How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask LondonlawyerJ Your Own Question
LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 818
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
Type Your Law Question Here...
LondonlawyerJ is online now

I received a summons to go to court, because I failed to give

This answer was rated:

I received a summons to go to court, because I failed to give information relating the identification of the driver of my vehicle. I didn't received the letters requesting the information, as it was sent to my old address. The tenants moved out recently and the landlord got hold of the summons on the day he cleared out the house and forward it on to me. I did sent my V5 to change my address to DVLA, but they failed to change it. This might have happen because the letter got lost in post or they lost the form. I went to my local policy office, as I received the request from the follow the Metropolitan policy to say I will provide the information and would have done so if I got hold of the request earlier. I couldn't assist. I called the court, but the only advice they have given me was to follow the three choices given to me on the summons. I don't really want to plea guilty by post as this was not something I have done on purpose, but more down to circumstances. If possible I would like to address the issue before it go to court, as I'm willing to provide the information, now that I'm aware of the issue. Plead not guilty just come over so intimidating in the letter they have sent me and there description on the process that will follow. Can you please advice
LondonlawyerJ :

Hello, I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to help you with this.

LondonlawyerJ :

Firstly you should immediately provide the information requested on the Notice.

LondonlawyerJ :

Did you have a postal redirect service in place when yo moved? Or take some other steps to ensure you received the post at your old address? Non-receipt of the notice can in some circumstances amount to a defence. But it will be for you to prove that you did not receive it on the balance of probabilities. You may be able to but it is not always easy.

LondonlawyerJ :

The defence is in subsection 7 below.

LondonlawyerJ :

Road Traffic Act 1988, s 172

Duty to give information as to identity of driver etc in certain circumstances

172.—(1)This section applies—

(a) to any offence under the preceding provisions of this Act except—

(i) an offence under Part V, or

(ii) an offence under section 13, 16, 51(2), 61(4), 67(9), 68(4), 96 or 120, and to an offence under section 178 of this Act,

(b) to any offence under sections 25, 26 or 27 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988,

(c) to any offence against any other enactment relating to the use of vehicles on roads, and

(d) to manslaughter, or in Scotland culpable homicide, by the driver of a motor vehicle.

(2) Where the driver of a vehicle is alleged to be guilty of an offence to which this section applies—

(a) the person keeping the vehicle shall give such information as to the identity of the driver as he may be required to give by or on behalf of a chief officer of police, and

(b) any other person shall if required as stated above give any information which it is in his power to give and may lead to identification of the driver.

(3) Subject to the following provisions, a person who fails to comply with a requirement under subsection (2) above shall be guilty of an offence.

(4) A person shall not be guilty of an offence by virtue of paragraph (a) of subsection (2) above if he shows that he did not know and could not with reasonable diligence have ascertained who the driver of the vehicle was.

(5) Where a body corporate is guilty of an offence under this section and the offence is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to be attributable to neglect on the part of, a director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body corporate, or a person who was purporting to act in any such capacity, he, as well as the body corporate, is guilty of that offence and liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

(6) Where the alleged offender is a body corporate, or in Scotland a partnership or an unincorporated association, or the proceedings are brought against him by virtue of subsection (5) above or subsection (11) below, subsection (4) above shall not apply unless, in addition to the matters there mentioned, the alleged offender shows that no record was kept of the persons who drove the vehicle and that the failure to keep a record was reasonable.

(7) A requirement under subsection (2) may be made by written notice served by post; and where it is so made—

(a) it shall have effect as a requirement to give the information within the period of 28 days beginning with the day on which the notice is served, and

(b) the person on whom the notice is served shall not be guilty of an offence under this section if he shows either that he gave the information as soon as reasonably practicable after the end of that period or that it has not been reasonably practicable for him to give it.

(8) Where the person on whom a notice under subsection (7) above is to be served is a body corporate, the notice is duly served if it is served on the secretary or clerk of that body.

(9) For the purposes of section 7 of the Interpretation Act 1978 as it applies for the purposes of this section the proper address of any person in relation to the service on him of a notice under subsection (7) above is—

(a) in the case of the secretary or clerk of a body corporate, that of the registered or principal office of that body or (if the body corporate is the registered keeper of the vehicle concerned) the registered address, and

(b) in any other case, his last known address at the time of service.

(10) In this section—

‘registered address’, in relation to the registered keeper of a vehicle, means the address recorded in the record kept under the Vehicles Excise and Registration Act 1994 with respect to that vehicle as being that person’s address, and

‘registered keeper’, in relation to a vehicle, means the person in whose name the vehicle is registered under that Act;

and references to the driver of a vehicle include references to the rider of a cycle.

LondonlawyerJ :

The only case authority on this is Whiteside v Director of Public Prosecutions [2011] EWHC 3471 (Admin) where the notice did not come to the attention of the driver as he worked abroad. The court held that as he had not (on the facts) made suitable arrangements for the processing of his post, he could not avail himself successfully of the defence. Thi sis not a helpful precvedent for you.


Thanks for your quick response on this matter.


May I ask what the technical requirements will be for them to serve me with a summons to court. The traffic offence was recorded on the 21 Sep 2014, the first letter they have send me is dated the 30 Sep 2014 giving me 28 days to response. The second letter is dated the 28 Oct 2014 again giving me 28 days to response and according to the records they have gone around to my old address on the 1 November 2014. The summons to attend court is dated the 17th March 2015. I understand they need to send the NIP within 14 days from the speeding offence (the letter send on the 30th of September), what is the timeframe the rest off the process and letter to be sent to me.



LondonlawyerJ :

They only have to post it to you.


Thank you for your response. Can they therefore post the summons to me anytime after the last letter they posted to me or do they need to do it within a certain timeframe from sending the last letter,



LondonlawyerJ and other Law Specialists are ready to help you