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Conditional offer of fixed penalty
jannerbee
post Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 14:50
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Dear all,

New to the forum so apologies if I miss something & I am not fully aware of the legal obligations.

On the 16th April I was pulled over for use of a mobile phone, a text message was sent at the traffic lights and I was pulled over and escorted into the police van.

The officer manually wrote a traffic offence report with all correct details on including address and phone number. He stated is should receive a notification from the police within 28 days but usually within 14 days.

A month passed and I heard nothing, worried about this being processed (as they could claim it was posted) I rang the 101 line as detailed on the back of the report. The officer I spoke to said there was no record of any impending action to be taken against myself or my vehicle and implied I may have "gotten away with it". She then gave me a further number (01274 dont have exact number) to ring and ask, it was traffic incident number or something similar. Stupidly (or more because I was worried) I rang them & gave them the officers details from the day so she could contact him, whilst this was naive, I was anxious as to this case going against me as the police can always state that something was posted and this is accepted.

Within a further week (dated 18/5/2018) I received a Conditional offer of fixed penalty detailing the offence of 16/4.

the offer states I either accept 6 points and a £200 fine or can contest the allegation in court.

So my question is, should this have been received within a smaller time frame (14 days as per gov website) and if so, how do I go about defending this?

Or am I just guilty as charged, accept the fine and deal with the consequences.

Whilst I am aggrieved with the fine, as I do not believe mobile phone usage should all be dealt with in the same manner (for example is sending a text in a stainer vehicle the same as using a mobile whilst doing 70mph can a motorway?)

your help and advice is greatly appreciated

JB

This post has been edited by southpaw82: Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 14:52
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post Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 14:50
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southpaw82
post Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 14:53
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QUOTE (jannerbee @ Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 15:50) *
So my question is, should this have been received within a smaller time frame (14 days as per gov website)


No. Are you getting confused with a notice of intended prosecution?

QUOTE
Whilst I am aggrieved with the fine, as I do not believe mobile phone usage should all be dealt with in the same manner (for example is sending a text in a stainer vehicle the same as using a mobile whilst doing 70mph can a motorway?)

Fixed penalties are exactly that.


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Any comments made do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon. No lawyer/client relationship should be assumed nor should any duty of care be owed.
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AntonyMMM
post Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 14:58
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The 14 days is irrelevant - doesn't apply when you were stopped and reported at the time.

6pts/£200 is the standard fixed penalty for the offence - you should only consider rejecting the offer and going to court if you have a defence, which by your own admission you don't - you were using your handheld mobile device whilst driving. Stationary at traffic lights is still driving - you would have to be parked up and engine off to be OK.

A harsh lesson - hopefully you are not still within the first 2 years of holding a licence ?
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jannerbee
post Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 15:00
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Thank you for your reply. As mentioned I have never been in this situation and so I was sent to this site for advice.

So in reality the offer was served correctly and the time frame for such things is irrelevant. I have tried googling this but It really isn't clear.

If I have no defence, so be it. I am just not sure what the different notices mean. I honestly though the next step was a NIP, I can't find online what the step by step guide is. What is the difference?

Again your help is appreciated.
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Jlc
post Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 15:31
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QUOTE (jannerbee @ Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 16:00) *
So in reality the offer was served correctly and the time frame for such things is irrelevant. I have tried googling this but It really isn't clear.

Correct - they have 6 months from the date of the offence to prosecute. They may (and have) issued a conditional offer prior to that.

QUOTE (jannerbee @ Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 16:00) *
If I have no defence, so be it. I am just not sure what the different notices mean. I honestly though the next step was a NIP, I can't find online what the step by step guide is. What is the difference?

A mobile phone offence doesn't require a NIP anyway, let alone within 14 days. (The 14 day postal NIP is most common for speeding and traffic sign offences such as redlight detected by camera)

If you do not accept the conditional offer then a prosecution will almost certainly result. Whilst it may appear harsh, relatively, it appears the offence is complete and the fixed penalty will be the best you'll get. (It will be more expensive at court unless you have a defence)

This post has been edited by Jlc: Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 15:33


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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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cp8759
post Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 15:35
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If the officer told you at the roadside that action was going to be taken, there is no need to send you a letter in the post within 14 days saying action might be prosecuted (aside from the fact that no NIP is needed for mobile phone offences). The police have six months to start proceedings against you and you do not have a defence, so accepting the fixed penalty seems like the best option.

This post has been edited by cp8759: Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 15:35


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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
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The Rookie
post Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 16:12
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Just for completeness the fixed penalty is six points, it is also the number of points you will get if you take it court and plead or are found guilty (absent a special reasons plea being accepted which is vanishingly unlikely), unfortunately in this case, from your own version of events, you are bang to rights and the fixed penalty is the best you can hope for.

Check your insurance policy, some providers like to be told straight away, others at renewal.


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