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deguerre
On Thursday the 18th of June I was caught doing 43mph in a 30 zone by a police man standing at the side of road with a laser speed gun. I have been given a fixed penalty notice, it says I have to produce my license at a Police station within 7 days and pay the fine within 28 days.

The problem is that I have 9 points on my license already and driving is an essential part of my job, if I lose my license I will lose my job.

6 of the point on my license were totted up in the same day and are due to expire of the 13h of October (less that 4 months time), is there a way I can stretch things out so that my new points are added after my old ones expire?

If not what are the chances of me keeping my license?

Thanks
srg
QUOTE (deguerre @ Sat, 20 Jun 2009 - 11:53) *
On Thursday the 18th of June I was caught doing 43mph in a 30 zone by a police man standing at the side of road with a laser speed gun. I have been given a fixed penalty notice, it says I have to produce my license at a Police station within 7 days and pay the fine within 28 days.

The problem is that I have 9 points on my license already and driving is an essential part of my job, if I lose my license I will lose my job.

If not what are the chances of me keeping my license?

Thanks


The police probably made a mistake giving you an FPN if you've already got 9 points - as you'll need to go to court and argue your case.

It will be very difficult to defend yourself against the speeding charge as it's a roadside stop.

The court, if so minded could give you a short ban rather than points or decide to use their power to give you the points but not disqualify you - but that's difficult. You probably should think of ways to demonstrate exceptional hardship which a ban would cause - not particularly to yourself, but others. For example, if you lose your license and job, your family would suffer, etc ..
jobo
no chance of delaying things, the points are from date of offence not conviction

what were the 6 points on one day for

youve a fair to middling chance of putting forward an undue hardship case and not having a ban imposed, particularly if you can show hardship to others, children , mother, spouse
desktop_demon
Unfortunately, attempting the "stretch out" the legal process will not be much use in this case as the number of points on the licence when the alleged offence was committed is the important factor - not the number on your licence when you are summonsed, tried or convicted.

Roadside pulls are statistically difficult to defend but in such circumstances it may be worth a try if you think you have some valid defence case (but cannot advise on that). Otherwise mitigation and special circumstances may allow you 12pts without ban if the bench is feeling exceptionally benevolent on the day. But most likely is a short ban - maybe an argument for a shorter ban will succeed in the circumstances. It is mostly the luck of the draw but a well prepared argument and good supporting circumstances may swing the case to a more favourable outcome. Good luck! smile.gif
jobo
IMHO theres no chance of a short ban instead of a toting up ban, though you can get the tot ban at less than 6 months
deguerre
Thanks for all the input, its good to know where I stand, even if its bad news!

The 6 points on the same day were both SP30 fixed penalties I was working a very stressful job with long hours with a work load way above me experience level, I only lasted there 3 weeks, I don't know if it might be possible to plead that I was under exceptional stress at the time of those penalties.

I have no dependents but I am a gas engineer, my area of expertise is domestic breakdowns, therefore I have to travel to customers houses and need a van for tools and parts. If I loose my license I loose my job and I wouldn't be able to get one in the same field, my only option would be to work on building sites. Obviously with the bottom having fallen out of the building industry I will struggle to find work and may have to move to a different city to find some. To be honest I think if i lost my license I would probably consider emigrating, obviously the circumstances are not ideal as I haven't had the chance to prepare by building up savings etc.

Might a letter from my employer help?

I feel quite hard done by to be honest, the point are no indication of how I drive, I don't speed habitually or drive recklessly, I'm actually a pretty cautiously driver. The 2 sets of points I got in the same day were very out of character and the trap I was caught in on Thursday was on a section or road that I drive 2-4 times a day, its very safe and to be honest I assumed it was a 40 mph limit.

I'm not against speed cameras or speed traps if they're used in sensible places, but the speed trap I went through wasn't, it was clearly an enforcement trap, not a safety at all.

If I can't avoid a ban how long would you expect it to take before I loose my license?
srg
QUOTE (deguerre @ Sat, 20 Jun 2009 - 13:07) *
I have no dependents but I am a gas engineer, my area of expertise is domestic breakdowns, therefore I have to travel to customers houses and need a van for tools and parts. If I loose my license I loose my job

Might a letter from my employer help?

If I can't avoid a ban how long would you expect it to take before I loose my license?


Ideally you need to demonstrate the effect on others to justify exceptional hardship - from the legal point of view, the punishment is meant to affect you. Exceptional hardship is usually to mitigate the effect of the punishment on others. Do you drive anyone else round anywhere - your elderly relative to hospital, do charity work, etc? These would carry more weight.

A letter from your employer won't do any harm and may help.

It will probably take a few months for the summons to come through, so you're probably talking about 6 months before you would get the ban.
nemo
QUOTE (jobo @ Sat, 20 Jun 2009 - 12:28) *
..though you can get the tot ban at less than 6 months

Only if the court finds that there are exceptionally good reasons not to disqualify for the statutory minimum period.
deguerre
OK thanks for the replies.

If I was to loose my job in this climate, without a driving license my only option in working on a building site, if I were to stay living where I am there would be no work, so if I stayed here it would mean going on the dole and being a burden to society, or I would have to move to another city. Would this not be a case of the punishment being out of proportion to the crime?
srg
QUOTE (deguerre @ Sun, 21 Jun 2009 - 10:42) *
If I was to loose my job in this climate, without a driving license my only option in working on a building site, if I were to stay living where I am there would be no work, so if I stayed here it would mean going on the dole and being a burden to society, or I would have to move to another city. Would this not be a case of the punishment being out of proportion to the crime?


Possibly - it does seem very harsh.

But the way the court would probably see it is you should have considered that before breaking the law.

Unfortunately, all you can do is try and provide as much evidence as possible regarding exceptional hardship and see what happens.
bluegolfboy
QUOTE (srg @ Sun, 21 Jun 2009 - 11:18) *
QUOTE (deguerre @ Sun, 21 Jun 2009 - 10:42) *
If I was to loose my job in this climate, without a driving license my only option in working on a building site, if I were to stay living where I am there would be no work, so if I stayed here it would mean going on the dole and being a burden to society, or I would have to move to another city. Would this not be a case of the punishment being out of proportion to the crime?


Possibly - it does seem very harsh.

But the way the court would probably see it is you should have considered that before breaking the law.

Unfortunately, all you can do is try and provide as much evidence as possible regarding exceptional hardship and see what happens.


Worded a different way. In your circumstances you had a greater incentive to obey the legal requirements than most.

Everyone seems to have forgotten the old 'is everything okay with the case' angle? Did the copper pull of a great piece of Police work or did he make mistakes?

A court 'could' show compassion for your personal circumstances in the current economic climate but I highly doubt it. If they did then they would need to show everyone compassion.

You still have options. 'Guilty' or 'Not Guilty'... Depends on what can be got at in so far as mounting a defence if you want to pursue 'Not Guilty'. It'd be hard but not impossible to do something after all anything is better than the dole office.
srg
QUOTE (bluegolfboy @ Sun, 21 Jun 2009 - 11:50) *
Worded a different way. In your circumstances you had a greater incentive to obey the legal requirements than most.


You're always better than me at selecting the west way of saying things, bgb ninja.gif
deguerre
I'm not sure how I could argue that I'm not guilty, there were 2 coppers there, I was by myself. I didn't see any evidence from them that I was speeding, they said they caught me doing 43mph on the speed gun. The only thing that struck me as strange about the whole thing was that there was another car in front of me so I'm not sure that they could have had a clear line of sight on me? I didn't argue at the time, I assumed my old points had expired and I was in the clear so I signed the fixed penalty notice and wasn't too concerned.

Any ideas on how I could make a case that I'm not guilty? I don't really know how these things work.
Pete.
How old are your oldest points? They stay on your license for 4 years, but only count towards totting-up for 3. It could be that the cops spotted that your oldest points are more than 3 years old in which case you won't get a totting-up ban.
bluegolfboy
It could indeed mean the oldest points have expired. Have they?

Also, you mentioned the vehicle in front. Was this vehicle stopped? Were you catching up with the vehicle in front or were both of you doing the same speed? Was there any traffic travelling in the other direction?

What did you sign?
jobo
QUOTE (bluegolfboy @ Sun, 21 Jun 2009 - 17:44) *
It could indeed mean the oldest points have expired. Have th?



6 of the point on my license were totted up in the same day and are due to expire of the 13h of October (less that 4 months time), is there a way I can stretch things out so that my new points are added after my old ones expire?
Pete.
Needs to qualify 'expire' as in off the license (4 yrs old) or expired for totting-up purposes (3 yrs old). If it's the former he dodges a ban.
jobo
yea see what you mean
jdfi
QUOTE (deguerre @ Sun, 21 Jun 2009 - 10:42) *
OK thanks for the replies.

If I was to loose my job in this climate, without a driving license my only option in working on a building site, if I were to stay living where I am there would be no work, so if I stayed here it would mean going on the dole and being a burden to society, or I would have to move to another city. Would this not be a case of the punishment being out of proportion to the crime?


Its also worth bearing in mind that (assuming you have worked for this employer for at least a year) they can't just dismiss you because of this. They are obliged to go through a procedure (including considering you for non-driving roles) and if they make a mistake with that procedure it may be that you can claim unfair dismissal. Little comfort if you'll then be unemployed I know.

If your manager is reasonable, it may be that you can (for example if your ban is two months) take five weeks holiday and spend a couple of weeks working in the office/out in the van with other staff. I've just chosen two months as an example I have no idea how long this ban might be.
The Rookie
Back to the alleged offence, its worth checking if the 30 limit is legal, was there a system of street lighting where you were caught?

Simon
deguerre
The old points on my license haven't expired, they are less than 3 years old, sorry for the confusion.

As for my employer I only started with them as of November last year so I will only have been with them for 7 months, shame that could have been a lifesaver.

There were street lights so it was a 30 limit, it just seems like the kind of road that should be 40 mph, its more like a through road and its not in a residential.

The car in front wasn't stopped, I was catching up with it and there were no cars traveling in the other direction

I wanted to stretch things out a bit so I called the fixed penalty unit to see if they'd extend the deadline for me to submit my paper license because " I'd lost the paper counter part for my license and had to order a new one from the DVLA." An extended deadline is not an option. However it seems that there may have been an administrative error on the computer system, they seem to think that they've already seen my license. I didn't pry too much as I didn't want them to realize the error and correct it. I will call them tomorrow and see if I can pay over the phone, if everything looks tied up at their end then maybe they'll close the file and I can escape a ban by the skin of my teeth. Fingers crossed!
The Rookie
QUOTE (deguerre @ Mon, 22 Jun 2009 - 16:28) *
I didn't pry too much as I didn't want them to realize the error and correct it. I will call them tomorrow and see if I can pay over the phone, if everything looks tied up at their end then maybe they'll close the file and I can escape a ban by the skin of my teeth. Fingers crossed!

I won't give you good odds.

Simon
deguerre
Yeah, having slept on it I don't like my odds either. I'm just going to do what's required of me, I just have to hope they can be reasonable.
deguerre
Hi,
I was caught by a police speed trap (policeman with hand held speed gun) on 18/6, doing 43 in a 30 mph zone, I was given a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN).

After 7 days I took my copy of the FNP to he station with my license, the office filled out some forms, signed my FPN and gave my documents back. He said I would have to go to court as I already had 9 points and that I would receive a letter from the courts in due course.

I since receive a letter dated 30/6 saying:
"...we have not yet received the officers copy of the ticket; upon receipt of this I will answer your correspondence as a matter of urgency. I have suspended your ticket for 28 days..."

Someone told me that if I don't receive an NIP within 21 days of an offense then they can't prosecute me. Is that correct? Or is a Fixed Penalty Notice also a Notice of Intended Prosecution? I am in the clear?

Thanks
Hotel Oscar 87
As you were clearly stopped at the road side - and issued with an endorseable fixed penalty notice you will have been given a verbal notice of intended prosecution at the time. In such circumstances no written notice is required. As for the 21 days, it's actually 14 days.
deguerre
OK, thanks.

So if the officers ticket doesn't turn up am I in the clear then?
nemo
QUOTE (deguerre @ Sat, 11 Jul 2009 - 14:15) *
Or is a Fixed Penalty Notice also a Notice of Intended Prosecution?

There is no requirement to serve a NIP at all (verbal or otherwise) where a Fixed Penalty Notice has been issued.
deguerre
No sorry I understand that, my question now is something different.

The FPN was layered carbon copy paper, I have submitted my copy and they have since written to me saying that they are still waiting for the officers copy of the FPN. What I am asking is this:
If the officers copy doesn't turn up (because he has lost it) will they still prosecute me?

Thanks
jobo
probly notif he lost it, and i heard of one copper disciplined when they found two hundred un processed in tickets his draw, then your off free

but to be honest i thing it will get there in due course and as the fpn wont stand they have 6 months to lay the info
deguerre
OK thanks, I'll just have to hope he has lost it then!
//D//
QUOTE (deguerre @ Sat, 11 Jul 2009 - 15:00) *
No sorry I understand that, my question now is something different.

The FPN was layered carbon copy paper, I have submitted my copy and they have since written to me saying that they are still waiting for the officers copy of the FPN. What I am asking is this:
If the officers copy doesn't turn up (because he has lost it) will they still prosecute me?

Thanks

Yes, the prosecution can still go ahead because they have your copy and you've responded to it. The fact that the officer's copy has gone missing only means that the officer receives a quick nudge to ask where his copy is and has a bit of explaining to do if it's not been submitted. In terms of how this affects you, it doesn't really, your prosecution can and more than likely will, still go ahead I'm afraid.

QUOTE (jobo @ Sat, 11 Jul 2009 - 15:07) *
probly notif he lost it, and i heard of one copper disciplined when they found two hundred un processed in tickets his draw, then your off free

but to be honest i thing it will get there in due course and as the fpn wont stand they have 6 months to lay the info

However in the OP's case the ticket can be processed because he / she has responded to it. Had the OP not responded to the FPN and the officer's copy not turned up then the OP would have got away with it, BUT (and it's a big but) this is a huge gamble and not worth it. The officer's copy being missing will cause a spot of inconvenience for the officer, but in terms of the OP there'll be no difference.
deguerre
Oh well, off to court I go then... icon_hang.gif
deguerre
Hi, I have a court summons for being caught in a police speed trap while already having 9 points on my license (6 of them are due to expire 3 days after the court appearance!)

There is a minor mistake on the summons, the date of birth is wrong, it has me down as being born 1950, when I was born in 1980, would this make the case against me invalid? Can I get off on a technicality? I assume its unlikely as I signed a Fixed Penalty Notice in front of the police office at the road side. But I though it would be worth checking just in case.

Thanks
Hotel Oscar 87
No. Such a minor error could be corrected by means of the "Slip rule". As for your points your probably realise that the crucial date is that of the offence not that of conviction when calculating "totting".
deguerre
OK, I thought it was worth a try anyway. Thanks for your reply.

...and yes I understand the important date is that of the offense and not the conviction, thanks again.
deguerre
I have a court date soon and am at risk of loosing my license, I'd like to get a lawyer to defend me. Any recommendations would be very much appreciated.

(I assume a lawyer and and solicitor are the same thing and that is what I need?)

Thanks
Fredd
This is the third thread to be merged for the same case - please don't do it again.

You've started a duplicate thread!
deguerre
I'm sorry, I didn't think the details of my offense were relevant to the query. I assumed posting a new topic was the smartest thing to do as it would give me more chance of someone with the information I need seeing my query.

Sorry for breaking the rules, it won't happen again.
CountryCousin
QUOTE (deguerre @ Sun, 20 Sep 2009 - 16:19) *
I have a court date soon and am at risk of loosing my license, I'd like to get a lawyer to defend me. Any recommendations would be very much appreciated.

(I assume a lawyer and and solicitor are the same thing and that is what I need?)


The three road traffic law experts recommended by this site are shown at http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=36859

I can particularly recommend Robert Dobson as a very user friendly guy who will talk a case through with you for 5 or 10 minutes on the phone for free to discuss the pros and cons, whereas John Josephs has a secretary and won't even tell you until you have sent him a summary of your case by fax and agreed to pay him over £300 to tell you if he thinks your case is worth taking.

Also look at the Association of British Drivers solicitors list at http://www.abd.org.uk/solicitors.htm Clive Burton, who is listed under the NG postcode, is part retired road now and also getting on in years but for that reason is another guy who you can get to talk to directly and again will speak to you on the phone on an initial basis for 5 or 10 minutes to suggest what basic approach he recommends taking if he were to take your case. However he will probably only take your case if you live fairly locally as I think he is getting past the age of travelling all over the country. There is also Nick Freeman's Keep on Driving at www.freemankeepondriving.com who have successfully represented Jeremy Clarkson, well known footballers etc but I doubt they will even talk to you without putting some money up front first.

At the end of the day you have so much at stake here financially that you might want to go all the way in terms of fighting the accuracy of the laser detection by the Police officer by engaging an expert witness to argue why it was not used accurately by the PC on that day (getting disclosure of the full session video is normally the first stage and only a solicitor will achieve that these days due to resistance by the CPS against any individuals trying to get such disclosure) but this runs the risk of the other side doing the same and calling in expert witnesses. Andrew Thompson (listed by this website) is also a fairly helpful guy who will normally have one conversation with you about the case before you take him on. A favourite way of trying to defend speeding allegations up to now has been if either of the terminal 30mph signs you passed entering the 30mph area were missing or defective but now if it is a street lit area and the street lights do not exceed the maximum distance apart this has been ruled as an invalid defence by a precedent set in one of the higher courts. Lack of terminal (the large ones) speed limit signs that you should have passed or signs of the wrong size or lack of repeaters or enough repeaters is still a potentially valid defence in a non street lit 30mph area or any 40mph, 50mph, 60mph or National Speed Limit area. The problem is that to win really requires an expert witness (Richard Bentley of www.rmbconsulting.co.uk is normally called in such cases) and solicitor on your side and even then a win is not guaranteed. See Section 14 of Chapter 3 (Regulatory Signs) of the Traffic Signs Manual available free at www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/tss/tsmanual/ for more information on speed limit signing requirements.

Really someone who is reliant on driving for their living like you are ideally should have considered contesting hard the offence that took you to 9 points or even 6 points, if of course you had any legitimate grounds to do so. Now at 9 points this is unfortunately your last shot to keep your driving licence. Alternatively you could instead plead Guilty and if you have young school age children and so on run the argument that your family will be left destitute and that your wife or children may suffer great hardship. Where do you live as if public transport is bad in that area and that will impact on your wife and children (for instance if your wife does not drive or you normally drop off or pick up the children from school) that is an argument as to why you should not be disqualified for getting to 12 points and given one more chance (anyone getting to 15 points will still definitely be banned for 6 months).

I think a case like yours is very interesting for anyone in politics who is supportive of the idea that mobile camera van enforcment in particular and also GATSO/Talivan enforcement under New Labour has now gone too far as no doubt in your job you drive on a lot of local suburban roads in the daytime where the risk of meeting a mobile camera van is therefore maximised. This compares with driving high miles on the motorway where substantial risk of detection is only confined to a small number of known sections of motorway road and you are unlikely to receive a ticket unless you travel over an indicated 75mph to 80mph on your speedo. Did you buy any of the more sophisticated speed cam or satnav warning devices from TomTom or RoadAngel when you got to 9 points. Really if your livelihood depended on it that would have been a wise move but perhaps you have in fact already done that? If not now might be a good time. If people like you who are not driving round at 120mph on the motorway (which is really asking to be banned and a very conscious decision however you look at it) but are only doing a few mph over the limit on local roads are losing their licenses in larger and larger numbers due to the mobile camera van this is surely a sign that things have gone too far. Also perhaps the totting ban needs to be cut to the 55 days that tends to be the maximum for a one off high speed offence like 115 mph on the motorway instead of 6 month. A 55 day ban causes inconvenience but does not usually threaten livelihoods if part of the ban period can be taken as holiday etc.

I hope this helps and feel very sorry about the predicament you currently find yourself in.

As a last thought could you find someone who is unemployed or part retired to drive you round in your van (if you insured them on it) between gas boiler servicing jobs? At mimimum wage (£5 per hour) you ought to still be able to make a living (albeit a less profitable one) at current gas boiler servicing rates. And there must be load of people who are redundant at the moment who would be grateful to earn even £5 per hour.

By the way if you take on a solicitor and expert witness and win you get back all or most of your costs from the prosecution but if you don't then you end up picking up the bill yourself. So these are all things to take in to account when deciding what you should do. If you don't have a wife or family or aged mother who is reliant on your income or you driving them (so no arguments effectively as to why you should not be disqualified for 6 months under totting up) you should probably definitely consider taking paid legal representation to see if you can find a way to defend this latest speeding allegation.
deguerre
Thank you so much for your kind and informative reply, I will speak to some of the people you mentioned tomorrow.
CountryCousin
Just reading through it all again were you actually stopped by the PC at the side of the road? If so it was probably just a hand held laser gun with no attached VHS or DVD recording? With the mobile camera vans they usually have a recording because as people are not stopped there are going to be disputes about who was driving, whether the car was even there at all or if the number plate was cloned and all manner of other things so the Police need to have greater recorded proof of the detection. This means that in the event of a disputed detection if a good solicitor gets hold of the recording this can then help you build a case after analysing it as to why the detection was faulty in some way such as the officer not confirming his prior opinion of a vehicle's speed (in layman's speak he pinged every vehicle and not just the ones that were going fast). But with roadside stops with a basic laser gun with the last speed detected shown on the back (including usually to the detected driver)there are normally two officers (one doing the detection and one observing) and one then can provide evidence in court that the other one doing the detection was following the required ACPO procedures on how the equipment should be used. If yours was such a manner of stop with a basic laser gun and not a mobile camera van with an LTI 20:20 or similar when you weren't stopped at the time it will be a lot harder to manage to dispute the detected speed. For instance no start and end of session checks that they might have failed to do with a mobile camera van and VHS/DVD setup as there would be with a mobile camera van.

So this would leave you only with issues on whether the limit was correctly set but if this was a 30mph limit area with street lights your only angle is whether the lights were at the required minimum distance apart as there are no repeater signs that can be challenged and missing terminal signs would not be relevant unless your detection was almost immediately after entering the 30mph area (so you did not have long enough to become aware of the system of regular street lighting). There is always hope that the speed gun did not have a currently valid calibration certificate (more likely with an occasionally used mobile speed gun for a roadside stop than a mobile camera van unit that uses its equipment 7 days a week) or I suppose that a good lawyer could get an expert to examine a roadside laser gun and try to prove some kind of technical defect in its electronics etc. But these all require the experts on your side to get anywhere. Usually if a good traffic lawyer believes you have no case he will tell you early on to plead guilty and concentrate on maximising mitigation to try to not be disqualified for 6 months through totting up and try to be allowed one more life (by reaching 12 points and not being disqualified).

The problem is the Police and ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) have set up an outfit called Road Safety Support (RSS) and are bringing in more experts on the prosecution side so it is getting harder to win these cases and the costs if you lose are getting bigger (as you pay at least a portion of prosecution costs too - although having not too high an income here is helpful in keeping costs that could be awarded against you down if yo do not succeed on a Not Guilty plea).

Only you can take a view in the end. The fact that you have these other points coming off the licence so soon if you can avoid getting 3 more points is perhaps another reason to favour going the Not Guilty and expert traffic lawyer route. If you were going to be stuck on 9 points for ages then perhaps you might look at it differently (as you are back at 0 points after a 6 month ban for totting up is over).

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
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