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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70708
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have been sent a summons to appear in court, traffic

Resolved Question:

I have been sent a summons to appear in court, for a traffic violation, going through a red traffic light. The vehicle was photographed at the junction.
The incident happened at night, while roadworks were in place, a lane was closed, lined with bollards, flashing orange lights hung on them. The traffic light is on a curve, like a slip road. The traffic light in question was inside the roadworks and appeared to me (erroneously) to be out of operation and part of the roadworks. It was dark, was confused and went through the red light. Does it make sense to make a not guilty plea based on these extenuating circumstances? Is this reason strong enough to support the plea? Would the judge listen to such an argument?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

are you prepared to risk costs?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What is a typical amount for costs?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

After a trial probably £400-£600.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
By costs do you mean the trial costs, or the fine I have to pay if found guilty? Or both?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

No, the fine would be an additional amount. Probably around £100-£300 plus costs.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK, to summarise. If I Iose the case, then I pay approximately £600-£800. Yes, I am prepared to take this risk. Can you give an opinion whether the case is in my favour?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Oh well, the chances are never really very good.

S36 RTA is an offence of strict liability. Come what may, you went through a red light.

The only challenge is that the lights were not displayed as the law requires and various cases have been very damaging upon that point.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

They only have to show that the lights were displayed in such a way that the reasonably observant motorist would have understood they applied to him.

If they can get over that hurdle their obligations are met.

Whether they can or not depends really on the physical location and the layout.

Also, you need to bear in mind that Magistrates are generally biased in favour of the Crown.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Can I clarify anything for you?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK, you have answered the question indirectly. A not guilty plea is not going to be accepted or work. I think I will plead guilty and try to explain the workroads as extenuating circumstances. Thanks for your help
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

I think you are right in these circumstances.

It is not usually worth the risk.

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