Motoring Solicitors Newcastle and Sunderland

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Motoring Solicitors Newcastle and Sunderland

People are still being taken to Court for driving offences. If the Police do not issue you with a Conditional Offer after you have been captured on film breaking the speed limit, then it is likely that your case will result in you receiving either a Requisition (what used to be called a Summons) or a Notice of the Single Justice Procedure. The Single Justice Procedure is a process used by most Police Forces to commence Court proceedings for motoring offences. The assumption is most cases will be resolved by a guilty plea and written mitigation which will be considered by a Magistrate without a formal hearing. This results in a more convenient and prompt conclusion for the motorist..

However, there has been a delay in dealing with cases where a person faced either a Totting disqualification (i.e. about to accumulate 12 penalty points or more) or where there was a failure to respond to a NIP/S172 Notice (that is a Notice of Intended Prosecution/Request for driver details). These cases are now being listed for hearing. If you wish to accept the inevitable punishment, then you can attend at Court, or you can communicate with the Court and give your commentary upon what happened and why and your income details and the Court will deal with it. You are best advised to attend at Court unless the result does not matter to you, i.e. the disqualification and the amount of the fine.

If you cannot identify the driver, then you will be Requisitioned to Court to explain why. If convicted, you face a fine, victim Surcharge and costs and 6 penalty points. If you genuinely cannot remember who was driving and the Magistrates accept your explanation, then you will have no conviction, no points and no costs. However, in reality, it is a very high hurdle to get over.

The Police do not have to supply photographs and asking for photographs doesn’t stop the clock on your response.

Often people Requisitioned to Court for failing to give the details of the driver wish to attempt to argue why they aren’t guilty will be able to plead guilty to the speeding or driving offence that resulted in the request from the Police-but not always. Attending Court is the best way to deal with the case this way. The only reason this cannot happen is that the alternative charge to the specific speeding offence has not been laid (issued) within 6 months of the offence.

Totting occurs when 12 or more penalty points are accumulated. The important date is the date of the Index Offence (i.e. the offence that is being looked at). The points tally on that date-not the date you appear at Court (unless you have had further penalty points imposed upon you in the meantime-is what actually matters.

Many enquiries I get are from people who are confused by the system. They tell me they are being done for speeding-when; in fact, it is because they have not responded to the NIP/S172 Notice. You must read the correspondence you receive from the Police carefully, and you must deal with it within the time period set in the request.

If you are the Registered Keeper and you are the driver, then the first letter you receive will be because you are the Registered Keeper and the second letter you will receive is because you have been identified as the driver. The first letter must reach you, the Registered Keeper, within 14 days of the offence. If you have committed a number of offences in close proximity to each other then often the flurry of mail you receive can be confusing.

Often, in my experience, there is a reason such as stress or ill-health or mental illness-why people suddenly start accumulating penalty points. If you realise you are “not entirely with it” then do not drive a vehicle. Do not do so when stressed or distracted by life’s events. Under COVID19 stress levels and mental health issues are rising. Driving a motor vehicle when not able to concentrate on driving is itself an offence.

How To Avoid Disqualification for Totting?

You can argue EXCEPTIONAL hardship that will result from the disqualification to you or to an innocent third party such as your child or parent or a group of people such as employees, fellow employees, clients or patients.

The hardship that will result must be real and must be EXCEPTIONAL. There are consequences for everyone from being disqualified. To avoid disqualification, the hardship must be EXCEPTIONAL.

Recently I managed to achieve a result for a medical person who was able to show how colleagues and patients would suffer as a result of a disqualification. She still had to pay a fine, Victim Surcharge and costs-but the client was able to continue driving.

If your licence is important to you-and to others-then drop me a line, we can offer a Zoom conference to talk about your case or circumstances. All you have to do is to get in touch

Motoring Solicitors Newcastle:  0191 284 6989

Motoring Solicitors Sunderland: 0191 567 6667

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Our Gosforth office is located at 137A Back High Street NE3 4ET - call in and see us at any time. We have wheelchair access, you can be dropped off at our front door, and there is free parking on the adjoining streets.

You can also park opposite our Sunderland Office on John Street.

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