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Man in the middle

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Man in the middle last won the day on February 20

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  1. Indeed. But I would not mention it in court. It will do nothing to mitigate the offence and if you try to suggest it contributed to your offending the court may well take the view that you should consider whether you should be driving whilst taking the medication. There's no action they can take but it simply will not help your case in the slightest. Always best to keep things as simple as possible.
  2. Get your thoughts together, as you have outlined above, and prepare an EH argument. Concentrate on the effect on others (this usually carries more weight) and emphasise the lack of alternatives available. You can write it down and read it to the court or simply ask the Magistrates to read it to themselves (suggest you are not confident with public speaking). As I said, you have plenty of time as it is unlikely to reach court for a number of months. One other thought - I don't know if you've replied to the Section 172 requests yet, but if not it's worth a punt to enclose them in the same envelope together with a begging letter asking them to consider treating them as a a single offence. You don't really have the grounds for them to do so, but worth a try and it will cost you nothing apart from a bit of time.
  3. You face a steep uphill struggle with this. The “totality” principle mentioned above applies if two offences are committed on the same occasion (for example, if you were caught speeding and with no insurance). It will not be applicable in your case. The offences are individual and committed on separate occasions on a different stretch of road. Each of the offences attracts either a ban of up to 56 days or 6 points. If the court has in mind to ban you for each of the individual offences the bans will run concurrently, so you are unlikely to be banned for more than 56 days. If six points are the outcome for each then this puts you immediately on twelve and so liable to a six month ban for “totting up”. So what can you do about this? If you receive twelve points you are entitled to argue that “exceptional hardship” (EH) will result for either you or others if you are banned. The hardship has to be “exceptional” and losing one’s job is not generally considered so (anybody needing to drive to earn a living will face such hardship). Does anybody else rely on you being able to drive and/or earn a living? If you are banned (rather than receive points) for the individual offences you have no right to make such an argument. In some respects points are a better option because you have the opportunity to make an EH argument. The downside is that if you are unsuccessful with that argument you face a longer ban than if you are simply banned for the individual offences. You will also receive a fine of a week’s net income for each offence, a single “victim surcharge” of 10% of one of the fines (Min £30, Max £170) and £85 costs (all this assumes guilty pleas). The matters will almost certainly be dealt with initially by a “Single Justice” sitting alone, deciding the matter on papers and you will be notified of the hearing by means of a “Single Justice Procedure Notice”. They have six months from the date of the offences to begin this and in most areas they take all of that. You cannot attend that hearing but since a ban will be a strong consideration the SJ will almost certainly adjourn your matter for a hearing in the normal Magistrates’ Court and you will be asked to attend. Make sure you complete and return the "request for driver's details" (also known as the "Section 172 notice") within the 28 days allowed. Failure to do so means you commit a separate offence for which the penalty is also six points.
  4. Then you have a bit of a problem. You cannot perform a Statutory Declaration because you knew of the proceedings against you ("My dad whose old opened the letters while I was away and told me."). The Request for driver's details (the first letter that was sent) would have been headed "do not pass this on to anybody else to complete". Unfortunately it was passed on, not completed by you and that's where the problem stems from. I'm not entirely sure how you can proceed here. You could argue that you were unable to respond since you were away and did not receive the notice. However, you did know of its existence and unfortunately left it to somebody else to deal with. I think it could be argued against you that you did not deal with the matter as you should have and your conviction resulted entirely because of that. I suggest you post your problem on Pepipoo: http://www.pepipoo.com/ There are a number of experts who respond on there who may have some ideas. I believe the only avenues you have are either to appeal to the Crown Court or ask the Magistrates' Court to re-open the matter in the interests of justice." The problem is, I don't see that you have much of a defence.
  5. First of all you need to perform a “Statutory Declaration” (SD) to say you knew nothing of the proceedings that led to your conviction (which I assume you didn't). You can do this at your local Magistrates’ Court or before a solicitor (who may charge a small fee). It must be done within 21 days of you learning of your conviction. This will have the effect of nullifying your conviction. However, proceedings will begin again against you which you will have to defend. What were these “letters” that you refer to? Who were they addressed to and where? Who gave them to your friend?
  6. It is not in an administrator's gift to grant or decline your son's request. The decision to re-open the case or not is one for the Bench. The problem is that some court staff sometimes take it upon themselves to make decisions which they are not entitled to make. I heard just recently of a defendant having such a request declined (by court admin staff) "because you had pleaded guilty". There is no substance in such a decision and in any case it was not an administrator's to make. The request cannot be heard in his absence (he will have to attend court to make it before the Magistrates) and therefore it cannot be declined without him being there (unless he fails to turn up). All the court staff should do is make an appointment for him. If he encounters difficulty he should contact the Clerk to the Justices for the area concerned. Details will be available on HMCTS website.
  7. Definitely worth asking for the matter to be re-opened then. He should get onto it on Monday.
  8. Yes, the calculations above seem right if the court had no information about his plea or his means. Just a slight correction to Glick's answer - he will only receive one lot of three points. He needs to calculate whether he would be better off asking for the matter to be revisited or remaining silent. He would actually have to have an income of more than £660pw before remaining silent would be the best option. If he gets the court to revisit the matter he can enter a guilty plea and get a one-third discount. So any income below £660 will see fines of less than £440. He should contact the court and ask them to re-open the case under Section 142 of the Magistrates' Court Act. This says: Power of magistrates’ court to re-open cases to rectify mistakes etc. (1)A magistrates’ court may vary or rescind a sentence or other order imposed or made by it when dealing with an offender if it appears to the court to be in the interests of justice to do so; and it is hereby declared that this power extends to replacing a sentence or order which for any reason appears to be invalid by another which the court has power to impose or make. If he did not respond to the Single Justice Notice the court may not be receptive to reopening, though they may be sympathetic. He may have to plead ignorance and suggest that he thought it would be assumed he would plead guilty since he was advised he did not have to attend. If he did respond he should suggest that the paperwork was lost in the post. The decision whether or not to reopen rests with the Magistrates not with any admin staff so he must stand his ground if he meets any obstruction. He is entitled to put his request to reopen before the court.
  9. There is a time limit of six months from the date of the offence to begin court proceedings. Most areas take almost all of this so you can look forward to a "Single Justice Procedure Notice" soon after April 18th. When you respond to that the Single Justice (SJ) will decline jurisdiction and the matter will be listed for a normal court hearing. Although SJs do have the power to disqualify a defendant in his absence they do not normally do so. This is to give him the opportunity to attend court (you cannot attend a hearing before an SJ) and - in the case of "totting up" bans - present an "Exceptional Hardship" argument. Will you or others suffer any exceptional hardship if you are banned?
  10. If you have received a Single Justice Procedure Notice you will not be offered a Fixed Penalty. If you examine the sentencing guidelines you will see that your offence probably falls into Category Two. You demonstrated higher culpability by driving without insurance for a prolonged period. The likely fine is one of a week and a half’s net income (reduced by a third if you plead guilty) and almost certainly receive six points. If your income is less that £120pw that is the assumed minimum income that will be used to calculate the fine. You will also pay £85 costs and a Victim Surcharge of 10% of the fine (minimum £30). You say your “Failing to provide driver’s details” offence is “spent”. Presumably you mean the offence occurred more than three years prior to this one. If so that is fine, if not you will face a ban under “totting up”. However, as has been mentioned, your approach to the legalities of driving is somewhat cavalier. Insurance is not an optional extra that you buy if you can afford it. Plainly and simply if you cannot afford to insure your vehicle, you cannot afford to drive. You were wise to provide no mitigation because to put it bluntly, you don’t have any and if you tried to lessen the seriousness of the offence by suggesting you only drove "sparingly" because of your lack of cover, it would not cut much ice.
  11. Bear in mind that if you cannot secure an extension for the course and you end up with a fixed penalty, you must pay the penalty in full within 28 days of the offer. If you fail to do so you will end up in court.
  12. You can only ask them to extend the deadline to accommodate you. If they do not you will not end up in court. You will be offered a fixed penalty (£100 and three penalty points) for that speed.
  13. The level of damage is not the issue here. It is the fact that you failed to stop, left the scene and did not report the incident.The police may take the view that you are now only offering to settle the matter because you have been traced. Very often the police may simply be trying to trace you at the request of the Third Party.The only way you can find out what their intentions are is to contact them.
  14. In fact, before that, it was your duty to stop and you committed an offence as soon as you failed to do so. Your duty is not to report the matter 24 hours afterwards but as soon as possible and in any case within 24 hours. So that failure has compounded the wrongdoing. But first things first. Before any prosecution can take place the police have to establish who was driving. That may be why an officer visited your house (or, of course, it may be unrelated). Being unable to contact you they may instead write to you (assuming you are the Registered Keeper) asking you to provide the driver's details. You’ll have to wait and see. As far as I can recall Failing to Stop/Report is not an offence for which a fixed penalty is available so if action is taken against you it will be dealt with in court. If it is, Failing to stop/report is one of the very few driving offences for which custody is an option. However, the incident as you describe it is at the very lowest end of seriousness and the guideline penalty is a fine of a week’s income (reduced by a third if you plead guilty) and either five or six penalty points. As an aside I’m not sure the police (or a court) will view this as a genuine mistake. You deliberately left the scene knowing that a collision had occurred and failed to report the matter as soon as possible. (If you had it may have saved your bacon).
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