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FightBack Forums > Queries > Speeding and other Criminal Offences
Hi guys - I am new to this and never posted on a forum before, but hope I am following suitable etiquette. After reading this thread, my situation is similar to NicktheGreek so I figure it made sense to jump in to this for some advice.

About 10 days ago I received a letter from a Court Debt retrieval company stating that I owed £350.00. (There was no mention of the alleged offence, or date of the offence - presumably they assumed I would be aware of an outstanding fine) Unfortunately for me this was the first letter I had received regarding any fixed penalty fine or anything so it was a big shock. I got in touch with the company to ask for more information regarding what the outstanding debt was for. 5 days later I received a reply saying that it was from West Yorkshire Police and I had been caught speeding on the 8th FEBRUARY 2011. (Plus they had jacked the fine up to £550.00 to add insult to injury during this 5 days!!)

My background - I lived in Leeds for 12 months, and my car was registered to my address there. I moved out in JANUARY 2011, therefore any speeding offence on the 8th FEBRUARY 2011 would have been sent to my Leeds address. This is why I never received any notification. My V5 document was changed on the 15th FEBRUARY 2011 to my new address which is where I am now. HOWEVER the odd thing is, is that I still have not received any correspondence to my new current address where the car is now registered...the one and only letter that I have received from the debt company went to my friends address where I stayed at the beginning of the year until I moved into my new place. I know you can leave a 'footprint' wherever you live, but am unsure as to how a debt company has linked me to my friends address, when my car or myself was never linked to it?!

I hope this explanation isn't too waffly, and that I have included the relevant information. Sorry to NicktheGreek for jumping on his thread - my case was kinda similar so figure it made sense to combine the information.

In a nutshell this is what I am guilty of - the offence was on the 8th FEB and my V5 address changed on the 15th FEB. Does anyone have any advice for me as to pleading my innocence to ignoring the offence as I was unaware, but plead guilty to the actual offence now I know it has happened and simply pay my normal fine and take the points.

The Rookie
You merely have to go to your local magistrates court, make a 'statutory decleration' where you swear on oath you were nt aware of any summons (it can't be a fixed penalty as that requires action on your part to accept it) and the senatnce will be set aside and the CPS/Police have the option of re-opening the case.
When making the stat dec the why's and wherefores are not at all relevant, and you will not be challenegd on it.

NB, dont be fobbed off with the court re oppening the case, insist on making a Stat dec
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Fri, 13 May 2011 - 21:09) *
When making the stat dec the why's and wherefores are not at all relevant, and you will not be challenged on it.

You may be, certainly in Northants where you will be asked to make the declaration in Court. You may be asked questions about how and when you first became aware of the proceedings because you have to make the statutory declaration within 21 days of your becoming aware of them. You will probably also be warned about the consequences of making a false declaration.
But it is always better to go down the Statutory declaration route if you can rather than the S142 route (to reopen a case)
Thanks guys - when you say avoid them reopening the case, how do you mean? Presumably they are not just going to ask me if I am happy for them to ask the case!? How do I go about avoiding this route?

Phone the Magistrates’ Court and tell them you want to make a statutory declaration, they will tell you when to come in, probably just before 10.00am one morning. When you get there, 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 were chased for payment. At that point it might be suggested that the case is re-opened under s142 Magistrates Courts Act, but stick to your guns and say firmly that you have been advised to make a stat dec rather than that. 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, but you may be about when you became aware that there had been a previous hearing which should be not more than 21 days prior. The magistrates should then simply sign the form and give you a copy. The conviction will be set aside and the sentence cancelled, which should mean the dogs are called off.

However, this does not mean everything has gone away, the CPS are likely to issue a fresh summons to your current address (make sure everyone including CPS has your new address). That may include both the original offence and failing to identify the driver, if so you have a good defence to the latter as it was not practicable for you to reply as you knew nothing about it. Once you know what original offence was alleged you can judge whether or not you are guilty of it, you may want to post here again using the NIP wizard.
surprise surprise WYP AND WYCPS AGAIN .one can write the other cannot read .I ended up in the same bloody loop as you one didnt no what the other was doing and why ;so best of british with that one.
You will probably have the fine hiked again befor the stat dec gets sorted .
If you write to them or email I suggest you use a marker pen and write in big bold font or use letter size 24 in ms word.
AND IF PHONING get everybodies name you talk to and date and time .
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