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Help for DSis - Missed court date

(31 Posts)
catgirl1976 Sun 14-Oct-12 12:27:36

My DSis was due in court for a speeding offence for speeding in a temporary 40 zone (not sure how fast she was going).

She thought the court date was 19th, was getting her paperwork ready and realised it was the 9th.

She already has 6 points

She has just rung me in floods of tears.

Is there anything she can do and is likely to be the outcome? Am assuming they will have made a default guilty judgement, but does anyone know if she can appeal and will they revoke her licence or just add points and a fine?

mumblechum1 Sun 14-Oct-12 12:58:39

Depends how far over the 40 she was going. As she was summoned to court, unfortunately it's likely that's because she was going so far over the limit that a ban was possible. If she was only a few mph over the limit she would have received a fixed penalty notice or whatever they call it these days.

She needs to see a solicitor who specialises in this area, if it turns out she's already been banned, to find out whether there's any grounds for appeal. What would she have said in her defence if she'd turned up?

MaureenCognito Sun 14-Oct-12 13:03:07

they will have sent a letter.

then cannot ban without you there, or they can but it is seen as NOt the Done Thing

MaureenCognito Sun 14-Oct-12 13:03:49

get her to ring court tomorrow, explain, they can set aside and resentence

really its fine! You will find it is not unheard of.

bangersmashandbeans Sun 14-Oct-12 13:11:10

They can most definitely disqualify in your absence, and not knowing they have done this because you didnt attend court won't stand up very well if she now drives. Best thing to do it turn up at the court first thing Monday and explain circs. As said previously, to be summons to court for speeding generally means double the limit or close to 100 depending on the road. Driving bans for speeding tend not to be too long, sometimes only 30 days, plus a hefty fine. BUT if they give her 6+ points then she will be disqualified under the 'totting up' ruling and this is likely to be for longer. HTH

mumblechum1 Sun 14-Oct-12 13:14:09

I only have my own experience; I was doing 104 up the M1 in the middle of the night many years ago (in my defence I was in a German car and the speedo was in KM). I had no previous points and was summonsed to court where I fortunately persuaded the mags that I shouldn't be banned, but got a large fine and I can't remember how many points.

catgirl1976 Sun 14-Oct-12 13:36:17

Thank you all so much

I dont think she was loads over - she was going to court to defend not providing information as she had sent it in and has proof

Really appreciate you all giving me advice - I will ring her and get her to phone the court tomorrow and explain

MaureenCognito Sun 14-Oct-12 14:12:20

bangers, i am afraid you are just wrong

bangersmashandbeans Sun 14-Oct-12 16:39:07

Maureen having stood in the box and given evidence against a driver who wasn't present and subsequently seen the magistrate ban them I beg to differ.

MaureenCognito Sun 14-Oct-12 16:40:16

it is highly unusual. the reason is that the defendant can be driving thereby committing a crime unknowingly. certainly it can be done but it is not good practice at all,

MaureenCognito Sun 14-Oct-12 16:40:50

if the person wasnt at the trial why did they bother hearing witnesses?

bangersmashandbeans Sun 14-Oct-12 16:46:21

So you saying I'm wrong Maureen was in fact...wrong?!

SaraBellumHertz Sun 14-Oct-12 16:57:45

Because the matter was fixed for trial it is entirely possible that the prosecution were not in a position to proceed in absence and so the matter may have been adjourned in any event. However if it was dealt with then she could have been convicted and sentenced.

It is very uncommon to be disqualified in your absence but it can and does happen, although IME rarely. Usually if you're facing a ban the court will issue a warrant backed for bail to ensure attendance at the hearing. At least that was practice when I last did a traffic list (which was in fairness years ago).

Driving when disqualified is a very serious offence. There is no defence and a custodial sentence is likely. Your sister must call the court first thing tomorrow to find out how the hearing was dealt with.

I disagree with bangers re speeding having to be double or near 100 to result in summons but it matters not in your sisters case since her reason for attending was to dispute the matter.

avenueone Sun 14-Oct-12 19:06:57

I think it's crazy you have to go at all and it makes little difference. I was going 58 in a 30... thought it was 40 as it is a dual carriage way and was just about to change to 40 (I know would still have been over but not as bad) which is why they love to get a police patrol there just near where it changes making stashes of cash.
I digress - my sol said I didn't have to go so I didn't.
I got 6 points and a small fine. I already had 3 so it took me to 9.
If it means she would loose her licence then it may have been different - but tell her not to worry to much, give them a ring and see what they say.

SaraBellumHertz Sun 14-Oct-12 19:29:39

Avenue she's going (or at least wanted to) because she intends to contest the matter. Whilst I'm sure it would be more convenient if one could simply write and say "I didn't do it now please let me off" it probably wouldn't be a terribly effective way of gathering fines.

MaureenCognito Sun 14-Oct-12 19:58:09

You have to go in so you know you're banned.

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 13:58:58

She was given 6 points and a £700 fine in her absence. She has been told to write to the court and ask if it can be re-heard which they may or may not grant

She is feeling a lot better now she knows the worst case is 6 points and the fine

Thank you all for your help - I was able to give her some reassurance yesterday due to your posts which was really great

mumblechum1 Mon 15-Oct-12 14:12:52

Isn't six points on top of her current six points a ban?

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 14:47:54

Yes, I think it is, hence she does not mind paying the fine but really, really hopes they will reduce the points.

She needs her car for her work. She is going to write a letter asking for it to be re-heard and put forward her case in the hope they will reduce the points.

I don't know if this is likely / possible but think its encouraging that they have told her to write as that must mean they may potentially be willing to look at re-sentencing (although whether that means there is any chance of reducing the points I dont know)

MaureenCognito Mon 15-Oct-12 14:56:27

no you can drive on 12.. this is why doing it in absence is so odd. NOw she doesnt know if she is a totter

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 14:57:39

A totter? I did read something about a "totting up rule", I will look it up again and have a read

MaureenCognito Mon 15-Oct-12 15:02:13

yup 12 points.
6 month ban unless you can show exceptional hardship - and that is not just losing a job, it normally equates to other hardship to you or those who depend on you,

she needs to ring and check she isnt a totter

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 15:11:20

Thank you - I will get her to do that asap

SaraBellumHertz Mon 15-Oct-12 21:09:02

Maureen I think your post is a typo but you absolutely cannot drive on 12 points unless you have argued exceptional hardship which you can only do if you are present.

Catgirl if your sister now has 12 Points she must not drive until this matter is resolved. She will be guilty of driving whilst disqualified which likely results in a custodial sentence on conviction

SaraBellumHertz Mon 15-Oct-12 21:11:55

Incidentally if the conviction is set aside and the matter dealt with afresh the court will not be bound by the previous decision (ie 6 points and 700 fine) and could impose a harsher penalty on conviction

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