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Signaller
Two weeks ago I received a letter from a Magistrates Court notifying me of a fine and costs (£625) and points (6) for failing to disclose driver details, regarding an alleged road traffic offence.Not having any idea what this was about, I phoned the Court and found out that it related to an alleged speeding offence comitted on 8th November 2010.I drive HGV's in my spare time and I was indeed driving on the date mentioned.
It seems that a NIP was sent to the registered keeper who gave my details.It is claimed that two further requests for information have been sent to me at my home address.I have received NOTHING to do with this until the letter I received two weeks ago.The lady I spoke to at the court advised me to go to my local Magistrates Court, who in turn advised me I would have to make a Statutory Declaration stating I never received anything until I was aware of it two weeks ago.I am due to attend Court this Friday 6th May.
Many things concern me here:
I have been fined for something I knew nothing about.
The firm I was driving for have already given my details.

If there is indeed proof I was speeding then I must answwer to that.When I first contacted the Court which dealt with it, they were of the opinion I must have received the request for information, because I received the notification of the fine and points.As I said, I was aware of nothing until recently.Any advice would eb greatly appreciated.Thank You in advance.

Regards

Signaller
Logician
A statutory declaration is a simple procedure, when you get to court, the ushers will direct you to a legal adviser, who will help you fill in a one page form stating that you knew nothing of any hearing until you received the letter about the fine. You then go into the witness box and read out the form in front of the magistrates. You should not be questioned about the offence, the magistrates should simply sign the form and give you a copy. The conviction will be set aside and the sentence cancelled.

However, this does not mean everything has gone away, the CPS are likely to issue a fresh summons, make sure they have your correct address, assuming you did not receive the first one because the address was wrong. Very likely you were sent but did not receive a notice about an alleged offence with a requirement that you say who was driving your vehicle at that time.
Aretnap
What will have happened is that the firm have sent the police your details, so you were sent your own request for driver details to complete. As you never returned it you were summonsed to answer a charge of failing to provide driver information under Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act, and as you didn't turn up for the hearing you were convicted and fined in your absence.

Your immediate priority is to make the statutory declaration and have the conviction set aside. It normally has to be done within 3 weeks of becoming aware of the conviction. You will in all likelihood be sent a new trial date in the fullness of time, and to avoid being convicted again you will. have to convince the court that you did not receive the requests for driver details, and therefore it was not reasonably practical for you to reply to them. Much depends on the address they were sent to. If the HGV company got your address wrong and all the correspondance so far has gone to the wrong addrrss then you have an easy task. If a s172 request, reminder and summons have all been sent to your correct address the magistrates may be reluctant to believe that they all got lost in the post. Do you regularly have problems with your post, and if do do you have any evidence of iy that you can show the court eg correspondance about it with the Post Office?
Signaller
Thank You both for replying. I am quite concerned because I was told there have been two requests for driver details sent to my address, after the firm had already supplied them (the Police) with my details. If this is true (and I doubt I can prove otherwise) it is going to be my word against theirs. I say I did not receive anything until the notification of fine and points for failing to disclose driver details.Indeed, I had NOT received anything until the letter I refer to.
I have had no problems with the mail service.I have lived in my current address for almost two years.
My main problem is going to be convincing them I did not receive anything before the said letter.This will be difficult because I obviously received the notification letter about the fine and points.They may be able to prove the letters were sent to me, but how can I prove I did not receive them.I'm not suggesting they are lying about sending them, just that I did not receive them.I just hope I can convince the Court of this.I will post again on Friday to let you know how I get on.Thanks again.

Regards

Signaller
peterguk
QUOTE (Signaller @ Wed, 4 May 2011 - 19:21) *
but how can I prove I did not receive them.


Unfortunately, you can't prove a negative. When the time comes the forum can assist with your options. It may be possible to gain copy notices to confirm the address where they were sent, and even put the BiB to proof the notices were actually posted, but for the time being, as already stated, concentrate on the Stat. Dec.
Signaller
Went to Court this morning and made SD.Magistrates seemed to believe what I had to say.Apparently it will now revert back to the NIP stage should the Police/Camera Partnership decide to pursue it again.Thank You to everyone who replied/commented.I will post again if I hear from them.

Regards
Signaller
jimster
Are you sure it will go back to the NIP stage?

That would leave you home and dry as the original offence will have timed out

They may summons you for the FtF and original offence and drop the FtF if you cough the original
The Rookie
It will go back to the summons stage, the CPS will decide whether to re-issue a new summons or not, it has not timed out as the info has been laid.

The Magistrates have to believe your stat dec (non receipt of SUMMONS) they have no choice!

Simon
Signaller
Do you mean they may issue a summons for failing to provide details, or for the alleged speeding offence? They already have my details from either the firm I drove for or from the agency.My SD was accepted by the Magistrates here, but would it have to be accepted where the alleged offence was dealt with.Slightly confused now, as to what to expect next. Will post again when/if I hear from them.Thanks once again to everyone for your comments/advice.

Regards

Signaller
jobo
for failing to send details


they have to accept your sworn dec that no summons was recieved, it will not be so easy should they chose to issue the summons again
Signaller
Hi,
been a while since my last post.I thought (wrongly as it turned out) that I had been fortunate and the matter wasn't going ahead. Have now received a summons for the offence of failing to provide driver details.Not sure what to expect now, as it really is going to be my word against theirs.My only defence is that I did not receive anything until the notification of fine and points for failing to provide driver details. I cannot prove I didn't receive the letters, and they can't prove I did.Any suggestions please, on what to do.
I was indeed driving on the date mentioned, so if the lorry was indeed speeding then I must have no argument with that. I did not receive any of the letters they claim that I must have.Getting a little worried. Had a very difficult time lately, although things are better now, but I cannot afford a solicitor.Can someone please advise.Thank You in advance.

Regards

Signaller
Gan
Apologies if you've answered this question but as the details were provided by your firm, but have you been able to confirm that they were correct ?

For example, is it possible that they provided an old address for you ?
Logician
Read the summons very carefully and tell us whether it is just for failing to provide driver details, or whether it also includes the original speeding.
andy_foster
Their case will rely on evidence that notices were sent to you by post. Proof of proper posting (pre-paid, correct address, etc.) creates a rebuttable presumption of service.

What evidence has been disclosed with the summons? Have they disclosed copies of the notice(s)? If so, is your address correct?
Signaller
Thank you all for replying.I left work yesterday before I was able to reply back.I fear I am in a 'No Win' situation right now.
The summons is for failing to disclose, not for speeding. Perhaps they are going after me for FTD because the original speeding allegation may be timed out.
Unfortunately I have left the paperwork at home, but I will be back here tomorrow morning and will tell you exactly what is in the summons pack.
It does seem like it is going to be my word against theirs.I did not receive what they claim they sent.I would not waste my time or the Courts time by denying this.Equally, I would not waste your time either.Is it really going to come down to who the Magistrates believe?If it goes in my favour I am home and dry so to speak.But if it goes against me, it will be extremely unfair as I have done nothing wrong.Can something like this really be determined by one persons word against anothers?
As I said, I will pop back on tomorrow morning.Thank You all yet again.

Regards

Signaller
jobo
NO not quite WHO they believe, you can both be believed, there seems little doubt they sent it, to the point that it is an accepted fact, it is IF you got it that the issue


IF they come to the view, on the balance of probabilities, that you did not receive the document then, you should be acquitted
Aretnap
It's not as simple as your word against theirs. All the ticket office can testify to is that the letters to you were posted. It seems unlikely that they'd lie about that. They can't testify that you received them. But posting the s172 request creates a rebuttable presumption of service: you're presumed to have received it in the absence of evidence to the contrary. You therefore need to provide evidence that you didn't receive it.

If the s172 request was sent to an address which was not yours, you have an easy task - just point out the error, take some evidence of your actual address and you're home and dry. You may even be able to persuade the CPS to see sense and drop the charges without having to go to trial.

If it was sent to your correct address then things are a bit more tricky - you can only provide evidence by giving convincing testimony that you never got them and impressing the magistrates with your obvious honesty. This may not be easy: mail does go missing from time to time, but it's relatively uncommon, and some people do try to get off speeding tickets by dishonestly claiming not to have received the letters. All you can do in this situation is be honest and hope that the magistrates believe you.

Much will therefore depend on the address the original letters were sent to. Do check and let us know.
The Rookie
As its likely 2 letter (an S172 and summons) if not 3 (+ a reminder) all 'missed' you, I would assume right now that they had the wrong address, check what has been provided as evidence, it will include copies of what they claim they claim they sent and therefor the address.

Simon
Signaller
Thank You all for your advice/comments.I have been summonsed for FTP driver details, not for the alleged speeding offence.
Enclose with the summons pack, are the following copies:

NIP dated 08/12/10 with my correct address.
Reminder dated 12/01/11
Final Request Prior to Issue of Summons, dated 07/02/11
Witness Statement from Police Staff Member stating no response to previous requests for information.

I am aware that some people may try to get off a charge for whatever reason, but that's not the case here.The evidence as it is suggests the letters were indeed sent out.All the time I've lived here (2 years) I am not aware of any of my mail going to another address, although there have been three occasions where mail for an address in my road had been delivered to my house.I have just put it through the correct houses letterbox.

I am aware of the consequences of making a false SD.I am not going to risk a large fine, or ultimately my liberty by making a false declaration in Court.I help to care for my girlfriend, who unfortunately went through the ordeal of breast cancer last year, and a heart attack earlier this year.I also care for my stepson who has mental health issues.I would be a fool to even contemplate risking what I have here.

Unfortunately for me,the evidence as it is suggests I received the letters I say that I did not receive.I cannot prove I did not receive them.The copies of the letters in the summons pack all have my correct address on them.It doesn't look good for me does it.As usual, any further help/advice will be greatly appreciated.Thank You.

Regards

Signaller
The Rookie
QUOTE (Signaller @ Mon, 27 Jun 2011 - 14:10) *
I am aware of the consequences of making a false SD.I am not going to risk a large fine, or ultimately my liberty by making a false declaration in Court.

Clearly not, the SD was a declaration you never recieved the summons, THAT WAS ALL, you now need to make a statement and not an SD, so you can't be risking making a false one!

To be clear the address on the copies of the S172/NIPs provided are correct(?), they sent one (or two?) and the summons and none arrived? I agree it will be hard to convince a court you didn't get tghem, but that is far from being proof beyond reasoanble doubt you commited perjury even if they don't believe you.

Simon
Signaller
Simon,
thanks for your reply and comments.The copies of the NIP, Reminder and Final Request all have my correct address on them.How can I convince anyone that I never received them?Is there a chance of being found guilty, even though I'm telling the truth?From what the NIP states, it is fair to assume that I was indeed the driver of the vehicle.I was driving in that area on the date mentioned.I'm actually quite annoyed with myself because I'm usually so careful with regards to speed limits etc;.Can I ask for the case to be dealt with in my local Court or must I attend where it is to be dealt with as stated in the summons?Thanks again for your time.

Regards

Andy
jobo
well you convinced us and thats not easy

its down to personal credibility in court, people telling lies in the dock is clear and magnified, if they are prepared to accept that two items of post went missing you should be acquitted, i wouldn't bring the summons in if you can avoid it, as thats three and less likely
Logician
Most people prosecuted for s172 do not come to court so by bothering to go to court you are on the way towards making a favourable impression. Just be yourself and be honest, say what you said to us, that you were driving on that day, and if it is the case that you do not remember any cameras flashing but would have probably accepted a fixed penalty if you had received it, say that as well.

It has apparently even been known for some courts to accept an information from the prosecutor out of time for the speeding if the defendent does not object and says he will plead guilty if the prosecution will drop the s172 charge. That is irregular however, so you would be very lucky to have that happen. That is why it was important to see if you were charged with the speeding as well, if you had been it would have been an accepted procedure to drop the s172 in exchange for a G plea to speeding.
Signaller
Thank You.Your comments/advice are aprreciated as always.There are three options for me on the summons.Plead guilty by post,attend on the day and plead guilty or plead not guilty by post and wait for a different date for a trial.Obviously I am pleading not guilty as I have done nothing wrong.To repeat an earlier question, xcan I ask for the trial to be moved to a Court nearer my home, or must I attend on the day.
One more question please.I have it in mind to write a statement (letter) in reply to the summons.Would this be a good idea or shall I just leave it and say what I have to say on the day?
Thank You all once again.

Regards

Andy
The Rookie
If you intend sticking with not guilty, just send a postal plea, you won't get the court moved, it will stay local to the offence (the scammers office where your S172 was not recieved).

If you intend to try and plea bargain for speeding, you'll have to go on teh day and speak to the CPS bod and see if he'll agree.

If you intedn to plead guilty, again you can do by post with written mitigation or attend and give mitigation verbally, the latter will usually get a small reduction in fine but may not be worth it for you.

I would suggest submitting a statement later, but not now, it will do no good, jobo's trick is to submit an S9 witness statement, if they don't contest it then they have accepted it, so in your case that would mean if the CPS are slack they will have admitted (by not contesting it) you did not get the S172 and therefore you would have to be found NG.

Simon
Signaller
Simon,
thank you for replying, and so quickly too.Just to be clear, I am pleading not guilty all the way, as far as FTP goes. The S9 witness statement you mentioned,do I send it with my reply to the summons or submit it on the day.Is it an official form, and if so where would I obtain one.
The summons say that between 19/12/2010 and 06/01/2011 I failed to give information relating to the driver of the vehicle concerned. The reminder and final request for information are dated after 06/01/2011. i don't know if this is relevant but would be pleased if you can clarify this for me.
I want to get my reply to the summons sent as soon as possible, so I thank you in advance for your further advice/comments.

Regards

Signaller

PS: The NiP is dated 08/12/2010
Reminder is dated 12/01/2011
Final Request for Information is dated 07/02/2011
The Rookie
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Tue, 28 Jun 2011 - 14:36) *
I would suggest submitting a statement later, but not now

Later!

It's not worth quibbling over the dates, you want the court onside, you are not trying to get off the FtF on a technicality, but because you could not provide so it's not something I'd even consider raising in court, besieds had you got the notice they believe you were guilty before you could have recieved a reminder (for which there is no legal requirment) anyway!

Simon
Signaller
Simon,
thank you.I am in the process of sending the reply to the summons back to the Court.I was just curious about the dates.I would rather justice was done and be found not guilty than get off on a technicality.
Before I send my reply back, at the end of the form there is a space for mitigating circumstances to write 'what you want about the offence and yourself'.
There can be no mitigating circumstances about the offence, because as far as I am concerned I have commited no offence.Do I write about myself, or leave it blank and submit something later or in Court.
I have to log off now but will be back online later today.Thanks again for your help/advice so far.

Regards

Andy
The Rookie
Mitigation is for when you are found (or plead) guilty, leave it blank, the case will be adjourned as soon as the NG plea is entered and a trial date will be set.

Simon
Signaller
I haven't posted for a while, as there was nothing to tell. Went to Court last week and was a little worried that I might be found guilty of something I did not do. Anyway, I'm pleased to say that the case against me was dismissed. The Magistrates found me a 'Very Credible Witness'. I just told the truth. Thank You to everyone who has helped and advised me.

Regards

Andy
Logician
That's good news, well done! It goes to show it can be done, and an honest witness can convince a court.
Aretnap
Well done and glad there was a happy ending.
The Rookie
Great news, well done.

Simon
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