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Archive for the ‘Fail To Disclose Driver’s Details’ Category

A Six Month Driving Ban… Because I Didn’t Receive A Letter?!

Helen Newman of Forrest Williams

 

A Six Month Driving Ban… Because I Didn’t Receive A Letter?!

 

What happens when you don’t receive your mail? What happens when you don’t receive an important letter from the police and because of that you cannot reply to it?

 

That’s exactly what happened to a client I had in Feltham Magistrates Court last week. He is a respected businessman, owning and managing a small business. Familiar with completing paperwork and complying with timescales; the paperwork, the formalities of a court summons didn’t phase him, even the prospect of attending court wasn’t an issue to him. What bothered him was that this was a minor speeding offence, 35/30, 3 points, £100 fine or even a Speed Awareness Course had the police offered him it – but because he did not receive the forms to be able to return them he was now facing something much more serious – a charge of Failing to Disclose Drivers Details, the penalties for which are 6 points, a fine of up to £1000 plus court costs.

 

And, even though his licence was now clean, because at the time of the speeding offence he already had points on his licence, he was also facing a six month driving ban!

 

Yes, a six month driving ban.  Because he didn’t receive his post.

 

Seems unfair doesn’t it?

 

We talked with our client, and he clearly didn’t want to fight the speeding offence. He accepted it was him driving. Because of his work he was able to identify the journey and could confidently say it was him. He just wanted the opportunity to accept what he would have done had the Notice of Intended Prosecution reached him.

 

Not receiving the form is a valid defence to the charge of Failure to Disclose Drivers Details. From speaking with our client we knew this was not a one time issue.  With five houses with very similar names in the area, misdirected post was a common occurrence – his neighbours were even willing to provide evidence to the court of this. But our client didn’t really want to go through the traumatic experience of a trial.  So, instead, we liaised with the prosecution to persuade them to alter the charge laid against our client, to reinstate the original speeding offence and drop the Failure to Disclose offence.

 

The issue we faced is that due to the time elapsed since the date of offence the prosecution were outside the six month timescale normally associated with a speeding matter so needed to show that there were grounds for our client’s case to be considered as exceptional to that rule. The Prosecution are very busy, and tend to deal with cases in date order, so it is not unusual for us to have to chase for a response numerous times.  To ensure our client’s position was protected we fully prepared his case for trial and also prepared an Exceptional Hardship application as a further back up to help our client avoid a six month driving ban.

 

Just days before the trial the prosecution agreed to drop the Failure to Disclose charge. Our client attended court and was supported by one of our expert Barristers who put his case to the court. He was ordered to pay £100 in total costs and 3 penalty points were applied to his licence, allowing him to receive the penalty he would have had he received the Notice of Intended Prosecution in the first place.

 

At Forrest Williams we know that there is not a ‘right’ result for everybody. We will listen and we will structure a case plan that will work for your needs.  If you are due in court for any reason then give the Forrest Williams team a call on 01623 600645 and we will be happy to help.

 

Specialist Motoring Lawyers in Mansfield

Tracy Johnson, Paralegal at Forrest Williams Solicitors

 

Alice Barker told her case worker that she had instructed Forrest Williams because they are specialist motoring lawyers in Mansfield, and one of her court hearings was listed at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court.

 

Alice knew her case was complicated, and she told us she was glad that her case worker gave her time to explain what had happened, and also to ask lots of questions during her initial telephone call.

 

Alice explained that she had not just one but four motoring charges, listed at two local courts. The first two charges – failing to notify driver’s details and speeding – happened, she said, as a result of letting someone else drive her vehicle. Although she had informed the police who the driver was, within the time limit, she had been told that she had not completed the form correctly.

 

The second two charges – again failing to notify driver’s details and speeding – were, she told us, the result of her driving her own vehicle but failing to return the completed notice of intended prosecution (NIP) within the time limit due to an administrator who worked within her office not dealing very well with the paperwork side of things.

 

Alice, who runs her own business, explained that she took responsibility for the fact that she had been speeding on the second occasion, but that she honestly believed the NIP which she had completed had been posted back as it should have been.

 

As Alice had 6 points on her driving licence at the time of the alleged offences, her case worker made her aware that she was potentially in a ‘totting up’ situation which may lead to her being disqualified for 6 months on reaching 12 points. This is because the failing to notify driver’s details charges each carry 6 points.

 

Alice’s case worker made her aware that, although we would liaise with the authorities to try and have some of the charges discontinued, we could not guarantee this would work, so we would have to commence full Exceptional Hardship preparation.

 

However, after a period of intensive liaison, both charges relating to the first court hearing were discontinued. Alice was delighted.

 

Shortly afterwards would come the hearing at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court. Prior to the hearing, her case worker continued to liaise with the authorities, making them aware that Alice would plead guilty to the speeding charge but requesting that the second failing to notify driver’s details also be discontinued, for the reasons given above.

 

Alice was once again delighted when her case worker informed her that, subject to Alice pleading guilty to the speeding charge, the failing to notify driver’s details charge would be withdrawn at court.

 

So, as a direct result of skilful and persistent liaison by Forrest Williams, specialist motoring lawyers in Mansfield, Alice’s potential 12 points was reduced to just 3, for the speeding charge she admitted in court.

 

Alice said the results were better than she had dared to hope for, and that she would definitely recommend Forrest Williams to anyone worried about multiple charges and more than one hearing date. 

 

Looking for specialist motoring lawyers in Mansfield?  Call our expert team now on 01623 600645.

 

specialist motoring solicitors in Mansfield

Getting a Speeding Case Withdrawn: A Case Study

Jess Sadler, paralegal at Forrest Williams solicitors

Jess Sadler, paralegal at Forrest Williams solicitors

 

Getting a Speeding Case Withdrawn: A Case Study

 

Emma came to us facing two speeding charges and two failing to notify driver details charges, she had 6 points on her licence at the time of the offence, so if convicted of these charges she would fall to be disqualified under the totting up procedure.  

 

Emma did not have strong grounds for an Exceptional Hardship application, which can allow people to avoid the 6 month disqualification imposed when drivers reach or exceed 12 penalty points on their licence.  We advised her not to proceed on this basis.

 

Emma works as a Nurse in a Children’s hospital in London; she does 13 hour shifts 5 days a week and then volunteers at her local church on her days off.  Emma drives the Vicar’s wife and daughter to religious events weekly, as they have no other mode of transport.

 

Emma completely accepted responsibility for the Speeding Offences, however she had recently moved house and so had not received the Notices of Intended Prosecution, hence the two further charges of Failing to Notify Driver Details.

 

Importantly, Emma was still in frequent contact with her former landlady, Rachel, as they actually attend the same church. Emma had a system in place whereby Rachel would pass on any post that had been delivered to Emma’s previous address. Rachel was a trustworthy and reliable lady, who happily supported Emma’s case and wrote her a very strong and supporting Character Reference.

 

Emma came to us in desperation. The Vicar’s wife and daughter rely on her for transport and this was her concern.  She was in no way upset about the inconvenience it would cause her for having to walk to and from work.

 

We advised Emma that we would aim to get the Failing to Notify Driver Details Charges dropped, and hopefully get the lower of the two Speeding Offences dealt with by way of a Speed Awareness Course.  She knew that she faced a very real risk of being disqualified from driving for 6 months.

 

We prepared Emma’s case to our usual high standard, and arranged for one of our specialist motoring law barristers to represent her.

 

Emma attended Halifax Magistrates Court expecting to face a disqualification.

 

Emma’s barrister phoned us at 11am with the excellent news.

 

All four charges had been withdrawn!

 

The Prosecutor on the day had a child who had been a patient on Emma’s ward. He had completely sympathised with her and wanted to give her something back.

 

After reading Rachel’s character reference he accepted that Emma had not received the original notices of intended prosecution and so withdrew the Failing to Notify Driver Details charges, and both Speeding charges!

 

Emma received an amazingly unexpected result!

 

If you have been charged with a motoring offence and would like expert assistance, give our dedicated team a call now on 0800 1933 999.

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