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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71048
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My sister's carer is being taken to court for not having my

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My sister's carer is being taken to court for not having my sister present when she parked my sister's mobility vehicle using my sisters blue badge. She was doing my sisters food shopping when my sister was just out of hospital the previous evening. The carer was not aware she could not use the blue badge without my sister present. she is an excellent honest carer who made a mistake. What should she do please? Can she plead not guilty and ask for the circumstances to be taken into account? Or if she pleads guilty, will she get a criminal record and a £1000 fine.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
If she accepts that your sister was not with her and she was not therefore using the blue badge legitimately then her only options are to plead or be convicted I'm afraid.
If she is convicted then she will get a criminal record but the fine is not going to be that much. It is up to £1000. Usually it is about £100. There will also be costs of £85 and possibly the victim surcharge unless they waive that.
The Council may revoke the blue badge I'm afraid. They are becoming very aggressive about things like that. Your sister may have to try to recover it.
Sorry if that is bad news.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

O dear, that is not good news. A criminal record for a genuine mistake. She has been a full time carer for my sister for 14 years.

Would she be able to ask for the following to be taken into consideration.

She thought she could use the badge doing an urgent shop for my sister as my sister was completely out of food.

The parking attendent was very rude and suggested she was using a dead persons blue badge.

This happened back in May 2014 and the carer sent in all the supporting documents (ie. my sisters mobility van details and her employment contract). She heard nothing more until a court sumonds arrived on 28th December. Asking her to come to court on 27th January and plead guilty.

Is there anything she can do to get out of this please?

She can mitigate on any basis she likes but it isn't going to reduce the sentence much. The sentence will only be a fine anyway.
Ignorance of the law is no defence which is essentially what is being raised.
On the face of it, she doesn't have a defence.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

In your first answer, you mentioned she could plead or be convicted?

Does that mean if she pleads guilty she will not be convicted and will therefor not receive a criminal record? Also the fine may be a lot lower as you suggest?

Also will the council reconsider not confiscating my sisters blue badge due to the circumstances.

No. If she pleads guilty or is convicted that will lead to a criminal record.
No, the council will consider revoking her blue badge because of the circumstances.
There is no defence in saying that you were ignorant of the law and not much mitigation really.
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