How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Jo C. Your Own Question

Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 30929
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
12826847
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

Should we have been given information about representation

Customer Question

Should we have been given information about representation before a hearing in a magistrates court.? We were sent no information. My husband has Parkinsons disease and pleaded guilty to speeding, we presented mitigating evidence of a drug effect,this medication has now been replaced and he is much calmer. This offence occurred on 6th of Jan 2014 . This was a consultants letter and written explanation of the effect of the impulse cause of this drug mirapexin. He was fined and has his licence removed. He has to retake his driving test to be able to drive again,this seems a very harsh outcome.
We were given only 2 days notice of the hearing,no information and no time to prepare for the case,he was told that he would be arrested if he did not present at court.
He found the whole procedure very disturbing. We were approached by nobody whilst waiting for an hour before the hearing in the court entrance. I as his wife and carer was shown to the public gallery,he could hardly be heard and did not make his case clear.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : Are you saying he was due in court 2 days after getting the summons please?
JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

Hello Alex, The summons was sent to us on 24th July and the hearing was 28th,two of those days were the week-end.This was the date of an adjournment set in Exeter magistrates court.The first hearing was in Bodmin and I sent an explanation and consultants letter about the drugs and how he reacted to them. We were not required to attend the first hearing and it was too far for us to drive.

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

i alex,

Alex Watts : Did he plead guilty by post?
JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

yes he did. With supporting material. I think it was 6 months to the day from initial contact to the first hearing in Bodmin. I actually phoned the camera unit myself as we had not heard from them since 20 th of anuary and was wondering

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

if they were proceeding.

Alex Watts : Ok. So this new hearing was an adjourned hearing?
JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

Yes. Is there any obligation to give a disabled defendant time to prepare for a hearing and should there be any information provided to help him do so? Our post arrives at 11 o'clock and the court closes at 4 pm on Friday. It was just one sheet of paper containing the summons to appear with a warning of arrest if he did not. All the services are closed at the week-end,i.e.Citizens Advice . There is a waiting list with appointments,so I could not get any help in time to find out what we should do.

Alex Watts : I thought you said this was the adjourned hearing ? If you were pleading guilty and accepted the offence, how much longer did you need?
JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

time to gather information from my husbands consultant on how much better he was on the new drug, time to speak to Cab to find out if he needed to use a solicitor,time to find out if I could have spoken for him in court and sat next to him and explained the mitigating circumstances,information that we could have spoken to and used the duty solicitor. The out come is that he has been told to pass the modern driving test and he cannot write with this condition.

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

This is six months after the offense happened,the drug he is on now has stabilised his behaviour,we were given no chance to explain this. No information to tell us we could do this.

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

Is there no duty for the court to supply information to a vulnerable adult ?

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

I consider that the mitigating circumstances remained unexplained and not updated and the sentence arrived at without any opportunity to discuss his current medication and improved stability.

Alex Watts : Are you saying that the medication made him speed?
JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

Yes,it promoted some very difficult behavior at the time

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

If you are willing you can locate Parkinsons disease and Mirapexin and the detrimental outcome for its use.

Alex Watts : If that was the case did you report the condition to the DVLA if it made him speed?
JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

Hi ,

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

No,this knowledge was not clear at the time of speeding ,in retrospect I was able to process a regular series of events that underlined his behavior. Please understand that I am not a Parkinsons specialist but am living within the vagaries of the condition as a wife and carer. Everything that happens with the progression of the disease and its medical side effects

Alex Watts : You are saying that he was speeding because of the medication ?
JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

happen in an accumulative way. Why do you question me as to whether I would have in formed the D.V.L.A. I would have to have spoken to the consultant and discussed the situation. My husband has had Parkinsons for 17 years, we have been married for nearly 50 years,I have more respect for him

Alex Watts : Did it not say that it had side effects?
JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

I have nt finished explaining.

Alex Watts : Ok
JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

Yes, we have crossed lines here .

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

Sorry Alex ,should I continue?

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

The side effects cause as a general matter impulsive behaviour. It was not until we saw the consultant several weeks later that the problem and its cause were identified.

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

I was in the middle of a crisis at the time ,the last thing I would do was inform the D.V.L.A. David was behaving out of character for quite some time before I was able to understand what the cause was. It can be very frightening

Alex Watts : So he was behaving erratically because of a medical condition and you did not inform the dvla - is that correct?
JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

The medical condition caused erratic behavior because of the drug side effect. Do you need me to tell you about it?

Alex Watts : Was he advised. Not t
Alex Watts : Was he advised not to drive?
Alex Watts : Did he rwd
Alex Watts : Did he read the leaflet that comes with the drugs and did it say do not drive?
JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

It was several weeks later before we could be seen by the consultant,Yes he has always discussed the drug side effects with the consultant ,he was presenting typical side effects that are never obvious to the patient. No he was not advised not to drive,I always talk to him at these times of crisis and we try to come to an agreement.

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

Can I make it clear again. This happened in January, we could not see the consultant straight away, I instigated a extra long appointment with his G.P to discuss what was happening. I took every step I was able to take to tackle his problem

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

We have not tackled the first question I asked at the top of the page or the other questions about time to prepare .

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

I do not think it is useful to question me about whether or not I contacted the D.V.L.A. as there is a suggestion that I am in some kind of control of this situation and are responsible for it. My position when I do not know what to do is to contact experts that know more than I do to ask for help. Which is why I am putting the ball back in your court.

Alex Watts :

This is a double edged sword. Clearly if you are saying the medication or his condition caused him to speed, then quite simply he should not have been driving and it should have been reported to the DVLA

Alex Watts :

As for any sentence the Court is not required to inform you of representation

Alex Watts :

This is only a requirement where there is a custodial sentence as an option

Alex Watts :

In this case it is points and a fine, no custody and therefore you would not be entitled to representation

Alex Watts :

You knew about the adjourned hearing so could have paid for your own Solicitor.

Alex Watts :

But you would not be entitled to legal aid based on the fact of speeding.

Alex Watts :

But if he had 3 points and a fine, then this is a normal sentence and not unreasonable.

Alex Watts :

If you feel that the sentence is unfair you can appeal to the Crown Court within 21 days

Alex Watts :

You would then go before a Crown Court Judge and 2 Magistrates, set out the position and they can re-sentence you.

Alex Watts :

However you must realise that you would not be entitled to representation as there is no risk of custofy

Alex Watts :

* custody *

Alex Watts :

Also you need to be aware that any sentence can be INCREASED not only decreased.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

Point 1, whose responsility is it to report this to D.V L A. I knew nothing about this until the camera evidence came to the house by post.

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

Point 1.

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

point 1. whose responsibility is it to report this to the D.V.L.A. I knew nothing about it until the camera evidence was delivered to us. You are implying I am negligent in some way. Quite simply he should not h ave been driving ,neither should he have been on the roof with a power hose, it was very difficult for me to intervene in this situation but these are the real life situations with Parkinsons disease. I am cut by this double edged sword into pieces here.p

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

Who is responsible for reporting it to the D.V.L.A. I knew nothing of it until the camera evidence arrive in the post.I was dealing with many difficult confrontations with him for several months which were much more challenging than his driving. . It is not reasonable to I am cut to pieces by this double edged sword here .

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

Who holds the responsibility to report this to the D.V.L.A. I knew nothing of this until the camera evidence arrived.

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

Whose responsibility is it to report it to the D.V.L.A.

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

How do I prevent something happening before it has occured. I cannot predict his behavior before it it is evident.How could I find a solicitor in day and a half.?

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

I could not get information from the C.A.B. for at least a week.

Alex Watts :

You have responsibility. Clearly you can't stop someone from doing what they want but if there is a medical condition and/or medication that affects driving it MUST be reported to the DVLA.

Alex Watts :

What about if there had been an accident caused by the medical condition and people had been killed?

Alex Watts :

But in any event the Courts for speeding do not have a responsibility to get you representation

Alex Watts :

You could have made enquiries with Solicitors firms and asked if they could represent.

Alex Watts :

Most firms have a panel of Solicitors to hand

Alex Watts :

But that would NOT have been on legal aid

Alex Watts :

If you got points and a fine that is the right sentence

Alex Watts :

If you feel the sentence was too harsh that does not stop you appealing to the Crown Court

Alex Watts :

But you have 21 days to do that

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify?

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

In that case I am no longer able to look after and live with my husband. I am unable to take responsibilty for his actions. I am totally unrepresented and unrecognised as a wife and a carer who cannot get any support or advice in a very difficult situation. I have no rights what so ever. If I am held responsible by the law for his actions and can get no advise or support to fulfill this, then I am being discriminated against. Does this mean then that I am liable fro prossicution

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

I think this is upsetting me to the point of exclusion and I will duck out here

Alex Watts :

No you wont be

Alex Watts :

But he can appeal against his sentence

Alex Watts :

If he is so poorly he really should not be driving - he may be a danger to the public especially if his has Parkinsons

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

I do know all of this and thank you for your detached advice but this is too unrelated to what I am experiencing as a person in an impossible bind that it is no longer of use to me. It is impossible for me to detach myself from being a wife and I think it is unreasonable to expect me to do this.

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

lets finish now please.

Alex Watts :

Yes I understand.

Alex Watts :

If I could invite you to rate my service before you leave, even if it was not the answer you wanted

Alex Watts :

Please remember its not the answer I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

I could have done without you taking your moral high ground ,he is my husband,not my prisoner. I am his wife not a policewoman. The discussion about the D.V.L.A was not one I asked you.Have you just been honest about your own opinion? or the law in relation to my ability or inability to act in a very confrontational situation? Do you really think I do not know the implications of my husbands disability and the related drug side effect?This has side tracked what could have been a clearer discussion and has used energy I do not have to spare. I need to think about the rating as I asked you for help not your judgment on my action or lack of it. I do not think it is useful to criticize me . As I said before I get professional help when I do not know what to do .

Alex Watts :

I was not being judgmental and I am sorry if you thought that I was. I needed to be clear about the condition and make you realise that a Court can refer his condition to the DVLA. That is why it is double edged, so if you appeal the Crown Court Judge can consider he was not fit to drive and refer it on. Then you would be in more difficulty.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you?

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

His condition is already known by the D.V.L.A. He was driving a motability car which is registered and his condition declared. He has a blue badge,his disability Living Allowance is used to support car. There has been no attempt to hide any of the facts. Since the first drug has been withdrawn and another given to replace it he is presenting better judgment.

Alex Watts :

Ok - as long as the DVLA know that is the main thing.

Alex Watts :

I was just concerned on the one hand you said it was his condition/medication that made him drive like that when on the other that risk should be notified to the DVLA

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

When he is like this I do not allow him to drive and have over the 17 years he has had this condition always monitored his responses.

Alex Watts :

Do you see my point on that?

Alex Watts :

But if the Doctor says he is medically fit, then there is no issue

Alex Watts :

But you can appeal as I have indicated above

Alex Watts :

But you have 21 days to do that

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

No I am sorry I dont see your point.

Alex Watts :

Ok - if the medication/condition caused him to speed - that poses a risk to other road users as he is not in control of his own actions.

Alex Watts :

That fact may have needed to have been reported to the DVLA

Alex Watts :

But if his GP says notwithstanding this, he is fit to drive, then there is no issue

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify?

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

It clarifies to me that you have not been in full knowledge of all the facts and have presumed that I have been unwilling to contact or declare any of the facts to the authorities. This is so far from truth it is almost laughable. Maybe this just proves to me that neither Magistrates or solicitors have any understanding of disability or the caring position of a spouse or carer and I am very truly warned not to expect to be listened to nor respected in this regard .

Alex Watts :

Ok - I will opt out and let someone else help

JACUSTOMER-329fgm3d- :

Thankyou.

Alex Watts :

Good luck if we don't speak again

Expert:  Alice H replied 2 years ago.
My name is***** and I am an experiencesdsolicitor with 25 years experience.Do you still need help with your problem?What specifically do you still wish to know?

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Jo C.

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/EM/emus/2015-7-7_192327_bigstockportraitofconfidentfemale.64x64.jpg Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BE/benjones/2015-12-1_0437_ennew.64x64.jpg Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    11553
    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BU/Buachaill/2012-5-25_211156_barrister5.64x64.jpg Buachaill's Avatar

    Buachaill

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    1754
    Barrister 17 years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/jojobi/2013-3-19_0265_maxlowryphoto.64x64.jpg Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry

    Advocate

    Satisfied Customers:

    894
    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/UK/UKLawyer/2012-4-12_9849_F2.64x64.jpg UK_Lawyer's Avatar

    UK_Lawyer

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    750
    I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kasare/kasare.64x64.jpg Kasare's Avatar

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    402
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OS/osh/2015-7-7_19268_gettyimagesb.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8199
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice