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Hello everybody, I am hoping someone can advise me what to do.

My boyfriend received a single justice procedure notice for using a mobile phone whilst driving. He was in a traffic and the phone fell whilst he was driving and when stationary he picked it up and looked at the screen to see if there was any damage. He believes that this is what the officer saw him doing. He was not using the phone to send or receive data. He is adamant that there was no interactive communication as the phone was locked at all times.

When he was stopped minutes later he offered his mobile to the police officer for investigating any recent activity ( there was not any, phone was still locked) but they were not interested. From the witness statement there is no description what it is he was doing with the phone other than the suggestion that he moved it from hand-to-hand and he was looking at the screen. However the witness does state that when questioned My boyfriend, he made admissions that he was reading a message.
I need to add here that he has a significant language barrier and that he denies making any such admission.
The police have not taken any details of the phone either.
He was not made aware that any statement was being taken and that anything he was saying can and will be used against him.

He is a professional driver and he never uses his mobile while driving.
We were thinking to pay for a solicitor but at the moment cannot afford to.
6 points on his licence ( he already has 3) might cost him his job as here is a very narrow point margin left to reach 12.
Furthermore I find it very unfair.

I want him to plead not guilty. The case would most likely go to court.
What should I write in response for charges to be dropped?
There is no proof that he was using the phone and the statement should be inadmissable.
Am I right?
QUOTE (Bolinger @ Tue, 9 Jan 2018 - 21:20) *
There is no proof that he was using the phone and the statement should be inadmissable.
Am I right?

What makes you think it is inadmissable?

I'm presuming he received an offer of 6 points and a £200 fine at some stage over the past few months?

If he was looking at the screen, then unfortunately this may be seen as "using" as far as the law is concerned - there has been some debate about this in places on this forum (if you have a search, you can probably find a few recent threads about this!) Unfortunately, as far as I can see, nothing said so far is a defence - if willing to take it all the way, it may well come down to the feelings of the Magistrates on the day.
Inadmissable because 1. Unfair circumstances, statement taken without making him aware What was happening, language barrier.
Inadmissable might be too much to ask, but it should be possible to undermine this admission.
I had a free consultation with a solicitor and he made it clear that “using a phone” means interactive communication ( calls , messages, games).
From the statement I believe that they would have a very hard time to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he was in fact using the phone for communication purposes.

He had received an offer of 6 points and 200 fine, he is adamant that he has not commited any offence and wants to go to court ( ouch!!)
There are two ways of interpreting the relevant regulation (that matter). One is that the interactive communication element speaks to what the device must be capable of in order to be covered by the law. Any use is then an offence. The other is that the use must involve the interactive communication function.

There’s also an argument over whether merely holding the phone amounts to using it. Common sense and a dictionary would suggest not but you might have to go all the way to an appeal court to find out.
QUOTE (Bolinger @ Tue, 9 Jan 2018 - 21:42) *

If the cop has made a statement saying what he saw, heard and said, then i can't see a problem with that evidence being presented to the court. The court will decide how much weight to give to that evidence.

Did you boyfriend state at the time of the stop he did not understand what was being said to him?

I doubt very much you will get the charge dropped prior to the case going to court.
QUOTE (Bolinger @ Tue, 9 Jan 2018 - 21:20) *
What should I write in response for charges to be dropped?

Charges won't be dropped - it will go to trial. (A loss could mean a prosecution costs bill too - guideline is £620 but it may be less)

With 6 points at risk there's obviously more reasons to fight. However, looking at screen could make matters difficult - and providing call/message logs isn't necessarily proof there wasn't an 'interactive communication'. The legislation is here.
Uff, so far does not sound too good!
Thank you all, will probably get a solicitor after all and max out my credit card :-( He sounded very positive and convincing for a one off inclusive fee of 1200 ( hurts my eyes to read it )
QUOTE (Bolinger @ Tue, 9 Jan 2018 - 22:09) *
He sounded very positive and convincing for a one off inclusive fee of 1200

They usually do - they get paid win or lose.
You are soooo right!
Based on what you've said, I think you have very little chance of winning this. The lawyer is probably just telling you what you want to hear.
Was the Police Officer that carried out the questioning wearing a body camera? If so there may be some evidence of the confusion with the language barrier and hence the possible incorrect admission?
He says that the officer seemed to be recording. He is certain that there was no admission of reading A message on his part.
I cannot decide what to do. If there is a little chance of winning it I dont see the point of paying tbe solicitor. But then giviing in to unfair accusation makes me furious.
QUOTE (peterguk @ Tue, 9 Jan 2018 - 21:51) *
Did you boyfriend state at the time of the stop he did not understand what was being said to him?
Yes, he did. To be exact he said “ my English not good enough”

Another question, if he decides to plead guilty would the penalty be the same?
As in 6 points and 200 fine ( less 33% “advertised” discount?
If he pleads guilty he will get 6 points and the guideline is for a fine of 50% of his net weekly income, less 33% discount for his guilty plea, plus a surcharge of 10% of the fine (minimum £30) plus costs of £85. If he pleads not guilty but is found guilty his case will be transferred to a full court, the points will be the same, he will get no discount and the guideline costs are £620.
Thank you Logician.
QUOTE (Bolinger @ Wed, 10 Jan 2018 - 21:07) *
He says that the officer seemed to be recording.

Search for images of "police body cam uk" and show your BF and see if he recognises anything. If there was a recording made there may be an opportunity to cast some doubt on the officer's statement if your BF can be proved to have made a comment regarding the language issue.
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