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Monkey Tennis
Hello there Guys and Gals,

Looking for some advice on the following case. The NIP wizard is playing up (is it cos I use Firefox?) so I have cut and pasted the questions from elsewhere and filled in appropriately to my situation:

Alleged to have been ‘got’ by Arrive Alive North Wales doing 41mph in 30mph zone. Mobile van I think.

NIP Details and Circumstances
What is the name of the Constabulary? – North Wales Constabulary
Date of the offence: - 10.03.06.
Date of the NIP: - 13.03.06.
Date you received the NIP: - this is in question as the original NIP was sent to an old address
Location of offence (exact location as it appears on the NIP: important): - A5 Holyhead Road, Menai Bridge (Anglesey,)
Was the NIP addressed to you? - Yes
Was the NIP sent by first class post, second class or recorded delivery? – 1st class, though no discernable post date due to ‘postage paid’ format
How many current points do you have? - 3
Provide a description of events (if you know what happened) telling us as much about the incident as possible - some things that may seem trivial to you may be important, so don't leave anything out. Please do not post personal details for obvious reasons – Nothing complicated, was just coming off a roundabout and accelerating on very wide road which appeared to be empty of traffic and pedestrians
NIP Wizard Responses
These were the responses used by the Wizard to arrive at its recommendation:
Have you received a NIP? - Yes
Which country did the alleged offence take place in? - Wales
Did the first NIP arrive within 14 days? – Impossible to tell
Are you the Registered Keeper of the vehicle concerned (is your name and address on the V5/V5C)? - Yes
Were you driving? – Yes

Ok so the above is the information asked for by the NIP Wizard, but here’s where it gets interesting, as I am now in an odd position.

I first became aware of the issue when I received post forwarded to me from an old address of mine. So I have no way of telling if the NIP was delivered within the 2 week framework that they ought to be. So I have to assume there is no police issue with that, as the date of the NIP was only 3 days after the ‘offence’.

Realising that I had not updated my Driving Licence, I contacted the DVLA and asked what the penalty for this might be, and was told vaguely that there was one, but it would be ok if I just sent in my licence for updating. This I duly did, so as to avoid any hint of bad behaviour if it came to it with the Police or the Courts. I also thought at the time that I might be able to get away with telling the cops/courts that they had not served me notice correctly as they had not sent it to me in the correct time framework on account of this address issue, but I think that it would eventually come out that it was my fault for not updating my addresses. This idea did work previously with the Souh Wales Police (I will post a success story later and link to it here)

More interestingly, I inferred from the information the DVLA gave me was this: if the V5 document wasn’t updated as well, the police would still send out NIPs to previous addresses as this information is held “on a separate database”. So I checked, and realized that since moving in autumn last year, I had also neglected to update the address on the V5. I rectified this for the same reasons as rectifying the address on my Driving Licence.

Anyway, so I replied some time later, buying a little time and asked them to provide photographic evidence as I could not recall the exact journey made (it was some time ago after all the delay in the NIP getting to me). I also told them that a friend is insured on my car for occasional use (true) so it could have been them. I also gave them my current address and asked for all future correspondence in this case to be sent to me here.

They actually replied to my correct address providing me with a photo of the car with me clearly driving. It said that enforcement was suspended for a 2 week period (to give me time to reply). This was dated 01.06.06.

I did not reply, as I was trying to buy time (having heard about the 6 month timeout thing).

The latest communication is where it gets odd/strange/ interesting.
I have just opened a letter which was sent to a previous address (and then forwarded on to me by the current occupiers) which is in fact a court summons, asking me to appear in court in Anglesey charged with S172 (ie not providing driver details). This was dated 19.07.06, although as it was forwarded, I only received in late August. The summons is to appear in mid September before the court (6 months and 4 days after alleged offence).

I may have made a mistake opening the courtly communication, as I wondered if there was a defence in that they had sent it to the wrong address and so I could plead ignorance… (after all I told the police my current address and updated my documentation – DL + V5 months ago). Risky though and I don’t like the idea of perjury. However I adjudged it better to know what they are thinking, planning. And I wouldn’t want them to fine me a grand in absentia for not providing driver details.

What advice can readers offer me?

Should I try to accept the fixed penalty by contacting the police?
Should I try to accept the fixed penalty by contacting the court, thus avowing that I have had their latest communication?
Should I turn up in court with driving licence etc and ask that I accept the fixed penalty?
Should I turn up and plead PACE?
Can I if I try to, avoid the hearing by accepting the fixed penalty now that it has got to this stage?


Thankyou so much for your help in advance. Donations to pepipoo forthcoming.
andy_foster
Basically, after getting a good head-start due to inadvertantly forgetting to notify the DVLA of your change of address, you decided to take the chance of ignoring the reminder in the hope that it would time out.

You gambled, and you lost.
Unless the prosecution are feeling exceptionally generous, it's too late for a fixed penalty, or even to take the speeding instead of the failing to provide the driver's details.

The summons being sent to your old address won't help you - if you ignored it and got the judgement set aside because the summons wasn't served (would require a statutory declaration), the case would only be re-opened and you would be convicted.
Monkey Tennis
Ouch. Looks like I could be in for it then. Does anyone know what they tend to find in these cases? - I certainly can't afford to pay a huge fine like the £1000 they quote.

Maybe I should contact both the court and the police beforehand and say that I am prepared to accept the FP, if they want to change their position. I'll try that.

Thankyou Andy for your response.
andy_foster
No point asking the court at this stage (or at any stage without a good reason).

Most s.172 convictions I've seen resulted in a £250 fine + costs (and the obligatory 3 points - MS90 endorsement code).
You might be entitled to a discount of up to 1/3 off the fine (not the points) for an early guilty plea.

Alternatively, you could hope that Francis wins in the ECtHR, but you might not be able to get your case adjourned pending the judgement, and even if he wins, there's no guarantee that the UK courts would apply the judgement.
Monkey Tennis
Is the MS90 endorsement code a more serious one than SP30 when it comes to the way insurance companies view you?

Also, presuming I can't get the court to consider reopening the Fixed Penalty option - as you clearly suspect will be the case - the judgement against me will mean I have a criminal record - is that correct?

Again, thankyou.
nemo
QUOTE (Monkey Tennis @ Wed, 30 Aug 2006 - 13:53) *
Is the MS90 endorsement code a more serious one than SP30 when it comes to the way insurance companies view you?
Generally, yes. Some (but not all) insurance companies take a particularly dim view of an MS90 endorsement because it can mask some serious motoring offences. Try Confused for some comparative quotes.
QUOTE (Monkey Tennis @ Wed, 30 Aug 2006 - 13:53) *
the judgement against me will mean I have a criminal record - is that correct?
A conviction for speeding is a criminal offence, as is failing to provide driver details. But they are criminal convictions which are non-recordable. A non-recordable offence is an offence which:

- is not punishable by imprisonment (note it does not matter whether the person concerned was sent to prison. The offence is only 'non-recordable' if prison is not even a possible punishment for anyone convicted of that offence.)

and

- is not listed in the Schedule to the National Police Records (Recordable Offences) Regulations 2000 as amended by the National Police Records (Recordable Offences) Amendment Regulations 2003 and National Police Records (Recordable Offences) Amendment Regulations 2005.
andy_foster
QUOTE (Monkey Tennis @ Wed, 30 Aug 2006 - 13:53) *
Is the MS90 endorsement code a more serious one than SP30 when it comes to the way insurance companies view you?


With some companies.
Get some sample quotes from confused.com

QUOTE
Also, presuming I can't get the court to consider reopening the Fixed Penalty option - as you clearly suspect will be the case - the judgement against me will mean I have a criminal record - is that correct?


The court can't/won't offer you a COFP. The prosecution could do a deal, but I won't bank on it.
Speeding and failing to provide the driver's identity are both criminal offences, but they are non-recordable - you don't get a criminal record.
Monkey Tennis
Cheers Andy. I appreciate all your assistance.

Also thanks to Nemo for your response.
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