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Wife in court red light offense(alleged)

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Hi

 

Thanks in anticipation for your help.

 

To be brief my wife's vehicle was photographed going through a red light in May this is not in question the offense happened.

 

The issue here is it was at a time we were both in the car and neither one of us could have been driving.

 

When the NIP came through I requested the photo evidence which duly arrived and proved inconclusive.

 

The number plate and offence were clear from the rear of the vehicle however occupants could only be seen as smudgy silhouettes with no clear identification.

 

The form that requests she identifies the driver was duly returned with a letter stating that we had both done all possible to help identify the driver but alas we can not.

 

We offered to pay the fine but obviously were unable to accept the points.

 

The court set a date and we sent a recorded letter of defense stating the same.

 

The court then set another date!!

 

but my wife failed to attend and as such had the police serve notice of a new date, THIS FRIDAY 18th January.

 

My wife is worried sick about what to do.

 

I have contacted the magistrate court and they have stated she must attend,

 

I offered to represent and/or send a letter of defense but this has been declined.

 

Can i still speak on her behalf, after all i am a co-defendant, as long as she is present in court?

 

She has already got 9 points, I have a clean license.

 

We are trying to appeal against 6 as there were mitigating circumstances but that is another issue I am reasonably confident we can sort.

 

Thanks Wylie.

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Think carefully here and remember the fairly recent court cases involving ''exhanging IDs'' to avoid points, the penalties are considerable!!


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Think carefully here and remember the fairly recent court cases involving ''exhanging IDs'' to avoid points, the penalties are considerable!!

 

I think you'll find that not knowing who was driving is no defence and if your wife is the registered keeper of the car then if she cannot say who was driving then she's liable for the points for the offence or for the offence of not identifying the driver - at least 3 points either way

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I fear you've made a bit of a mess of this. What exactly has she been charged with? There are two different offences involved

 

(1) Failure to identify the driver. This carries a mandatory 6 points and a hefty fine. She has a defence to this charge if she could not, with reasonable diligence, have found out who was driving. Problem is that "reasonable diligence" has become a high hurdle as many people think that "I can't remember who was driving" is a good way to get off speeding/red light tickets, and many magistrates have become sceptical of claims that two grown adults can't work out who was driving a few days ago. What exactly did she do to find out who was driving besides asking for a photograph?

(2) The original red light offence. Carries a mandatory 3 points and a smaller fine. As things stand she should not be convicted as there is no proof that it was her who was driving, but she may have been charged with it anyway. The CPS may be willing to drop the failure to provide charge if she pleads guilty to the red light offence, but that doesn;t hlp her much as she still ends up on 12 points.

 

Have you personally been charged with anything?

 

Also, exactly what stage have things got to? Did she enter pleas? If she's failed to turn up for court dates I'd be a bit worried that she's already been convicted in her absence and that this is just a sentencing hearing.

 

You won't be allowed to speak on her behalf unless you're a solicitor. You can attend as a "McKenzie friend" and advise her, but not address the court.

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Aretnap

 

Thank you for your excellent response.

 

1. We honestly can't remember who was driving as we switched drivers, however as we did a loop and went through the same set of lights within a couple of minutes of each other it is difficult to ascertain. We have checked our phone records in case we used them at the time but that hasn't helped I don't know what else we can do to prove or disprove hence asking for the photo. This wasn't meant to shirk the responsibility of the driving offense either one of us are happy to accept the punishment if it can be proved who committed the offense.

 

2. But i could plead guilty as it is reasonable to assume I could have been driving, how is that handled?

 

This is the third hearing where she has to attend to answer the charges, as far as I can read from the summons the case hasn't been decided they just want to see her in court.

 

Do I need to inform the court I am acting as a McKenzie friend?

 

The other 6 points were from a speeding offense and failure to identify however she is going to do a statement of declaration on Monday we weren't in the country for 5 weeks when the NIP was posted(2 days after we left) and never received a court date. She admits the speeding offense and is willing to accept the original offense and fine.

 

Any how if she gets a ban she gets a ban we can work around that, it may be a good learning exercise for her with regard safe driving.

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If you appear oblivious or unsure, the court will simply lay the 9 points and hefty fines on your wife as she;s the registered keeper. Remember, theyve heard every excuse under the sun, they arent stupid, which is why there are laws that cover this.


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Well it seems Lady Luck was on our side.. The legal adviser noticed an irregularity from the court with regard our original submitted plea and as such had all the charges rescinded. Mr prosecutor still wants his result and a new date has been set which gives us a month to get a more qualified person than me to deal with. I gave the court the opportunity to allocate the points for the offence to me however they seemed to ignore the fact I said there was a 70% chance I was driving at the time. The only witness we have is our 15 year old daughter who they won't call as she is a minor.

 

I will need to seek legal representation however I would argue this surely our legal system follows the guidelines that a person is innocent of a crime unless PROVEN guilty? No one is denying the offence took place however the prosecution is reliant on admission of liability from the NIP., Which hasn't been filled out. The only physical evidence is a very unclear photo taken from behind.

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They will simply lay the points/fine on your wife as she's the reg keeper. Look at it from their point of view. To them it will seem like you are trying to evade the points and fine. As i said before, they hear stories like this every day of the week from thousands of people.


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

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I would argue this surely our legal system follows the guidelines that a person is innocent of a crime unless PROVEN guilty? No one is denying the offence took place however the prosecution is reliant on admission of liability from the NIP., Which hasn't been filled out. The only physical evidence is a very unclear photo taken from behind.

 

They are two different matters, speeding and failing to identify the driver, if your wife has not identified the driver, they don't know who the driver was, so they cannot prosecute anyone for the speeding offence.

If the summons is for failing to identify the driver, and your wife has not identified the driver, then she appears to be guilty unless she can convince the court that he did not know and could not with reasonable diligence have ascertained who the driver of the vehicle was - s.172, Road Traffic Act 1988.

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They are two different matters, speeding and failing to identify the driver, if your wife has not identified the driver, they don't know who the driver was, so they cannot prosecute anyone for the speeding offence.

If the summons is for failing to identify the driver, and your wife has not identified the driver, then she appears to be guilty unless she can convince the court that he did not know and could not with reasonable diligence have ascertained who the driver of the vehicle was - s.172, Road Traffic Act 1988.

 

Thanks Ray, we have used reasonable diligence to try and ascertain the driver, we did swap but can't be 100% certain which of us was the driver at that point. The 15 year old can not say either way(she was asleep) and we have checked phone records in case one of us had made a call around that period but again no joy.

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The problem can be that what you consider to be reasonable diligence, and what the court consider to be reasonable dilgence, can be totally different - remember that as said above, the courts have heard it all before.

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Am I correct, the op assumed if they themselves could not id whoever was driving there would be no points or were they thinking the correct and lawful way would be to let the court decide?

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Post 5 I may have misread but there seems to be a bit of a history of failure to identify !!!!


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She admits the speeding offence and is willing to accept the original offence and fine.

 

I'm a little confused reading this thread, a red light offence seems to have turned into a speeding offence?

 

With regards to the court case, they will definitely want your wife to appear as with the 6 points for failing to identify the driver she will be over 12 points thus due for a totting up ban and they always want the defendant in court for a ban. I recommend she does not drive to the court by herself as bans are effective immediately.


Apologies for the formatting in my posts, I do put paragraphs in but the forum removes them for some reason :(

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Having just read this thread all the way through, I have to say that my advice is for your wife to plead guilty to the original offence (if she still can). To be perfectly blunt and honest, I don't believe any of it and I don't think the court will either.

 

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.


Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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I think chris hulme's recent experience should be an eye opener for the OP.


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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I think chris hulme's recent experience should be an eye opener for the OP.

 

Exactly! :thumb:

 

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.


Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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Having just read this thread all the way through, I have to say that my advice is for your wife to plead guilty to the original offence (if she still can). To be perfectly blunt and honest, I don't believe any of it and I don't think the court will either.

 

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

 

Totaly agree Sam, don't believe a word of it, just an attempt to get out of the prosecution.

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Totaly agree Sam, don't believe a word of it, just an attempt to get out of the prosecution.

 

I am not asking if you believe me or not. I may or may not be trying to evade the points, neither of us deny the offense we ask that clear evidence be shown as to who was driving at the time.

 

Anyway for the sake of aggravation I may admit to the motoring offense as long as the fail to identify is dropped, the prosecution then gets the result..

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I think there are times when it dosnt pay to be too clever but thats up to you, the prosecution arnt there just to get a result as such, they are there to make sure that the correct person is prosecuted and penalised, and I am not sure how they can drop the failure to identify when there has been a failure to identify.


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I think there are times when it dosnt pay to be too clever but thats up to you, the prosecution arnt there just to get a result as such, they are there to make sure that the correct person is prosecuted and penalised, and I am not sure how they can drop the failure to identify when there has been a failure to identify.

 

Ok so we are due back on Monday, solicitor has advised to stick with unable to identify, or wife admits to offence. However it is now reasonably certain I was driving so how do you think that will go down. We worked it out by retracing the route and we can now work out where we stopped to swap and that it seems was after the lights in question. According to a few locals the lights in question are notorious for changing quickly and catching a lot of people out but the law is the law

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The prosecution would more likely than not drop the failure to identify charge if your wife admitted to running the red light... But if you're confident that she was not driving then she'd potentially be committing a serious offence by pleading guilty to something she knew she didn't do. Tread very carefully!

 

If you've worked out now that it was you driving then you've pretty much proved that you could have identified the driver earlier if you'd tried harder... Which means that defending the failure to identify charge us pretty much out of the window.

 

If you personally have not been charged with a red light offence then you can't just plead guilty to it - it's your wife who is on trial, not you. If the prosecutor and court are willing I suppose it may be possible to change the name on the charge or issue a new one quickly under the Ways and Means Act , though I don't know how likely this is to be done in practice - it requires them to make a bit of extra effort to dig you out of the hole you've dug for yourselves.

 

It looks to me like you've painted yourselves into a bit of a corner. The strictly legal thing to do would be for your wife to plead guilty to failure to identify and not guilty to running the red light - but that leaves her with 6 points and a large fine. I'm not going to suggest that your wife commits perjury by defending the s172 charge knowing that she could have identified the driver or by pleading guilty to an offence she knows she didn't commit, and the only other option I can think of is coming clean to the prosecutor and hoping he's willing to bend the rules to help you out.

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I think there are times when it dosnt pay to be too clever but thats up to you, the prosecution arnt there just to get a result as such, they are there to make sure that the correct person is prosecuted and penalised, and I am not sure how they can drop the failure to identify when there has been a failure to identify.

It's quite normal to drop failure to identify charges when the primary offence is admitted - it's usually difficult to pursue both, and prosecutors are mainly interested in pursuing the primary offence, apparently seeing the failure to identify as a means to an end. In this case however things are rather complicated by the fact that the defendant apparently didn't commit the primary offence.

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I think i am going to stick by what i said in that there are times when you can try to be too clever !! especially as now the OP husband says it was him driving and he hasnt got so many points on his licence?? And as was said in aprevious post this is not the first time there has been a failure to identify.


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