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Court Summons Section 172(3) Not the usual !

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Good Evening All,

 

Long story cut short, received a NIP for speeding 37 in 30mph. Addressed to myself. After a week of arguing agreed it was my partner and popped off the form to the right address.Month later, received another form, moaned and grumbled and duly filled out the form and sent away again (not recorded) truly did not see the need to.

 

Today partner receives a summons for the initial speeding offence (no dispute here) and now also failure to name the driver, yet one of the NIP forms with my hand writing on it is included with the bundle of documents???Having calmed down after getting all frustrated with it all, I can only a spot one possible issue (on my part unfortunately) -

 

The first letter was addressed to me and I replied with my partners info and sent back. The second, may have been addressed to my partner and I may have actually filled it out again as if addressed to me by mistake as I thought it was the same thing - a la lost in the post!Within the bundle there is also a third NIP letter, which I sincerely never received

 

I know at least one NIP form was received, but I think both that I received as they actually sent me one with my hand writing on it.

 

Hope this is making sense!

 

What a mare to now receive this. There is absolutely no dispute on the speeding offence and we replied to both the NIP letters we received, though I do take on board the fact that I may have filled in one form in the wrong place. However, both were returned, no arguments, disputes or nonsense as to who the driver was and now get a court summons!

 

Common sense would have been nice from my point of view, assuming it is down to the fact that I filled in section B not A etc....

 

Perhaps a little letter to say you filled in the wrong bit or is that too obvious and easy?

 

I would be sincerely grateful for any advice as to prevent this from a court visit. Partner has been driving 12 years, not a single offence and I had 3 points about 7 years ago in all of my 20 years driving.... What a mare :(

 

At the moment, there is no number or option to try and explain and I'm absolutely of the opinion that this is not in the best interest of anyone concerned, waste of time and money for all!

 

We in our minds have been upfront with who was driving, filled out two forms, though one may have been in the wrong place and to then get a bundle of docs saying that we are hiding the identity of the driver is a little upsetting to say the least.

 

Is there literally no option to discuss this with either the constabulary, court or CPS?? We are stuck for the most common sense approach and any ideas would be most warmly welcomed.

 

Thanks in advance,

 

D

 

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Problem is that in order to prosecute your partner for speeding, they need an admission from her that she was the driver. Your form saying that she was driving is not sufficient evidence to establish that it was in fact her. For this reason, the courts have held that the ticket office are entitled to insist that the reply to a s172 comes from the recipient him/herself. So by failing to complete her own form your partner committed the s172 offence, albeit inadvertently. Things are then complicated further by the fact that she didn't receive the third letter -- which was presumably a new form, and possibly a covering letter along the lines of "we need a response from you personally".

 

So where does that leave you? Well, at the moment she shouldn't really be convicted of speeding as the prosecution have no admissible evidence that she was actually driving. But that's not much comfort as while speeding at 37 in a 30 would only be 3 points and a small fine, the s172 offence would net her 6 points, a much larger fine, and a big hike in her insurance premium - the MS90 code makes insurers wonder what you did that was so terrible that 6 points and several hundred pounds was a better option than owning up to it.

 

The good news is that in this sort of situation, most prosecutors seem willing to drop the s172 charge in return for a guilty plea to speeding. Best option is for her to get to court early, ask to speak to the prosecutor and see if they are willing to agree to this. If so she apologise for taking up the court's time and can explain the confusion to the magistrates and if they're in a good mood she might just get the 3 points and £60 fine the fixed penalty would have been. If they're in a bad mood it will still only be 3 points, though the fine will be a bit bigger.

 

She shouldn't plead guilty to speeding without getting an agreement from the CPS first - otherwise there's a risk that she could end up being convicted of both offences. Some people have apparently managed to conduct such discussions over the phone, but it depends on getting through to someone at the CPS who knows something about your case, has the necessary authority and gives a damn.

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@aretnap, genuine thanks for taking the time to reply.....

 

I have a blue form - plea and mitigation, effectively offering - Guilty or not guilty pleas and by post or court appearance etc and for the two seperate offences -speeding and this carry on of allegedly not admitting who was driving (honest error). When this goes in, what would your suggestion be with regard to plea / form filling in and perhaps your suggestion of explanation. I do note that I can try for the telephone approach, but I feel that I need to send in the form either way??

 

Thanks again.

Edited by dekd
typo

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I wouldn't recommend pleading by post in this situation - not unless you have an assurance from someone in a position of authority (not the girl on the reception desk) that the s172 will be dropped. If you attend the hearing in person there's no need to enter a plea by post - you'll be asked how you plea when you walk into the courtroom. If you feel the need to return it anyway, tick not guilty to both for now, and you can change one after speaking to the prosecutor.

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