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fez
Hi all,

I have read through some of the posts relevant to my case (i.e. 'Butty's') but was unable to find a situation identical to my predicament.

I did not know forums such as this existed, and wish i had discovered it much sooner! I have never before contributed to a forum so please bear with me if i am unfamiliar with any of the acronyms, abbreviations or protocol.

I realise ths post is quite long, but i have tried to be as clear as possible

1 - At 2.10am on 26 Nov 07 i was flashed doing 38 on a 30 road (A638 Wakefield Road, W Yorkshire)
2 - At 4.43am on the same journey home i was flashed doing 77 on a 50 (A406 Ilford) just before my exit.

I was very ill on the night, and have never been flashed before - Hindsight is a great tool to make yourself feel worse afterwards!

3 - Because of work, I spend a lot of time away from home and never receivd either the Notice of Intended Prosecution or subsequent reminder letter listed in some of the other posts.

4. When my family finally received a letter with 'Summons to court' visible in the window pane, they forwarded thiis to me realising the urgency.

5. I wrote to Havering Magistrates - for ilford offence- (letter at end of post), and explained that even though i would've been driving on the night i had never received anything before the summons for 'failing to identify..' (i did not mention the wakefield offence).

6. After having sent this letter i subsequently received a 'summons to court' for the wakefield offence. This leads me to believe that the earlier letters for both offences may have been received at my home address but were never forwarded to me.

7. Not knowing how to proceed i attended Havering Magistrates on 3rd June (the gone tuesday), and explained that i had not received the earlier letters attached to my summons. They recorded this as a 'Not guilty' plea, and adjourned the case to the 27th June.

8. I now have to attend Wakefield Magistrates on 10th June (coming tuesday), and am considering attending personally, pleading 'Guilty' and explaining the full circumstances to the court. Is this wise to do so?

Not meaning to get the violins out, but i am the only breadwinner in the family, and the potential disqualification would be a nightmare to deal with - should i mention this to the court as well?

Again, sorry if this post has been a bit long and may be too late down the process. Any help or guidance at all as to what i should say or do at both Wakefield Magistrates on Tue 10th, and Havering Magistrates on the 27th, would really be appreciated,

Thanks,

Fez

ps - the letter i originally sent to Havering Magistrates consisted of:

Dear Sir or Madam,

I have today received a summons to Havering Magistrates Court on 20th May 2008 for the charge of “…failure to give information relating to the identification of the driver of a vehicle…”, in relation to an original offence of speeding on 27th November 2007.

Unfortunately I am outside of the UK on this date, and am not due to return until the 22nd May 2008, so will not be able to attend. It is a work visit, and was booked long before receipt of the summons.

The reason I wanted to attend though is because; attached to the summons letter, are two letters I have never received. One is a “Notice of Intended Prosecution letter”, and the second one is a “Reminder letter”; sent in December 2007, and January 2008 respectively. Though I do spend a lot of time away from home, I am fairly sure I would have had the letters forwarded to me had they been received at my registered address.

I am the registered driver of the vehicle, and would have been driving on the night of the offence. I have never before been in trouble with the police, but more importantly hold a clean licence and never before had experience of a driving offence like this; so I am unsure of the procedure from here.

If I can not attend the court, what happens from here? Is there something more I need to provide? Also, since I have never before received the supposed notification letters, should my offence not be the speeding offence itself?

Can you please clarify this for me?

Thanking you in advance,

thanks, Fez

DJBrenton
You should be able to make a Statutory Declaration that you didn't receive the NIP or reminder. Someone with more experience will be along to explain more.
jobo
so you have got to 172 summons for failutre to id driver, is that right ?
have they droped the speeding ?

you have twenty eight days 9 plus any extensions to provieded the info or if this is impossible to do as soon as you can

the 172 are legaly served to you registered address

can you substaniate being out of the area for the intervening period and a failure of others to forward mail.

try and decided whether it wasnt deliverd or it wasnt forwarded as your mixing them at the moment

if so then you can argue that now is the first possible opertunity you have had to id the driver and therefore you have complied with your legal obligation
fez
QUOTE (jobo @ Fri, 6 Jun 2008 - 15:48) *
so you have got to 172 summons for failutre to id driver, is that right ?
have they droped the speeding ?

you have twenty eight days 9 plus any extensions to provieded the info or if this is impossible to do as soon as you can

the 172 are legaly served to you registered address

can you substaniate being out of the area for the intervening period and a failure of others to forward mail.

try and decided whether it wasnt deliverd or it wasnt forwarded as your mixing them at the moment

if so then you can argue that now is the first possible opertunity you have had to id the driver and therefore you have complied with your legal obligation



Hi jobo, thanks for your response - in answer to your questons -

1.I'd not thought of that before, so i dont know if they have dropped the speeding, was i wrong in assuming, the 'faiiliure to identify..' cancels out the speeding by being a bigger offence? ( have not received a summons for the speeding)
2.To what info are you referring?
3.Yes, having re-read the letters, i do have two '172 summons'.
4.Yes, they were served at my registered address.
5.Yes, i can substantiate being out of the area, but probably not for the entire time, sinice i have been back at different times over the period. Whilst they would probably agree to not having forwarded the mail, i am minfdul of incriminating other members of my family for their failure to forward the letters to me.
4. Though i originally thought they had not been delivered, i can only now assume that they must've been delivered but not forwarded. I myself would struggle to believe that 4 letters (two for each offence) were never received.
5. With the above in mind, is there still a way i can state in court that this is/ was my first opportunity to provide driver detials?

Thanks,

Fez
davepoth
AIUI your relatives will have committed no offence by not forwarding on your mail, provided they did not open it first. If you can locate the unopened envelopes and obtain a statement to the effect that they were not forwarded to you, it will help.
jobo
yes or rather the first opertunity was when you recieved the summons

you couldent return the 172 notices as you hadnt recieved them

did you write for both offences addmiting being the driver or just one
fez
daveporth - this i did ask for before, when i received the summons - they don't have the letters, and i can only assume they may've been destoyed (let me assure, its even more frustrating for me!)

jobo - i only wrote back to one - havering magistrates, the letter in my orig. post. i have not contacted wakefield mag that i am to attend on tuesday.
jobo
if you pleads guilty you will get 6 points

if you plead not guiltyand it goes wrong you will get 6 points plus more fine and costs( but not that much)

you can make a really good case for the one you wrote to but are strugling for this one to show you have acted asap

thing is now they are to late for the speeding so if they drop the 172s your off with the lot


dependent on your financial state and what you can provied to show you were out of the area and evidence that you left instruction to forward mail and that this did not happen id be tempted to have a go
fez
QUOTE (jobo @ Fri, 6 Jun 2008 - 17:06) *
if you pleads guilty you will get 6 points

if you plead not guiltyand it goes wrong you will get 6 points plus more fine and costs( but not that much)

you can make a really good case for the one you wrote to but are strugling for this one to show you have acted asap

thing is now they are to late for the speeding so if they drop the 172s your off with the lot

dependent on your financial state and what you can provied to show you were out of the area and evidence that you left instruction to forward mail and that this did not happen id be tempted to have a go


Jobo,thanks for your responses, i appreciate your help mate,
1. From what i read, i am considering pleading not guilty to both (i have already done so for the havering mag one, when i attended there briefly on tuesday)
2. Do you think because they are aware that it is too late to do me for the speeding, this will more incline them to do me for the 'failing to identify..'?
3. When you mention my financial state - do you mean if i can pay for relevant expenses? - or do you mean that this may limit how much they fine me?
4. I am thinking of taking a letter from my brother to confirm i have been staying at his (and also providing the dates when i have been out of london); but instruction to my family to forward mail would only have been verbal) - anything else you can think of?

As an aside, when i attended Havering and pleaded 'Not guilty', they adjourned the case immediately and told me to return. With this in mind, do you think i should just plead guiilty by fax/post, and wait for the adjournement to save the eight hour round-trip to just be invited back; or is their some benefit in being there in person if only for plea?
fez
Hi all, I have my hearing at Wakefield Mags tomorrow. Whilst this is late, i thought it may be worth a try if anyone on here does read it this evening.

In conversation with jobo on this thread earlier i was starting to feel fairly convinced that i would plead not guilty and explain why i had not received the relevant nip and reminder letter, and submit a letter from my brother confirming i had stayed at his during that time.

Having this evening read through a few of the other threads of situations where people have pleaded guilty and used the mitigating circumstances (5 points instead of 6 for 'afraids' son for example); i am now confused and considering this option.

This may be repeatiing, but do mags have to issue a compulsory 6 points if i plead guilty? is there any deviation from this?

Also, is there any advice anyone has for the day itself tomorrow? Fingers crossed for a clean journey - its over 4 hours as it is!

Thanks,

Fez
Cornucopia
QUOTE (fez @ Mon, 9 Jun 2008 - 21:39) *
Having this evening read through a few of the other threads of situations where people have pleaded guilty and used the mitigating circumstances (5 points instead of 6 for 'afraids' son for example); i am now confused and considering this option.

This may be repeatiing, but do mags have to issue a compulsory 6 points if i plead guilty? is there any deviation from this?


I don't claim to be an expert on this but you aren't going to get that many responses tonight so here goes.

Firstly my impression from my previous reading here is that for a failure to identify the driver the magistrates are now under heavy pressure to issue the full 6 points to apply pressure on people to always identify the driver and not try to use it as a loophole. On the other hand if you can show the evidence you were genuinely away from home a lot and are not claiming that you couldn't remember who was driving that night just to try to evade responsibility (which they really hate as they think it is an obvious attempt to get off the speeding conviction) they might be more generous and give less points. You could obviously point to your relatively modest excess speed over the limit here and that had you received the notice in time and pleaded guilty to speeding (as you would have done had you got the notice) then you would only have got 3 ponts for this speed or indeed probably only an invitation to attend a speeding awareness course and no points. They might be sympathetic as you were only going at a speed where many SCPs are offering driver training courses instead of 3 the points. On the other hand they may well give you the 6 points as that is the tariff they are instructed to give for the S172 offence.

Very hard to say on this as obviously you were speeding and typical magistrates seem to hate to see anyone get off the speeding offence due to a failure to identify the driver. However if we had more old fashioned manual speeding stops and less GATSO and Truvelo cams these situations with non identification would never arise in the first place.

I don't know what to advise as it seems a gamble either way. If you plead guilty to the S172 they will probably give you 6 points anyway, whereas if you plead not guilty and make a good case that it was just impossible for you to identify yourself in time and you would of course have taken the 3 points and the fine if you had got the notice in time then may be they would let you off due to your relatively low speed over the limit. It seems to me that you are far less likely to get off on the S172 for the Ilford offence because the offence is much further over the limit and at a level they would regard as a lot more serious offence. So perhaps it would be better to try pleading not guilty on this one with reasons and guilty with mitigation to the S172 for the one in Ilford.

On further reflection I would try pleading not guilty for the Wakefield one and push the fact that you so regret it was simply physically not possible for you to reply by the deadline as you know it would only have been 3 points or even a driver awareness course and that is undoubtedly what you would have done had you had got the notice in time. Stress you are the main breadwinner and a responsible driver with a job that depends on driving etc and that 6 points for an S172 would be very unfair when it was genuinely impossible for you to know the notice had been issued or respond to it by the deadline.
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