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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70197
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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In November 2014 approximately 6pm i was driving and came to

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In November 2014 approximately 6pm i was driving and came to a stop at a side street that entered onto a main road. The main road is a hill with a curve . i was exiting down the road. i stopped looked and proceeded to pull out when safe. As I was pulling out a car driving on the main road I was pulling out on to, hit my bumper. It was dark as it was winter and I did not see the headlights approaching nor saw the car and that was the reason I had proceeded to pull out
I should mention I have never been involved in a road accident in my 6 years of driving and the collision was a shock. as It happened as I was pulling out and down the hill I thought it safe due to it being dark to park on the opposite side away from traffic and then exit the car and exchange details.
I saw a space about 20 yards down where I parked and walked back to the scene. however as I got there the other car had left. another woman witnessed me trying to find the driver and she gave me her details
shaken up I drove home. I considered going to the police the next day once I had calmed down however I had no details to give to the police as to who had collided with me. I dint even know the colour or make of the car.
due to my inexperience and due to the lack of information I did not report it to the police and after consideration a week later had the bumper replaced privately. I took pictures of the damage before having the work carried out.
in February I received a letter from the police asking for information regarding the incident. I filled in the form truthfully explaining what happened and also I had a witness and sent it off.
in April an officer visited my home late at night and took my statement. I again mentioned I had a witness however he did not take the name or details of the witness
on 8th of may I received a letter summoning me to a court hearing saying I have been charged with
1) diving a car without due care an attention (PNLD: H8757)
2) failing to report accident (PNLD: H105)
3) failing to stop after accident (PNLD: H103)
I admit I made a mistake in not going to the police but I felt I would be going to them and wasting their time as I had no information to provide and I also admit I should have had the repair fixed through my insurance company.
the letter sent to me by the courts have stated there is a discount for an early plea. I don't want to plead guilty, as yes despite my mistake in not reporting the accident I did not flee the scene and now I see it was a mistake to park in a safer location and I should have just got out of the car there and than
my questions are
1) what are the potential penalties I face
a) how much of a fine?
b) how many points?
c) any chance of imprisonment?
2)
a) I did make certain mistakes due to my naivety and how are the courts likely to look at this if I try to fight it in court
b) how much am I looking at in lawyers fees to fight this?
3) if I accept the early plea discount
a) how much of a fine?
b) how many points?
c) any chance of imprisonment?
I understand you cant give a definitive answer but an estimation due to our experience would be appreciated, and in your opinion what is the best course
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.
On your specific points above
1 For driving without due care 3-9 points or a potential ban and a fine. For failing to stop and report 5-10 points or a ban, up to 6 months custody and an unlimited fine.
a That depends on your means. Usually in the middle to low hundreds
b See above
c Yes
2
a On these facts you will be convicted. Come what may, you didn't report this to the police.
b It depends who you use. You would not get legal aid for this. A barrister under public access would probably do it for about £500 plus VAT if you contest it.
3
a That would reduce by one third if you pleaded
b That would not change.
c Yes, for failing to stop and report.
The main issue here is the failing to stop and report. If you attend court and negotiate with the Crown they might accept a plea to driving without due care in exchange for dropping the failing to stop and report.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

but does the fact I have a witness who can provide evidence that I walked back to find the driver help? this proves I did not flee the scene?

also this actually happened to my wife not me personally it was just easier to write if it was myself.

if she pleads guilty to an early plea discount what are the chances of her being imprisoned?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No.
You didn't exchange details with the driver and you didn't make a report to the police within 24 hours. That is failing to stop and report.
She isn't likely to receive custody. People do get custody for failing to stop and report but not usually for damage only collisions unless there is some interference with justice.
It is usually give to people who have injured others and then driven away and left them.
But as I said, if you attend court and negotiate with the Crown they might accept a plea to driving without due care in exchange for dropping the failing to stop and report.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

1) in your opinion is it best to accept an early discount plea and attach a letter from the witness and explaining my side of the events again?

2) if I accept the early discount plea and agree to pay the fine and receive points, will I have to attend court?

3) if I decide to attend court should I take a solicitor with me

4) I am certain no one was injured as I walked back to the scene and I was at the scene for up to 15 minutes after I had parked the car safely,also the witness will testify to this. the other car was no longer there nor were there any ambulances etc

the officer who took the statement made no mention of injuries and if they were injuries would they have had to disclose it in the letter from the magistrates?

I once again ask in your opinion what is the likelihood of a custody sentence.

5) by pleading guilty and accepting the early discount plea, in your experience is there any chance of a custodial sentence or is it likely to be just a fine and points

finally is it possible to have a 10 minute phone consultation with yourself I am willing to pay you £15 for this 10 minute call?

I appreciate your advice and will be forwarding fantastic feedback after this question

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
1 No. It is best to do what I suggested above.
2 Yes, for consideration of disqualification. At least, they can't make you attent but it is a good idea.
3 It is a good idea. It does rack up cost though so you have to weigh that against the benefit.
4 She isn't likely to receive custody. People do get custody for failing to stop and report but not usually for damage only collisions unless there is some interference with justice.
It is usually give to people who have injured others and then driven away and left them.
5 As above really.
If it all disappears into a careless driving then it would just be 3 points and a fine.
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