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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70506
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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i am a previous user of this service but i have forgotten my

Customer Question

i am a previous user of this service but i have forgotten my login in details - username and password.

i have now received a letter from the police saying that my car allegedly reversed from the driveway hitting a parked car in the street causing damage adn the driver of my vehicle did not stop and leave any details on the damaged car.
that there was an independent witness to the incident who saw the incident and has provided a statemen to the police.
the letter states "as some possible driving offences have been committed here i need to speak to you to arrange to meet and conduct a written interview with you to establish what happened from your point of view so that a decision can be made how to proceed with the case" i am writing to ask whether i should take a solicitor with me to this police interview. i have already written to them via email to say that i was unaware that i had been involved in an accident until i received a letter from the police
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Should i take a solicitor/lawyer with me to the police interview?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

Can you pay privately or do you need legal aid?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Privately
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

Where are you in the country roughly please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
In welling, Kent
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Are you being asked to surrender to Bexley ?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Surrender is a strong word. The letter states "if you could contact me on the above phone number I will set up a meeting with you in order to conduct this written interview in order to get your side of the story as to what happened from your point of view. I appreciate from your letter that you re not aware of any collision occurring but I need all this information down in writing in the form of an official interview"

Based on this extract from the letter from the police should I take a legal person with me. I assume it will be in Bexley borough.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

The letter does suggest that you will be treated as a suspect. They probably won't arrest you. They could for failing to stop and report but they would only do that if you didn't surrender and anyway for this offence at this level they are not going to take that action. The more likely outcome is just that they would summons you to court which does have benefits in some circumstances.

In this particular case though, it depends what you mean 'being unaware of an accident'. There is case law that says that where a person should be aware of an accident there is no defence in saying that he was not. If you are able to say truthfully that you are sure there was no accident then probably you should attend the interview and say that as that is a defence. If you cannot be sure then it really should be a no comment interview which for voluntarily interviews is pointless. Its best to stay away as then at least you avoid adverse inferences at court for offering a no comment interview.

If you are being interviewed under caution then you should have a solicitor. You might actually get legal aid. Failing to stop is one of those offences that straddles the criteria. Obviously it can be very serious or very minor. In this particular case it might well all dissipate down into a bit of careless driving.

If you are being asked to go to Bexley police statoin then I know this firm are very respected in the area

http://www.edwardsvaziraney.co.uk/

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks Jo for this.

The first time I became aware that an accident had happened was when I received the letter from the police. So to me there was no accident.

There is reference in the letter of an independent witness who has given a formal statement. And the police had previously said that there was a CCTV .
The person whose car I allegedly reversed into is my next door neighbour. we have had ongoing disputes about driveway and fence.
My concern that a criminal offence will negatively impact on my work.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Its quite unlikely that failing to stop and report would have a huge impact. Obviously criminal convictions are not commendations but road traffic offences don't really say anything about a person's character.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for the positive rating and remember that I am always available to help with your questions. For future information, please start your question with ‘FOR JO C’. You can also bookmark my profile http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-remus2004/