How would we handle that with this SJPN?

I havent completed the document yet so it hasn't been posted

Thanks
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peterguk
post Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 14:32
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QUOTE (Costelles @ Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 15:27) *
Update....

I've just found something that suggests that I may not have been the driver and it was most probably my wife.

How would we handle that with this SJPN?

I havent completed the document yet so it hasn't been posted

Thanks

What have you found?


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Costelles
post Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 14:39
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Call notes in my old notebook that shows I was having a work call at about that time on that day, it wasn't a scheduled call as it wasn't in my calendar but it might have been an ad hoc call I took that afternoon and I took notes on it as it was important.
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peterguk
post Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 14:44
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QUOTE (Costelles @ Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 15:39) *
Call notes in my old notebook that shows I was having a work call at about that time on that day, it wasn't a scheduled call as it wasn't in my calendar but it might have been an ad hoc call I took that afternoon and I took notes on it as it was important.

So do those notes suggest it is very unlikely you were the driver?


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Costelles
post Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 14:46
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it could do yes
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Jlc
post Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 14:57
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QUOTE (Costelles @ Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 15:27) *
How would we handle that with this SJPN?

Then you shouldn't plead guilty to an offence you didn't commit and would have to defend the s172. Additionally, you seemed to have undermined any defence by demonstrating you could have identified the driver...

The 'plea bargain' is great if the defendant was driving.

This post has been edited by Jlc: Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 14:58


--------------------
RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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The Rookie
post Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 16:02
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As above, you can’t plead guilty to speeding if you know you were not, also if reasonable diligence would have you checking the notes you’ve just proven your guilt to The S172 offence so you may want to consider entering a guilty plea to that and not guilty to the speeding so you get your discount for the guilty plea.


--------------------
There is no such thing as a law abiding motorist, just those who have been scammed and those yet to be scammed!

S172's
Rookies 1-0 Kent

Council PCN's
Rookies 1-0 Warwick
Rookies 1-0 Birmingham

PPC PCN's
Rookies 8-0 PPC's
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BaggieBoy
post Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 17:55
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QUOTE (Costelles @ Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 15:27) *
I've just found something that suggests that I may not have been the driver and it was most probably my wife.

Timing couldn't have been worse, earlier and you could have named your wife. As others have said, you cannot now do a plea bargain.
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666
post Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 18:10
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OP needs to be aware that his posts here may have been monitored, and the dire consequences should he mis-identify the driver.
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