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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70208
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi, I am a hackney driver, have been charged with the offence

Resolved Question:

Hi, I am a hackney driver, have been charged with the offence of being "Owner / Driver of public hackney carriage permit plying for hire - no passenger no plate - outside London etc etc....without having the number of persons to be carried painted and exhibited on the carriage". (Contrary to section 52 of the Town and Police Clauses Act 1847)

However, in the plea form where I have to plead guilty or not guilty, the offence has been abbreviated to (verbatim) "Owner / driver of public hackney carriage permit plying for hire - no passenger no plate - outside London". Apart from not making sense, this wouldn't be an offence. Can I plead not guilty on that basis?
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.

Are you asking if this is a defence please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes - It was quite likely I was in contravention of section 52 of the Town Police clauses act, but that offence has NOT been transcribed correctly on the plea form.


 


I want to know whether I can plead not guilty to offence AS STATED on the plea form, and whether this would constitute a defence.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
It isn't particularly helpful when they do not write out charges correctly.

You can always plead not guilty. Nobody can make you enter a guilty plea.

You could argue that charge is defective. You cannot do that by post though. You need to attend for a contested hearing on the point.

The problem with this though is that if you enter a not guilty plea on this basis they will just amend the charge sheet to use the correct wording and then you would have no option but to plead guilty.

If this wording concerns you particularly then you should really attend court to negotiate the matter with the prosecutor.

However, there is only one S52 TCA so its not going to change much whatever wording they use.

Sorry if this is bad news.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
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