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Driving without due care 8 points
sprouts73
post Mon, 18 Sep 2017 - 20:47
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This post is pretty late in the writing but- just before Christmas 2016 my daughter was involved in an accident while driving her car.

In brief- a car suddenly stopped on the access lane to a road with fast moving traffic. The car behind that car managed to stop but my daughter didn't and hit the car in front.

Her fault and she accepts that.

No injuries were sustained by anyone.

Five and a half months later the police went around to her house for a friendly chat "nothing to worry about".
Taking advise from a lawyer she pleaded guilty... (didn't realise that this was very bad advice... Now knows better)

After receiving a notice of intended prosecution she contacted the police woman who had paid the 'friendly visit' and suggested that if she had been contacted sooner she might have been offered a speed awareness course.

The case went to court (she was told that she didn't need to attend, not that she could have found the time with a 4 3/4 month old child (born three weeks after the RTA) and a 4 year old (coming on 30) daughter to take care of)

She received 8 points and a £200.00 fine. (18 years of driving without an accident)

No-one I have spoken to has been able to understand the 8 points. (No-one was injured...)

The maximum points for driving a car, while disqualified, and killing someone is, I believe, 11 points.

She was also advised that while she can contest the result it might cost upwards from £500.00, plus court costs if it went against her. They don't have that kind of money to gamble with.

Is it too late to take any further action...

What should she have done?

This post has been edited by sprouts73: Mon, 18 Sep 2017 - 20:48
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post Mon, 18 Sep 2017 - 20:47
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Jlc
post Mon, 18 Sep 2017 - 20:57
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QUOTE (sprouts73 @ Mon, 18 Sep 2017 - 21:47) *
Taking advise from a lawyer she pleaded guilty... (didn't realise that this was very bad advice... Now knows better)

I suspect pleading not guilty would have made matters worse.

QUOTE (sprouts73 @ Mon, 18 Sep 2017 - 21:47) *
No-one I have spoken to has been able to understand the 8 points. (No-one was injured...)

8 points does seem harsh but injuries are not required. In the 7-9 points range of the guidance it says (as examples) 'Overtaking manoeuvre at speed resulting in collision of vehicles, or driving bordering on the dangerous'. Injuries have a negative impact of course.

Does she still have time to appeal the sentence? (21 days after the sentencing)

This post has been edited by Jlc: Mon, 18 Sep 2017 - 20:59


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peterguk
post Mon, 18 Sep 2017 - 20:58
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What was the date of the trial?


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Jlc
post Mon, 18 Sep 2017 - 20:58
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QUOTE (sprouts73 @ Mon, 18 Sep 2017 - 21:47) *
What should she have done?

Attending would have been advised.


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Logician
post Mon, 18 Sep 2017 - 23:17
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QUOTE (sprouts73 @ Mon, 18 Sep 2017 - 21:47) *
The maximum points for driving a car, while disqualified, and killing someone is, I believe, 11 points.


You believe wrong, the maximum is dis qualification for life and 14 years jail.
Not attending court was never going to go well, if she is in time to appeal she might get the points reduced but far better if she attends while someone else baby sits.
What she should have done is refused a chat and attended a police station to give an interview where she would have been entitled to free legal advice. She should hen have attended court to give her side of the story.


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Aretnap
post Tue, 19 Sep 2017 - 16:08
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QUOTE (Jlc @ Mon, 18 Sep 2017 - 21:57) *
QUOTE (sprouts73 @ Mon, 18 Sep 2017 - 21:47) *
No-one I have spoken to has been able to understand the 8 points. (No-one was injured...)

8 points does seem harsh but injuries are not required. In the 7-9 points range of the guidance it says (as examples) 'Overtaking manoeuvre at speed resulting in collision of vehicles, or driving bordering on the dangerous'. Injuries have a negative impact of course.

That would be under the old guidelines. The new version takes a different approach (page 114)

7-9 points is for cases involving "higher culpability AND greater harm"

Factors indicating greater harm include "damage to other vehicles or property" (check)

Factors indicating higher culpability include "carrying out other tasks while driving" and "tiredness or driving while unwell" - did she admit to any of those things during the "friendly chat"? If so, I can see how they came to the sentence.

QUOTE (sprouts73 @ Mon, 18 Sep 2017 - 21:47) *
Taking advise from a lawyer she pleaded guilty... (didn't realise that this was very bad advice... Now knows better)

Not sure why you think it was very bad advice - if she drove into the back of someone then she would have a very uphill struggle to be aquitted of careless driving at a trial. Pleading guilty reduces the fine and costs that she'd have to pay - but not the points.
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Jlc
post Tue, 19 Sep 2017 - 16:23
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Good point - could depend on when the hearing was. (But seems quite recent based on the visit)

This post has been edited by Jlc: Tue, 19 Sep 2017 - 16:24


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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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sprouts73
post Fri, 22 Sep 2017 - 22:37
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Thank you for your replies.

She/ we are now wiser.


Interesting development...
My daughter wrote a letter to various 'august bodies', police complaints, local MP and someone else (can't remember who): The MP said he couldn't interfere until she had an explanation from the police complaints people ' (daughter had asked for a copy of the records of the incident... (actually she had asked for a copy way back- and was assured it would be forwarded to her)) but to let him (the MP) know the outcome as soon as she had more information.
Two weeks ago a sergeant went around to her house to gather more information... He said he couldn't believe that she still hadn't been given a copy of the records- given that she had asked for it quite some time ago, but assured her that she would be in reciept of it immediately he got back.
Two days ago she was informed that all details had been lost....

I believe that she has now passed this information on to her MP.


Oh, and my wife was following directly behind our daughter and saw the whole thing... (even the guy, who had slammed the brakes on initially, reversing alongside the woman who managed to avoid him, and then buggering off)

And just to confirm, our daughter fully accepts responsibility, she is simply questioning the percieved harshness of the penalty.


Finally, her previous 18 year driving history is: zero speeding points, a clean licence and no insurance claims.


As I said: we are now so much the wiser.... Not sure what we have alll learned from this other than 'not to ever let the police into our houses' and, on a personal level, 'not to trust the police or help them'.

That is my/ our right after all.....

Again thank you for your comments/ suggestions.

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southpaw82
post Fri, 22 Sep 2017 - 22:44
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QUOTE (sprouts73 @ Fri, 22 Sep 2017 - 23:37) *
she is simply questioning the percieved harshness of the penalty.

A question that can only be answered by the courts, not an MP or the police.


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sprouts73
post Fri, 22 Sep 2017 - 23:29
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QUOTE
A question that can only be answered by the courts, not an MP or the police.


Or not, given that all records are, er, 'unavailable'.
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cp8759
post Sat, 23 Sep 2017 - 07:58
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QUOTE (sprouts73 @ Fri, 22 Sep 2017 - 23:37) *
And just to confirm, our daughter fully accepts responsibility, she is simply questioning the percieved harshness of the penalty..


You have been advised the penalty is within the Magistrates guidelines, what makes you think an appeal to the Crown Court would lead to a lighter sentence?


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sprouts73
post Sat, 23 Sep 2017 - 10:53
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Apologies for not making it clear, our daughter is not considering an appeal... There is no way she could afford it.

What she was seeking was details of the case that was passed to the court so that she might better understand the harshness of the penalty.

I know a few police and not one of them has shown anthing but amazement at the number of points issued....

Plainly there is something in this RTA that exceeds the 'standard shunt' and she deserves to know why.


There is no sense in penalising someone and not telling them why...




Is there?
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peterguk
post Sat, 23 Sep 2017 - 10:59
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QUOTE (sprouts73 @ Sat, 23 Sep 2017 - 11:53) *
'standard shunt'


What is a 'standard shunt'?


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AntonyMMM
post Sat, 23 Sep 2017 - 11:09
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It does sound harsh, but as noted is within the guidelines.

She rear ended someone so had no real defence to the charge, which means a guilty plea was her best option but then she chose not to attend court to give any sort of mitigation. Had she done so she would have also heard the facts of the case that were given to the court ( which would have been fairly brief) and could have disagreed with them if she wanted to.

I'm not sure what complaint you think you have against the police (or anyone else), and an MP will not interfere with any current court case ..... the proper avenue for her to take is to appeal against sentence

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The Rookie
post Sat, 23 Sep 2017 - 11:16
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She presumably had the summons with the statement of facts? That plus the witness statement that would have been attached would have been used for sentancing, nothing else. All information used for sentancing is shared as otherwise that would mean the defendant would have no ability to correct any errors.


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NewJudge
post Sat, 23 Sep 2017 - 11:19
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QUOTE (sprouts73 @ Sat, 23 Sep 2017 - 11:53) *
What she was seeking was details of the case that was passed to the court so that she might better understand the harshness of the penalty.

Plainly there is something in this RTA that exceeds the 'standard shunt' and she deserves to know why.


Then she should have turned up to court on the day of her hearing. You do not say who advised her that she need not attend but it seems unlikely she would have attended even if she had not received this advice as she was too busy. In any case it was her decision. The only people who would know for certain why the sentence was as it is are the Magistrates in court on that day who handed down the sentence. You can ask the court what record it has of any reasons for their findings but they are likely to be extremely sparse, if there are any at all. Reasons for sentences in traffic matters are not usually provided, especially if the defendant is absent.

QUOTE (sprouts73 @ Sat, 23 Sep 2017 - 11:53) *
I know a few police and not one of them has shown anthing but amazement at the number of points issued....


Very few - if any - police officers spend much time in a traffic court when sentences are being handed down. I also doubt that many of them have much of a handle on the Magistrates' sentencing guidelines so not much of a recommendation, I'm afraid.

Without a formal appeal (which is probably out of time now anyway) there is no way this matter will be reviewed and the reasons for the original sentence are almost certain to be unavailable.
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cp8759
post Sat, 23 Sep 2017 - 22:10
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QUOTE (sprouts73 @ Sat, 23 Sep 2017 - 11:53) *
What she was seeking was details of the case that was passed to the court so that she might better understand the harshness of the penalty.


I'm sorry but if she wanted to understand the reasons for the penalty, she really should have gone to the hearing. Personally I will never understand how anybody charged with a crime could decide not to bother turning up on the day (no matter what advice may be received from anyone). Maybe if she had, she could have persuaded the magistrates to impose a lighter sentence, but at this point we'll never know and as it was purely her choice not to go to court, it's a bit late now.


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Logician
post Sun, 24 Sep 2017 - 01:17
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QUOTE (sprouts73 @ Sat, 23 Sep 2017 - 11:53) *
Apologies for not making it clear, our daughter is not considering an appeal... There is no way she could afford it. What she was seeking was details of the case that was passed to the court so that she might better understand the harshness of the penalty.


She would have received a statement of facts and witness statements with the summons prior to the hearing, as she presumably did not object to any witness statements and require their authors to attend and give evidence in person that is all that would have been available to the court. It is very unlikely that there is any record of the reasons for the sentencing, they would have been stated in court if she had been present but are unlikely to have been stated in her absence.



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sprouts73
post Sun, 24 Sep 2017 - 12:44
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Thank you for all your enlightened replies.

I would carry on defending my daughter's case but can see that there would be no point in doing that on here.

I simply asked what she might have done differently, to which I have received a host of (often varying) opinions and which have effectively answered nothing clearly.

I suppose that I had hoped for a modicum of understanding and a degree of advice.

Instead, what I have read is a stream of "she got what she deserved, what's your gripe"....

And I couldn't help but feel that one or two of you derived a degree of satisfaction in so doing.

Please feel free to carry on the debate in my absence.

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southpaw82
post Sun, 24 Sep 2017 - 12:51
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QUOTE (sprouts73 @ Sun, 24 Sep 2017 - 13:44) *
I simply asked what she might have done differently, to which I have received a host of (often varying) opinions and which have effectively answered nothing clearly.

Attend the bloody hearing!


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