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Lozza1981
Hello,

I'm hoping someone can help a very stressed out lady!!!

Today I received a court fine for an MS90. I had no other letters as to a speeding fine or anything. So on further investigation, I hadn't changed the address with the DVLA. I did on my licence but not on my log book. I'm an idiot. So this means all letters must have gone to my previous address.

Anyway I can't phone the court until Monday to find out where or when the offence happened. Would it be logical to assume the offence date would be around a month prior to the MS90 issue date?

Any advice or pearls of wisdom for me??

Thank you in advance.
Jlc
QUOTE (Lozza1981 @ Sat, 27 Jul 2019 - 12:44) *
Any advice or pearls of wisdom for me??

Not an unusual situation. You have to perform a Statutory Declaration - contact the court to book yourself in.

It should be recoverable to the original offence (speeding/red light?) but will require attendance at court. Unfortunately, you'll likely be sentenced on your income but much better than a MS90!

QUOTE (Lozza1981 @ Sat, 27 Jul 2019 - 12:44) *
Would it be logical to assume the offence date would be around a month prior to the MS90 issue date?

Normally, yes.
Lozza1981
Thank you for your reply. When you say sentenced in your income? What do you mean?
Jlc
QUOTE (Lozza1981 @ Sat, 27 Jul 2019 - 12:56) *
Thank you for your reply. When you say sentenced in your income? What do you mean?

It depends on what the original offence was. But for normal excesses you get offered a fixed penalty (3 points £100).

At court there is a sentencing guide which is based upon your weekly relevant income. Say for 38 in a 30 this would be around 33% of your income, plus costs of £85 and surcharge (10% of fine, min £30).

The sentencing guidelines do have provision for fixed penalty equivalents - worth asking for but not guaranteed. (Best case would be £70 fine, £30 surcharge, no costs order for example)

The wording from the guidelines:

QUOTE
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.


Arguably, the reasons why you could not accept one are unconnected with the offence itself - but the court may take the view you contributed to the failure...

...caveat being able to 'plea bargain' the s172 to the underlying charge.
Lozza1981
Right okay ......
So what happens with a statutory declaration? There is some advice to plead guilty to the speeding offence and not guilty to the failure to give details. Then some people saying plead not guilty to both!

Very confused...
666
QUOTE (Lozza1981 @ Sat, 27 Jul 2019 - 13:20) *
Right okay ......
So what happens with a statutory declaration? There is some advice to plead guilty to the speeding offence and not guilty to the failure to give details. Then some people saying plead not guilty to both!

Very confused...

Plead NG to both. A data will be set for a trial, where you can (almost certainly) Do a plea bargain.

If you plead guilty to the speeding prior to trial, you have nothing to bargain with!


Logician
The best course of action depends to some extent on how far you were over the limit, if you were going so fast that you would normally be disqualified, then you might be better off just accepting the 6 points from the MS90, of course you do not know the speed or limit from the paperwork, but it would be substantially over 50 in a 30 limit or 100 in a 70 limit for example, which you might remember.

Under current practice, you will probably be asked to plead to both offence as soon as you have made the statutory declaration. Provided the speeding offence would attract less than 6 points on its own, you should plead Not Guilty to both offences, and then attend court on the date set. As there is no evidence as to who was driving your car, since you have not told them, there can be no conviction for the speeding unless you plead guilty. 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 if the offence fell within that range. 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
Lozza1981
Thank you this reply!! I feel much clearer now. I will ring the court and find out exactly what the charge is. I'm no speed demon so I assume it won't be a horrendous speeding charge.

Is there anywhere I can get a statutory declaration template or example?
Logician
QUOTE (Lozza1981 @ Sat, 27 Jul 2019 - 16:19) *
Thank you this reply!! I feel much clearer now. I will ring the court and find out exactly what the charge is. I'm no speed demon so I assume it won't be a horrendous speeding charge. Is there anywhere I can get a statutory declaration template or example?


No need, they will provide that at the court and help you to complete it. You then go into the courtroom and read it out in front of the bench, after a solemn warning against making a false declaration. You might like to practise saying "conscientiously" out loud, a lot of people stumble over it!




Lozza1981
So from what I can work out, the original offence was January 12th. So does this mean it's too late as it's passed 6 months?
Jlc
No, depends on whether they pursued the underlying charge originally. The 6 months is to commence proceedings.
andy_foster
QUOTE (Lozza1981 @ Sat, 27 Jul 2019 - 13:20) *
So what happens with a statutory declaration? There is some advice to plead guilty to the speeding offence and not guilty to the failure to give details. Then some people saying plead not guilty to both!


The 'procedure' seems to vary from court to court.

In theory, once the stat. dec. is out of the way, you plead not guilty to both charges (assuming that both offences were originally charged), otherwise you risk being punished for the motoring offence that they could not realistically prove and still being prosecuted for the s. 172 offence. In theory the court cannot 'do a deal' with you, only the prosecution can.

However, it appears in some cases that the court itself has dropped the s. 172 when the accused pleaded guilty to the underlying motoring offence.

It would seem prudent when asked for a plea to mention that you understand that in such cases it is quite common for the s. 172 charge to be dropped in return for pleading guilty to the original offence, and politely enquire whether this is something that the court would be willing to do. As such deals are a common occurrence, I would not be surprised if the legal advisor interrupted you with the answer while you were still part way through stumbling through the question.

The bottom line is not to plead guilty to the original offence unless and until you have done a deal.
Lozza1981
So what's the alternative if I'm not being charged for both? Will they just try and charge me for the ms90?
Jlc
Yes, which is harder as they may consider you contributed to the failure.
Lozza1981
Okay so if they are only charging me on the failure to furnish, what is the best way forward?
I'm ringing the court tomorrow to try and get some clarity. Not really sure what to ask when I do.
The Rookie
QUOTE (Lozza1981 @ Sun, 28 Jul 2019 - 17:50) *
Okay so if they are only charging me on the failure to furnish, what is the best way forward?

Probably to plead guilty I’m afraid.
Lozza1981
Will that mean bigger costs and fines?
The Rookie
Bigger than what?

Than now, no.

Than the speeding, depends on the alleged speed.....which is......
Logician
I seem to recall we have had some instances where the speeding charge has been resurrected.
Jlc
One, but is rare.
Lozza1981
Thank you so much everyone for your help. Feeling quite overwhelmed and anxious about this whole situation.

I rang the court and have made an appointment to do a statutory declaration at my local court on the 15th August.

The original offence was speeding on the 12th January and the sentencing was on the 16th April.
I don't know the speed, only that it was for exceeding the 30 mile an hour. Should I ring back the court that sentenced it and find out exactly the speed? I don't think it will be anything crazy but is it better to check??
Lozza1981
Having just spoken to a solicitor, they've put the fear of God in me!!!

She said it totally depends on the prosecutor and it's 50/50. Chances are I could end up being found guilty of both offences and be given 9 points and the speeding fine.
southpaw82
QUOTE (Lozza1981 @ Mon, 29 Jul 2019 - 10:26) *
Having just spoken to a solicitor, they've put the fear of God in me!!!

She said it totally depends on the prosecutor and it's 50/50. Chances are I could end up being found guilty of both offences and be given 9 points and the speeding fine.

Did they perhaps then offer to represent you, for a fee?

I can only advise you based on anecdotal evidence from this forum but that suggests that the “deal” is almost always accepted, and nowhere near 50/50.
Jlc
9 points? That takes some doing... technically you could tot (12 points) if the excess was sufficient but they are extremely unlikely to have any evidence to convict the speeding unless you plead guilty to it (why the ‘plea bargain’ works).
Logician
QUOTE (Lozza1981 @ Mon, 29 Jul 2019 - 10:26) *
Having just spoken to a solicitor, they've put the fear of God in me!!! She said it totally depends on the prosecutor and it's 50/50. Chances are I could end up being found guilty of both offences and be given 9 points and the speeding fine.


What wonderfully disinterested advice! Did she perhaps indicate that with her specialised legal knowledge, extensive experience and courtroom technique she or an associate stood a much better chance of success? We might possibly guess who this was!

Lozza1981
Yes I did think that it's in their interests to scare me into using their services.

So what is the worst case scenario? They find me guilty of both? Then what?
Irksome
If you don't nominate the driver, how can they find the driver guilty of the original offence?
The Rookie
They only have evidence you failed to nominate the driver, the CPS generally have no interest in penalising people beyond the original offence and so are happy to do the plea deal, some accounts they even suggest it, there has only been one case where it didn't happen where the defendant was an arrogant twit who told the prosecutor he couldn't be found guilty of the failing to furnish and so the prosecutor decided to educate him.

It's a big deal to you, not to the CPS or in the grand scheme of things, search the forum for 'plea deal' and read all the successful feedback.

Read this thread, in particular how good solicitors can (not) be..... http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showto...p;#entry1503611
Lozza1981
So if I can't make a plea deal. I plead not guilty to speeding and guilty for the failure to furnish. I then get the fine. Will they add court costs on top?
The Rookie
Please read ALL the comments again, that's not what has been advised for the SD hearing, no.
Lozza1981
I understand that the SD hearing you plead not guilty to both and then you get a new trial date. You then try and make a plea deal with the prosecutor at the new trial.

What I'm asking is if the prosecutor refuses and wont make the deal. What then?

I'm trying to find out the worst case scenario. Sorry if I'm asking stupid questions but this is all a bit new and confusing to me.
cp8759
QUOTE (Lozza1981 @ Tue, 30 Jul 2019 - 09:50) *
I understand that the SD hearing you plead not guilty to both and then you get a new trial date. You then try and make a plea deal with the prosecutor at the new trial.

What I'm asking is if the prosecutor refuses and wont make the deal. What then?

I'm trying to find out the worst case scenario. Sorry if I'm asking stupid questions but this is all a bit new and confusing to me.

We've never heard of this ever happening to anyone, but in the unlikely case that it does (and assuming you don't want to seek a juridical review of the prosecutorial decision in the High Court) the most damage-limiting way forward would be to plead guilty to the s172 and not guilty to the speeding charge (I'm not sure you've not said so but I assume the underlying charge is speeding).

As there will be no evidence of who was driving, the speeding charge will be dismissed.
Lozza1981
It was a speeding offence, 39 in a 30.

The offence was on the 12th January which was more than 6 months ago
The Rookie
QUOTE (Lozza1981 @ Tue, 30 Jul 2019 - 09:50) *
I understand that the SD hearing you plead not guilty to both and then you get a new trial date. You then try and make a plea deal with the prosecutor at the new trial.

What I'm asking is if the prosecutor refuses and wont make the deal. What then?

I'm trying to find out the worst case scenario. Sorry if I'm asking stupid questions but this is all a bit new and confusing to me.

Sorry, it sounded like you meant at the SD hearing, the importance of being concise!
Lozza1981
One last question....
If the plea deal is refused and I plead not guilty to the speeding, can they not just ask me directly who was driving or if I was driving as I won't be able to lie under oath?
southpaw82
QUOTE (Lozza1981 @ Wed, 31 Jul 2019 - 15:31) *
One last question....
If the plea deal is refused and I plead not guilty to the speeding, can they not just ask me directly who was driving or if I was driving as I won't be able to lie under oath?

Are you planning on giving evidence? If you’re not the they can’t ask you.
Logician
The prosecution should not go ahead because they have no evidence you were driving, if it does you plead not guilty (which is not giving evidence) the prosecution gives what evidence they have, which is your car was exceeding the limit. You then ask the magistrates to find that there is no case for you to answer since there is no evidence that you committed the offence.
Lozza1981
Just an update:
Went for the statutory declaration today. They offered me the deal of dropping the failure to give driver details and just fined me for the speeding.

They asked about my income and used this to calculate the fine. So it was £166 fine + £100 court costs + £30 surcharge. £296 in total and 3 points.

Thanks so much for all the advice on this forum.
The Rookie
Thanks for providing the feedback, always helpful to have the validity of advice confirmed.
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