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Historic Debt Team Letter, A ten-year old conviction comes to light
tocsin1
post Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 12:44
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Hello, I'm trying to help out a friend and I want to check with the experts on here what she should do. In 2008 (ie, almost ten years ago), she fell behind on payments for a car and it was seized by bailiffs. Then last month (July 2018), she received a letter from the Historic Debt Team asking for payment of a fine related to a conviction in March 2009. This was followed up two weeks later by a "further steps notice", at which point she phoned up and was told it related to a speeding incident in October 2008 (which is about ten days after the bailiffs had seized the car). I've advised her to make a SD at her local magistrate's court and this is now lined up for ten days' time. I'm now looking for advice on what is likely to happen at the hearing and what she should do. I don't know for sure, but I would guess the conviction is for FTF rather than speeding. If so, what should she do?

Many thanks in advance for helping me help someone very concerned.

This post has been edited by tocsin1: Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 12:50
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post Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 12:44
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Logician
post Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 13:07
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I take it that the letter she received last month was the first she knew of her conviction? If so a stat dec is the right approach, which should put aside the conviction and the sentence and halt any enforcement action. If she is immediately asked to plead in relation to the offence she should plead not guilty. The chance of anyone managing to locate the papers and mount a successful prosecution for a minor offence nearly ten years ago are very small.


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tocsin1
post Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 13:20
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Thanks, Logician. The letter last month was indeed the first she knew of the conviction.

If the conviction is for speeding (which I gather is unlikely) then it's easy to plead not guilty (she isn't guilty).

But if it's for FTF, on what grounds can she plead not guilty given that as a matter of fact she failed to provide driver details? I wouldn't want to tell her to plead NG only to then have no defence if it did go to trial.
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notmeatloaf
post Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 13:45
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Plead not guilty on the basis it wasn't reasonably practical to reply to the S172. Clearly the leasing company had her correct address at the time and so she had no reason to think correspondence wouldnt be forwarded on.

As has been said it is very very unlikely they will have the original S172 or speeding evidence so even if they pressure her for a guilty plea she has no reason to do so. Worst case scenario if they dig up information she may have to change her plea and the discount on the fine goes from 33% to 25%. She isn't burning any bridges by pleading not guilty.

This post has been edited by notmeatloaf: Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 13:46


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tocsin1
post Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 13:57
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She moved house while she had the car. She didn't inform the DVLA of this but she did have her post redirected and says nothing arrived related to this case. It's a long time ago to recall exact timings with great confidence and I daresay there may have been some shortcomings in her administration. But stick with NG for the time being you think?
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southpaw82
post Tue, 7 Aug 2018 - 14:08
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I’m not sure how many times you want to be told the same thing. She can plead not guilty because she feels like it if she likes, it’s an absolute right. Personally I don’t see it as being in the public interest to prosecute her again. Even if convicted the three points would be spent and the conviction not disclosable immediately.


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