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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 received a visit from a TV licence officer saying that I

Customer Question

I received a visit from a TV licence officer saying that I did not have a licence.
I replied that I had completed the on-line form but had not received a licence. He replied that many other people had the same problem. Anyway I agreed to pay what I owed and set up a new DD there and then and I have not missed a payment since.
I then asked him if there was anything that I needed to do. He replied no everything is now ok.
I was unaware that I did not have a licence until this visit.
I now have to go to court for not having licence when he visited but I did get the payments up to date immediately.
How shall I plead. thanks.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Were you aware that the online payment had failed please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
My wife has my card out shopping so I may have got a figure wrong.i,ll try and phone her now
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The payment has just gone through I think.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Ok.
But at the time of the visit you had not even attempted to make an online payment?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I didn't know that I was expected to pay immediately so it took me a while to gather my thoughts but I paid as soon as I could.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Yes, but at the time of the visit you were watching TV without a licence?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes,,but I thought that I had paid it online.the TV officer admitted that 100'sof people made the same mistake.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.
You will find the offence here
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2003/21/section/363
and it is still in force despite MPs' talk of decriminalising it.
Unfortunately it is an offence of strict liability. You either had a licence or you didn't. There is no defence in saying that you thought you did.
You can ask them to review the public interest of the prosecution with the points above in mind. If you have always maintained a TV licence previously and this was just a lapse which you quickly corrected then they might drop it.
Otherwise though, you would have no option but to plead guilty I'm afraid.
I'm very sorry but thats your position.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
So just plead guilty and have done with it?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
You can ask them to review the public interest of the prosecution with the points above in mind. If you have always maintained a TV licence previously and this was just a lapse which you quickly corrected then they might drop it. I would look into this first.
Otherwise though, you would have no option but to plead guilty I'm afraid.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ok thanks
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No problem and all the best.

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