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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi there, Im seeking for advice. One month ago my girlfriend

Resolved Question:

Hi there,
I'm seeking for advice. One month ago my girlfriend and I were visiting her parents and she have decided to take her car for the drive. In our way back home, still in the outskirts of this location we were stopped by a police patrol stationed by the side of the road in a routine check. My girlfriend had asked me to drive back, so i was driving the car. While asking the usual questions during the check out of the vehicle it turned out the car was only insured for the owner of the vehicle !! She has changed car and insurance recently and she genuinely thought I would be covered, as with her previous car. Police advised to contact the Insurance company to check on her policy and make sure this was done . Something she did next day.
After a month, I received today a letter from the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal, asking me to pay £300 fine and submit my driving license which will be endorsed with 6 penalty points.
Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks very much
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Are you asking if you have a defence?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Well, I would like to know which options I have. Apart from paying the fixed penalty and end up with 6 points in my driving license. The letter sounds like I am a regular <not insured> driver. Instead of a case of genuine oversight situation ( as the police put it)

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Well, it probably was a genuine oversight but thats not a defence I'm afraid.
No insurance is an offence of strict liability. Either you were insured or you were not. If you were not then you are guilty. You were not. I realise you didn't do it deliberately but that is not the test.
You can refuse the fixed penalty and invite them to summons you. They do forget sometimes although it is fair to say that they are better organised in Scotland than in the rest of the UK.
If they do summons you then you can plead guilty and ask the Court not to add points on the basis that there are special reasons not to do so. That is a factual test but basically you have to show there was no way that you could have known you were not insured rather than that you just did not know. That is obviously hard to do but it is possible.
Even if you succeed on that point though, you will still be fined and the fine could be more than the fixed penalty. It depends on how much you want to avoid the points and how much you are prepared to risk for it.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Jo, one last thing .. When this circumstance happened I was told i still have six points endorsed in my driving license ( two fines for speeding Not like I was doing a formula 1 race, more like doing 35 in a 30 zone, in the last 3 years. Now I read in the letter the term ,<totting up> . This fixed penalty offer would add up six points more to my driving license to a total of twelve... Would this means I would be disqualified for driving?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
If your 6 points arise from offences in the last three years then you would be at risk of a ban for totting.
The only way to avoid that is either to avoid the points or to argue that a ban would cause exceptional hardship. That is a high test but it can be done. You have to show that it is essential that you drive for some reason though.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Well that was everything. Thank you very much for your answers. Unfortunately not the outcome I was hoping for , but nevertheless only have myself to blame Frown thanks again

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem and all the best.
The only other thing you could do is write to the PF asking that they review the public interest of the prosecution and pointing to your hitherto good insurance record.
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