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Full Version: Advice Please - Due In Court Monday - Unpaid Car Tax
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obtuse0981
Hi all, I'll apologise first if this post becomes a bit long winded, I'll try and keep it as brief as possible.

I forgot to renew car tax which expired 30/09/18 (absolutely no excuses from me about this)

Received a penalty notice for unpaid car tax, paid penalty immediately on 27/11/18 and taxed car at the same time. Tax was due from 1/11/19, all good so far, apart from the extra £42.50 fine. (Annual car tax is only £30!)

Received a "Single Justice Procedure Notice" on or around the 9/4/19 as car was spotted on the road 19/11/18. By this point I no longer had the penalty notice letter from the DVLA to see whether this was the offence I had already paid.

I plead guilty by post but noted that I had already paid a penalty notice and submitted the receipt (receipt does not state date of the offence) and confirmation that the tax was then paid immediately afterwards.

I have now been summoned to court, 'Reason = Equivocal Please, defendant to attend to clarify as what I've said could amount to a defence' Due in court 10am Monday 3rd.

So I'm panicking at this point, I'm not good in situations like these and have suffered with some pretty crippling anxiety in the past.

I contacted the DVLA this morning to see if they could shed some light on the matter and they've confirmed that there was two penalty notices of which only one has been settled and the other referred to court.
Notice that was settled was an automatic penalty sent after 6-weeks of unpaid tax if the vehicle isn't SORN'd, the unsettled penalty being spotted on the road without tax.

To the best of my knowledge and with my hand on my heart I only received ONE penalty notice, which I paid. I'm not the type who would ever ignore anything like that as the thought of it ever ending up in court would really worry me (as it is now doing)

So basically I'm not denying anything now that I've confirmed it with the DVLA, happy to plead guilty as charged but would really, REALLY prefer not to attend court.

Do I have any option? Can I ring them up and tell them I plead guilty and to crack on without me. Can I bury my head in the sand, say nothing and not turn up? (I know this is a stupid thing to consider but people who’ve never suffered from severe anxiety probably wouldn’t understand)

I would quite happily pay a fine of several hundred pounds to NOT attend court.

Any helpful words of advice would be greatly appreciated, had my first sleepless night last night over this and anticipate panic attacks to be in full flow by Sunday Evening.

I hope it all makes sense, thanks for reading.
southpaw82
You could write to/email the court and say that, on reflection, you are now sure that the penalty in question is not the one that you previously paid, apologies and ask that they proceed with the matter as a guilty plea. However, if they’re not willing to then you’ll have to attend (or send a lawyer) - which isn’t as scary as it sounds - you’ll just be asked your details, to enter a plea (guilty) and perhaps to explain your previous plea. The court will ask if you have anything to say (you don’t have to) and sentence you.
Logician
As you are due in court on Monday, unless you have already contacted the court and got a reply, you had better attend. It really won't be scary, no one is going to shout at you. You just say immediately you are changing your plea, that you had paid a penalty and did not know that there was a second one, but having talked to DVLA you now understand that there were, so you are pleading guilty.
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