I was stopped by the Police and told that I would receive a Fixed Penalty for speeding. I have in fact now received a Court Summons. Why did I not get a Fixed Penalty?
The option to resolve an offence by way of a Fixed Penalty Notice is at the discretion of the Police. If the Officer stops you, that is the opportunity for the Fixed Penalty to be issued. If it is not issued at the scene, it is extremely unlikely that you will receive a conditional offer as the Police Officer has clearly decided that the matter is too serious to be resolved by way of the Fixed Penalty process. There is no obligation upon the Police to offer a Fixed Penalty and if you leave the scene without a conditional offer in your hand, it is inevitable that a Summons will be issued.
I was stopped by the police on the motorway for speeding over 100 mph. I was given a producer and told I would receive a Court Summons in due course but it has now been over 2 months since the incident and I’ve not heard anything. Should I chase the Police? Is it possible that the Police Officer has decided not to process the paperwork? He told me I faced a driving ban and that I would have to go to Court. How long does it normally take for the Police to contact you?
The Police have 6 months to commence proceedings and do not have to contact you at any stage before then. In our experience, many forces diary cases for 5 months and 2 weeks, so the lack of progress at this stage does not suggest that they will not proceed. There is no point contacting the Police; it will only prompt them into life. If you do nothing, there is a slight chance that they will fail to progress the case in time.
I have received a Summons for failing to identify driver, but the photo does not show/prove who was driving. Do I have a defence?
There is no obligation for photographic evidence to show who was driving. The purpose of the photograph is to identify the vehicle so it would normally focus on the number plate. The Police do not have to show who was driving. All the Police need to do is prove the identity of the vehicle and that they have asked the registered keeper to identify the driver at the time of the alleged offence. That request shifts the burden onto the keeper. An offence is committed if no driver identification is given unless you are able to provide a satisfactory explanation as to why it is impossible to establish the driver’s identity.
I received a Notice of Intended Prosecution but I cannot be sure who was driving at the time of the offence. When I asked for the photographic evidence, it simply initiated Court proceedings for failing to supply the identity of the driver. Do I have a valid claim as I have reason to believe that the ‘evidence’ in question is weak and when I asked for the evidence I am simply summonsed to Court?
There is a strict obligation to reply to a Notice of Intended Prosecution within 28 days. If you do not supply the identity of the driver in that time, it can be argued that you have failed to meet your obligation. If you do not know who was driving, but believe the photograph will assist you, you should ask to see same but when requesting a photograph, you should ask that your time for supplying the information be extended until you have had ample opportunity to consider the evidence. Although the Process Unit do not have to co-operate, they would normally do so and if a Summons were issued in these circumstances, the Court will not be overly impressed, given that you can show a genuine effort to deal with the matter.
I have received a Summons to attend Court for a speeding offence. There is a typing error on the Summons as it incorrectly quotes the date of the offence as the date of the Summons! Can I plead not guilty and get the case thrown out of Court due to a technical error/technicality?
Your case will not be dismissed on this basis. There is a “slip rule” that allows errors to be corrected at Court immediately prior to the hearing commencing. In order for the case to be dismissed on such a technicality, you would need to show that the error is of such a fundamental nature, that you are genuinely unaware of the basis of the allegation and thus cannot prepare a defence. If you know exactly what the case relates to (which must be the scenario or you would not know that the date is wrong) the Court will allow the amendment on the basis that you are not prejudiced.