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  #1  
Old 01-Mar-2005, 11:11 PM
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Dave G Dave G is offline
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Advice on court appearance

I know theres a couple of legal brains here,and hope they can help here.
Recently my wife Jayne(as the registered keeper of the car) got a n.i.p. for speeding,nothing outrageous just over the limit in roadworks sort of thing.
However,the first we knew about it was a month and a half later which led to a bit of confusion over who actually was driving,it could have been me,my wife or her sister as we all use each others cars.
Date of offence 29th Oct ,letter arrived 7th of Dec.
We asked the sisters husband who is actually a soliciter and he advised at the time to say we didnt know.
We knew that the ticket was not issued within the time limit,however the letter said in it that it was the SECOND letter they had sent as we had not responded to the first. No letter was received by us,and our post is usually very reliable.
The courts then get tougher sending two policemen to charge Jayne with failing to disclose the driver,(sort of legal double or quits with menaces) her court appearance is on 17th March and she was sent a form to ask how she was pleading -guilty,not guilty,or explanation of actions (I think thats how it was).
She spent a day writing out this explanation of how we didnt know who was driving due to the lapse in time between the offence and the notification but as the keeper she accepts responsibility for the car.
Soliciter reads this and utterly junks it as being a defence not an explanation,and then baffles her with legal babble which just confused and upset her.
She now thinks the court is going to crucify her for wasting its time, what do we do now?
What should she write?
What is the difference between a defence and an explanation?
We do have a different legal system here in Scotland but I think the traffic laws are essentially the same,not sure about the process of dealing with them though.
Annoyed at the bro in law for being unhelpful here,reading between the lines he just doesnt want to deal with it,but sod all we can do.
I'd appreciate proper advice here rather than sympathetic messages as Jayne doesnt want to make this a whole lot worse,she's already looking at increased fines and points for daring to take it this far.

What to do now?
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  #2  
Old 01-Mar-2005, 11:25 PM
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[Edited on 1-3-2005 by Festa748]
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Old 01-Mar-2005, 11:29 PM
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Go see another solictor id say was the best bet

But good luck with it
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Old 01-Mar-2005, 11:45 PM
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I really wish I could help but I honestly don't know anything about this type of offence, other than in England you can sometimes get off on a technicality e.g. police time barred for failing to issue notices within time limits etc.

My advice would be, tell your wife to dress smartly, be concilliatory and keep her fingers crossed. And in future keep a diary of who is driving the car on what days! Never hurts to be able to deny liability
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Old 02-Mar-2005, 12:03 AM
weeian weeian is offline
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sorry to hear that, i echo red ruths comments on just going to court and explaining what happened, my mate in work did this last month and they let him away with it and told him they wouldnt be so lenient next time.

worth a try.

/ian
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Old 02-Mar-2005, 03:37 PM
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Visit http://www.pepipoo.com/

have a look at the forums, you might even find yerself a decent brief.

Fire the current Solicitor, get one who is clued up. The Powers that be will try and bully you, but if you get clued up you can run rings round 'em.

I got myself a load of crucual info. from the site after my last brush with NYPDs fiction department. They are gonna work for their next £60 if indeed thay get it at all.

Ray
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Old 02-Mar-2005, 05:25 PM
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DSC Member Jools Jools is offline
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The whole court set up is designed to intimidate you. The last time I went to court was when I got a totally unjustified parking ticket and decided to contest it in court rather than just cough up the fine.

The court seems to treat everyone the same, so whether you go up before the local magistrates for a parking offence or GBH you still get the same heavyweight summons which is designed to scare the crap out of you with talk of 'criminal records' etc...

When you get there, the layout of the court is designed to make you feel like a little lump of something you'd want to wipe off your shoe. All the magistrates sit at a desk about 10 feet up from the floor and glare down at you in your little box. All the proceedings, all the court etiquette (all stand for the beak etc) is just designed to make you feel very, very small. Prepare yourself psychologically for that.

I didn't get a solicitor for such a trivial offence and represented myself. I'm reasonably eloquent and able to represent myself well enough in business so I thought I would give it a go. Having said that, the way you have to phrase questions when it's your turn to quiz the police or any other witness does detract from your ability to represent yourself unless you're used to the jargon, so get a good lawyer on your side.

Other than that, just dress smartly, represent yourself clearly and dispassionately, tell the truth and that's it. In my case I actually found that, once I did that, the magistrates gave me a sympathetic hearing.

[Edited on 2-3-2005 by Jools]
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  #8  
Old 02-Mar-2005, 10:02 PM
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http://www.beencaughtspeeding.co.uk/start.htm
http://www.pepipoo.com/

Hope trhese help, and all the best!
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  #9  
Old 02-Mar-2005, 10:04 PM
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jools what was the outcome?
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  #10  
Old 03-Mar-2005, 07:44 PM
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DSC Member Guido Guido is offline
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Dave G,

I went thru the Scottish court system (like a dose of Andrews I hasten to add!!!) last year when caught speeding taking my bike to Aberdeen in the people carrier.

My first advice is to get a new solicitor, best if you can be recommended one - will your BIL help here as he won't seem to help with anything else.

Something you can do is write to the Proc/Fiscal handling your case and request what's known as a 'continuation without plea'. This is in effect a request to delay the court hearing to a later date. The context in which it can be used is mainly to allow you sufficient time in which to gather the necessary information/evidence so that you can register a plea based on your findings.

I had my hearing 'continued' 3 times whilst I plagued the officers who stopped me for all the evidence they should have had against me (i.e. video, statements, calibrations certs, independent verification etc). You have the right to see the evidence being used against you so it can be for these purposes that you request a 'continuation without plea'.

I came to the conclusion that I had no technicalities to use and simply entered a plea once all information had been submitted to me.

If you want copies of my letters to give you and idea re. how to ask for a 'continuation without plea', drop me an email. Donít take too long, the more time you give the court, the better it is for you in the long run. They don't like being messed around last minute but will normally oblige with requests if asked properly and in a timely fashion.

Also......Have a look at recent posts (within the last 14 days definitely) cos there was one with a link to the pepipoo site that had a letter used to counteract this 'who was driving?' issue.

Good luck, Guido

[Edited on 3-3-2005 by Guido]
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