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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71144
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My wife received a Postal Requisition on Saturday {25/07}

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My wife received a Postal Requisition on Saturday {25/07} stating the following charge - "failure to give information relating to the identification of the driver of a vehicle when required". She is the registered owner of the vehicle in question. I was the driver at the time of the offence {13/2/2015}, which was a roadside officer using an LTI 20-20 speed measuring device. I did not see him and the photos of the vehicle appear to have been taken once I had passed him. I am therefore not in dispute of the fact that I am the one at fault here, but in light of the fact that my wife has now received a Postal Requisition when neither of us knew anything until this point in time. Both she and myself cannot recall receiving any previous correspondence - we have gone through paperwork to identify any mislaid or unopened post - , and if it had been addressed to her then I am sure she would have picked up on it at the time because she was not the offender. So the question is, how to address this? She's never had points, and we both have never had experience of the court system so this is very worrying. The correspondence alludes to a fine and 6 penalty points, but in our view she's not intentionally done anything wrong.

Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Did she name the driver on the S172 form?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

We have no record of receiving an S172, so no.

Do the DVLA have the correct address for the vehicle and for her?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes. The address & postcode is correct on the Postal Requisition.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The registration documents also correctly reflect the address.

Does the requisition refer to speeding and failing to identify or just failing to identify?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

It states "failed to give information relating to the identification of the driver of a vehicle, who was alleged to have been guilty of an offence", contrary to section 172(3) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and Schedule 2 to the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988.

So just failing to identify.

Ok. Good.
Have you had any other problems with post going missing?
if so, have you complained to the post office?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

We did have problems with post going missing, and on some cases being delivered to the wrong address. The post office advised us it was due to the change in postal staff over a period of time, and new and temporary staff being used. This has resolved itself over recent months.

Did you complain?
Do you have a record of the complaint or can you get one?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have no record but I can ask at the post office where I verbally raised it, to see if they have a record.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I can't guarantee that they will have one, but it other people in my street will have had the same experience and so maybe the post office would have documentation relating to written complaints from them.

Or get the names of people to whom you complained.
There is a defence to failing to identify in saying that you didn't receive the NIP. However, the onus falls to you to prove that as there is a reverse burden of proof and obviously defendants are always lying and saying that they didn't get these documents to escape justice so generally the Magistrates are cynical.
They haven't charged speeding in the alternative and they will be out of time to do so by the time this gets to court so it can't be resolved by offering a plea to speeding.
the only option is to contest this on the basis that she couldn't identify because she didn't get the S172 request. Since you do not share a letter box with anybody else the only real explanation is either that there are faults with the local post or you are not being truthful. There are faults with the local post sometimes but you do lend credibility to your defence if you attend court with documentary proof of a complaint. That doesn't necessarily mean the complaint has to be made by letter but you can usually get evidence that a verbal query was raised. If the post office won't put their name to it then just ask your post man to write a note to that effect. It doesn't need to be in S9 form. Any confirmation that you have complained would be helpful.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No, you've been very helpful. Many thanks.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Sorry - one last thing. In the absence of evidence as you describe, would my wife be best just ticking the guilty box or is there any other option available?

No problem and all the best.
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No, she can still give evidence on the point.
She can still tell the court from the witness box that she did complain and roughly when and what happened.
In the absence of contradicting evidence it is quite unlikely they would want to call her a liar outright. Magistrates are really not all that brave.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

And you referred to an "S9 form". What is that, please?

It refers to a witness statement. I wouldn't worry about that. They won't expect you to have your evidence in that form.
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