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FightBack Forums > Queries > Speeding and other Criminal Offences
what_now
I am new to this forum. My history includes several succesful appeals for parking tickets and one case where I lost due to having sent in my documents a day too late.

Unfortunately with this case I was totally out of my league and have messed up quite badly.

In March I received a letter requesting me to identify the driver of my vehicle as it had been photographed going 38 in a 30 zone. The evening in question was the night I attended a function and lent my car out to a couple of people to transport guests to the function. I asked the authority to provide me with the photos so that I could identify the drivers. They did this but the photos did not show who was driving. I tried to investigate independently who was driving but could come to any firm conclusions.

The photos arrived with another demand that I identify the driver but as I was taking professional exams at the time, working at a new job and looking after my family I did not respond on time. The next thing I knew I had a court summons on my doorstep. I pled guilty and explained in detail my extenuating circumstances providing proof of my exams that were taking place at that time. I fully expected them to take some leniency to the fact that I had been totally honest throughout and that I had no intention of commiting a criminal offence. I could not attend court myself as I could not take the time off work and had further exams coming up.

I have just received a letter that contains a notice of endorsements of licence and my counterpart licence with the endorsements written in (including the fact that I have been fined £440). I have received no other correspondence from the court and wanted to know if
a. Do I need to do anything or should I await for further correspondence from them?
b. Is there any way back from here as I have not even had a chance to question the validity of the speeding offence?

Look forward to hearing your advice,

Regards
southpaw82
A. Pay the fine.

B. The speeding offence is irrelevant if you were charged with failure to ID the driver (s. 172 Road Traffic Act 1988).
what_now
But can I appeal the conviction as I find it unfair that I have been convicted on these grounds. Is there an appeal system or have i reached the ned of the road on this case?
jobo
no, at the point you pled guilty it was always going to be 6 points, by the sound of it you had boxed yourself before that by not replying at all, the fine is about right for an average income, in fact a bit on the low side to be honest, so maybe they did cut some slack


if you have sent your DL, youl get it back with the points on it, if not youl get a request for it,
southpaw82
QUOTE (what_now @ Sat, 1 Oct 2011 - 23:42) *
But can I appeal the conviction as I find it unfair that I have been convicted on these grounds. Is there an appeal system or have i reached the ned of the road on this case?


If you didn't reply to the notice then you're guilty - what I suspect you were expecting is a lower sentence (smaller fine) though I'm not quite sure on what grounds; not replying is not replying and the reasons are largely irrelevant.
Aretnap
You can't appeal against a guilty plea except against the sentence. Six points are mandatory on conviction for failure to identify the driver, absent special reasons not to endorse. The fine should be in the region of your weekly post tax income - is it?
what_now
Feel a little sick by the whole thing to be honest. Should have come on here a lot earlier.

Are there any tecnicalities that I should be looking at as a grounds for appeal?

The fine is about my weekly income so that figure now makes sense. Do I wait for a proper invoice to come through as I have no idea where I am now meant to be sending money too.
AntonyMMM
As has already been said ... you can't appeal against a conviction when you have pleaded guilty. You dropped youself in this one I'm afraid.
Aretnap
There's no possibility of appealing against the conviction since you pleaded guilty, I'm afraid. The only possible appeal would be against sentence. As the sentence was squarely within the magistrates guidelines for the offence, it's difficult to see what grounds you'd have for appealing it. The penalty for failure to furnish is set deliberately high to discourage people from trying to get off speeding tickets by playing silly buggers over the identity of the driver.

I'd contact the court for details of how to pay the fine. If money is tight, you may be allowed to pay by installments. If you don't do anything, there's a risk that the next letter will be from bailiffs.

The other thing you need to do is read the small pront of your insurance policy and find out whether you need to tell them about the conviction immediately or when you renew - it varies from policy to policy. Be prepared for a nasty surprise when you get your renewal quote.


Logician
QUOTE (what_now @ Sun, 2 Oct 2011 - 13:16) *
Do I wait for a proper invoice to come through as I have no idea where I am now meant to be sending money too.

You have a letter from the court, so phone the court office and ask to speak to the fines officer. They can tell you how to pay the money and they are authorised to agree a payment plan if you cannot pay the whole amount immediately.
Gan
It's no consolation to the OP but this is another sad example where somebody who was definitely not the driver is getting a very expensive hit when when the offence itself would have resulted in a course or at most £60 / 3 points.

No wonder some of us regard this as closer to a stealth tax than justice and recommend the pragmatic "pick the most likely" or flip a coin approach.
ford poplar
"another sad example where somebody who was definitely not the driver is getting a very expensive hit when when the offence itself would have resulted in a course or at most £60 / 3 points."

Not strictly true Gan, OP attended same function, pres in own car, then app lent car to others to transport further guests. Hopewfully these other drivers were insured to drive OPs car. The offence would have a time stated so OP couild remember approx time he arrived/ left and for what time period car was out of his keeping. More a case of another driver relying on photos to ID the driver. Also if car was not in his control at anytime during that evening, all he had to do was name the likely drivers, if he could. Academic, for reasons best known to himself OP pleaded guilty to FTF, poss from ignorance.

Hotel Oscar 87
@ OP. As has been explained at some length your having pleaded guilty to the offence effectively limits your options to just appealing the sentence and as this appears to sit firmly within the guidelines (the 6 points are mandatory - save any special reasons) there would seem to be very little room for manoeuvre. As fp has said, the real shame is that had you replied in time, naming all of the possible drivers you would arguably have fulfilled your legal duty.

@ Gan. When looking at the deterrent impact of the upgraded sentence for FtF we naturally tend to concentrate on those who would otherwise simply duck a fixed penalty and 3 points. We shouldn't forget that there were other cases where individuals did not reply to s.172 notices to avoid, what would have been for them, far more draconian sentences (inevitably involving bans whether for the offence itself or on totting). The OP in this case has suffered through ignorance rather than anything else and is a good example of what can happen to those who fail to brief themselves.
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