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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70179
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Joapologies its so long however i thought it better to be as compre

Resolved Question:

Jo
apologies its so long however i thought it better to be as comprehensive as possible.
I'm being charged with driving without due care and attention, after riding a motorbike into the back of another vehicle on the 28th September 2014.
I maintain that I followed all of the guidance from my (18 months previous) instructor, which is that before changing lanes look in the mirror, signal then take a quick look over the shoulder to check that the lane is completely clear before manoeuvring.
The motorised tricycle that I hit was in front of me in the preceding sets of traffic lights and was pulling little wheelies in between the two sets of lights about 150 metres apart so I wanted to be in a different lane than sitting behind him (later found out it was a man). When the traffic lights changed and all of the traffic started to move away the I decided to get in the outside lane so that I wasn’t behind him so I checked the right mirror, signalled my right indicator, did a sho
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
.
Thank you question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Sorry about that Jo.

It looks like half the info didn't come through.

In simple terms i hit the back of a vehicle and the police are charging me with driving without due care and attention.

As the police weren't there at the time and there are no cameras (I checked because the tricycle that I hit was pulling wheelies so wanted to see if it was on tape anywhere).

I am trying to ascertain if they automatically charge the person who hits a vehicle from behind with this and what the best way to fight it would be?

Also they did offer a RIDE course in a letter but send Driver Alertness leaflets and booking details so I tried to contact the investigating officer about this to clarify why but was unable to speak with him (various voicemail messages). In the end I posted a letter through the door at his police station (no letterbox) but received no response.

A few weeks later when I was on holiday in the US and my son called me and told me a letter from the police arrived. I asked him to open it. It was offering a RIDE course with the correct leaflets and info but the course had to be booked within 7 Days.

I called the phone number on the letter to explain that I was on holiday and couldn't book the course until I got back. They said they would extend the date and would get in touch with the officer and see if he would call me.

Then I received a call telling me that the officer had requested the file back and that he would be in touch. Next thing I receive is a intention to charge me along with a court date.

I am due to fly back to the US on that date so can't make the court date. Again is there a way I can get the date changed?

Kind Regards

Paul.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Ok.
So, in short, you have been summonsed to court on a date that you are abroad?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I actually fly out on the Friday that I am due in court. I need to be at the airport three hours before. So will be getting on the plane about the time I am due in court.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Did you book tickets before getting the court date?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
If you call the court office then they may change the date. They usually will pre booked holiday. You will need to send in evidence of the flight tickets etc.
If you cannot get through to anybody at court, which is possible in the light of the cuts, then you can always write in but keep a copy of everything.
Also, you can always enter a plea to an offence like this by post. You are summonsed not on bail. You are perfectly free to enter a plea by post.
They don't automatically bring charges but that doesn't mean they cannot in this instance. They only have to prove that your driving on that occasion fell below the standard required of the careful and competent driver. If this is a rear end shunt then it gets quite hard to argue with that. That said, if they think it was just an accident rather than any specific instance of bad driving then they will probably acquit. They are not adjudicating upon who is at fault accident. They are judging the standard of your driving on that occasion.
Can I clarify anything ?
Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Okay thanks. Think I got that.

Any specific terminology I should use in respect of drafting a plea by post?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Not really.
You just enter a guilty plea and then there is a box . Usually it comes down to remorse and hitherto good character.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Jo

I was actually planning on pleading not guilty. I did what i was instructed to do which is look over my shoulder prior to changing lanes.

The incident was an accident rather than me not paying attention.

more a set of events that coincided which caused the accident.

Me changing lanes at exactly the same time that the vehicle in front brakes sharply.

Would this stand up?

Regards,

Paul.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
It is certainly a defence. Whether it is accepted or not comes to whether or not your account is believed really.I'm happy to continue with this but please rate my answer.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Jo

What would i need to convince the magistrate?

I can ask statement from my motor cycle instructor.

Regards Paul.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
The real problem here is that this is a rear end shunt. It is pretty difficult to argue that wasn't a case of bad driving of some form. It doesn't mean a person is a bad driver overall. It just means that they made a mistake on that occasion.
I wouldn't waste your time with a cycle instructor. Statements are not admissible unless they are agreed by the other side and anyway he cannot give evidence to the issues here. You could ask him character reference in the event that you are convicted.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Okay well thanks advice.

Ill see if i can get the date changed so I can enjoy my holiday and then appear and see how they accept my case.

Regards,

Paul.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem and all the best.
Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. information, please start your question with ‘’.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

One last question. Do they have to prove i was driving without due care and attention?

If so would they need evidence rather than supposing that it was my fault, and if so am I entitled to a copy of that evidence?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
The Crown have to prove that there was some fault with your driving which rendered it below the standard required. It is not enough to prove an accident.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Can i ask evidence they may have such as witness statements or are these not classed as evidence?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
They will serve any evidence they rely upon either on the first appearance in person or by post no less than 7 days before the day of trial.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Okay thanks.

I'll see what appears in the post.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem.