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Summons for speeding, Stat dec issued - next steps help needed
idratherbeinbed
post Fri, 16 Aug 2019 - 09:48
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Hi all,
Firstly I just want to say what a great resource this forum is. I was able to get all the information I needed to void my conviction by statutory declaration, but now I need a little more help. I’ll post the full story:

Last week I received a load of forwarded correspondence from my registered owner’s address (I’ve moved and not changed my v5c as I still own the previous property) which related to a speeding offence, 35 in a 30, caught by a mobile speed camera on my way to university on 20/03/19. I work full time and go to university for my professional qualifications in the evening. Hands up, it was me – no challenge there. I had an agreement with the tenant to forward all post to me, but it took them nearly 6 months to do so! The next forwarded letter I opened was a reminder to provide details of the driver, followed by a Failure to identify the driver charge, followed by a court date, followed by a conviction in my absence letter with a £811 fine.
Fortunately, I had until 18th Aug to pay the fine, so bailiffs hadn’t been instructed yet – so once I’d calmed down I did some googling and I found this forum.
I printed the statutory declaration template and had a solicitor sign my statutory declaration which I then posted recorded delivery to the magistrate’s court where I was convicted. That was on Monday 12th. Yesterday, Wednesday 15th, I received a new summons with a new case number, here are the particulars;
Summons for 3rd September:
1st Offence: on 20/03/19 drove a vehicle at speed exceeding 30 miles per hour.
2nd Offence: on 23/04/19 having been required by, failed to give information relating to the identification of the driver.
Within the new pack that was sent to me, I have the summons page, an information page about next steps and what entering a plea means, a plea form and a Prosecutors Information form.
The Prosecutors Information form states “Summons (with witness statements) issues on 14th August and returnable on 3rd September”. The rest of the form is just stating the offences listed above and telling me to bring or send my driving licence to the court. NOTE: There were no witness statements or evidence included in this new summons which has a new case number.
My next steps aren’t clear. Some things I’ve read say plead not guilty to both offences, some say just plead guilty to the speeding and be done with it.
Little bit of mitigation but also reality for me; my partners expecting on the 26th August and I really rather not have to go to court on the 3rd September if I can avoid it. I’d also prefer not pay a large fine that I’d rather be spending on my first born.
Ideally (I don’t know if this is possible) I’d like to be referred to a speed awareness course rather than have the 3 points for the speeding. My understanding is that speed awareness courses are 10% plus 6mph so I should fall within that criteria and this would have been the outcome if I had been aware of the first contact. I currently have a clean licence, been driving for 15 years and have only had 3 points for speeding with no speed awareness courses (those 3 points were about 10 years ago and are a story in themselves, which I won’t go into here, but I was only doing 33 in a 30.)
Thanks for any help and guidance
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post Fri, 16 Aug 2019 - 09:48
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The Rookie
post Fri, 16 Aug 2019 - 10:19
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Its almost unheard of for a case to go to court that quickly, are you sure that the conviction doesn't relate to an earlier offence?

The usual advice is to plead not guilty to BOTH, a date will be set for a hearing at which you then try (and will almost always succeed) to do a deal with the prosecution where they drop the failing to furnish (of which you are guilty from your account) if you plead guilty to the speeding (which they can't currently convict you of as they have no proof of driver ID).

If you return your plea by 3/9 you won't be in court the same day! How would that happen?

Its registered keeper by the way, there is no register of owners.

This post has been edited by The Rookie: Fri, 16 Aug 2019 - 10:26


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Jlc
post Fri, 16 Aug 2019 - 10:25
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A course isn't available - the best you can hope for is a fixed penalty equivalent sentence. (Best case around £100 with no costs order)

Worst case, for the speeding alone, around 33% weekly earnings, costs of £85 and surcharge of 10% of the fine (min £30).

QUOTE (idratherbeinbed @ Fri, 16 Aug 2019 - 10:48) *
...I really rather not have to go to court on the 3rd September if I can avoid it. I’d also prefer not pay a large fine that I’d rather be spending on my first born.

This can only reliably be dealt with by attending. You can plead guilty to both offences for 9 points and not attend but I suspect that's not attractive.

This post has been edited by Jlc: Fri, 16 Aug 2019 - 10:26


--------------------
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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idratherbeinbed
post Fri, 16 Aug 2019 - 11:08
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Fri, 16 Aug 2019 - 11:19) *
Its almost unheard of for a case to go to court that quickly, are you sure that the conviction doesn't relate to an earlier offence?

The usual advice is to plead not guilty to BOTH, a date will be set for a hearing at which you then try (and will almost always succeed) to do a deal with the prosecution where they drop the failing to furnish (of which you are guilty from your account) if you plead guilty to the speeding (which they can't currently convict you of as they have no proof of driver ID).

If you return your plea by 3/9 you won't be in court the same day! How would that happen?

Its registered keeper by the way, there is no register of owners.


Thanks for the response.

Yes, the detail are the same as in the previous charge and the dates are the same so I'm confident it doesn’t relate to a different offence.

I might be naive, but why do you say I am guilty of failing to provide the drivers information? I didn’t provide it only because I wasn’t aware of it. My understanding is that this has now been voided due to the statutory declaration?

The summons says "the court will hear the case on 03/09/19 at 10am" and "a listing time is not a guaranteed hearing time" and "if you do not reply to the summons nor attend the hearing, the court may find you guilty in your absence"
The summons doesn’t actually give me a date on which I need to have responded to it by.


QUOTE (Jlc @ Fri, 16 Aug 2019 - 11:25) *
A course isn't available - the best you can hope for is a fixed penalty equivalent sentence. (Best case around £100 with no costs order)

Worst case, for the speeding alone, around 33% weekly earnings, costs of £85 and surcharge of 10% of the fine (min £30).

QUOTE (idratherbeinbed @ Fri, 16 Aug 2019 - 10:48) *
...I really rather not have to go to court on the 3rd September if I can avoid it. I’d also prefer not pay a large fine that I’d rather be spending on my first born.

This can only reliably be dealt with by attending. You can plead guilty to both offences for 9 points and not attend but I suspect that's not attractive.


Thanks - I'm happy to attend if that will help me get the best outcome, 9 points doesn't feel like it would be the best!
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The Rookie
post Fri, 16 Aug 2019 - 11:42
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QUOTE (idratherbeinbed @ Fri, 16 Aug 2019 - 12:08) *
I might be naive, but why do you say I am guilty of failing to provide the drivers information? I didn’t provide it only because I wasn’t aware of it.

Because you didn't respond and you didn't conduct reasonable diligence to ensure you got the notices (case law Whiteside). Being unaware is not a defence.

QUOTE (idratherbeinbed @ Fri, 16 Aug 2019 - 12:08) *
The summons says "the court will hear the case on 03/09/19 at 10am"

That's not the same as what you wrote above!

You'll really need to attend that day if you want to do a plea bargain. You could contact the court, explain the situation and see if they can postpone it for you. If your wife delivers by the 26th it won't be an issue obviously, but if she is late it could be.

Good luck to you both by the way!

This post has been edited by The Rookie: Fri, 16 Aug 2019 - 11:46


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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
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Council PCN's
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Rookies 1-0 Birmingham

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Jlc
post Fri, 16 Aug 2019 - 11:44
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QUOTE (idratherbeinbed @ Fri, 16 Aug 2019 - 12:08) *
I might be naive, but why do you say I am guilty of failing to provide the drivers information? I didn’t provide it only because I wasn’t aware of it. My understanding is that this has now been voided due to the statutory declaration?

Yes, the conviction has been squashed but it's back on the charge sheet...

There should be no issue in 'plea bargaining' it away but you seem to have contributed to not receiving it?


--------------------
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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idratherbeinbed
post Fri, 16 Aug 2019 - 12:06
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Fri, 16 Aug 2019 - 12:42) *
QUOTE (idratherbeinbed @ Fri, 16 Aug 2019 - 12:08) *
I might be naive, but why do you say I am guilty of failing to provide the drivers information? I didn’t provide it only because I wasn’t aware of it.

Because you didn't respond and you didn't conduct reasonable diligence to ensure you got the notices (case law Whiteside). Being unaware is not a defence.

QUOTE (idratherbeinbed @ Fri, 16 Aug 2019 - 12:08) *
The summons says "the court will hear the case on 03/09/19 at 10am"

That's not the same as what you wrote above!

You'll really need to attend that day if you want to do a plea bargain. You could contact the court, explain the situation and see if they can postpone it for you. If your wife delivers by the 26th it won't be an issue obviously, but if she is late it could be.

Good luck to you both by the way!


Thanks for the case law reference, I’ve looked that up and it is pertinent in my case (and changes my understanding of my position). I think I also had an incorrect view of what the statutory declaration does, I thought the CPS had to start again i.e. issue a request for driver’s information. My new understanding is that the conviction is void, but not the total accumulated charges, which I now need to answer to both?
I will be attending as that seems like the best approach, after pleading not guilty to both charges. Once at the magistrates am I correct in saying that I should look to talk to the person from the CPS and try to arrange a plea prior to the hearing?
Would it be good practice for me to have a written statement prepared?
Thanks for the good luck – big changes are coming! smile.gif




QUOTE (Jlc @ Fri, 16 Aug 2019 - 12:44) *
QUOTE (idratherbeinbed @ Fri, 16 Aug 2019 - 12:08) *
I might be naive, but why do you say I am guilty of failing to provide the drivers information? I didn’t provide it only because I wasn’t aware of it. My understanding is that this has now been voided due to the statutory declaration?

Yes, the conviction has been squashed but it's back on the charge sheet...

There should be no issue in 'plea bargaining' it away but you seem to have contributed to not receiving it?


Thanks - this is all really helpful information
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Logician
post Fri, 16 Aug 2019 - 12:49
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QUOTE
I will be attending as that seems like the best approach, after pleading not guilty to both charges. Once at the magistrates am I correct in saying that I should look to talk to the person from the CPS and try to arrange a plea prior to the hearing?
Would it be good practice for me to have a written statement prepared?


Get to court early and ask one of the ushers (people scurrying about with clipboards and possibly gowns getting things organised) to point out to you the prosecutor who will be dealing with traffic matters. Say to him/her that you will plead guilty to the speeding if they will drop the s.172. We have never heard of prosecutors refusing to do this, they prefer to get a conviction for the underlying offence, and regard the two offences as effectively alternative offences. If you do not manage to speak to the prosecutor beforehand, you should still be able to do the deal in the courtroom. It is very difficult to do this in advance of the court hearing as you would have trouble speaking to the right person.
If you had received the NIP you could have nominated yourself as the driver and would then have received the offer of a fixed penalty. The normal sentencing for speeding in court would be rather more severe than this, so you would have been disadvantaged. Therefore you should point this out to the court and request to be sentenced at the fixed penalty level, which is a guideline for magistrates' courts in these circumstances. The actual wording of the guideline is:

Where a penalty notice could not be offered or taken up for reasons unconnected with the offence itself, such as administrative difficulties outside the control of the offender, the starting point should be a fine equivalent to the amount of the penalty and no order of costs should be imposed. The offender should not be disadvantaged by the unavailability of the penalty notice in these circumstances

However, since you contributed to the non-receipt of the NIP by having inadequate forwarding arrangements for correspondence, the court might not be willing to do this. You should mention that you have also lost the chance to do a course. (Just to be clear, the court cannot order a course, so that is irretrievable)

There is no point in a written statement.






This post has been edited by Logician: Fri, 16 Aug 2019 - 12:51


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idratherbeinbed
post Fri, 16 Aug 2019 - 14:11
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QUOTE (Logician @ Fri, 16 Aug 2019 - 13:49) *
QUOTE
I will be attending as that seems like the best approach, after pleading not guilty to both charges. Once at the magistrates am I correct in saying that I should look to talk to the person from the CPS and try to arrange a plea prior to the hearing?
Would it be good practice for me to have a written statement prepared?


Get to court early and ask one of the ushers (people scurrying about with clipboards and possibly gowns getting things organised) to point out to you the prosecutor who will be dealing with traffic matters. Say to him/her that you will plead guilty to the speeding if they will drop the s.172. We have never heard of prosecutors refusing to do this, they prefer to get a conviction for the underlying offence, and regard the two offences as effectively alternative offences. If you do not manage to speak to the prosecutor beforehand, you should still be able to do the deal in the courtroom. It is very difficult to do this in advance of the court hearing as you would have trouble speaking to the right person.
If you had received the NIP you could have nominated yourself as the driver and would then have received the offer of a fixed penalty. The normal sentencing for speeding in court would be rather more severe than this, so you would have been disadvantaged. Therefore you should point this out to the court and request to be sentenced at the fixed penalty level, which is a guideline for magistrates' courts in these circumstances. The actual wording of the guideline is:

Where a penalty notice could not be offered or taken up for reasons unconnected with the offence itself, such as administrative difficulties outside the control of the offender, the starting point should be a fine equivalent to the amount of the penalty and no order of costs should be imposed. The offender should not be disadvantaged by the unavailability of the penalty notice in these circumstances

However, since you contributed to the non-receipt of the NIP by having inadequate forwarding arrangements for correspondence, the court might not be willing to do this. You should mention that you have also lost the chance to do a course. (Just to be clear, the court cannot order a course, so that is irretrievable)

There is no point in a written statement.


Thanks - I will provide an update once I've had the hearing.

This post has been edited by idratherbeinbed: Fri, 16 Aug 2019 - 15:21
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idratherbeinbed
post Tue, 3 Sep 2019 - 12:01
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Update:

Thanks for all the responses before.

I had my time in count this morning and received a good outcome – hopefully this update will be useful for other people in my situation.

I arrived at 9am and had to wait around before I was able to talk to the Prosecutor. They were 1 person down on the day so I think it was running a bit slower than usual. She was friendly and suggested dropping the S172 if I pled guilty for the speeding to which I agreed. She also said its unfortunate that this situation has happened. She said that they would only look for a fine of £100 (fix penalty level) with the mandatory court costs of £85 and victim surcharge of £30.
My partner is heavily pregnant and had actually started early stages of labour and was still with me at court for support (bless her what a trooper – I’ll pay for that later I’m sure) I asked to be seen first because of this and the Prosecutor spoke to the usher and I was seen 2nd.
When I went in front of the magistrates they asked me to confirm my name, address and d.o.b and asked me how I pled for the speeding. I said guilty but I was a little concerned that I might get hit with the s172 as well as they hadn’t mentioned it yet. The prosecution then said they will drop the s172.
They read out my statement of mitigation (or whatever it’s called) which mentioned, amongst a few other points, that my partner was pregnant. I updated the court that she was in fact in early labour yet was still here supporting me. Cue visible alarm from the bench. I said that this morning she sang ‘stand by your man’ at me and the court started laughing. It was quite a surreal experience.
The magistrate proposed the fine, prosecution agreed. They asked if I had anything to add and I said no. I was given a fine payment form by the clerk and I have 7 days to pay, I didn’t ask for instalments.

All in all a good outcome and I wasn’t challenged on anything by the court who genuinely seemed to be acting as fairly as possible and they didn’t seem to be trying to screw me over at all. I’m sure others will have different experiences, but this wasn’t as horrible as I was expecting.

By using the stat dec and going to court I had the fine reduced for £811 to £215, my 6 points were removed by the DVLA after my stat dec and I will now have 3 points.

No baby yet but she should be here in the next few days 

Thanks again for the guidance
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The Rookie
post Tue, 3 Sep 2019 - 12:11
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Well done.

And good luck to both (all three?) of you.


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

PPC PCN's
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Redivi
post Tue, 3 Sep 2019 - 12:31
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Well done

Great story
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