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£800+ fine after not recieving letters in first place

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Hi all,

 

First time I'm doing this post and first time this has ever happened.

 

I have been sent speeding fines before and I have always sent details and either been to speed awareness courses or had points and paid fine.

 

In this instance,

I have supposedly been sent a letter to provide driver information for speeding fine,

and then again another letter to say not received anything and to provide again this was all apparently in 2018.

 

I then received a letter this week (which I actually got) saying I need to pay £800 and have 6 points to add on my licence for failing to provide info and failing to come to court date.

 

I never received anything prior this the last letter which I received this week.

 

I have been told to make a statutory declaration,

in which they said you need to attend court date and say that you never knew of the letter beforehand,

which I said yes and then they said if found to be guilty you could face prison sentence and more fines.

I was ok with this as I know I haven't received any letters like this prior (until the final one this week)

 

After reading reviews its quite concerning as some people have mentioned that the court look at your case and even though you may not received the letter,

its more of a he said,

she said scenario,

which as mentioned is concerning as if I haven't received any letters prior how could I have given my driver information and that court could basically say,

the letters were sent out and that your lieing.

 

But as mentioned before I have had speeding fines in past and have always sent off information,

if I did make an offence

 

Is anyone able to give me any advice?

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You've done the statutory declaration?

 

AIUI this will be accepted and it's effect is to restart the process so that you'll get the chance again to defend the charges you knew nothing about.

 

Obviously, the stat dec is done by you under oath, so if you are discovered to have lied about not receiving any earlier correspondence, you'd be committing a criminal offence.  But as long as you are telling the truth, you should be OK.

 

I'm sure somebody will correct any bits I've got wrong.

 

(Any history of mail going astray?  Is your name and address correctly recorded on the V5C?)

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Yes, Manxman has put you on the right track.

 

You need to perform a Statutory Declaration

(to declare, on oath, that you knew nothing of the court proceedings against you).

 

You must do this within 21 days of learning about your conviction.

You can either do so at a Magistrates' Court for which you will need to make an appointment.

 

They may not be able to fit you in within 21 days but so long as you explain to the court that it was the earliest date available they will accept your declaration.

Alternatively you can make the declaration before a solicitor.

They may charge you a small fee (£5 - £10).

 

Once this is done the conviction you have (for failing to provide driver's details) is set aside.

The prosecution will almost certainly start proceedings again and in many areas they are now doing so immediately following your statutory declaration.

 

Ideally it would be best if you could see the prosecutor before the court sits (ask when you check in at reception) and offer to plead guilty to the speeding charge provided the FtP charge is dropped.

It is a common deal which is usually readily accepted.

 

Under no circumstances should you plead guilty to either offence until you have had the chance to discuss this deal.

If the deal is refused you should maintain Not Guilty pleas to both charges.

 

They cannot convict you of speeding (they have no evidence you were driving) and the trial for FtP will be held at a later date.

You can then consider your position for that offence.

 

If they do accept your offer to plead guilty to speeding you might try asking if you can be sentenced at the Fixed Penalty level (£100 and three points) provided the speed is low enough (let me know the speed/limit and I will tell you if it qualifies)..

Magistrates have guidance enabling them to do this which says this:

 

Where a penalty notice could not be offered or taken up for reasons unconnected with the offence itself, such as administrative difficulties outside the control of the offender, the starting point should be a fine equivalent to the amount of the penalty and no order of costs should be imposed. The offender should not be disadvantaged by the unavailability of the penalty notice in these circumstances.

 

But first things first - make arrangements to do the Stat Dec.

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So they won’t let me see prosecutor before. So I wasn’t given a chance to give a deal? What do I do now?

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Did you ever make the stat dec?


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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Yea I’m in court now. They telling me to explain everything in court the deal

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Posted (edited)

Are you in court to do the stat. dec., or have you already done that and they are now prosecuting you?

 

If you are doing the stat dec now, I think Man in the middle's advice still stands.  You do the stat dec, and they try to prosecute you immediately, you plead not guilty and the case should(?) be adjourned.  Then at the subsequent trial you meet the prosecutor beforehand and offer the plea bargain (I'll plead guilty to the speeding if, and only if, you agree to drop the FtF charge).  AIUI, this is almost always accepted.

 

If you already did the stat dec before your current court appearance and this is now the adjourned prosecution, I'm a bit surprised you haven't been "allowed" to speak to the prosecutor.

 

The problem might be that the speeding offence has timed out (they basically have 6 months to start proceedings) and their view is that you can't plead guilty to that now because you haven't been charged with it, and their only chance is to convict you of FtF.  (EDIT: Even then I'd offer to plead guilty to speeding if they would drop the other charge - worth a try.  I'm assuming it was you who was driving the car caught speeding?)

 

Have you been charged with both speeding and failure to provide details of the driver, or just failure to provide?  (Not clear from your OP.)

Edited by Manxman in exile
addition

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When Man in the middle suggested (#3) you offer to plead guilty to the speeding charge, you never replied to say that you were only charged with failure to provide driver details.  Am I right to think you have not been charged with speeding? 

 

That makes defending the failure to provide more difficult.  You'd have to satisfy the court you never received the request, or had a very good reason for not replying and naming the driver.

 

Presumably you never received notification of the original trial where you were found guilty in your absence of failing to provide details?  As I asked in #2, have you any evidence of other mail addressed to you going astray, is your address on the V5 correct?

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