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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69262
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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ROAD RAGE incident. Two weeks ago I was involved in a Road

Customer Question

ROAD RAGE incident.
Two weeks ago I was involved in a Road Rage incident. Trying to find a parking space, this large 4x4 car with the driver at the wheel was using 2 spaces and we wait but he refused to move. After an exchange of words deploring his behaviour me and my wife left to park in another place. A lady who saw the incident, and we met afterwards, agreed with us about the selfish and provocative attitude of the driver.
I was frankly very upset and as I could not take the incident out of my mind, we decided to go home. Walking towards our car, I saw the other car still parked there and in a moment of madness I scratched his door. The incident was probably video and now the police has contacted us to identified the driver. I contacted the police and gave my name but I was told that they will contact me later.
I know it was stupid and insane to do what I did, but I do need help to know what my position is and regarding the legal consequences of my action.
Should I declare myself guilty and ask for clemency?
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 months ago.
Hello, How bad was the damage caused?
Customer: replied 12 months ago.

Small, I did it with my keys and no too deep. Just to get level I stupidly thought.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 months ago.
Do you have any previous?
Customer: replied 12 months ago.

No total clean, I am 57 years old

Customer: replied 12 months ago.

Sorry no sure if clear my last response.

I have no previous convictions. After 57 years no incidents with police or law.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 months ago.
Would you be affected by a caution?
Customer: replied 12 months ago.

If there is anyway I can avoid it.

I am a private tutor and it may affect my references.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 months ago.
Yes, it would.They will probably offer a caution if it is just keying a car. However, it is a criminal damage and they could prosecute it.It used to be that they would sometmes let people pay for the damage in exchange for not prosecuting but that doesn't happen much anymore.I'm not sure I see how they can rely on S172 to force from you the name of the driver. It isn't an offence to which S172 apples and anyway the driver is not necessarily the person responsible but I suppose they will only do a VIPER parade and if you think you are likely to be identified then they can prove this.Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 12 months ago.

What happens if they recognise me in a VIPER parade?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 months ago.
Then you may have lost the chance to accept a caution.
Then they would probably prosecute.
It isn't a very serious offence. You would only be fined at court but you would have to go to court and it would lead to a conviction.
It depends how badly you need to avoid any other action against you. It might be worth a risk as you might not be identified.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.

The police letter was addressed to my wife who is the owner of the car.

When I called the police, I gave my name and admitted I drive the car sometimes during the week but I did not admit to drive her car on the day, or to the keying of the other car either.

The police on the phone ask me to wait and that the case officer would call us during the week.

Can my wife refuse to identify the driver? how is done (phone-letter)? Which consequences will bring her. I do not want my wife to be affected in anyway (she is a nurse).

Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 months ago.
Who is the registered keeper?
Is she prepared to risk being prosecuted for failing to identify?
I am offline for abou an hour now but I will pick up later if that is OK?
Customer: replied 12 months ago.

I also have to leave now.

Can you please answer my last mail when back?

Thank you for your patience but I am so anxious and ashamed

Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 months ago.
Yes, no problem. I will need to know whether she is happy to risk being summonsed for failing to identify?
Customer: replied 12 months ago.

No, I cannot ask my wife to risk any sanction for failing to identify de driver. She is a NHS nurse and it will go into her criminal record I believe.

If I decide to identify myself as the driver and author of the damages, how do I go about asking for leniency (using letter - phone) and perhaps an unlikely verbal warning? Of course, I will be happy to compensate for damages to the other car and pay any fine the police may consider I deserve.

As ashamed as I feel for what I did, I think the consequences for my professional life will be excessive.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 months ago.
I am not sure how they think they can use S172. This isn't an offence to which S172 applies.
In any event, identifying the driver of the car doesn't put them in a position where they can identify the person who keyed the car.
It depends how much risk you want to take.
In fairness, failing to identify is like a speeding offence. It is not something that would have any impact upon her character.
If you can't ask her to risk that then she will have to identify the driver.
Then the whole thing turns to you and whether you want to run the risk of a prosecution for the chance of not being identified.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69262
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 12 months ago.

I do have to ask my wife and see what to do. Can I write to you you tomorrow? Thank you for your patience.


Sorry I do not understand all the software and screens they show. I am nervous and I may have clicked some "plus service" with free trial and £57 charge. Is this an extra charge on top of the £47 already paid?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 months ago.
Yes, whenever you like.
I'm in a trial tomorrow but I will be on the ipad at some point.
You need to email customer services about your membership but they can sort it out for you.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.

Thank you I will contact you.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 months ago.
All the best.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.

Good morning Jo,

I know you are in a trial today, please answer after you finish, if you can.

I spoke to my wife (no married, 35 y. together). She agrees no to answer the police letter, nor to take their phone calls, and see what the police do after. Or, if advisable, to write to them saying she cannot remember who the driver was.

She also pointed two things:

a) The letter does not mention S172, the location, the time, nor the scratches. It says: "incident was reported ... involving the driver..." " Could you supply the details of the driver ...on that day".

It was, only, in my phone call, that the officer mentioned a "road rage incident", the area & the scratches, but left the matter for the case officer to phone us about it.

b) She understands that for traffic incidents, failure to identify the driver will carry a fine and some points in her driving licence (she is willing to accept them). However if this is not a pure traffic incident (scratches were after initial verbal confrontation) Can she change her position if more serious consequences are threaten by the police after failing to identify the driver?.

As a NHS nurse, she worries about criminal records only. Apart from that, she does not mind fines or points.

Thank you and good luck in court today.

PS I will be available after 3pm if you have the time.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 months ago.
She can't lie to the police. That is perverting the course of justice.
But she doesn't have to give the police information. This isn't a S172 document and so they can't force from her the identity of the person.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.

Hi Jo,

Thank you for your answer, it starts to make sense for us.

If they cannot punish her, or give her a record, she will keep quiet and do not answer the mail/phone. I presume she does not have to write to them saying that she refuses to answer? does she?

If you do not advice us other thing, we are going to keep quiet and see what happen.

Anyway, thank you very much for your answer, you have given us hope. Even if I am ashamed for what I did, the professional price seems too high to pay.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 months ago.
No, she can just ignore it. Ultimately she can't be the culprit as she is not male.
As long as this isn't a S172 document they can't punish her for refusing information.
She can always tell them that she isn't prepared to help them in their enquiries.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.

Thank you Jo,

She is going to do so. If they contact us directly, she will use that line (she isn't prepare to help them). I cross my fingers and see if they leave the matter to rest.

Well thank you again, it is being a nightmare for us.

PD Will it be too cheeky, if we let you know about any police reaction?

Thank you a million

Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 months ago.
Yes, respond whenever you like.
In fact, at least you are not continually asking the same question in the hope of getting a different answer like some people do!
Customer: replied 12 months ago.

Thanks Jo

We really appreciate it

All the best for you

Daniel & Maria

Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 months ago.
And you.

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